Giving New Life to Trash (Instructions)

Recycling and reducing our consumption of single-use plastics might be the most common ways of going green, but did you know that it’s just as easy to give new life to your trash too?

Here are some ideas and instructions on how to turn your office trash into cute, practical items like planters, coasters, and even textured paper!

Handmade paper

Step 1

Shred paper and soak in a tray of water. Tear them into smaller pieces till the mixture becomes a blended mush of papier-mâché.


Step 2 

Place mesh sheet into the tray of papier-mâché, spreading the mixture thinly and evenly on the mesh sheet. Lift the mesh sheet out of the water and place it on a non-stick surface.


Step 3 

Use a cloth to soak up as much water as possible, and leave the papier-mâché to dry.

Once dried, your handmade paper is ready to be used for note-taking, or as a special card.

Officer planter

Step 1 

Measure potted plant against drink can and mark out the height of the original pot. Cut open the drink can at the mark, and smooth all sharp edges with sandpaper. 

Step 2

Decorate your drink can with your preferred art and craft materials.

Once complete, place your potted plant into the drink can, and you're good to go.

Fabric Coasters

Step 1

Remove all elastics and metal pieces in your masks, and cut off the seams. Cut masks into 4x rectangular strips, and 2x square bases. Ensure the length of the square bases are equal to the length of the rectangular strips.

Step 2 

Arrange the square bases wrong (plain) sides together, and layer the rectangular strips on top in a patchwork design, right (patterned) sides together. Avoid layering pieces in the middle of the base. 

Step 3 

Pin the layers of fabric together, and sew around the edges by hand or with a sewing machine with 1/4" seam allowance. 

Step 4 

Trim the corners and edges of the coaster, and flip it inside out through the middle. Ensure the corners of the coaster are pushed out neatly.


Step 5

Sew around the edges once more with 1/4" seam allowance.

Once complete, your patchwork coaster is now ready to cushion your mugs.

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