I know because I am a craft supplies junkie! But in recent years, I have leaned more and more towards finding my craft supplies in the recycling bin.

I like to find the base material in the waste recycling and then use bought in craft supplies to turn junk into gems

Do you ever look at a jar, box or bottle and think - this is way too pretty to throw away - what can I make with it?

That's what happened when I was washing this empty plastic honey bottle ready to put in the blue bin.

No, I cried - this will become something else!

To see the full tutorial video click here to go to my YouTube channel.

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Metal recycling is so exciting because if you think about it, what it actually means is free craft materials! Yipee! We all love free stuff! Yes?

Well I do if I can make recycled materials the centre of my project.

I suppose technically they aren't free because we pay for the food packaging but, I class anything that would normally get thrown out as being free.

Metal recycling in my crafts is one of my favourite things at the moment and so I produced this project for YouTube to show you what I'm doing.

Click here to see the tutorial on YouTube.

(There may be a delay between publishing the video and this blog post - please try again in 15 minutes if the video link isn't working yet.)
metal recycling
metal recycling
You can use the holder with the reflector...
...or without.

Metal recycling or upcycling?

First of all, I'm not sure if what I do with food cans is strictly metal recycling.

Metal recycling, according to all the research I have done, is about taking your cans and tins to a recycling point to be collected and turned back into other steel or aluminium products.

Apparently there is no limit on the number of times steel or aluminium can be recycled and it can take as little as six weeks for a can you take to a metal recycling point, to be back on the supermarket shelf.

Metal recycling saves the earths resources and cuts down on Co2 emmissions. If you are very eco minded, you can read some interesting facts about metal recycling here.

So I'm kind of thinking what I am doing is upcycling. I'm turning a tuna can into a candle holder without any melting down processes being involved - that has to be good... right?

Metal recycling



Is your metal recycling (or upcycling!) project steel or aluminium?

If you want to know what material you are using, try the magnet test. The tuna can I used in this project stuck to the magnet so I'm guessing it's steel.

But the tin can I used was not drawn to the magnet which probably means it's aluminium.

Either way, I saved two tins from the recycling process and made myself a beautiful candle holder that I am already using.

What made this project fun for me was adding the bead and brad detail and to do that, I used my very useful I.8mm punch pliers (see below).

metal recycling

People are always asking me where they can get this brilliant little tool and readers of this blog will know I do try to help readers source materials and tools.

For readers living in any country serviced by Amazon.com, I have an Amazon storefront where you will find some of the key items I use, such as this tool.

You can find the tool and many other craft products and books by visiting https://www.amazon.com/shop/rainbowlane

The punch tool I used in the video is on there if you want to get one.

I have also put a direct link to the tool on this page.

You can read my Amazon Affiliate Statement here.

If you like this project - please do watch the video and have a go!

You can experiment with different ideas once you have seen what I have done. The tutorials I do are designed to get your creative juices flowing so that you can come up with your own ideas.

Metal recycling (or upcycling if you'd rather) is great fun - so have a go and see what functional, gorgeous  little crafty things you can make with empty food tins.

Art and craft ideas using upcycled materials can produce very impressive results, such as this beautiful pendant made partly from cereal  box cardboard.

As cool crafts go, this unusual artsy looking pendant is a great example of just how cool you can get by upcycling what would otherwise become junk to be thrown away.

And once you see how to treat cereal box cardboard to make it into a solid pendant base, you realise how valuable scrap cardboard is when coming up with new art and craft ideas.

Click here to go to the video I made showing exactly how to make this upcycled pendant.

Art and Craft Ideas

If you are new to crafting and are looking for good art and craft ideas to begin with, this is a great project because the results are quick and stunning.

By the time you have finished working your magic on an empty cereal box, you will see just what a strong and solid object you can create with a flimsy piece of junk and you will find art and craft ideas flowing from your crafty mind.

You will never throw away another cereal box again and you will start looking at other junk differently as you wonder how you can turn more trash to flash.

art and craft ideas

From trash...

...to flash!

The pictures above show how my mind works since I focused on getting art and craft ideas from the smallest scraps of trash (or rubbish if you are English).

I saw this bland and insignificant piece of scrap wallpaper in a rubbish bin at The Range a while back while I was wandering around looking at craft supplies.

My immediate thought was the challenge of how I could use it to make something pretty and wearable and so I asked if I could have it.

I think it stunned the young guy who was cleaning scraps up off the floor in the wallpaper area when I asked if I could have it. I couldn't even steal rubbish from a bin!

If you want to see the post I wrote on what I did with that scrap of paper, click here.

Children love art and craft ideas that use junk too and this cardboard pendant project is a lovely one to do together to perhaps make a beautiful upcycled gift for someone.

For any teachers reading this in these times of limited resources in many schools in the UK, you've probably already figured out the value of scrap cardboard boxes.

These kinds of projects are great for getting children thinking about recycling while being creative with the earth's resources.

It does fire the imagination when you can turn something so mundane into a piece of pretty jewelry that no-one would even guess is made from cardboard junk.

art and craft ideas
art and craft ideas

On the right you see the sanitised version of my trash stash taken last year - but on the right is the honest version of my trash stash in my workshop. Yes - I am a garbologist!

Of course you will need other items to make the pendant in my video.

You will need some good PVA glue because it's the PVA that ultimately gives the cardboard it's strength and makes it completely ridgid, like a light wood.

You will also need a design for the front of your pendant and although I used a mandala design from a coloring book (click here to see the post and video on using your coloring book work in crafts), you could easily find a stunning design to punch out of a magazine; unwanted magazines are another great source of inspiration for art and craft ideas.

For help in sourcing craft supplies, visit my Amazon storefront where you will find products similar or the same as those used in my videos, visit my storefront at https://www.amazon.com/shop/rainbowlane

I update my Amazon storefront with new links each time I make a new video, to help people find the resources they need to try out the projects.

Watch the video through to the end to see the unexpected blip I had a couple of days after I finished the pendant.

See how I fixed it and then tell me, in the comments section under the video on YouTube, what you think I could have done to avoid the blip in the first place - I love hearing other people's ideas because there is always more than one way to climb a mountain!

Thanks for reading and let me know in YouTube comments if this helped you with your art and craft ideas - see you next time on Rainbow Lane - the YouTube channel to get you creating.

This coloring book post about Mandalas may contain affiliate links - please click here to see the affiliate statement.

Coloring Book designs are very popular in the world of coloring, especially those featuring mandalas which are said to promote calm.

Artist Cynthia Emerlye, who sadly died last year, has left the coloring book world with a wealth of material to enjoy for many years to come and the designs I am using in this post are hers.

Cynthia, who was born in Rhode Island USA and lived in Vermont, was an amazing artist who produced far more than just coloring pages.

She was an artist who also used her talent to satisfy the demand for adult coloring.

If you click the link above, you can read more about Cynthia and her work.

Her wonderful mandala designs, published by the Octopus Publishing Group Ltd, also feature in my latest YouTube film showing how you can make use of all the lovely coloring you have been doing.

Please click here to see the film.

The film is about how you can use your fabulous coloring in your crafts without destroying the coloring book or cutting it up.

What do you do with your coloring pages once they are finished? Are your masterpieces hidden away on bookshelves inside coloring books? #adultcoloring Click To Tweet

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Faux Silver Bracelet - The Perfect Crafty Make For Valentine's Day!

With the dawn of the New Year comes my newest craft idea - a faux silver bracelet that looks and feels like metal. But guess what - it's made from silver tin foil and card!

With the dawn of the New Year comes my newest craft idea - a faux silver bracelet that looks and feels like metal. Click To Tweet
Faux silver bracelet
Faux Silver Bracelet
Use these simple materials and tools...
...to make this gorgeous faux silver bracelet!

Faux silver bracelet mania has been growing in my workroom since I discovered a reel of sticky-backed silver tin foil.

Like many crafters, my craft toom is stuffed full of materials and tools that I've forgotten I had (and can't recall where I got them!)

So, the roll of sticky tinfoil tape I used to make my faux silver bracelet beads has been hanging around for absolutely years.

I think my husband used it for something and then passed it my way because he knows how much I love using non-crafting materials in my projects.

It has been used in a couple of my projects but not for awhile, so I decided it was time to dream up something really pretty with it for Valentine's Day.


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Handmade gifts are truly personal, so why not get busy making some beautiful presents for friends and family?

If you are keen to make some inexpensive handmade gifts, then this easy to make charm bracelet will be ideal for you.

The template I used for this bracelet is my own design and is available for instant download in my Etsy shop - click here to find it.

You pay £2.40 (including VAT) and once you have downloaded the template, you can print it off for your own use as many times as you want.

Just think of everyone you could make handmade gifts for on your birthday list - how many are there? Ten, 20, more?

Once you have the template, you will only need to buy charms and split rings to put on them because the beads themselves are made from the template that you can print off again and again.

handmade christmas gifts

Unique handmade gifts are a lovely way to give presents that mean something.

Handmade  gifts are a great way to show friends how much they mean to you. And when we don't have loads of money to splash out, spending our time making something special instead can be good fun.

If you want to see how to easily make one of these beautiful bracelets from my template, you can see step by step instructions over on Instructables or watch the full YouTube video here. 

handmade Christmas gifts
handmade Christmas gifts
handmade Christmas gifts

Finding supplies for your handmade gifts can be time-consuming so why not visit my Amazon storefront where you will find links to many craft supplies.

These are just suggestions for supplies if you don't have easy access to them but if you are lucky enough to have a craft sore near where you live - have a look round there to see what you can get.

The products listed on my Amazon craft supplies page are a guide to what you should be looking for.

The products are the same or similar to those I use.

One that I can recommend first hand is the Glossy Accents as I use it all the time. The rest of the products are my suggestions but do shop around further to compare prices and read reviews.

Regarding the bead tool I use in the video, I manufacture my own 5mm, large hole bead tool called The Easy Beady. My tools are handmade to order in my workshop and are available in my Etsy shop for £6.50 plus shipping. I ship to Europe and the US.

I hope my YouTube video and Instructable tutorial are helpful to you in producing some first class handmade gifts with that personal touch.

Easy Christmas crafts for children alert!

Last year, I published a blog post and YouTube video (recently updated) showing how easy it is to turn bread into durable Christmas decorations to use year after year.

easy christmas crafts for children
easy christmas crafts for children

Turn bread...

Into Christmas decorations!

Easy Christmas crafts for children that are fun and original are always a hit when the results are fast and amazing!

And it doesn't get much more amazing than turning plain old bread into colorful Christmas decorations that can become family treasures.

These are great for making as beautiful presents too because, what is more special than having someone give you a unique decoration to hang on your tree?

To see my original post click here. To see the full instructional video on YouTube click here. (If the link is not live when you read this, check back in a couple of hours as there is a time delay between publishing on here and YouTube.)

easy christmas crafts for children

Easy Christmas crafts for children are a great way to fill up the school holidays from October right up to Christmas.

Children love making stuff, especially when it has a real use. So these bread decorations are the ideal way to occupy children during the holidays leading up to Christmas when then weather isn't always that great.

Making these gorgeous decorations will keep them busy for hours.

You can even start the ball rolling by making the first batch yourself and leaving them to dry out. So when you introduce the activity, once they have cut out their first bread shapes, they will have a batch to work on while waiting for the ones they cut out to dry.

Hope you have fun with your easy Christmas crafts for children - let me know how you get on!

Finish Your European Style Paper Beads Beautifully With Metal Paper Bead Cores.

In part one of my two part YouTube tutorial on how to use my European Style paper bead templates, I showed you how to make European style paper beads using the two part template available in my Etsy shop.

You can find more information about that tutorial here.

In my latest film, I show you how to finish your beads to give them the European look, similar to the style of some Pandora beads.

Click here to see the film

paper bead cores
paper bead cores
Paper beads made with my templates.
Paper beads made by my workshop students using the templates.

Paper bead cores are the key to taking your paper beads to the next level.

Paper beads can look exceptionally pretty and leave many people astounded that they are made with paper.

But when you make them with a larger core hole, paint them with metallic paint and add metal paper bead cores to give them a professional look, it lifts them to a whole new level.

People who have seen my YouTube videos often get in touch and ask me where to buy certain supplies they have seen me using.

So I now try to find products similar to those I have used. Sometimes, I am able to recommend products I have actually bought from Amazon but unfortunately, that is not the case with the product suggestions that follow.

Paper beads can look exceptionally pretty and leave many people astounded that they are made with paper. Click To Tweet

Most of the products I used in the video are from stock I have held for some time (such as the paper bead cores and silicone rings) and were originally bought in from abroad.

For those people who need help sourcing  craft supplies the same as, or similar to, those I use in my videos, visit my Amazon craft supplies page.

If you scroll through the products I have listed, you will find most things you need to make the items seen in my craft tutorials.

There are some suggestions  on my Amazon craft supplies page that I have not actually used and therefore I cannot recommend them from personal experience, they are just suggestions for you to research.

But in the case of the Imagination Crafts Starlight paints - I can highly recommend them because I use them all the time and love them.

I buy mine from Keep On Crafting in Bury St Edmunds Suffolk. The owner also ships worldwide, so check the website for details.

paper bead cores
paper bead cores
These are some of my European style paper bead bracelets made using the templates. The ones on the right are featured on the Rainbow Lane channel on YouTube.
Please note - I am an Amazon Affiliate and receive a small commission for any products bought through this site.

Starlight metallic paint from Imagination Crafts, along with metal paper bead cores make your paper beads look stunning!

When you have rolled your beads using my two part template (available in my Etsy shop) they look ok - just ok; they look like beads made with paper.

Paint them with any of the gorgeous Starlight metallic paints and they look beautiful.

Add the paper bead cores and they look amazing.

Put them on a faux leather or metal bracelet and they look absolutely stunning.

paper bead cores
paper bead cores
Starlight Metallic Paints by Imagination Crafts - perfect for your European Style Beads

If you are a reader from the USA and cannot find Imagination Crafts Starlight Paint where you live, you can get them online from the link below.

Keep On Crafting, here in England where I get mine, does ship outside Europe but of course they have to charge postage and packing.

All the products I have suggested here or on my Amazon crafts supplies page are featured especially for people who ask me where they can buy the supplies needed to make the bracelets and I urge you to shop around before buying.

Remember - you need to research these products yourself. I try to recommend products that I have used and love but sometimes I can't find links to items I use and have to find similar products.

I cannot personally recommend anything I have not tried.

I have looked for items that are as close to the ones I have used in my video as possible.

Thanks for watching and reading and I hope you take your paper bead making to the next level by using metal paper bead cores.

European Style paper bead templates are so easy to use and I have taken all the headache out of figuring out how to get that perfect Pandora style bead shape!

My easy to use paper bead templates are available for download in my Etsy shop.

If you want to find out how to use them, you can watch me making beads with them over on YouTube on the Rainbow Lane channel.

paper bead templates

Want to make fabulous bracelets like these? I did it by designing the ultimate European style paper bead templates so my beads would have that Pandora style shape.

We all love exquisite Pandora jewellery and you cannot beat the real thing but it's fun to try and recreate beautiful jewelery pieces from paper.

I have been making paper bead jewelry for decades now and I also teach other people how to do it.

To make my life easier, I started designing paper bead templates to take the hard work of measuring and drawing lines every time I was making a new piece of paper bead jewlery.

My workshop students were always asking if they could buy paper bead templates from me and so I put them in my Etsy shop, Images For Crafts.

paper bead templates

Paper Bead Templates and the 5mm paper bead tool are the easiest and quickest way to stream line your paper bead making process.

The paper bead tool you will see me using in the YouTube video is my own design and I manufacture them myself in my UK workshop.

It is available to buy from my Etsy shop and we ship worldwide.

These tools are available in my Etsy shop. We ship worldwide.

We also have available The Easy Beady Bead Tools with the original handle.

We are gradually phasing out the straight handles and returning to the original design with the more shapely handle which is easier for many people to hold.

After listening to students in my workshops tell me which handles they preferred, I decided to go back to the handles I used for my very first bead tools, many moons ago now!

You can find these tools here in my Etsy shop.

The paper bead templates in my shop are also my own designs.

I spent a long time trying to perfect my European Style bead shape and I had many failures along the way!

Although I guess they weren't really failures because each one taught me that my measurements needed to be tweaked.

Eventually, I decided on the two part paper bead templates because I am guessing not many people have printers that can print paper big enough to do them in one part.

And the new improved template above is the result of some really helpful feedback I had from one of my lovely Etsy customers in the USA.

I tweaked the design to make it much easier to see what part of the paper is waste and to make it easier to cut.

If you aren't sure what these paper bead templates are all about, hop over to YouTube and watch the video on the Rainbow Lane channel.

paper bead templates

Paper Bead Templates for European style beads - download for only £4.00 (plus VAT if you are a UK customer).

Once you have downloaded the files (they come in both UK A4 and US Letter sizes), you can print the templates over and over again to make as many beads as you want but please read about the copyright restrictions on the actual templates when visiting my shop.

Have fun with my paper bead templates and let me know how you get on with you bead making.

Embossed tin is easy to create if you have a machine like the Sizzix Big Shot (expensive!) or an embossing tool and mat (not so expensive).

If you want to see a step-by-step guide to how I made these pretty pendants from a recycled cereal box and a soda can, click here to see my short, easy to follow video on YouTube.

Make gorgeous pendants using embossed tin from soda cans. Click To Tweet
embossed tin
embossed tin
embossed tin

These beautiful pendants were made using embossed tin from a soda can.

In my previous post I showed you how to make pendants with no bezel or tray.

In this post, I show you a fun project I designed for using up any scrap card or cereal box card as another way to make pendant bases.

The square base I made from card was then covered in aluminum foil that I had hand colored using alcohol inks.

I also used embossed tin to the make a backing for the pendants which means they are reversible.

On one side they have a round embossed tin design and on the other they have a square design covering the whole surface.

embossed tin


It doesn't matter if your pendants flip round while you are wearing them!

I used a 2 inch square punch to cut the embossed tin backing so that gaps in the tin foil would be covered up.

So that means there are two faces to the pendants, each with a different look.

I used a Sizzix Big Shot to create my embossed tin - but what if you don't have one?

No problem! You can emboss the tin using an embossing tool with an embossing pad underneath.

When you use embossed tin that's been created using an embossing tool, it obviously isn't as crisp as when you use an embossing machine.

But, the designs will be unique to you and still look very pretty when colored with alcohol inks.

embossed tin

Have fun making your embossed tin pendants!

Watch my video tutorial by clicking this link to YouTube and then have a go at making your own.

To help you source the same kind of products I used, I have put links below for both UK and US readers.

If you want to find supplies like those I use in my YouTube Tutorial, visit my Amazon Craft Supplies page.

I try to source the best products, closest to those I use myself.

If you try this, I hope your pendants turn out really well!

If you have any questions about the process, try watching my tutorial on YouTube.

Working with embossed tin is a great way to use those empty soda cans - have fun while you are saving the planet!