My cousin Kimberley got married earlier this summer and she and her husband live in an apartment on the other side of town. They are trying to save up their money so that they can buy a house next year, so Kimmy has been even more diligent than ever with recycling and reusing anything she can.
Even when she was living at home, Kimmy was always a frugal person and she has more good ideas for reusing stuff than anyone I know. She also never gave a hoot about following what was in fashion at the stores. She's always had her own style for doing things.
Since her and Darren have moved into a place of her own, she's been in her glory finding unique ways to "feather her nest" as our Grandma says. Grampa has been really great about helping her fix up furniture that she finds at garage sales and second hand shops, and sometimes even in the back alley! I'm really envious of her imagination and I've gotten lots of good ideas from her.
I went over to her house yesterday for a visit and she recruited me into helping her do some awesome Christmas decorating.
Kimmy has a lot of artwork hanging on her walls. Nothing expensive, just stuff she's found while scouring the second hand stores. They all have nice wide frames and she's picked out scenery pictures and other framed sayings, cross stitch, etc. She's organized them all in an arrangement over top of her living room couch. Just because they are all different, it's a really interesting wall.
Anyway, her idea was to turn her picture collection into a bunch of wrapped presents to decorate the living room for Christmas. She could have wrapped the whole picture, frame and all, but she wanted these decorations to be reusable again next year, so what we did was take pieces of cardboard from boxes she'd found in recycle, and cut them so they would fit exactly into the frame of the picture.
Kimmy makes everyone open presents carefully because she always takes the used wrapping paper that she likes and saves it. She takes off all the pieces of tape and rolls the paper back on to a cardboard tube that she keeps. When she wants to wrap a new present, she picks out whatever size of paper that she needs, then she irons it flat with an iron set on really low heat to take out any creases or wrinkles. The paper is just like new when she's done and ready to wrap a new present.
Anyway, we picked out pieces of wrapping paper to fit each piece of cardboard, and ironed each piece flat. The we wrapped the cardboard with wrapping paper tightly on the side that would be our "picture" and taped it nicely over on the wrong side. Kimmy has a big bag of ribbons and bows that she's saved from probably every present she's ever gotten, so we dug through that and found different ribbons and bows to add to each "package". Finally, she put each wrapped piece of cardboard over top of the pictures and then carefully secured them by pushing little stick pins between the frame and the glass so that the head of the pin stuck out just a bit and held each corner of the cardboard tight against the picture.
When we hung the pictures back on the wall, it was a wonderful collage of different colours of framed Christmas presents hanging on the wall. It looks really professional, and after Christmas she can just take the wrapped cardboard pieces off and save them for next year. I can guarantee that no one else has a prettier living room wall than Kimmy does. Best of all, she was able to reuse things instead of just throwing them into the recycle bin, AND... it didn't cost her a thing!