Those takeout and delivery meals you indulge in for late-night snacks, busy-day dinners and game-time grub sessions come with more than just a fully belly. More often than not, restaurants load you up with everything from foam clamshells and cups to plastic silverware. Reduce takeout guilt (and household waste) by repurposing containers, cups and cutlery into new items for your home and garden. From the practical (storage solutions and garden boosters) to the just-for-fun (clamshell boat races and solar s’mores ovens), here are 10 creative ways to reuse your takeout waste today.
1. Create a pizza box easel
Pizza boxes are notoriously difficult to recycle in some communities. So, if you can’t toss these common takeout leftovers in your curbside bin, why not find a clever way to reuse them instead?
Ikat bag blogger LiEr dreamed up this creative easel craft while planning a birthday party for her 7-year-old daughter last fall. Rather than spend loads of money on supplies, the resourceful mama reached for a stack of recycled 10-inch pizza boxes – which turned out to be the perfect size for artsy little hands!
This unique project features a white board on one side, a chalkboard on the other and a homemade eraser to complete the set. Check out LiEr’s guest-post tutorial on WhipUp.net to give it a try with your little ones. Added bonus: When the kids are done playing, just put chalk and markers inside the easel and close the lid for easy storage.
2. Adorn a mirror with plastic utensils
Most of the crafts on our list apply to takeout boxes, cups and other containers. But what about all that annoying plastic cutlery that comes with your takeout meal? Stockpile those single-use utensils, and use them to create a surprisingly chic piece of home decor for your bedroom or family room.
Using this simple tutorial from Country Living magazine, crafters of all skill-sets can transform an old mirror from drab to fab – using nothing but plastic silverware! The upcyclers at Country Living purchased colored spoons for this project. But if your stash of leftover utensils includes a combination of white, clear and colored plastic, simply use craft paint or spray paint to color the cutlery your desired hue.
Try a uniform look and stick to one type of utensil, or mix and match forks, spoons and knives for a funkeir style. You’ll need about 100 pieces of cutlery for an 18-inch mirror. So, unless you have a serious takeout addiction, you may want to ask a few Earth-minded friends to chip in their old utensils, too.