As you know I’m an Etsy browser. I love checking out all the stores and the wonderful items they all make. When I find an item that is CUTE I have to stop and take a look. That is how I found Beans Things!
But before I tell you about Jeanna and her awesome shop, I want to share with you an online article about 5 Simple Ways to Upcycle at Home. (The whole article can be found HERE)
Bottles and Jars – One way to upcycle common items like used bottles and jars around the house is by reusing them as vases and planters. Spring is here and with Summer just around the corner many people are planting more both inside and out. You can take your old bottles and jars, wash them out, decorate them any way you like and use them for table top vases or planters. Old plastic bottles and jars are better for planting due since you can create water drainage holes easily, while your glass bottles and jars that could heat up with the sun and be too hot for use outdoors are better for table top style vases.
Old Clothes – Instead of just tossing or donating your old clothes, try getting crafty with them instead. There are many ways to recycle old clothes including making baby and toddler clothes from your older adult clothes. You can create patchwork quilts, curtains and table cloths. Some people are taking their old jeans and making reusable grocery shopping bags out of them and I’ve even come across a lady who makes halter tops and yoga pants out of old t-shirts.
Junk Mail – Even those of us who are on the no-mail lists are still apt to get some junk mail. Keeping in mind that a lot of junk mail won’t be recycled by your local waste management because of colored dyes so try upcycling all that lose paper into something useful. You can create works of art, decoupage collages, wrapping paper, or weave wallets and coin purses out of brightly colored junk mail. Some people are also making refrigerators magnets and bags out of the materials.
Old plates – Instead of tossing your old plates, try breaking them to upcycle them. You can use broken plates and cups when you pot plants to help with the water drainage. You can also start making your own mosaic creations with the broken pieces. Decorate table tops, picture frames, sinks and even your old bottles, cans and jars for snazzy vases and containers.
Cardboard – Upcycling cardboard is a great way to get organized and crafty around the home. I’ve taken cereal boxes and turned them into silverware drawer dividers and organizers. You can also take cereal boxes and turn them into bookshelf dividers and magazine holders. Some people upcycle cardboard tubes by turning them into cable and cord caddies. Some people go even further with their upcycle cardboard projects and create furniture from the material.
Let me introduce Jeanna who is the creator of Beans Things. I first wondered how she got started…
“I have always been crafty…but decided to do this more full time in Dec 2008. I went to a craft show where the lady was selling marble magnets and I thought they were so cool and wanted to learn more…I researched and BeansThings was born….BeansThings came about because my name is Jeanna, which is pronounced as “Gina”…and my in laws call me Jeanna Beanna or just Bean…..so it was fitting to call my business BeansThings”
Do you want to see a few of the items she makes?
This image of bold geometric circle patterns has been upcycled from a piece of paper. The back has been finished with card stock upcycled from a greeting card and then sealed with liquid glass.
Upcycled bottle caps and the paper used for these magnets has been upcycled too!
“My little one is old enough for juice pouches now and I couldn’t bare throwing them out…So I created these cool, hip and colorful carrying cases!”
Do you want to see what I got? I ordered three Halloween magnets and four Greenie magnets (shown here) and Jeanna sent me a cutey owl one too because she knew I liked it. So nice! This is what my fridge looks like! Sorry the picture is the not the greatest for seeing the actual magnets. But they make my fridge more fun and they make me smile as I walk by 🙂
How does Jeanna find our materials?
“I up-cycle the backs of greeting cards and use the cardstock for my magnets or to finish the backs of my pendants. I have a friend save me small mailing boxes and bubble wrap. I also use old calendars and create my own shipping envelopes. I use different containers to display my magnets, earrings or rings in…such as the mini playdough containers, altoid tins..I decorate such items with up-cycled paper. I also use the metal tops from jars and spray paint em and display magnets on them. I also have friends send me up-cycled bottle caps to use for my magnets.ï»¿”
And of course we must ask if she is a Crunchy Mama…
“Not 100% so. I strive to make a lesser impact on our earth and strive to give back to the land and animals. I recycle and up-cycle. I remember growing up in Chicago and my mom setting the example of recycling. There was no curb side recycling or recycling centers at ever corner…we stored our recyclables in our garage and drove an hour each way to bring our recyclables to the center. I do support breast feeding. So much, that when my son was born two months early, I pumped and bought a stand up freezer just to store my milk. When he was brought home, he wouldn’t nurse. I went to specialists to try to figure out how to get him to. But two months of being bottle fed at the hospital did us no good. So I pumped for 11 months and gave him my breast milk with the bottle” ~ That is a fabulous story – us Mamas know what it’s like to pump…not fun! Kudos to you Jeanna!!