While the boxed packaging for toothpaste is recyclable and the caps are usually recyclable #5 polypropylene, the majority of tubes out there are made out of a laminate that can NOT be recycled. Some companies like Tom’s of Maine will accept the tubes back (send them to Tom’s of Maine, 302 Lafayette Center, Atn: Consumer Department, Kennebunk, ME 04043), but obviously the majority of tubes are going straight to the landfill. That’s so sad.
Remember, the first rule is “reduce”. Eliminating the use of tubed toothpaste and making your own powdered or bar soap solution is one alternative. You can also use mashed strawberries a few times a year to whiten your teeth.
But, most of us are not going to go that far, so one idea I had for upcycling a couple used toothpaste tubes is to make a tooth fairy pouch for Ellie.
We had one tube and I asked my neighbors if they had another one ready to throw away.
First, cut off the ends.
Slice up the back seam.
Cut off the spout and rinse it clean.
Cut a flared dress for the fairy and lay it on the other sheet silver side up.
I added two strips for arms and a silver-sided tooth for her to hold and sewed them down to the red. Then, I sewed the red dress to the silver-side up of the other tube. Leave the top OPEN, that’s the pouch for the tooth and money.
Cut out your wings and leave the top silver sticking out the top as shoulders.
Using left over scraps of silver and red, create a fairy face and hair. The sewing for the mouth was also used to attach the head to the neck.
Sew the neck to the shoulders. I tried to make the sticking look like collar bones. I also added some silver scraps to the bottom to make feet (it looked like she was missing something).
Then use gray thread around the edges of the wings for more definition.
Using a hole punch, punch two holes per wing.
Thread through some cord and tie in the back. Hang it out on the door knob to make it easy on the Fairy that night (and it serves as a good reminder for the Fairy before she goes to bed that night).
Is it wrong that that “Tooth Fairy” is going to put dollar bills down the pouch’s cleavage? I’m going to try to not think about that.
What other uses are there for your toothpaste tubes?
More posts from this month’s challenge can be read here.
This post is part of the (#freefromtrash) hosted by Calley, The Eco Chic, and is part of a one month challenge to create from trash. This challenge will hopefully open your eyes to the number of items that we still end up trashing every day that could be used by ourselves or our kids to create fun and useful items. To find out more about the challenge and to see other projects click on over to Calley’s announcement post.