Recycling Trash Items

Junk Mail Collage Flowers

This fun reclaimed project is made from junk mail and a few graphics that we made in a graphic program. If you receive a lot of junk mail, as a crafter you know that a lot of these papers have some bright and beautiful colors. I like to save scrap papers or cardboard that have bright or gradient colors that I can use to make paper collage art – it’s like painting with paper.



Sometimes, I also paint some of the pieces of paper with acrylic paints to achieve certain colors that I don’t have at the moment. Just let them dry and then rip them into small pieces or whatever size you need to create your own paper collage.


White glue is my perferred choice to glue down the scrap paper pieces but you can use your favorite choice. For me, I prefer a toothpick to glue down the paper pieces, but I have also used a junk paint brush when needed.



After all the paper pieces are dry on the background, I scan the complete piece, and then use a popular image editing software to compose the flowers with the pot images, or the pots could also be made of paper. The piece can then be framed for a more complete look. And although I chose to make a flower collage, one can make whatever you can think of. So just have fun and create your own piece of art.

Reclaimed Items Fountain



This fountain started out from a food grade blue plastic barrel. We cut the barrel in half leaving more of the barrel on the bottom. We then buried the barrel about two feet into the ground. Next we started to build up the sides with dirt that we had left over from a fence project. Everything you see in the photo was left over from different projects or given to us by friends.

Years ago when several of our trees were small, we had placed decorative garden pavers around each one. As the trees grew throughout the years, we removed the pavers and saved them. We used these old garden pavers to build a decorate wall around the fountain and placed a few on the sides to use as shelves. We also added a lot potting soil on top of the dirt so we could plant some flowers and plants. We also used several old flat lime stones to create a small path in front of the fountain. The yellow pop bottle flower was from a previous Retrobellish project Found Here.

Repurposed Grill Planters

These repurposed grill planter projects started out with one of our grills that had outlived its use as a grill. The grills featured in this article were previous Retrobellish projects found here (links provided below). We have also added some new updated pictures of the grill planters in use today.

Reclaimed Grill Top Planter Published August 31, 2013 By Diana Romaxx



Visit Grill Planter Page Here

Recycled Gas Grill Planter Published October 17, 2011 By Diana Romaxx



Visit Grill Planter Page Here

Plastic Soda Bottle Trash Art Flowers

plastic-bottle -flowers

This article “Plastic Bottle Trash Art Flowers” was previously Published April 22, 2012 By Diana Romaxx. Click Here For Article

As we described in the previous article (in link above), we left our flowers outside throughout the entire 2012 winter and because they were very sturdy and held up so well, we left them out again throughout the 2013 summer and winter. We’ve had a very long, cold and snowy winter, yet these beautiful recycled plastic bottle flowers have again provided us with a beautiful colorful garden all winter long.


All the beautiful flowers retained their vibrant color, were beautiful to look at against the white snow all winter long. Not only is recycling great for our environment, but it is also a fun way to craft with family and friends. These were just some of the reasons that we decided to re-post this again, and also because of the warmth and cheerfulness these flowers provided us with over this long Chicago winter, which is not yet over.


Recycled Coffee Cans


These recycled tin coffee cans make great craft storage containers. The three cans featured here are examples of three simple, yet very different ways to decorate these tin coffee cans. The first one was decorated by painting the background a solid white color with acrylic craft paint. After the white paint dried, I used a pencil to lightly draw a pretty swirl design, and then painted over the pencil design using a bright blue acrylic craft paint. I plan to use this coffee can to hold my colored pencils in my craft area, and which also matches the pretty blue and white motif on my stapler (recently featured in a separate post). Instead of painting a design, you can also use fun colorful stickers or even cut out your favorite designs, animals, letters or pictures from magazines and glue or Mod Podge them right onto the coffee can.

On the second coffee can featured here, I painted a light blue background depicting a sky on the top half of the can and a dark forest green on the bottom half of the can. After the paint dried on the coffee can, I used a true green acrylic craft paint using a fan-shaped paintbrush to make tiny strokes to depict grass blades against the (dried) dark green background. I then used watered down white acrylic craft paint to paint in light fluffy white clouds against the light blue sky. I plan to use this scene as a background on which I will paint a farm scene with a red barn, trees and farm animals (definitely a future post).


I painted the entire third coffee can with a light pink acrylic craft paint because I planned to use a Paris theme to decorate this coffee can. This time I used my printer to print out a Paris Eiffel Tower and pretty lettering in black. I found the contrast of the black decorations against the light pink background very pretty. It was great recycling these coffee cans, which are great for storing pens, pencils, crayons and many other craft items. So just have fun thinking of the ways you can create and recycle coffee cans, glass jars or other containers to store any of your favorite things.


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