Should We Ban Glitter?

Hi Friends! One of my favorite craft supplies has come under scrutiny lately and it has lead me to dig deeper into the environmental impact that my crafting can have on the world. You can agree or disagree with me. I am open to polite discussion on this topic. Watch the video to see what I think and feel free to leave your opinion in the comments below this post.

Why might glitter be an environmental problem? Traditional glitter, along with sequins and embossing powder (and other small plastic things that measure less than 5mm long) are microplastics. Microplastics have been found in the ocean and in the bellies (potentially leaching chemicals) into the fish. Sometimes fish and birds can die of starvation when they eat plastic debris as it sits in their belly and takes up the room of real food. Microbeads (the little plastic beads used in facial scrubs) have been banned as they wash right down the drain when used as intended. Some scientists are calling for glitter to be banned next.

Resource: National Geographic

I don’t think out crafting glitter is the real issue as we are not applying it to our bodies and then rinsing it off. We typically use a small amount and affix it to a project with glue. Many of your projects like Christmas ornaments and Scrapbooks are heirloom projects and unlikely to be thrown away but even the greeting card destined for the landfill eventually isn’t that big of a problem in my opinion. I think the good of crafting a handmade card and sending it to a friend outweighs a bit of plastic glitter in the landfill. Besides, if we all through away out glitter bottles today where will they go…the landfill as they can’t be recycled.

Glitter is a staple craft supply, unlike many products we buy to craft with. I am still using glitter I purchased decades ago and it is still as sparkly as ever. You only need a little bit for a big impact. Other craft products can be very trendy and the leftovers get tossed unused because the fad is over. Glitter isn’t like that. My opinion is to keep using the glitter you have for your adult crafts. If you are working with kids or creating outdoors (maybe you are glittering Christmas decorations outside) you can switch to an eco-friendly biodegradable glitter like the Hemway ones I compared in the video. They come in large quantities so they would be suitable for this and are comparable in price to standard glitter. If you are a new crafter and want to avoid plastic glitter from the start (note: I do not think it is better for the environment to throw away your bottles of glitter and go out and buy eco-glitter) you might like this. Or use beautiful German glass glitters. *These are sharp so be careful and not for kids crafts.

We can all craft sustain-ably and it has as much to do with the upstream waste (the waste generated from making out craft materials like water pollution from fabric and paper manufacturing) as it does what we throw away. Purchasing appropriate amounts of supplies and using them up and disposing of our waste in the greenest manor is the best thing to do. If we use common sense we can continue to use our glitter without guilt. What do you think? Let me know in the comments below and til next time happy crafting!

Cute Upcycled Furniture Project! DIY Upholstery!

Hi friends! I’m back with a couple more gifts I made, or should I say refinished!

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These storage benches were rescued from the basement after one of my girls asked for a pretty gold bench with a white fur seat for her room. The request was mentioned a couple of days before Christmas and after my shopping was complete but then I remembered the old benches they used to have when they were little for holding dress-up play clothes. I decided I would refinish both of them, one for each of my girls for a last-minute gift. They loved them and I have a bit less clutter in my basement now! watch the video to see how to do it and how I made the custom cushioned seat. You could use that technique to turn any storage trunk or toy box you might have in your basement into a storage bench. Imagine the treasures you can make! Why buy new when you can renew?

Supply list: Keep in mind you probably have everything you need in your stash and substituting is totally fine. Everyone’s furniture will be unique and that is part of the fun! I have provided a supply list with links for your convenience and affiliate links may be used if available.

  • Old wooden bench, trunk, toy box or other furniture you want to refinish
  • Paint: I used chalk paint but you can use acrylic paint or leftover latex house paint (you can tint the house paint with acrylics if it is not the color you want.) My recommendation for this project is chalk paint because often old furniture can be a bit beat up and chalk paint hides the flaws and is quick to apply.
  • Plywood: If you are not upholstering directly to a seat you will need to cut a piece of plywood to match the size of the seat. Often if you buy the wood at a home improvement store they will cut it for you.
  • Foam cushion to match size of area to be upholstered
  • Heavy duty stapler: I have an Arrow Power Shot but this one made for furniture upholstery is half the price.
  • Fabric or a blanket cut 4″ larger on each side than your foam.
  • Stencil (the paris sign one)
  • Acrylic paint pens (I added doodle over the thick stencil lines on the gold bench with Jane Davenport paint over pens because I though the thick black lines looked dated)
  • Hot glue
  • Assorted paint brushes

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Directions:
1. Clean the furniture inside and out with a rag damp with warm soapy water and let dry. *Note: if you are using regular acrylic or glossy house paint I suggest you prime the furniture. No need to prime if using chalk paint.

2. Paint the furniture including the inside of the bench for a fresh and clean surface. You will probably want 2 coats.

3. Stencil over the dry paint if desired.

4. Make the cushion. Cut plywood and 2″ foam cushion the same size as the bench and then cut fabric 4″ larger on all sides. Center the foam and plywood over the fabric and wrap it around stapling the fabric to the back of the plywood.

5. Glue the seat to the bench with hot glue.

My husband and I have refinished many pieces of furniture in out home and so have the kids. I think getting in the habit of looking at something you have and thinking “How can I make this work better” is a wonderful skill. It makes your home personalized and keeps things out of the landfill and from cluttering your basement.  I love knowing that something is one of a kind and there is a special satisfaction in doing something yourself especially when you give new life to something at would otherwise go unused. I hope you are enjoying the last weekend of 2018 and til next time happy crafting!

Trash to Treasure Foil Embellishments!

Hey friends! Just a quick tip for you tonight! Have you noticed when trends come into fashion they affect everything around us even our product packaging?

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Why not die cut cute embellishments from pretty foiled packages like I did from the pink/gold foil box my make-up came in. Watch the video to see how!

You can find beautiful foiled cardboard on everything from tea, skin cream and other consumer goods, heck, I even consider the pretty packaging when I am shopping and I am a bit embarrassed to admit I have bough things because the packaging was cute. If we think about how we can use the packaging as well as the stuff we are buying there will be less trash in the landfill and more treasure for us to craft with! Happy crafting!

Warning: You might think this craft is gross!

Hi Friends! When I spied this empty feed bag in the garage I knew I wanted to try to make a reusable grocery shopping bag with it!

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It is a strong tarp like woven material that will be better as a bag than rotting in a landfill and best of all you can make it in 15 minutes, no sewing required! All you need is grain bag and duct tape for this project!

Video!

Now, you might get some funny looks when you go shopping with your chicken bag but you can hold you head high knowing that you are saving a few trees…on the other hand, if you are the type of person who raises backyard chickens and turns their feed-bags into shopping bags you are probably shopping at the health food store and there is no judgment there. I’m letting my freak flag fly, how about you? Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Got Ugly Scrapbook Paper? This Project is For YOU!

Hi friends! Today I have a fun, quick and easy bookmaking project that only requires paper and adhesive! You can use any paper you want but it is perfect for the older scrapbook paper in your stash that you don’t care for because you can use the back side for the pages and the print will be hidden. Aren’t you glad you kept it now?

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Watch the video to see how fun and quick these little notebooks are!

Video!

Supplies:

  • Paper
  • Adhesive
  • 20 minutes

I have seen some really cute notebooks that some of you guys made following my tutorial on Instagram, thanks for sharing! If you want share your pics you can post them on Thefrugalcrafter Facebook page of use #thefrugalcrafter when posting on Instagram, it might work on twitter too but honestly I’m not sure LOL! If you love this simple idea I would love it if you shared it on Pinterest or your favorite social media (handy links at the bottom of the post!) Thanks so much for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

I was cleaning kids paint palettes the other day…

Hi friends! I had a kids painting class a couple of weeks ago with kids ages 4-12 so of course I gave them big sheets of paper and “good” tube watercolor paint to use. The nice paper was inexpensive white sulphite drawing paper that holds up well to watercolor for kids (no lifting paint though) and the “good” paint was Royal & Langnickle tube watercolors which are lovely and vibrant but student grade (hey, they get to feel like real artists and I do not have to worry about the cost or the kids using toxic chemicals. win-win.) The kids also got to use “good” brushes and not the awful plastic ones that come in kids sets so they were really happy. So I told them that they were all artists using the same stuff my adult students used and it was important to keep the colors bright and fresh and to rinse out the brush between colors and they actually did it! At the end of the class looking at all of the usable paint left in the palette I did not have the heart to rinse it down the drain so I did this instead:

Video!

Basically free spray inks! I use these to color paper, with stencils and for dyeing ribbon for crafts, not for items you will launder though. You are probably wondering why I did not let them dry in the palette and use them again, well 2 reasons, 1. they are student grade and they would want to dry out and crack and fall out of the wells eventually and 2. I did not have a place to store them as the palettes do not have lids. So, what do you think? Was this a good use of leftover paint or a waste of time? Let me know in the comments! Happy crafting!

Cheap Beads You can Make!

Hi Friends! I have like 6 minutes of battery life left on my computer so let’s get to this fun craft using leftover book pages from our book safe project. Paper beads, and really, they are not cheap, they are free, woohoo! Use these with regular beads to make one of a kind jewelry!

Here are some other old book crafts:

Book Safe (great gift idea especially if stuffed with cash!)

Painted book pages!

Book page cards!

Happy crafting!

 

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