Monday, October 5, 2009

Kid-friendly Upcycling

My five (almost six!) year old daughter absolutely loves upcycling!  She's always been big on promoting the three R's - reduce, reuse, recycle - but she has only recently become aware of what she can personally do to minimize waste in our household.  Most recently, we were inspired by the TerraCycle website to try upcycling food packages in new and unusual ways.  Pictured here is my first attempt at creating something useful out of juice pouches and I think it's the beginning of a beautiful friendship. 

I've learned a few things from this first experience, so please allow me to share my new wisdom:

  • Juice pouches are slippery.  Use double-sided tape to temporarily hold the pieces together while you sew.  Straight pins just don't cut it.
  • Use some GooGone® or other oil based cleaner to remove the glue that held the straws on BEFORE you sew it together, then wash each one with dish soap and water and let them dry.
  • Because the material you're using is so slippery, it's difficult to get an even stitch.  It sometimes moves too quickly and sometimes too slowly through the sewing machine.  I'm thinking that practice is the best way to solve that problem.
Obviously I'm not an expert on juice pouch bags yet, but I'm encouraged by the results of this first TerraCycle imitation.  I am definitely going to try my hand at some of those cookie wrapper pencil cases and chip bag binders!

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