Monday, October 10, 2011

A Punnet Story and Recycling - It's the Little Things

In June, before school closed for the summer, Emily celebrated her summer birthday early in class so she would have her classmates with her. We decided to make brownies and the healthy option was strawberries. These were the best strawberries (from a local farmer's market) I think I have ever eaten. They were barely on the shelves when I grabbed about five punnets of them.

Yes, those are real strawberries and this was how they were displayed which gives you an idea of how perfectly delicious they were. Just for fun, here is a close-up.

But anyway, this post is not about the strawberries but about the punnets - they hold so much that is enjoyed by so many. How many of us take the time to appreciate the utilitarian aspect of the average punnet. They come in styrofoam, plastic basket-like, cardboard, and even felt. These were cardboard. Here they are once emptied.

They were not dirty or wet but looked like they barely had any time to bond with the strawberries before they were swept off the shelves.

The structure of these cardboard punnets was solid and they appeared strong. I decided I had to and needed to repurpose them...aren't we all trying to live more eco-friendly lives? I know I am. Early this summer I was in the process of organizing four desks in the house and thought these would make perfect storage containers - for post-its, push pins or erasers, or other small desk items.

Initially I thought I might use fabric on them but then I found some pretty scrapbooking paper at Michaels  to coordinate with the rooms these desks are in. At 59 cents a sheet I thought "why not!" A sheet per punnet and if I was running short I could use "the good parts" of the NY Times to line the inside. Trying to find an article that did not deal with the economy, politics, natural disasters or terrorism was not easy - I had to settle for ads like this one...

..and this one, which could easily apply to strawberries, green design or Michaels , maybe Mod Podge or even just a good idea!

Here is one of the sheets I picked up at Michaels.

And so I set to work with Mod Podge in Matte and a foam brush. I had no plan in mind in terms of cutting paper to a particular size. These were done on days when kids were home and I felt the need to accomplish some of the mini decorating projects like accessorizing.

Glueing the paper to the sides of the base was not easy given the design and dips.

I cut strips of paper of no particular size. I decided to just wrap over the punnet as I went along.

And here they are now. These look good on the black piano desk.

The punnet does not have perfectly flat sides (part of the design) so there are a few dips here and there. I will try to follow the lines better the next time. Using paper of light stock is best.

From here

to here.

And I decided to do some in blue and orange for Isabel's room; some lilac for Emily.

Isabel is using the one of them as a bookmark holder (she has a small collection) on her nightstand.

I think these were a great idea and the kids are thrilled to be recycling as well as to have another accessory for their rooms. Also it cost me 59 cents and some Mod Podge and newspaper that I already had. What do you think? Do you like how these look? I think these punnets are versatile. In decorating a room, it's the little touches, the accessorizing, that help tie a space together while adding interest.

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