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Save money: 'green' craft tricks

Even the lowly milk jug can provide some first class art supplies.
Even the lowly milk jug can provide some first class art supplies.
dba 2010

The “reuse” part of the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” mantra lends itself very well to children’s art supplies. We’ve all made hand puppets out of paper bags and paint trays out of egg cartons, but here are a couple tricks you probably haven’t tried yet.

Telephone Books

Before shipping your phone book off to the recycling center, you can first use its pages when kids are applying glue with glue sticks. Don’t waste a big sheet of newspaper for those little outlines left by glue sticks. Turn to a clean page in your phone book and glue away! When you’re finished, simply turn the next page. In this way one phone book could perform this task for many years, and it could still then be sent to the recycling center.

A phone book can be used in a similar way to provide a cutting surface when you’re using a blade such as an Exacto knife or rotary cutter.

Milk Jugs

The flat part of a plastic milk jug is the same material used in commercially produced stencils.

1. Clean your jug and with scissors trim out just the untextured, flat bits.

2. Draw your pattern with a fine-tipped permanent marker.

3. Lay your soon-to-be stencil on a cutting surface, such as a phone book, and carefully trim out the holes in your pattern.

4. Use this stencil the same way you would use one purchased from the store. It’s durable and can be used over and over.

These are just a couple ideas for reducing waste and saving money on craft supplies. What tricks have you come up with? Send them to me at and you could see your idea in our next 'Green' Column!


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