Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I am a recycler ... it is what I do. I check the bottoms of my plastic containers and save the foil pie plates and break down all my boxes. This is serious stuff! I talk about people that think they can recycle pizza boxes (you cannot), or that think they can take the weekly city paper in its plastic sleeve and toss it into their recycle bin (they cannot), or that think they can put out 5 cans of paint and expect it to be magically picked up (not). Yeah, I am pretty militant about it.

So I am in one camp: do not throw out - recycle. Then there's the reuse/re-purpose camp, where you never throw out anything, and everything gets altered or somehow made to serve a different purpose. This is not me, largely because I have no space. For me, recycling is the best option.

For tonight's project, I would like to start out by saying: I tried. A lot. I really did, but I have failed you. My goal this evening was to take the instructions in an SCS Demo post* about how to make a woven basket from your SU packing paper (or some newspaper, or a magazine). What a great idea, says I. I am crafty. I can weave. I have SU packing paper. Let's give this a whirl!

First, I rescued a few bits of packing paper from the recycle staging area in my Kitchen. There are three pieces in this pile.

Whaaaat? Three pieces of paper = three shipments from SU since I last recycled a week or two ago. What's your point?

I stretched out one of the pieces ...

... and cut it into 37+ inch lengths.

The instructions said to cut the paper into strips 37 3/8 x 3 1/2, so mine are about 37 by pretty much 3 1/2. Here is my helper with the 3 1/2 part. She was holding down the larger pieces so they would not fly away.

And here she is guarding the pile of torn strips. Cut? I was supposed to cut them? Bah! Who has the time?!?!?

I guess she decided to settle in for a while.

I folded the strips as instructed ... in half, opened them up, folded each edge into the center and re-folded. Think back to when you made chewing gum chains, and you'll get it.

She looks so serious!

The base is 10 strips by 10 strips, so here are the first two strips woven in ... so far, so good.

Here's the completed bottom. I should have stopped here. After this point, I got just a little frustrated.

Next I wove each side into a triangle/diamond as instructed, and it sorta started to come together, but not really. I have made real baskets before, and most basket material is stiff, where this stuff is not. I spent a lot of time dealing with all the flopping over silliness. Ugh.

I would have taken some pics of the 'sides' part of the effort, but it was all I could do to deal with the floppy sides and stubborn ends, and like I've said before, my third arm was out for repair.

Here I have two floppy sides done, and I had to move my helper to work on side three.

I ran out of clips, and all my flat, non-clip clothes pins are holding my ribbon stash, so you can see I've used some paper clips here to try to hold things together.

After finishing all four sides, I was supposed to weave the corners together, and that's where this all went South. Not pretty. So since the base was still sound, I thought I'd try to take another piece of the paper and cut it into loooong strips, then try to weave with the single long strip of paper.

Here is the folded piece of loooong paper ...

... off of which I hacked a strip. Think of this as a chiffonade and you'll do fine.

I would like to say that after a few pathetic attempts, I gave up, even with Plan B.

The bottom is not so bad ...

... but the top is a real mess!

I think this really is the best use for this paper. Until tomorrow, when it shall be recycled. I know when I'm beat(en). She wins.

*If you are not totally discouraged by my tale of woe, and you would like a copy of the instructions, please let me know and I'll send you the file. It was printed in a Canadian magazine, so it is not a secret or anything ...


  1. That basket looks way too complicated for me...I don't think I'd have the patience for it :) Kitty looks pretty comfy on it though :)

  2. I give you mega points for trying! I would have quit before I started. I am a recycler too :)

  3. I too am the QUEEN of recycling. In fact, I've been known to go through our trash can and chastise the other human in our house! Chevy applauds Kitty in her efforts to make sure that you are doing things right!

    P.S. Human Michelle was just walking by the house with a canine and stopped...Feline Lumpy was trotting behind.

  4. I preach recycling so much even my parents have started to do it. And in my town, they will recycle the cardboard pizza boxes.

    You impressed me with the basket attempt. Way over my head!


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