Sunday, February 22, 2015

Craft Fails and A Save

Who out there saves toilet paper tubes?  I'm not ashamed to admit that I do.  I told my daughter that someday they were going to be obsolete and soon after that they came out with the commercial telling us how many tp tubes could fill the Empire State Building and some other statistics to further announce the new "tubeless" rolls that were coming out.  Now, we've yet to buy any of those tubeless rolls and since there's only HWNSNBP and I here at home (not counting Kirby who does not use tp but contributes to the collection of paper towel rolls as we use them to line his cage) so it's not like we're being overtaken by the cardboard tubes.  I do have a decent stash however, and when HWNSNBP recently asked me to make something to hang on the door to my mother-in-laws apartment I had a lightbulb moment trying to think of what I already had on hand that I could use. Why not try one of those tp roll projects I'd been seeing on Pinterest?

So, after inspecting the tubes that I had on hand, I sorted them out according to size and color (yes, they all seem to be slightly different in craftsmanship) and finding a wreath on Pinterest that seemed simple enough to start with I got to work.  (I was going to decorate it for winter.)

I started by collapsing the tubes flat and then cutting them into 1" pieces.  Then, not wanting a plain gray wreath, I thought I would paint them.  Shouldn't take that long I thought.  Well, I thought wrong.  It took me several hours to put 2 coats of white gesso on these babies and they still looked pretty yucky but after investing all that time I was determined to push on.  

Then I got out my trusty glue gun and started gluing them together and surprisingly this did not take a long time but it was pretty messy with all those glue strings.  (I planned on taking the hairdryer to it afterwards to get rid of those strings anyway.)  And as you see ABOVE it turned out okay..........but after hanging there for several hours, what you see BELOW is what happened.  

All right, maybe I was not generous enough with the glue I thought.  So I went back and reinforced all the connections yet again and rehung it.  Sadly, this did not do the trick either and actually came apart in two sections after hanging overnight.  Knowing that I had planned to have HWNSNBP hang this on the door in a common hallway I did not feel that it would ever be sturdy enough so for the last couple of weeks it had been sitting, in pieces, on the dining room table and I decided that despite all the time invested, it was time to toss it.  

Maybe it was the paint, maybe it was the glue, I don't know.  Needless to say, I only put a dent in my stash of tubes so I may try another design in the future but for now I certainly am classifying it as a fail.

Another failed recycling project I will share has to do with the plastic strapping that mail is bundled in.  Specifically, I had saved all the plastic bundling straps from the mail that we received in the school office for one year and what you see below is a portion of them.  What would I do with them?  How about a basket?  I looked and looked online and was not able to find anything so I set out to try on my own.

Don't let the picture below fool you.  I started by flat weaving what I was going to call the bottom thinking that I would just turn up the sides and continue to weave them vertically.  I had woven a berry basket before but the difference is that the caning I used for the berry basket and the plastic straps are not as equally strong.  The plastic, though sturdy on it's own, is still very pliable and I found it very difficult to work with.  So I thought I should have a mold to weave around like I saw in the Peterborough basket factory which they use to control the size and shape of their baskets.  

Problem was finding something to fit what I had already woven because I guess I was being lazy at the time and did not want to start over. So I took some cardboard and tried to put together a box.

But I should have taken it completely apart and started from scratch because the jury-rigged form that I made to try to fit what I had already done, did not prove sturdy enough to aid with the weaving.  So I put this aside for a very long time and finally, not wanting to look at it anymore, tossed it.

Needless to say, I am not saving any of those straps anymore unless I find some good instructions on something I can use them for.  If anyone has any suggestions I am open to give them a try.

Going back to the door project - I still needed to make something for her door and I had a coupon for AC Moore so I trekked out there and bought some "ingredients" to make a nice floral wreath. Something pink and purple for February and into spring I thought would be nice.  I purposely chose that oval-shaped grapevine wreath and had to laugh when the woman at the checkout took the time to point out to me that it wasn't round.  

So after snipping some stems and leaves and playing with placement - here's the finished wreath. (I decided it did not need the ribbon.)  And it does hang straighter on the wall, I just rushed taking pictures.

More often than not I am usually pretty satisfied with the outcome of my creative endeavors.  The hardest part of failing, I think, is not not having something nice to show for it, but rather all the time invested in doing it in the first place.  Yet, I would not stop trying things for just that reason. I just have to be a little more selective and maybe abort things earlier if they're not turning out.  


  1. Your floral wreath is lovely! It certainly inspires me to start thinking of Spring. Happy Monday to you!

  2. LOL A gal after my own heart!!! I save the TP tubes too, and yes I have seen the same commercial......LOL

    Your wreath turned out great, yes painting those rascals is a pain. I've been letting the GD paint them, which is all different colors, but still colorful. When I think I have enough I'll make a wreath too.

    Those packing straps are a pain in the rear, but hard to throw away. I've been wanting to take my heat gun to some, and curl them, paint them and hang them from something on the patio to dance in the breeze. I did see this on Pinterest, but made from plastic bottles. Since I recycle my bottles I was thinking the straps might work as well........just a thought.

    Anyway I enjoyed your post and your floral wreath really turned out nice......did you notice that it isn't round.............................LOL

  3. Hey ... I love your wreath, beautifully done!!! And after giving it a little thought, I don't know if you did throw out the woven pieces .. if you did you could try weaving it again flat and then use it as a resist or a template to paint over .. might make a great texture. Just my two cents .. :)


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