I recently found myself standing over the kitchen trash can, retrieving something I’d just pitched in. I felt like Jeannette Walls’ mother. Do you know Jeannette, the MSNBC news correspondent, author of The Glass Castle? Well I don’t either. But her book is quite a read. (And you might like to put it on your Christmas list.) Jeannette had very humble beginnings, including regularly seeing rats visit the sugar bowl on her kitchen counter while growing up in West Virginia. Years later, when Jeannette was on her way to an MSNBC Christmas party in New York City, she looked out her car window and spied her mother. She was doubled over in a dumpster by the curb, trash picking. (And this was not unusual.) Strangely, her mother seemed to somehow prefer (even thrive) on this lifestyle. You’ll just have to read it yourself to get the scoop.
So let me explain why I was trash picking. (I’m sure Jeannette’s mother had her reasons too!) I’d just thrown away the glass top to a cheap dollar store candle. I dropped it in the trash can, then thought hard. How could I upcycle a cheap glass candle cover? Then it hit me. I could make a DIY Photo Paperweight! So I fished it back out (washed it!) and made this DIY Photo Paperweight. It’s simple and would make a great last minute economical, personalized Christmas gift for someone special. You may already have everything you need to make it.
- Twine or ribbon (optional)
- Tacky glue and rubber cement
- Clear glass candle coaster or the glass top to a cheap dollar store type candle
Use the flat glass top to a candle.(above)
Or an inexpensive clear glass candle coaster. (Buy it in the craft store in the candle section.)
- Wash the glass well with glass cleaner.
- Cut photo into a round and place in the circle of the coaster or glass candle top.
- I tested some drinking glasses in my cabinet ’til I found one that fit inside the center circle well. I traced the photo around the glass, cut it out and the photo fit perfectly.
- Using the same method, I cut several cardboard circles to fill in the back until it was level with the edge.
- Cut another circle just a little larger, and use rubber cement to attach felt to the back of that cardboard. Use a light color so it wouldn’t show through the edges. Then attach the slightly larger felt covered cardboard to the back of the paperweight with tacky glue.
- I wrapped the edges of my paperweight (below) with twine. You could also use ribbon. Or just leave it plain.
Voila, your own DIY Photo Paperweight!
Barbara Child says
So creative and meaningful!
Linda Jenkins says
What a great idea. I can’t tell you how many of those lids I’ve discarded. They will make great keepsakes for relatives or even for teachers at Christmas. Thanks, Allie.
I read that book too! It kept me captivated from cover to cover. Great recycling idea.
What a wonderful gift idea for grandparents!! I even have a few of those cheap glass candle holders that I do not often use so…voila…now I have an idea how to out them back in business!!
These are so perfect for grandparent gifts and I love seeing your precious babies!
Aunt Pinkie says
You have such great ideas-clever girl!
Love this one!
Aunt Margie says
I read “the Glass Castle”, too. Wonder why? I have one of my own dumpster diggers in my family. Paperweight photo is adorable! Love the fertile mind behind it! Love you!
Allie Taylor says
Guess you, like Jeannette, should write a book about the dumpster digger in your family, Auntie M. Love you to the moon and back!
Great idea! Tucking this idea away for sure!
I love re-using things too. I’ve found that those same candle-in-a-jar lids also fit perfectly into/onto several of my mugs at home. This can either keep the drink warmer a little longer, or at least keep our curious cat from fishing in my tea….