Monday, April 29, 2019

Art Elements --- Repurposing and Recycling

tin cans repurposed into wall hanging with plants Photo by Bernard Hermant on Unsplash
Repurposed tin cans as wall planter, photo by Bernard Hermant on Unsplash
The April's Art Elements theme is Repurposing. Member Lesley Watt issued the following challenge:

"Upcycle, recycle, pre-loved, repurposed... call it what you will, this month you can make anything you like provided that the finished product includes some element that was originally intended for a different purpose or is used in a completely different way from it's previous incarnation. It can be decorative art or it can be functional and practical - or both, the only limits are your imagination. I know some of you have already dabbled with this and I hope it fires up some exciting ideas."

The tin cans in the photo above are an example of trash turned into an attractive wall planter with almost zero cost. It is bright and cheery as well as functional.  

My bird feeder in Lewes, Delaware USA

I decided to take an old but loved bird feeder and repurpose it into an object of beauty.  I don't use it as a bird feeder now that I spend the winters in Florida because that would be unfair to the birds.  This left me looking at an old plastic tube in the center.  I thought I would use some of my large collection of sea glass to fill the center.  Surely, that would look more attractive.  Don't worry I have plenty more sea glass left.

Sea glass stored in garage in plastic bag

Bird feeder with sea glass

I think you will agree that the feeder is more attractive with the sea glass.

Inspiration for my repurposing project

My next project involves my selecting one of my old pins that I purchased when  wearing pins on a dress was the height of fashion--especially if you worked around children. I also took apart an old handmade card with a nautical theme that I made awhile back. Add an Altoids tin and these items can be repurposed into a shadow box. I have written several blogs about repurposing tins. Previously, I blogged about making an owl ornament, several faerie ornaments, and a Christmas ornament.
Bear's inner tube reads "When in doubt... float.

Ink added to wood frames 
I added some paper twine, ink, sea shells, painted wooden frames and some hot glue.

Summer Shadow box by BayMoonDesign

I took the pin off the back of the bear and hot glued it to the tin after I created the beach scene complete with waves and sea shells. The background paper is from the card that I had made awhile ago. It made the perfect background for my floating bear. Now my bear will live outside a jewelry box and can be admired on a shelf in my studio along with my other altered tins.

Grab a beverage and enjoy seeing what everyone else was inspired to upcycle, recycle, pre-loved, repurposed. Thank you to Lesley Watt for a perfect challenge during a month where we celebrate Earth Day.


  1. I like your 'frame' for your tin, mine is still waiting for it's frame as I couldn't quite figure out how I wanted to do one but I like yours! Love that bear he is super cute :D

  2. I love how you've made a decorative feature of your unused bird feeder and as for your story tin - that is just too cute. Thank you for joining us in this challenge.

  3. I love the sea glass in the bird feeder, it definitely gives it a great look! And very cute shadow box, Kathy!

  4. What a neat idea to add the sea glass to your bird feeder. I'm sure it'll make you smile every time you see it. That shadowbox bear is absolutely adorable!! I love his little float saying. It could totally be my mantra too now that the weather is warming. Nicely done!

  5. Your post reminds me of 9 years ago I started to teach. I was actively making pins and brooches to wear to work as my students used to be fascinated with them.Good to see you put your pin and sea glass to good use

  6. That is such a cute idea, I see lots of Altoids repurposing. I do like the sea glass in the birdfeeder too. Also, I love pins and brooches and still wear them, though they may not be the height of fashion. Maybe not the bear type, and I like them big! I have a beautiful custom beaded seahorse that was over $40 and various moons and cats ... Alysen

  7. Love your work. The bird feeder is a brilliant way to display your glass, and the bear tin is adorable!

  8. Your bear is pretty darn cute. I love the pix you shared of the can planters. I so wish I had a wall to do that on.... Glad this old is new theme sparked ideas!

  9. Your shadow box is lovely! The seaglass in the bird feeder, that's an elegant idea!

  10. Such a clever idea to fill the bird feeder with sea glass. I am really jealous of your sea glass stash! The altoid tin shadow box is adorable and such a perfect repurposing for the pin.

  11. I love the sea glass in the bird feeder! It's so pretty. And the tin is brilliant. I looked at your other posts too and they are all so cute and clever. I saved Altoids tins to reuse too, but have only ever used one. I need to change that as I have a bag of them. Thanks for participating in another challenge. It's wonderful to see what you do each time.

  12. The Altoid tin repurposing is so very cute, good the bear pin is free now :) I also love the sea glass display idea - I keep some of mine in a round glass vase but don't really use it as an object of decoration. Apparently, I should!

  13. The shadowbox scenery is just delightful - I totally love what you've done here! The sea glass does add some bling to the bird feeder, it's a nice little makeover.

  14. Love the idea to put sea glass in the feeder tube. I bet it looks amazing as light passes through. The shadowbox is adorable.