Cream cheese cartons, old tuna cans and bits of wool, are just a few of the items used by Tina to create a variety of gifts since the coronavirus lockdown measures were introduced.
“Since March I have been channelling some of my energy into upcycling. As I only work for the college two days a week, I have had time to get crafty and as I hate to throw anything away, I have found many ways to create some gifts for family and friends and the odd item for me.”
And Tina’s neighbours have been helping out too, leaving jars, cartons and boxes at her gate, allowing her to create a number of wonderful gifts, inspired by ideas she’s found on the internet.
Tina was busy making Easter gifts at the beginning of lockdown for family. She made ‘pom-pom chicks’ from old wool, with nests fashioned from tuna cans and cream cheese cartons.
“I used double-sided tape to stick raffia to create the look of nests, the eggs I did have to buy though. My neighbours started asking me to make bits for them and not one to pass up a challenge, I got stuck in.
“To help with ideas I used the internet on sites such as YouTube and Pinterest, where there are great ideas, some of which I incorporated in my creations or used to get my imagination going.
“Not everything went well, but I found practice makes perfect and not to give up. The problem with me is that I am a perfectionist and had to come to terms with my limitations or had to find another way around it.”
Tina has also made bird boxes out of old bits of wood she found in her garden and has also made bird feeders from wood and bake bean cans, using a chain and a plastic lid to keep the seeds dry.
“One is now hanging from a tree down by our river and another in my neighbour’s garden. I am really pleased with the one I kept as the birds are using this, the bird boxes have been hung up around the place; however, I think I will have to wait till next year for occupants.”
Tina dismantled an old TV stand and transformed it into decorative chalkboards that now hang in her kitchen and are used for shopping lists and one by her husband in a recording studio he is building.
Tina has also been busy upcycling old candles, to make a present for her niece.
“I had some used candle wax that I melted down, added colour and scent to make some presents for my niece who loves scented candles and the jars are refillable as she kindly informed me and will be returning soon.”
This is not Tina’s first attempt at upcycling as last Christmas she created some festive decorations out of old jam jars, bits from old decorations and Epsom salts to add a snow affect.
“So all my creations have not gone to waste - by upcycling they have had a new lease of life and I have enjoyed learning new techniques and sharing my creations.
“It has been great fun, sometimes frustrating and at times I have had to think outside of the box, but each is sort of unique in its own way and I am always looking for new ideas.”