My husband says that I have an addiction. I am beginning to agree with him! Mike came to the MakerFaire in DC last month with my "Partner in SLIME" Gina, and her daughter Hannah. He was there to make balloon car racers, water bottle confetti poppers, duct tape flower pens, and (my favorite!) soda can jewelry. He couldn't believe how popular our table was. And we were mostly using recycled materials!
Well, just recently Mike posted this YouTube video link on my Facebook page. Now I'm REALLY hooked! I take the tabs off of soda cans to use for jewelry. Then I use a can opener to take the top off, leaving a smooth edge. So amazing and simple. I think Mike has created a monster.
So, what am I doing this summer? Gathering recycled materials that I can use in my library makerspace and for our upcoming SLIME (Students of Long Island Maker Expo). Even my 6 and 5 year old sons are saving their water bottles from their summer camp snack. What are the things that I collect? Here are some:
While I was still at the ISTE conference in Philly, I took some downtime in the hotel to cruise through the Craigslist "Free" postings. When I returned home I was able to snag three boxes (about 300!) samples of picture frame corners. Just the corners. And none of them match. I have a variety of styles and colors to choose from. What will my students create with them? I have no idea, but I had to have them! Sure you can find the perfect craft on Pinterest or in a magazine article and then search for the materials. But I won't have to find 300 picture frame corners when I need them because, yes, I will need them.
A few months ago, I asked the manager at Home Depot for a box of paint stirrers. They went from my cart, to the already packed trunk of my SUV, to the library workroom of my middle school library. Today, I found this in the June/July 2015 issue of Make: magazine. Just perfect! Check out other comics at http://www.howtoons.com.
Remember as you enjoy spending time with friends and family at your barbeque, as you wait in line for two hours to ride that new roller coaster at the amusement park, and as you spend a romantic weekend at a BnB and antiquing, you just may come across someone else's trash that can become your treasure.
For more inspiration, check out Michelle Hlubinka's article for Make entitled "The Hunt for Junk": http://makezine.com/2013/08/22/the-hunt-for-junk/
Kristina A. Holzweiss
Ed Tech School Librarian