I really love the idea of upcycling because I enjoy turning trash into treasure (to be trite) and making something useful for little or no money. Tonight’s project fits the bill on all accounts. I’m always looking for a way to store pencils, markers, scissors, erasers, and all sorts of other little doodads. I like having them easily accessible, but out of the way. So, pretty cup-style holders make sense to organize my creative space.
I started with a couple of empty cans. One is a larger vegetable can, and the other is a cat food can. The bigger one is perfect for an assortment of markers, while the smaller is just the right size for paper clips, erasers, or pencil grips. I simply washed them out and removed the labels, which usually come off easily and provide a template for the decorations.
Next, I grabbed a completed coloring page. (This one is from Creative Cats by Marjorie Sarnat.) I chose it because I think the cat surrounded by paint tubes and brushes is a good decorative touch for my drawing table. Since I wanted the cat’s face to be a focal point, I cut across the picture and pieced the strips together to make a new “label” for the larger can. I left my strip a little longer than the original to make sure I had plenty of overlap. (You can always cut some off, but it’s difficult to add it back on!)
Next, I repeated the process with another coloring page since there wasn’t enough left of the first one to cover the small can, too. (This page is from Flower Art and was drawn by Susan Bloomenstein.) I wanted the flowers to be right side up, so I (again) cut across the sheet and glued the two pieces together.
The final step is to simply wrap the new labels around the can and glue them in place. I put some glue on the back of the paper in several places to help secure it, and then just glued down the overlapping edges. Voila! The cans are ready to serve as colorful organizers for my desk.
You could construct a whole set from coordinating coloring pages. Choose a theme that fits your style. A group of these along with some colored pens, etc. to fill the cans would make a nice teacher gift, too. (Trust me, teachers can never have too many containers!)
Remember, use what you have to make the world a little brighter! Happy coloring!