• Ashley Devarajan

Make this for a loved one!

For my husband's birthday, I decided to make him this little upcycled business card holder for his office desk. Any guesses what I upcycled it from?

As a family of four that is striving towards minimalism and a debt-free lifestyle, everyday choices regarding consumption matter. I try to make positive strides towards our environmental and economical goals daily. My favorite expressions that I truly live by are: 'Why buy things when you don't have to?' and 'Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.' Throughout my everyday choices and actions, I am reducing my carbon footprint and subsequently am teaching our children the very same principles.

One of the main ways that I am have stopped the flow of clutter into (and out of) our home is by not buying things. We simply don't need many things and it definitely fattens up the wallet as a side bonus. I reuse everything when I can and I try to recycle the waste that we do create in more useful ways than simply tossing it out in the blue bins (which all too often goes to landfills). I am always saving various recycled items and my dear hubby is conditioned at this point to check in with me before he recycles things, to see if I have a plan for any of it. The things we do for love! Little did he know, that one of his discarded items would be gifted back to him! I am proud of how this one turned out.

Here is what I upcycled.

Deodorant! Thick plastics such as deodorant sticks are strong and have so much life left in them (actually, eternal life since plastic never decomposes...) so why not turn it into something that will live on in disguise for many more years to come?

Sending it out of the house like this:

Surely beats sending it out of the house like this:

Here was my process:

1. I washed it out and then wrapped the main body and cap in scrap Pendleton wool and leather. I stitched my wool to the leather first and trimmed everything clean and square, then wrapped and tacked it with glue. I added black bias tape (this one) around the top of both the pen and card holder for a more finished look

2. I then flipped the twisty stick (that moves the deodorant up and down) upside down and glued a cute little succulent to it.

3. I lightly sanded an extra piece of scrap pine I had kicking around and sprayed it with Varathane Polyurethane Spray to give it a mild sheen. I love this spray for crafting because it dries quickly and you don't have to set up a full painting setting up with brushes, containers and rags and makes clean up a breeze. I just set whatever I'm doing on a piece of scrap cardboard and spray it in a few light passes in a well ventilated area.

4. I then used a 1/4" drill bit to make a small hole almost all the way through the block then put a small blob of hot glue in the hole to mount my succulent stand.

5. I glued down both the card and the pen holders where I wanted them and voila!

Side note: Take the time to be careful with your hot gluing so it doesn't ooze out and look messy or unprofessional. If you do make a bit of a mess, that's okay! I recommend using a small razor knife to cut away the excess instead of pulling it off. Pulling hot glue makes it turn white and makes mistakes obvious and generally looks bad. Cutting away the excess makes all mistakes very discreet if not completely gone.

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Stay crafty and tread lightly on this beautiful Earth!



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