Upcycle yogurt cups: Primrose flowers

Here we are for the second guest post for my Cucicucicoo’s Eco Crafters and Sewers series! Last time we had a refashion, and this time an upcycle with my friend Silvia Brentegani from Tocco di Lìllà! I’ve known Silvia in the blog world for years, but we’ve never met in person, although, strangely enough, she met up with my mother a couple of years ago and took her around Venice!

Silvia is passionate about creative recycling (but also about crochet, sewing and mosaic), which she uses in projects for the home, accessories and jewelry for adults and children. She likes to observe materials and objects that could end up as trash and transform them into something once again useful. She arranges courses, lessons and meet-ups to experiment and learn more about reusing plastic, fabric, paper and more. What’s her wish? To help leave the world a little better than she found it!

Tutorial: How to upcycle yogurt cups and fruit nets and turn them into cute primrose flowers, perfect for decorating your home in all sorts of eco-friendly ways! Tocco di Lìllà for www.cucicucicoo.com

A recurring theme of Silvia’s is upcycling yogurt containers to create snowflakes, flowers, candle holders and a wide variety of decorations. (You can see them here.) I’m always amazed at what she manages to make out of this material and this is why I asked her more than a year ago, when I started thinking about this series, to create a tutorial with them for me. And so, now let me pass you on to Silvia, who will show us how to upcycle yogurt cups and fruit nets to make primroses!

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Tutorial: Make Easy Recycled Crowns for Kids

Tutorial: Make easy recycled crowns for kids with foil wrapping paper and cardboard | www.cucicucicoo.com

Tutorial: Make easy recycled crowns for kids with foil wrapping paper and cardboard

Happy Easter Monday! Hope you had a lovely day yesterday! And if you have children, I’m sure you now have insane amounts of candy and chocolate in your home. Here in Italy there’s no Easter Bunny, but kids get these huge chocolate eggs with a little gift inside. The eggs are wrapped in big squares of fabric or, more commonly, foil wrapping, similar to the type used for gift wrapping.

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It drives me nuts to have to throw away all of that wrapping, so I always flatten and fold it the best I can, and put it aside for wrapping future gifts or, as my kids prefer, for making easy recycled crowns that are shiny and fun! Oh, and did I say easy? Well, let me say it again, because you get a LOT of kid satisfaction from this 5-minute project! And it’s pretty mamma-satisfying, too, because by using upcycled materials, it’s totally free! Woohoo!

Tutorial: Make easy recycled crowns for kids with foil wrapping paper and cardboard | www.cucicucicoo.com

In order to make these crowns you need:

  • a big sheet of upcycled foil wrapping (from Easter eggs or gift wrap)
  • strips of lightweight cardboard (in Naples, they put these in packages of fresh pastries to keep the wrapping from touching the gorgeous creams and other decorations, but you can use any bendable cardboard)
  • glue
  • a big paintbrush
  • scissors
  • a stapler (not pictured)
  • permanent markers
  • glitter glue.

Let’s get started!

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DIY felt bowtie pasta tutorial…WITH BOX!

DIY felt bowtie pasta tutorial... with a printable box!

DIY felt bowtie pasta tutorial... with a printable box!

A couple of months ago, I wrote on my Facebook page that I was working on a project that just made me laugh… over and over again, the whole time I was making it. I’m certainly not the first person to make felt bowtie pasta (farfalle, in Italian), but throw in an authentic-looking pasta box, complete with a see-through window, and I promise that you will be smiling, too!

DIY felt bowtie pasta tutorial... with a printable box!

I think we can all agree that felt food is pretty fun, but it’s not always beginner-friendly. But you can’t get much easier than this butterfly pasta. And it’s hand-sewn, so no sewing machine necessary! It’s perfect for little hands to play with…

DIY felt bowtie pasta tutorial... with a printable box!

…but still looks incredibly realistic! Just yesterday, my daughter fooled a couple of friends with this, and they couldn’t believe that it wasn’t real pasta!

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Three DIY street toys for kids who love cars!

Three DIY street toys from repurposed materials for kids who love cars! Toy streets, street signs and a stoplight | www.cucicucicoo.com

 Three DIY street toys from repurposed materials for kids who love cars! Toy streets, street signs and a stoplight | www.cucicucicoo.com

Both of my kids love playing with cars, but my little guy in particular goes nuts with his toy cars. Seriously, there is really something in some boys’ DNA that draws them to cars because I am sure that none of us has conditioned him to this preference. It was Nicky’s birthday last week, a few days before Christmas, and so I decided to make up two DIY street toys that I knew that he, his sister and all the kids who come to our home would like to play with. Heck, even *I* like playing with them! And what makes these toys even cooler? Using all repurposed materials and things we already had around the house, these projects cost me a whopping €1.50! And they’ve been more loved in these past few days than many more expensive toys have been with the kids.

The photo above is what Nicky was presented with on his birthday. What the heck was in these containers? Just read on to find out!

Read moreThree DIY street toys for kids who love cars!

Tutorial: How to remove fabric from umbrellas

Tutorial: How to remove fabric from umbrellas | www.cucicucicoo.com

Tutorial: How to remove fabric from umbrellas | www.cucicucicoo.com

Welcome to the fall! Now that we’re starting up with rainy season, I’m starting to see a lot of this.

Tutorial: How to remove fabric from umbrellas | www.cucicucicoo.com

And this. It drives me nuts. As you can see, I live in an area where people have no scruples whatsoever about dumping their trash all over the place and it takes many months (years?) for it to ever get cleaned up. So when a person is walking down the street and a sudden gust of wind blows his umbrella inside out or otherwise damages it, the umbrella tends to just get thrown down on the sidewalk right then and there. (Or hung on a tree, as if that were much better.)

Tutorial: How to remove fabric from umbrellas | www.cucicucicoo.com

For this reason, rainy season becomes a time of collecting broken umbrellas from the streets, something which unfortunately embarrasses my family no end. (But I will not take an umbrella if it looks like it’s been there for a while because that means that multiple dogs have probably peed all over it.)  Because, even if the umbrella frame is damaged, the fabric itself is usually still in perfect condition. So once you remove this fabric from the damaged frame, you can use it in all sorts of interesting and creative ways!

Tutorial: How to remove fabric from umbrellas | www.cucicucicoo.com

Not sure how to remove fabric from umbrellas? It’s actually quite simple, so read on to find out!

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Tutorial: How to make easy letter magnets with kids

How to make easy letter magnets with kids

How to make easy letter magnets with kids

My kids, like pretty much every other kid I know, just love drawing and coloring.

We just got back the other day from a fantastic visit with family and friends in the United States. Before we left, a friend of mine requested some of my children’s artwork to hang on her refrigerator as a gift. She has a little girl herself and so, knowing how much kids love magnets, I thought that a useful and fun way to give fridge artwork would be to make colored letter magnets that are fridge artwork in and of themselves!

How to make easy letter magnets with kids

This was a great project to do together as a family and my kids loved making these, as well as playing with them afterwards. (And they were a big hit with my friend’s daughter, too!) Want some for yourself? Well then read on to find out how to make them!

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Coming soon on Cucicucicoo…

school hopi eyes

Just look at these. Seriously, just look at them. A class of 7-year-olds made those Hopi Eye Christmas ornaments. And pretty much by themselves. Sure, I needed to help the kids making knots and showing them how to wind the yarn around the popsicle sticks. …

Read moreComing soon on Cucicucicoo…