With Earth Day just around the corner, this is a great time to consider how we can all be more conscientious about how we use resources. While it may not seem like an obvious Earth Day choice, good ol' plastic-based polymer clay can be part of some wonderful reuse & recycle projects. Here's 10 things you can save from the landfill & use with polymer clay:
- Light Bulbs: Are you replacing your old light bulbs with energy-efficient compact fluorescents? Don't throw those old ones out! Cover them with polymer clay to make a lovely rounded base for any sculpture.
- Plastic Easter Eggs: Polymer clay-covered eggs are all the rage, but you don't necessarily have to cover a real egg. You'll want to test yours first, but some plastic Easter eggs are oven-safe. This means you can use your leftover eggs -- which seem to multiply faster than Easter bunnies this time of year -- for your polymer clay egg projects. Check out It's Jest 'er Clay for one creative "eggs-ample" of egg covering.
- Bottles & Jars: Glass bottles are wonderful for covering with polymer clay, whether you're making a Bottle of Hope or a votive holder. Try incorporating translucent clay into your design if you're doing candle holders, lampshades, nightlights, etc. The light shining through will give it a whole new dimension.
- Wooden Boxes: Thrift stores and yard sales often offer unwanted jewelry and trinket boxes. Snatch them up! Depending on the condition, you may have to do some sanding and/or repair work, and wood often needs to be baked before covering with clay to remove excess moisture. Afterwards, just cover it with clay to make your own unique treasure box.
- Cardboard Tubes & Boxes: Paper towel & toilet paper rolls can be great when you need a rounded section in a sculpture. Other cardboard shapes work well too -- for example, matchboxes are are a popular base for small pendants that slide open.
- Mint Tins & Tin Cans: Mint tins are simple to cover and great for carrying small items in a purse. Pet food & canned meat/fish also come in small, easy-to-cover cans.
- Can Lids: Speaking of cans, can lids can be a cool base for magnets, holiday ornaments, and more. Look for a can opener (such as the Handy Can Opener) that takes off the entire top of the lid, leaving no jagged edges.
Bottle Caps: Don't toss those bottle caps! Use them with polymer clay to make jewelry, magnets & more. If you don't drink anything that comes with bottle caps, you can probably find pre-smashed bottle caps on the side of the road. (You get bonus points for recycling and cleaning up the neighborhood!)
- Scrap Paper: Use polymer clay to turn your scrap paper into a sturdy polymer clay notepad.
- Frames: Garage sales & thrift stores are full of frames that have seen their better days. Fix them up with a little polymer clay. They'll be better than new!
Stay tuned for more earth-friendly polymer clay ideas between now and the big day! In the meantime, I'd love to hear your suggestions for an Earth Day-worthy polymer clay project.