Craft An Upcycled Christmas in 2015

I loved how the jar lid tags came out! Underneath, you can see my festive gift bag fabric.

I loved how the jar lid tags came out! Underneath, you can see my festive gift bag fabric.

It’s no secret that our landfills are overflowing. I take every opportunity to reduce the amount of waste I produce by reusing and repurposing whatever I can. Over the holidays I get to exercise my creative muscle to make beautiful wrappings and tags from what would otherwise be junk into decorative items that can be reused year after year.

Canning Jar Lids:

One thing I have an abundance of canning jar lids. They can only be used once, no matter how perfect they look. This year I also had a huge supply of jar labels.

Put the two together with some spray paint and you have lovely gift tags. These were so much fun to make; the process became a family affair akin to making gingerbread houses and Christmas cookies.

I gathered several dozen jar lids and gave them a good wash then let them dry completely. I had a lot of cans of spray paint left over from other projects. I found the color really didn’t matter. Although red and green are festive, the black chalkboard paint looked great too. It can be written on to which is a plus but I had trouble making the letters small enough with the large chalk I had on hand. I preferred the look of the labels. I considered poking holes in the tops so I could string ribbon or raffia through them but decided to go with some rolled tape I had that was losing its stickiness.

Make Gift Bags
I scored a bolt of red and white striped fabric at a tag sale so I now have a collection of cute gift bags that look sweet with my upcycled tags. They were easy to sew. (Editor’s Note: Pick up lots of great ideas on making your own gift bags via this Pinterest page!)

This week, I will pack up the leftover bags and the tags. Like Christmas snow, they’ll make an appearance at Christmas 2015, bringing some magic and happy memories to this special season.

Upcycle Old Tshirts for Thoughtful Gift!

Children's Tshirts

Sure, they may outgrow them, but you can make cute quilts with them afterwards!

If you’re like the folks who work here at Lehman’s, you like to make things with your hands. And for the holidays, you really like to make gifts for those few people who make your life complete.

This year, you might need their cooperation, a few Tshirts, and some basic sewing skills. We love the idea of a quilt made from well-loved or outgrown Ts that aren’t really past their prime.

In fact, one of our own staff members, Elaine, created a beautiful, very warm comforter using the Lehman’s t-shirts she wore to work for years!

Elaine's "Lehman's Ts Quilt."

Elaine’s “Lehman’s Ts Quilt.”

See the tutorial here:

Retail Therapy On The Cheap Spurs Creativity

Amish-Made Towel Holders

Amish-Made Towel Holders

I sometimes hear my friends talk about retail therapy, the act of going shopping to ease them out of a funk. I will confess that it doesn’t usually work for me. In fact, it’s just the opposite. If I impulsively purchase something of limited value, I feel terrible. It feels as though I have traded my life’s energy for nothing. It’s disrespectful to me and to the limited resources available to all of us.

Recycled Glass Tumblers

Wine bottles are upcycled into adorable tumblers! At Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio or at

A bargain, on the other hand, has the opposite effect. I love getting a great deal on something I know I will use all the time or a tool that will make my life easier.

I enjoy the hunt, the sorting through piles of junk at a swap meet or carefully examining a rack of sweaters for the red cashmere twin set that I have been coveting. I also love looking for something that has upcycling, refurbishing or repurposing potential.

The weather here has been just dreadful. It’s twenty below zero one day and raining the next. Continue reading