Friday, May 13, 2011

How to Recycle Macaroni & Cheese Boxes & Make a Pocket Book

This project is fairly easy to do.  Recycling card board boxes from food stuff is a great way to keep them out of the land fills.  Plus this makes a fun and inexpensive kids craft.  All you need is some empty food or product boxes which most of us have an abundance of around the house.

For my project, I choose to find a use for the many "Macaroni & Cheese" boxes that seem to accumulate in our home. So after feeding my kids their favorite "Kraft Mac & Cheese", I took one of the boxes and made some simple cuts.  Then I trimmed the edges.

On the second box, I cut off the top and bottom flaps on the box.

Then I trimmed about a 1/4" excess off each end (top, bottom, sides) so that it will fit snug inside of the
outer box.  I then put the second box inside of the first to make sure they fit together well.  Keep in mind that the top flap must over lap, so trim any excess from the second box.  I then glued them together with

white glue and let them dry overnight.  Once the glue is dry, it should look like this:

I then painted the inside and outside of the box with gesso to strengthen the box. While I waited to it to dry, I decided to work on the trim for the pocket book.  I used a designated pasta machine to condition the clay.
I used a texture sheet (a rubber stamp image created for polymer clay) and impressed some pre-conditioned polymer clay onto it.  Depending on the brand, there may have some sticking.  If that happens then spray a small amount of "Armour All" onto the stamp or texture sheet before impressing the clay onto it.  Remove the clay carefully and cut it to fit the outside of the pocket book.  Bake the clay according to the manufacturers directions and allow to cool before attaching to purse. I decided to cover the bag with some excess felt and trims that I had on hand.  Since the felt was self-adhesive it was fairly easy to cut and stick it to the boxes.  I then glued the beaded trim.  After the clay cooled, I used an appropriate adhesive to attach it to the pocket book.

Made from two empty Macaroni & Cheese boxes.
The kids enjoyed this project so much, that we covered other cardboard items with polymer clay.  Below
is a converted recipe box.  We also covered an old empty tin with polymer clay using molds and other small accents to create a treasure box to hold pokemon action figures.

These are really easy projects and quite fun to do.  The plus is you are teaching your kids to recycle and upcycle items that would otherwise end up in a landfill.

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