If puzzles are your thing, you’re gonna love this creative little puzzle mat! It’s a way to store small mini puzzles and it’s an upcycle project, meaning it uses some things you most likely already have in your home! The only thing you might need to grab is the large sheet of felt. It’s small enough to take and store anywhere.
We put ours in our “Mini Toy Box in a Drawer for Adults and Kids.” So get your puzzle and make one or two or five of these awesome little puzzle mats. Great for inexpensive gifts too! For another great portable activity, idea check out our DIY Portable Lego Table.
Puzzle Mat Supplies
- Sturdy paper towel tube
- Paper egg carton
- 12″ x 18″ felt sheet (soft)
- Hot glue gun
- Mini puzzle Completed size no more than 10.5″x 11″
Gather your supplies. Make sure your paper towel roll is not bent or squished. Make sure you get soft felt. The thin, stiffer kind will not roll up the puzzle well.
The area for the puzzle will be 11″x 12″ approximately. Make sure your puzzle will fit on the mat and that the puzzle pieces will fit into the tube.
For the bottom end cap, trim a single egg carton section as shown, then glue it in.
For the top open ended cap, trim another egg carton section as shown. Add holes to attach it with string. Paint it before attaching. We added a coat of Mod Podge. (Optional)
After painting, attach your top cap as shown. We added some glue to the inside to secure the string. Glue on a small piece of ribbon as the pull tab.
Your felt will be a small amount taller than your tube. Measure it and trim the felt down to fit. Glue your felt around the tube as shown. Glue two pieces of ribbon as shown to tie the mat up when not in use.
Your dog can eat in style with these classy personalized dog bowls! (Cats too!) Nice pet bowls can be expensive. Not these! $2.00 was paid for the set. Just grab some nice ceramic bowls at the local dollar store and then add your pets name either with paint pens or labels.
Supplies for Personalized Dog Bowls
- Ceramic or glass bowls from the dollar store.
- Paint pens, labels. (I used a Silhouette machine for mine but any labels can work.)
- Waterproof clear coating of some type to go over labels and any painting you do.
- For paint pens, paint on your design. You can coat it with a waterproof coating if desired or you can place your ceramic bowl in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes which will set the paint. (Make sure the bowl can be placed in an oven.) HAND WASH ONLY.
- For labels, attach them to your bowl and coat with a waterproof coating. HAND WASHING ONLY.
Get some ceramic bowls from your local Dollar Store. Mine only had dark colors. If you can get white ones, you have more options for paint pen colors.
Draw on your designs. If you make a mistake you can quickly wipe it off. If it sets you can wipe it off with rubbing alcohol.
Any type of labels will work as long as you put a clear waterproof coating over them. I had a Silhouette machine I used for mine.
If you’d like to give gratitude and thankfulness a boost in your home, gratitude stones are a wonderful incentive. They work for children and adults alike and both will love them! They are also wonderful for activities such as Thanksgiving Day dinner etc. And what a lovely positive gift when given inside our No-Sew Burlap Pouches.
- Small stones. These don’t need to be perfectly smooth all around. There just needs to be a small flat surface on part of the stone to paint a heart.
- Gold and white paint or paint pens. (Or whatever colors you like. The type of activity may determine the choices.)
- Clear spray coating for stones, or Mod Podge. (Optional but gives them a finished look and nice shine.)
- Downloaded poems/tags.
Tags and Poems (pdf)
READ THE POEM INCLUDED IN THE KIT ABOVE
There are a variety of ways you can use these. Here are some suggestions:
SMALL GROUP SETTING ACTIVITY #1
Give everyone a small handful or pouch of stones. There needs to be one stone per person in attendance in each pouch if possible and each set MUST have different colors with no duplicates. Meaning a set of green hearts… a set of red hearts… etc. Change them by doing hearts with different outlined colors.
During the event or dinner everyone is to give a stone to another person. When someone receives a stone they must say something they are grateful for.
The thing they are grateful for must be specific and they have to say WHY they are grateful for it. No general things such as “home” or “family.” Try to encourage gratitude for things they take for granted or for specific people.
Every stone must be given to those who have NOT received one yet. If a person has received one they must find someone who hasn’t. Everyone has to give away ALL their ORIGINAL stones. (They will be left with a variety of colors.)
To get rid of all their own stones and receive all new ones. It’s easy to keep track because they started out with stones of all one color.
GROUP ACTIVITY #2
Have an even amount of stones. Half are one color of hearts, the other half are another color. Put the stones in a deep bag. Everyone draws a stone. If they get a stone with a certain color heart they say something they are grateful for. Other colored hearts means they choose someone else to say something they are grateful for. Adapts as desired.
AS A GIFT
Give your children, family, friends etc. a pouch of stones. They are to put the stones around their room or home or work area. Every time they see one they are to STOP and think of something they are grateful for. It has to be different each time. You can use the printable tag and poem to go with the stones.
Make Your Thankfulness Gratitude Stones
Gather some smooth small stones. They don’t need to be perfect. Just so there is at least one flat side to paint your heart onto.
Using a paint brush or paint marker put a colored heart on each one.
Outline the hearts.
For a nice finish coat with Mod Podge or some spray gloss.
You can visit our No Sew Burlap Pouches post to learn how to make these little pouches. These make awesome gifts combined with the printable poem and tag!
Learn how to make a variety of these super quick No-Sew Burlap Pouches.
These no-sew pouches can be made in various sizes to hold all kinds of goodies such as dried herbs, crystals, notes etc. They make wonderful gifts for any age! We use them to hold our Gratitude Stones. They can be made in minutes and don’t require a single stitch! If you love burlap crafts, this one is a keeper!
Supplies for No Sew Pouches – A Burlap Crafts
- Pattern (free download below)
- Hot glue gun
- Extras: string, ribbon, buttons etc.
NOTE: You can easily make your own any size you want but we’ve provided three patterns if desired.
These can be made in various sizes but we’ve included a pattern for the sizes shown. The key is to cut the burlap straight and along the lines. This makes it even when you pull the threads out to make the edges.
After cutting out your pattern, trim if needed on the burlap thread lines.
To make the even frayed edge pull ONE string at a time. It typically takes 1 to 3 threads pulled to make a nice edge depending on how long you want the frays to be.
After you’ve pulled out the threads as desired you may notice they need trimmed a bit to even them up as shown below.
Do this on all fours sides.Iron where shown on the pattern. (This one was ironed before fraying.)
Carefully glue the sides down. Don’t use too much glue as it seeps through the burlap. Make sure you’re on a protected surface.
After gluing, press down on the sides using a craft stick or something similar so you don’t burn your fingers if any glue comes through the fabric (which is usually does.)
It’s now time to decorate your pouches and add the ribbon or string for tying. There are various ways you can do this. The easiest is to take some ribbon or string and glue it in the center of the back.
To close the pouch you can roll or wrap it, depending on how much you have inside it.
Pull the ribbon around and tie it.
Another option is to feed some heavy string through two holes in the front or back. You can tie them or tack with glue.
Roll or wrap. Use enough string that you can wrap it twice around, again depending on how much you have in your pouch.
Use the pouches to hold Gratitude Stones.
What you need to get organized might very well already be in your house… or your trash can! Soda bottles are perfect for making all types of containers to hold goodies. Use them on your desk, in drawers or hanging on the wall! This is another wonderful way to upcycle.
Supplies To Get Organized
- Soda bottles, various sizes. My favorite is the 33.8 oz size.
- X-acto Knife
- Spray Paint (optional)
- Washi Tape (optional)
- Dry Erase Marker (for marking your bottle where you want to cut)
- Mod Podge & Glitter (for glittered container)
- Iron (Optional, for melting edges.)
- Good Gone (optional for removing labels)
Remove the labels on all your bottles. I’ve yet to find anything that removes label residue better than Goo Gone. Takes seconds.
Smoothing Edges with an Iron
You can seal the edges with an iron to give them a nice rounded finish. It’s optional of course but pretty cool and doesn’t hurt your iron one bit!
1. Set your iron on high.
2. Press the cut edge of your bottle firmly on the base of the iron for 5 to 10 seconds until it starts to curve.
Using a black dry erase marker is wonderful for marking your bottle where you need to cut it. Wipes right off when you’re done! Most of these are self-explanatory. It’s the painting or decorating that makes them extra cool! The general directions are as follows:
- Remove your bottle label.
- Measure and mark with a dry erase marker the places you need to cut.
- Cut carefully with an X-acto type knife.
- Trim around the edge with scissors to make it even.
- Round the edge if needed or desired with an iron.
- Paint, or decorate however you want!
Cut and spray paint. Edge with Washi tape or ribbon if desired.
For the covered containers cut two bottles the desired height with the top shorter than the bottom. If you melt the edges ONLY MELT THE BOTTOM section. Melting the top will make it difficult to put the lid on. The key here is to cut a 1″ slit on the top edge of the bottom section. This allows it to overlap a bit so the lid can fit. As I was using mine to hold buttons I had a nice large one I wanted to place on the top. I needed to drill a hole to push the bottom of it through. You could also drill a hole to insert a knob.
Need a quick unique inexpensive small gift for someone? Grab a few CDs and get some photos printed and you can make these beautiful custom photo books. You can put anything you like on them… quotes, photos, graphics etc. Make a special book for a couple that just got married, or someone who’s celebrating an anniversary. How about a photo book that highlights a special friendship. The ideas are as endless as your imagination!
Custom Photo Book Supplies
- Photos. These can be any size depending on the type of book you make. For ones that cover the full CD you’ll need 5x7s.
- CDs or DVDs
- Glue to affix photos and graphics. I used spray glue for the full size photos.
- Small ball chain
- Decor beads etc.
You can trace the CD onto your photos and then cut them out or you can also hold the CD onto a photo and carefully cut around it. For one of my custom photo books I used my printer to print medium quality black and white photos of Roy and I onto normal printer paper. (Next time I’d use cardstock.) Then I cut the photos out along with some sayings and quotes I found. I used spray glue to attach my photos but any glue will work. After attaching your photos you can now drill a hole large enough to fit your chain through into the CDs. You can do more than one at a time, just be careful!
If you’d like to use some of the text graphics I used for my custom photo book on Roy and I you can download them below in pdf format.
I could have just used a chain to attach them but I found some heart beads I thought would work nice for this book. I had white ones but needed a black one. I stuck one onto a wood skewer and spray painted it. Then I colored another one with a black Sharpie marker. I actually liked the look of that one better and used it.
I also made a custom photo book using colorful scrapbook paper and gluing on smaller photos. I placed a paper butterfly I had cut out on top and bent it’s wings up for a CD look.
These pretty clothespin gift sets are inexpensive to make and come with a very unique display holder. The perfect present for a variety of occasions they can be used for a many things from note and photo holders, to bag clips. One of many wonderful clothespin craft we have here on our site!
Supplies for these Clothespin Crafts
- These are the things that I used for the one’s you see.
- Washi Tape
- Dye (to dye some of the clothespins)
- Mod Podge
- Tongue Depressors
- Drill for hole in depressors
Visuals For Display Sticks
Notes: I used most of my clothespins raw except for the red ones which I dyed. Here is a tutorial on how to color your clothespins!
For holders mark your tongue depressors. 2″ will be cut off.
If you have a fine saw you can cut them with that. I used scissors. You have to be careful with scissors as the wood can split.
Drill a hole in the end to put string through.
Sand the rough edge where you cut it so it’s smooth.
This shows the various things I used. Washi tape is the easiest. You can use just about anything to decorate them with including buttons, glitter, gems etc.
This set is from our Herb Plant Label post. Download the labels shown plus others here.
This is another set I had done using the normal card for display. Its a piece of cardboard covered with scrapbook paper. These clothespins are all dyed with Rit Dye. We have a great tutorial on how to dye and color clothespins here.
This little note can gift set uses an empty soup can. I used a smooth edge can opener to remove the lid so there are no sharp edges. The clothespins are dyed yellow with Rit Dye and the birds and label are provided as a free download. Then toss in a pen and some note paper. I added a string to attach on the wall for hanging notes or photos. You could also attach sticky magnet sheets on the back of your clothespins or glue a regular magnet for using the clothespins on the fridge. I cut my birds out using my Silhouette Cutter but they are easily done by hand using scissors. I’ve included both types below as a free download.
Birds on a Wire Note Set Supplies
- 1 soup can
- aprox 6 clothespins dyed
- Scrapbook paper to cover can
- Downloaded, printed and cut birds and label.
- Notepad and pen or pencil
- String if desired
- Magnets for back of clothespins if desired.
Pdf Printable of Birds and Label
Silhouette Version of Files
Cover your can with desired paper. Print and cutout birds and label on cardstock. Glue to clothespins and can. Fill can with notepad, pencil or pen and string if desired. You can also glue magnets onto the back of the clothespins for holding notes onto the fridge.
Yes, you can use laundry items to make a pretty necklace! Some chain, clothespins springs and beads are all it takes. (I used a jewel from an old broken bracelet for one of them.) I’m a t-shirt and jeans kinda gal and these spice up my casual wear perfectly! Just be prepared to tell others how you made your unique necklace.
- Clothespin Springs
These take three minutes to make once you have the supplies. Just feed your beads or items onto the spring. Done!
You can make a very beautiful string dispenser in minutes! Use any size bottle you wish. I used a plastic 16 oz coke bottle because I liked the curved design. Talk about a great upcycle!
String Dispenser Supplies
- Plastic 16 oz bottle
- Artificial Flowers
- Ball of twine
You will need to remove the labels on all your bottles. After doing so use Goo Gone to get rid of the residue without marring the surface.
Cut a door in the side of your bottle that’s large enough to put your ball of string into.
Drill a hole in the lid.
After inserting your string or twine tape the end onto a dowel or pencil to help feed it through the top of the bottle.
Feed your twine or string through the lid.
Now comes the fun part… decorating it! Here is what I used.
I wanted some really wide ribbon that would cover the door in the back of the bottle. I glued some smaller ribbon around it so I could tie it on in back. This way I can quickly remove it should I need to put new twine inside.
Tie it around the bottle making a bow in back. Add some of the smaller ribbon around the lid.
I added a fake flower I had. It actually came off an old hair band!
This is one of those things you can whip up fast but it looks like it took much longer. I used a tuna can and clipped dyed clothespins around the edge. No gluing needed, though you may want to glue some decor on the front like I did. These can be used to hold anything. I stuck a candle in mine.
Clothespin Craft Supplies
- Tuna can
- Decor items i.e. flowers, ribbon etc.
Check out our post “How To Color Clothespins”. It’s very helpful for things like this!
These clothespins are some I dyed with food coloring which gives them a stained look.
A very beautiful clothespin craft decor item!
This nifty little recycled treat display holder is part of our CD Crafts category. Its made from a spindle container that houses 50 CDs or DVDs. It’s perfect for holding bagels, cupcakes, muffins, cookies and other small food items and a wonderful unique way to give a special treat to someone. You could also put non-food items in it. What a wonderful way to give a thank you to someone! If you are looking for recycled crafts… we got ’em!
- One CD/DVD Spindle Container (The size that holds 50.)
- Fancy knob for top.
- Ribbon of choice.
- Hot glue.
- Paper plate cut as insert for bottom.
- Awl or drill for putting a hole in the top.
Instructions : Treat Holder CD Crafts
Break the center spindle piece off the base.
Drill or punch a hole in the center of the top lid to attach the knob.
Any small knob will work. I had these cool crystal ones.
Attach the knob through the hole. Secure with a screw underneath.
Add some ribbon if desired and a trimmed paper plate for the inside.
You won’t believe what these beautiful bracelets are made from. A plastic soda bottle and some scraps. I could have made about 50 of them they are so quick and easy. Ahhh… I can see it now. A whole wardrobe of colorful bracelets to match any outfit. (If this were food my mouth would be watering.) Its a wonderful way to upcycle those soda bottles. Kids and adults alike will love them!
- Soda bottle. 32 oz size is what I used. Smaller size for kids.
- Fabric scraps
- Glue Gun
- X-acto Knife
- Mod Podge (Optional. I show how to use this or the glue gun to make the bracelets.)
- Pinch Crimps, Lobster Clasps, Jump Rings
- Small hole punch and string (for the one that ties together)
I found these are perfect for closing your bracelets though there are a variety of ways you can do that. The 15 to 16 mm size Crimp works quite well. They are aprox. 5/8″ wide. If you’re making very thin or very thick bracelets adjust as needed as they come in a variety of sizes. I found these items are much cheaper purchased separately. You can get a package of each at craft stores or any department store with a craft area.
Remove the label from your bottle. (It does not have to have all the residue removed for this project.) Cut even strips for your bracelets. I made mine about 1/2″ with some a little smaller and some a little larger.
You can either cut or tear strips of material. I made mine about 1/2″ wide. Make them a long as possible but you can add pieces easily if you need more .
There are two ways to attach the material to your bracelet. I found the hot glue method works great. Just put some hot glue on the inner end and attach your fabric. Wrap and secure again at the other end.
You can also use Mod Podge and coat your bracelet and wrap. I did not find this to be any better than hot gluing however.
You can wrap the fabric two ways. Flat as shown above or by rolling the fabric as you go as seen below. Both look great.
Once you’re finished you can trim the ends a little bit if needed and add your pinch crimps on each side.
I used a hammer to tap mine down firmly.
Attach a jump ring to one side and a lobster clasp to the other side.
For one of my bracelets I use an awl to punch holes on each side and inserted a string to tie the bracelet together.
These DIY candle holders are great if you need to grab something quick to set a candle on. However, with a little paint and a few extras they can be turned into beautiful upcycle decor items for any season! We made three different examples using just what we had on hand. There’s one for Autumn, Christmas and Spring / Summer. Once you have the supplies and have painted your disc it takes 5 minutes to put them together.
IMPORTANT: When you add artificial flowers, ribbon and other items, the candles are to be used as decorations only. You also won’t be able to use hot glue on the candle itself, for obvious reasons. See our directions for how we attached our decorations.
- CDs or DVDs. Used or new.
- Spray paint.
- Artificial flowers, ribbon etc.
- Foil disc for under center of candle over the hole.
If you’re going to use the CD or DVD to hold a candle you will light, cover the center hole with a bit of foil because you don’t want wax accidentally leaking through. Again, this is the for the non-decorated versions. If you decorate them, don’t light them as its a fire hazard.
If your using your candle as a decoration you can’t hot glue it to the disc unless the candle has paper on the bottom of it. You can use other types of glue to attach it also.
Fall DIY Candle Holders
Spray paint either side of your CD. Add your decorations keeping in mind you can’t use hot glue on the candle itself. I tied raffia around the candle and affixed any foliage to the disc itself.
Christmas DIY Candle Holders
I spray painted this CD gold and tied a small strand of pip berries around it twice. I then glued my gold sprigs on the CD itself at the base of the candle and then glued a gold bow over the center of them. Simple yet elegant.
Spring DIY Candle Holders
I spray painted my disk a teal color. (Remember to add a circle of foil over the hole before sitting your candle on it. ) Then I glued some daisies on the CD at the bottom of the candle. Simple and pretty.
This cute little pixel heart necklace is incredibly easy to make. All you need is some cardstock, glue and our free pattern. A little tracing, a little cutting, a little gluing and your done! We’ve provided a pdf version of the pattern and a Silhouette file for those who have that machine. For another great idea check out our Easy DIY Necklace for Someone You Love. It has the cutest free printable!
Pixel Heart Necklace Supplies
- Cardstock (color of choice)
- Craft knife for manual cutting (or Silhouette)
- Chain or string for necklace.
- Clear glue.
- Mod Podge for coating if desired.
PDF download of pixel hearts pattern. Print and cut.
For Manual Cutting: The pixel heart necklace pdf has several of each size heart but you only need to cut out ONE of the size of your choice to use for a pattern. Trace the one you cut out onto the cardstock several times and cut carefully with the knife, including cutting out the hole. I used 5 hearts for mine and it was a great thickness. You can add more or less if desired.
Silhouette Cutter: If you own a Silhouette download the appropriate file and remove the sizes you do not want in your Silhouette software and cut out the rest.
Spread a thin layer of glue between each heart until it is as thick as desired. Let it dry. Coat with Mod Podge if desired for a sheen finish. Insert string or chain.
Make these quick hand fans in minutes using a traditional wood clothespin and some heavy scrapbook paper. Wrap a little ribbon or twine around them and you have a beautiful way to cool off! You can make a dozen of these for parties or even lovely gifts in any colors or design you like. Just follow the simple instructions below. If you like, these check out our more modern Free Emoji Fan Printables and Instructions.
Supplies for Hand Fans
- 12″ x 12″ two sided cardstock scrapbook paper (cut down to 12×9) Craft stores sell this by the sheet!
- Yard, Cording or Thin Ribbon (for wrapping)
- Traditional Wood Clothespins
- Glue gun
- Thick ruler, butter knife or Bone Folding Tool
Fold over along the width at approximately 1/2″ folds. Use something flat to press each one down. Press one of the paper fan into the clothespin about half way into the opening. If you press it too far down it will make the span of the fan smaller. You want enough stuck in to make it sturdy. 2″ is a good estimate. Depending on how small you were able to make your folds they might stick out on the sides of the clothespin. You can trim if desired to make them flush with the wood for wrapping. Wrap your string, yarn, cord or ribbon around the pin. Overlap one end to hold it in place then put a dab of hot glue on the other end. Cover as much as you like. We did ours down to where the clothespin tapers. You can also paint your clothespin ahead of time in bright colors before wrapping. Or just paint them and be done! However, the wrapping helps keep the fan in place. Make color coordinating fans that easy enough even even kids can make them.