I have some strange collection habits. It started last year when I began working on projects for my second book, Sewing Green. I wanted to design a handful of projects using non-fabric materials, especially things that cannot be recycled, like Mylar drink pouches. (what an annoyance those things are…don’t get me started.)

I began looking at other packaging as I did my grocery shopping. As I filled my cart, I tried to imagine what I could make out of the waste I was purchasing along with my food. (As a result, I have to say, I’ve changed a lot of my buying habits! Try imagining a full cart of groceries without the packaging. It’s amazing to think of what little food is actually in there…but I’ll save that rant for another post)

Did you know that, although plastic bottles and jars are recyclable, the caps and lids are not? You’re supposed to take them off and throw them in the trash instead of your recycling bin. I have a big empty pretzel jar that I’ve started saving my lids in. Hmmm, no agenda here. Just seeing how many I get over the next few months. They do come in handy for the kids craft projects, I have to say. We’ve used them as game pieces or glued them onto cardboard robot costumes for buttons.

I also started saving the tabs from bags of bread. Wow. Now that’s an eye opener. So little, so easy to mindlessly toss. But they add up fast! (and we don’t even have big sandwich eating teenagers!) I’ve been snapping them onto rings that come off plastic juice jugs. I don’t have a project yet in mind for these, I’m still collecting.

This pom-pom thing is made from plastic grocery bag handles, a byproduct from another project. When I fused a bunch of plastic grocery bags together to make totes, I cut the handles off. At first I started throwing them away, but soon realized how many I had accumulated. I just grabbed a handful of them in the middle and tied them together. Right now it’s hanging from my “inspiration” clothesline I have in my studio. I’m still trying to decide if I like it or not. It’s important to me that if I make something out of garbage, that it look better than it did when it was garbage. I know, I’m snooty that way. πŸ™‚

Did you collect pull tabs and gum wrappers as a kid? I sure did. I loved making those long chains. Wonder what happened to those.