I was originally going to do a post on organizing my craft chaos. I’ve been slowly transforming my workspace into an efficient system where I can actually remember where I’ve stashed my supplies, and retrieve them easily. It’s a pipe dream, but organization soothes my anxiety addled brain, so I keep trying.
At one point, as I was sitting on the floor, surrounded by bits and bobs that I was trying to sort into bins, I realized that I was a dragon sitting on a hoard of literal garbage.
Now I don’t mean garbage in the figurative sense, as in something that I see value in when no one else does. I mean actual garbage, things that normal human beings would toss in the trash without a second thought.
On one side of me there was a stack of cereal boxes, cut into panels, on the other side a pile of foam packaging material. In front of me was a bin filled with gum containers, bottle caps, and other random plastic packaging.
Let me explain…
When we went into lockdown last year, we were still unsure of how the virus was transmitted. Having a couple of people in my house who are pretty high-risk when it comes to this virus, I limited bringing anything new into the house that wasn’t a necessity. So I had to limit my crafting supplies to things I already had on hand. The great thing about making dollhouse miniatures is that so many items we would normally throw away can be repurposed into crafting materials. It didn’t take long until everyone in the house was asking me if I wanted bits of trash before they threw anything in the garbage.
In the (likely) event you think I’m completely insane, let me show you an example of what can be done with a little garbage.
This is a cap off of a piece of electrical conduit. Its original purpose is to protect the threading on the ends of the pipe.
I threw a little black paint around the edges that would show once I covered the cap. I also filled the bottom two-thirds of it with a moldable plastic (you could use clay, or crumpled up tin-foil), just to fill it up so I didn’t have to make as much ‘dirt.’ I made the dirt by mixing some blended turf with black paint and some glue, but I’ve heard that dried coffee grounds work for this as well, if you don’t have any turf on hand.
To make the pot look more like a pot, instead of a piece of discarded plastic, I glued a ribbon around it that mimicked rope or twine. You can decorate it with string, yarn, ribbon, fabric, paper, or even sculpt something spectacular with clay. The sky is the limit, and you can really transform these pieces to look like anything you can envision!
Now, before I put up my final picture, I need to tell you that the dollhouse I’m working on is haunted and abandoned. I had some greenery that I was going to use to make a potted plant, but I realized that if I made a living plant I wouldn’t be able to use it in my house, because any plant left behind would be long dead.
Unfortunately, I threw out the packaging for the foliage I used, so I can’t tell you what it was. If you search on Amazon for “Model Dry Foliage” though, you’ll see a bunch of similar products that will work.
I spread some matte Mod Podge over my dirt to act as glue for the sticks and branches. I didn’t use actual glue, because I didn’t want the dirt to look too glossy when everything dried. No one has watered this plant in a long time, so wet dirt would look weird.
Here it is on the porch of my house. I haven’t aged it yet, because I’m not sure where it’s going to live and I like to age my pieces when I put them in place so that everything looks cohesive, so it still looks a little ‘new’ for the setting. You can see the size though, and how it will fit in with my house in the future.
Now start saving your own trash, it’s much better living in a dollhouse than it is in a landfill! And if you’ve been inspired to make something out of repurposed garbage, be sure to show us on the Facebook page, or tag us @sketchyville.diy on Instagram! We’d love to see what you’re making!
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