Bubble Wrap & The Odd Window

Most of our IA readers know not to throw out bubble wrap. You all faithfully stash it and use it to package items you are shipping or moving, but how about thinking outside of the box (pun intended) and using your bubble wrap to:

Insulate Windows – spray windows with water and press bubble wrap directly onto the glass. The water will hold the bubble wrap tight against the glass for weeks and is easily removed when the weather turns warm.

Plant Protection – use bubble wrap to loosely tent over plants to protect from light frost.

Protect Your China – cut into squares and use in between plates and bowls when stacking in your cupboards. You can also use this technique to protect pots and pans stored inside each other.

Stadium Seating – tape a square or two to the bottom of your stadium cushion for an extra layer of warmth and cushioning.

Decorative Paint Treatment – use a brush to dab or brush on one or more colors directly onto a 5 inches to 12 inch square of bubble wrap. Press the painted side of the bubble wrap onto the surface you want to paint. Lift the bubble wrap away from the wall a bit and turn and press again. Continue turning and pressing until you get the effect you want. This is similar to sponge painting but has more depth and can be used to create effects such as suede or marble.

Shower Curtain – tape sheets of bubble wrap together with clear shipping tape or colored duct tape for a fun shower curtain.

Have Fun & Destress - go ahead, pop it! You know you want to.

 

 

Restyled Folding Chairs

Left: battered old chair Right: old chair is painted & seat is recovered

Thank you to one of our Irish Attic readers, Sam Marquit – independent contractor and green building enthusiast – for submitting the article below.


Recycling is an important part of conservation efforts and environmentally friendly lifestyles. However, it has a rarely used cousin that is even more helpful. This method is upcycling. It is the act of taking unwanted materials and turning it into something new. The materials used in upcycling are of less cost than new materials, making upcycling cost effective. As a result, it is has continued to rise in popularity, especially in the United States.

In 2010-2011, upcycled products on the popular shopping site Etsy increased by nearly 300%, a few months later, it had increased again by nearly 450%. The fact that upcycling seems to be gaining in popularity is great news for the environment. It is something we all can do to decrease the negative impact we have on our surroundings every day. The popularity of this is easy to see. I stumbled upon a really cool idea, “Restyled Folding Chairs”. All you need is spray paint, fabric, drill and screwdriver. Below are the steps:

1. Using a drill (or screw driver) unscrew the cushions from your chairs. (put the screws somewhere you won’t lose them, you’ll have to screw the cushion back in later.
2. In a well-ventilated area (I did it outside) spray paint your chairs and let them dry completely.
3. Cover your old cushion with new fabric and wrap it around onto the backside. Staple or use a strong adhesive to secure the fabric on the back. Tip: an even “greener” option would be to use repurposed fabric rather than new fabric. Maybe a curtain or tablecloth with a hold or stain or a skirt that you no longer want to wear but that would work great on your chair.
4. Screw your cushions back onto your chairs.

 

After: chairs are painted a glossy blue & recovered with recycled fabric.

Even big businesses, such as hotels, can use this concept to decrease their eco footprints. Las Vegas’ The Palazzo Hotel and Resort is a place that takes upcycling to a brilliant level. They have completely overhauled their practices and materials in hopes of achieving sustainability. They convert their trash and waste into energy for the hotel. They also have solar panels that power the various heating units. It’s work like this that earned the hotel the title of “Most Eco-Friendly Hotel in America.”

The real quality behind The Palazzo Hotel and Resort’s upcycling efforts is its self-sustainability and they are not the only ones turning to these methods to be greener and more environmentally aware. New York City hotels sit in the middle of one of the most densely populated areas on Earth. If there was any place that could make a big change by upcycling, it is New York. Some hotels there are leading the way into a greener future. The Earthcare program at ink48 Hotels is another example of responsible hospitality.

Regardless of how well self-sustaining upcycling methods work, there are always other ways to help. It is really encouraging to see large organizations and businesses practicing upcycling by turning unwanted materials into something needed. It’s important for more and more businesses to catch on and realize there is value in turning their trash into treasure. The Palazzo in just one example of the many hotels in Las Vegas that are turning trash into treasure. What an impact it would make if all hotels around the world followed suit!


If any Irish Attic readers have a project you would like to submit, please feel free to contact me at info (at) irishattic (dot) net.

Egg Carton Organizers

Because I love to organize (Hello, my name is Kat and I’m an organizing maniac) I love egg cartons. They’re just the perfect little thing to organize all kinds of life’s little accoutrements and they come with a lid – just too perfect. Unfortunately they’re not the prettiest things around so I like to decorate my egg carton organizers. I’m without my camera for the moment so I’ll post some decorated egg cartons I found posted by some very craft (and organized) bloggers.

painted with foam letters

a more grownup version of the painted carton

decoupaged with gift wrap

Organizing Ideas

desk drawer or desktop organizer

 

 

The above pic could just as easily be storing small craft supplies or the supplies for a project you’re working on. This makes it easy to move a craft project to different areas of the home. You can start working on your project while watching your kids in the wading pool, then move it to the family room after dinner without having to spend time gathering up all your small items. The bonus is that the top of the carton, when opened, serves as a work tray.

I’ve also used egg cartons to store and organize:

  • jewelry – I like to keep small gold earrings in one section, small silver earrings in another section, pearl earrings in another section, dressy rings in one section, everyday rings in another section, etc. This makes it so much easier to find the jewelry I want when I want it. To get even more mileage out of your carton line the top with Styrofoam and poke lapel pins or earrings through the foam.
  • hair accessories
  • small toys
  • a back seat entertainment center – store small toys and leave the closed carton in the car
  • If you have a dozen or more of something and it’s small enough to fit in an egg carton then go for it!

 

egg carton ribbon organizer

ribbons

 

Christmas ornaments 

almost impossible to spill paint palette

nuts & bolts & screws & ...