The blog “Junk Mail Gems.” Written by a fellow product designer, I found this blog via one of my other favorites, Girl on the Rocks. Both of these talented ladies are extremely resourceful when it comes to “junk,” recycling everything from post-Halloween jack-o-lanterns to net produce bags, turning them into truly useful items like baked goods and dish scrubbers. Both women also have a thing for the patterns inside security envelopes, which they’ve turned into gorgeous nameplates, collages, price tags and yes, other envelopes.
With the holidays coming up and the economy slowing down, crafty recycling just makes good financial (And organizational) sense. I’m knitting my double balls of discontinued yarn into little “scarflets” that fasten with (leftover) buttons since they are too short to wrap. The single balls of yarn are becoming pom-poms and “ribbon,” which will adorn my recycled holiday gift-wrap. Also, I’m turning my canister of cut up credit cards (yes, I save them, shut up) into a wreath for the Hayes Valley “Circle of Joy” benefit auction. The leaves are pretty much done, but I still have to add the flowers.
Maybe I’m old fashioned, but to me, it really is the thought that counts. That’s why I like handmade gifts so much. They’re completely original and really show that you are loved, because they took valuable, valuable time. I probably won’t hold on to that sled-shaped peppermint candle holder from Wal-Mart, but I will treasure those mittens, that cheese board, and those earrings until they disintegrate.