POPSUGAR Moms

47 Creative Ways For Moms to Go Green on Earth Day

Apr 22 2014 - 5:38am

It's no big surprise that moms tend to procure a lot more "stuff" than their childless peers, but that doesn't mean that having a family should prevent you from having an eco-conscious, sustainable lifestyle. While you likely already know the basics of recycling cans and bottles, buying locally grown food, and choosing the paperless option for your bills and newsletters, at POPSUGAR Moms, we like to think outside the (recycling) box. In honor of Earth Day, these 47 unexpected ideas will bring new life to your old baby gear, clothes, toys, and more.

Source: Thinkstock [1]

Upcycle Your Baby Food Jars Into a Desk Organizer

It's never easy to keep kids' crafting supplies organized, but with color-coded spaces for crayons and markers [2], even little kids can help keep the supplies in order.

Source: Monkey See, Monkey Do [3]

Upcycle Your Baby Food Jars Into Pincushions

What to do with all those buttons that come attached to your kids' clothes? Store them in baby-food jars [4], and use this tutorial to create a cute pincushion on top!

Source: The Life of Jennifer Dawn [5]

Upcycle Your Baby Food Jars Into Photo Jars

Picture frames come in all shapes and sizes, so why not convert your jars into frames? Just add your favorite photo [6], turn it upside down, and voilà!

Source: Photojojo [7]

Upcycle Your Baby Food Jars Into Hanging Vases

Baby food jars are the perfect size to display small flowers, like pansies, and this tutorial [8] shows how easy it is to convert the jars into minivases.

Source: Good Housekeeping [9]

Upcycle Your Baby Food Jars Into an Advent Calendar

Advent calendars have never been quite so eco-friendly! This upcycled advent calendar [10] uses baby food jars to hold lil surprises for the kids each day.

Source: Craftaholics Anonymous [11]

Upcycle Your Baby Food Jars Into Spice Jars

After painting the lids with chalkboard paint and filling the jars with spices [12], baby food jars easily become part of a great-looking spice rack.

Source: Frugal Decor Mom [13]

Upcycle Your Baby Food Jars Into Lego Storage Jars

Baby food jars can easily be converted into Lego mini figure heads [14] with some spray paint, a black Sharpie marker, and some creativity.

Source: obSEUSSed [15]

Upcycle Your Baby Food Jars Into Party Favors

For her twin boys' first birthday party, Mae Armstrong [16] gathered up her own empty jars, filled them with treats, and topped them off with cute labels and fabric for perfectly-sized jars of sweets that guests could take home.

Source: Mae Armstrong [17]

Upcycle Your Baby Food Jars Into Hair-Band Holders

When your lil one's hair bands, clips, and barrettes are getting out of control, use the baby food jars to organize things [18].

Source: Maple Memories Crafthouse [19]

Upcycle Your Baby Food Jars Into Bug-Catching Jars

With the addition of some construction paper, a few pipe cleaners, and some googly eyes (or Oriental Trading's little bug kit [20]), baby food jars are easily transformed into bug-catching jars for just $13.

Upcycle Your Baby Food Jars Into Colorful Shakers

Babies love toys that make noise, so why not go basic and create a colorful rattle [21] for them? All you need is some dyed rice and some clean baby food jars.

Source: Modern Parents Messy Kids [22]

Upcycle Your Baby Food Jars Into Fabric Tea Lights

You can never have too many votives laying around the house, and by adding some beautiful fabric [23] to the outside of the jar, those jars are instantly converted into beautiful candleholders.

Source: Pretty Prudent [24]

Upcycle Your Baby Food Jars Into Jar Oil Lamps

Keep the night lit up for hours with oil lamps [25] made out of baby food jars. The process couldn't be any easier. All you need is oil, a wick, and a jar cover to make it work!

Source: Raised in Cotton [26]

Upcycle Your Baby Food Jars Into Home Spa Gifts

Plan to make some homemade spa treatments for your friends this holiday season? Baby food jars are the perfect size for packaging the treatments [27], and they look perfect with an added label and colored lid.

Source: Domestic Charm [28]

Upcycle Your Baby Food Jars Into a Glass Chandelier

Hanging chandeliers are a beautiful addition to the backyard barbecue. With these instructions [29], you can easily convert your empty baby food jars into a piece of backyard art.

Source: Ecologue [30]

Upcycle Your Baby Food Jars Into Play-Doh Holders

Kids love playing with Play-Doh, and they love playing with multiple colors at once. Making several small batches in a rainbow of colors and placing them in the jars will keep them fresh [31].

Source: LilyGene [32]

Upcycle Your Baby Food Jars Into Terrariums

Tots love studying nature. With these pint-sized terrariums [33], they can get up close and personal with plants and dirt.

Source: Our Big Earth [34]

Upcycle Your Baby Food Jars Into Paint Jars

For arts and crafts projects, you can never have enough containers to house your paint. Baby food jars allow you to pour just the right amount, so tots don't waste an entire bottle when they inevitably mix the colors.

Source: How We Montessori [35]

Upcycle Your Baby Food Jars Into Snow Globes

Snow globes always seem to invoke thoughts of Winter, but there's no reason they can't be used year round! Over on Design Mom, Gabrielle Blair has a fabulous (and easy-to-follow) tutorial [36] for creating these pint-sized snow globes!

Source: Design Mom [37]

Upcycle Your Baby Food Jars Into Baby Shower Crafts

These baby shower babies [38], filled with sweet treats for guests to take home, are a unique way to pay it forward once your baby food jars are empty!

Source: New Life on a Homestead [39]

Upcycle Your Crib Into a Grown-Up Desk

Add a glass top, turn one side rail into a shelf, and you're set. Wow, right?

Source: Achados de Decoracao [40]

Upcycle Your Crib Into a Magnet Board

The Frosted Gardner [41] repurposed the end of an old crib as a magnet board. Get the DIY [42] instructions here [43].

Source: Frosted Gardner [44]

Upcycle Your Crib Into an Antique-esque Bench

Courtney of A Diamond in the Stuff [45] enlisted the help of her uncle to create a bench out of an old crib.

Source: A Diamond in the Stuff [46]

Bookshelf

Jamie of DIY Home Sweet Home [47] made this bookshelf using the front and back panels of an old crib and painted pillow cases.

Upcycle Your Crib Into an Easel Board

Katie of The Red Kitchen [48] repurposed her old crib as a chalkboard easel. Genius! Get the DIY [49] instructions here [50].

Source: The Red Kitchen [51]

Upcycle Your Crib Into a Kids' Desk

Caz of A Little Learning For Two [52] created this adorable kids activity desk using a crib, particleboard, and chalkboard paint. Get the instructions here [53].

Source: A Little Learning For Two [54]

Upcycle Your Crib Into a Craft Station

Monica of Crafty Nest [55] created this craft organizer after she found a crib rail on the street. Get the instructions here [56].

Source: Crafty Nest [57]

Pull Wagon

Creating by Cami [58] made this adorable little blue pull wagon with her old crib and provides instructions here [59].

Source: Creating by Cami [60]

Upcycle Your Crib Into a Porch Bench

Melanie of The Old White Cottage [61] actually created this adorable outdoor bench from two cribs.

Source: The Old White Cottage Blog [62]

Upcycle Your Crib Mattress Into a Wicker Love Seat

Breathe new life into a piece of outdoor furniture with this wicker love seat tutorial [63] — comfy and chic front-porch seating!

Source: Diddle Dumpling [64]

Upcycle Your Crib Mattress Into a Cozy Reading Fort

Just because your little one is too big to sleep on his crib mattress doesn't mean he can't hang on it. Carla at Small + Friendly transformed her little boy's old mattress into this reading fort [65] that feels super special and is made just for him!

Source: Small + Friendly [66]

Upcycle Your Crib Mattress Into a Kitchen Storage Bench

Just because your kitchen doesn't have built-in seating doesn't mean you can't get the look (and functionality) on your own. Check out Apartment Therapy's kitchen storage bench [67] upgrade using Ikea cabinets and an old crib mattress.

Source: Apartment Therapy [68]

Upcycle Your Crib Mattress Into a Custom Reading Nook (or Baby Guest Bed!)

When the Natos renovated their attic, this dormer was transformed into a light-filled reading nook [69]. It could also do double duty as a guest bed for a little visitor (with the addition of a gate, of course)!

Source: Hello From the Natos [70]

Upcycle Your Crib Mattress Frame Into a Shabby-Chic Bulletin Board

You probably never considered a second life for your crib mattress's wire frame, but this crafty bulletin board [71] would be perfect in a vintage-y, shabby-chic space.

Source: Lolly Jane [72]

Upcycle Your Crib Mattress Into a DIY Pallet Bench

This pallet bench [73] gets a glamorous upgrade thanks to its stylish pillows and furry blanket.

Source: Lottas Himmelrom [74]

Upcycle Your Crib Mattress Into a DIY Dog Bed

A simple, stylish dog bed [75] would fit into any decor scheme.

Source: Baby Rabies For Red Barn Blog [76]

Upcycle Your Crib Mattress Into a Kids' Daybed

If you have a little extra space but not enough for a full daybed or couch, consider converting your crib mattress into an adorable kiddie-sized daybed [77]. It makes a great little nook for reading, relaxing, or resting!

Source: Fab Rehab Creations [78]

Upcycle Your Crib Mattress Into a Pallet-Board Sofa

The rustic vibe of this pallet-board sofa [79] would be right at home on the patio or in the foyer/entryway of a casual home.

Source: Funky Junk Interiors [80]

Upcycle Your Crib Mattress Into an Upholstered Toddler Bed

Upgrade your tot to a toddler bed [81] with this tutorial from the supercrafty Ana White.

Source: Ana White Homemaker [82]

Reuse Your Gear For Baby Number Two

If you've got baby number two (or three, or four . . . ) on board, the last thing you want to do is start from scratch when it comes to stocking up on all of the requisite gear. Strollers, car seats, high chairs, and even clothes are expensive, and they're only used for such a brief window of time. Scroll through for our comprehensive guide to the smart, safe, and savvy way to upcycle your own baby gear [83].

Source: Thinkstock [84]

Find a Second Home For All Your Old Gear

You're probably already familiar with eBay and Craigslist, but if you're hoping to make a little money off your old gear, consider targeting a mom-specific audience. Here, three sites that are geared specifically toward buying and selling baby supplies and clothing:

Upcycle Your Changing Table Into a Bar Cart

Design Indulgences [88] shared this stylish changing-table-turned-bar-cart.

Source: Design Indulgences [89]

Upcycle Your Changing Table Into a Beverage Cart

Better Homes and Gardens [90] suggested adding wheels to make the beverage cart, which could house cocktail ingredients or family-friendly fare.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens [91]

Upcycle Your Changing Table Into a Minidesk

Weiya of Enjoyer of Grace [92] purchased an Ikea changing table and immediately turned it into a minidesk for quick email checks. Get her DIY [93] instructions here [94].

Source: Enjoyer of Grace [95]

Upcycle Your Changing Table Into a Stokke Desk

If DIY [96] isn't your thing, the Stokke Care [97] changing table ($500) is designed to be turned into a large or small desk with a conversion kit [98] ($210).

Ice Cream Parlor

The sisters behind My Sister's Suitcase [99] turned a yard sale changing table into a kids' ice cream parlor. See the before and after (left), and get the DIY [100] instructions here [101].

Source: My Sister's Suitcase [102]

Upcycle Your Changing Table Into a Play Kitchen

Hannah of Bonne Nouvelle [103] created this play kitchen for her daughter from an old changing table. So cute! Get the very labor-intensive instructions here [104].

Source: Bonne Nouvelle [105]


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