We all share a huge recycling bin between our block of flats but what are you meant to do with the empty bottles and cans before you can be bothered to take them out/as you're waiting for the rain to stop? For months I've been struggling with plastic carrier bags from the supermarket but they don't hold very much and they're not really ideal for large amounts of paper and cardboard. So I grabbed a box that I threw a load of stuff in when I moved and I came up with this visual beauty!
nb. If you were unfortunate enough not to have grown up in Britain and therefore don't have a clue what Blue Peter is, it is a children's magazine programme that has been running for over 50 years and is the longest running children's programme in the world. It's emblem is this rather attractive ship and children are encouraged to be creative and write in with poems, drawings and pictures of things they make at home. When you do so you are awarded a Blue Peter badge which you will then treasure forever and pin it on your school tie until all the colour has rubbed off...or maybe that was just me!
Originally you could get four different badges although there are a whole variety of additional ones now. The four main ones are:
The Blue Badge (for sending in a picture, poem, letter etc)
The Silver Badge (for sending in another different item from the first)
The Green Badge (for environmentally based things)
and The Gold Badge which only very special people receive after things like saving another person's life or writing a whole series of books about a boy wizard who defeats the most evil and powerful dark wizard the world have ever known (sorry if I've spoilt the ending for you).
I already have a Blue and Silver badge that I have had for many years (I wrote a poem about the presenters for my first badge and for my silver badge I submitted a sugar paper cut out of a lunch box and did a little collage of tasty treats that my favourite Blue Peter pet at the time, a dog called Meg, would like to snack on) but I never got round to doing anything for my Green badge, mainly because I was 17 when I sent off for my Silver badge and thought I should stop cheating the system after that. I haven't decided if I should send in a picture of this and conveniently forget to include my age but I'll have a long hard think about that and see what my conscience has to say about it before making a final decision.
In the meantime, I have made this Instructables guide so you can make your very own! Enjoy.
Step 1: The Materials
I'm a great lover of all things cheap. I used things that I could find in Wilkinsons and other budget DIY stores and I already had the box folded up and stashed away behind my wardrobe (I have a few there).
Here is a comprehensive list of what you need to make a recycling box:
• A box (obviously)
• Packaging tape
• White paint (for the base coat)
• Green paint to go on top of the base coat. I used three sample pots of paint because they're cheaper to buy and you don't end up with loads of spare paint afterwards
• Paint brush
• An image of the Blue Peter ship
• Really strong glue
• Glue stick
• Clear wood varnish
Step 2: The How-To Bit
This is the part that I didn't take any photos of so sorry about the lack of pictures in various stages of completion but here's a picture of one a made earlier (see what I did there?) and a step-by-step guide to help you make your own:
• Peel off all the labels and other things that may be stuck onto your box so you have the smoothest possible surface.
• Use the packaging tape to stick down the base of your box inside and outside so there are no nooks and crannies that spilt beer can escape into.
• Put loads of newspaper down on the floor and paint the whole of your box with white paint. Wait for it to dry and repeat this process a few times until there's no cardboard colouring showing through.
• Get an adult to help you cut out your image of the Blue Peter ship (you can use the bog standard recycling image if you prefer, I won't be cross if you do, just a little disappointed!)
• Arrange your Blue Peter Ship on the box and use some Pritt Stick to lightly glue it in place.
• Using your sponge, dab a thick coat of green paint around the edges of the stencil and then carefully peel the stencil off before the paint dries.
• Using your paintbrush, paint the rest of your box green several times until the rest of the base coat is covered.
• Using your really strong glue, fold the top flaps into the box and stick them down. Use lots and lots of heavy books to press the cardboard together and leave each flap to fry for an hour just to be sure.
• Paint at least two coats of varnish on the outside of your box and three on the inside. This will make it more resistant to any spillages of beer, wine, milk, pasta sauce etc.
And there you have your very own recycling box worthy of a green Blue Peter badge!