Want to make something new from something 100% recycled? Here’s a great ‘recipe’ for such a ‘something’ that I only discovered by accident. Shhttt… it’s a secret.
but made of WHAT??!!!
The Silver Doilies Secret
The secret is: it’s made from a pack of coffee! Ever noticed that the inside of a pack of coffee is a gorgeous sheet of silver??!! I guess it’s actually a kind of aluminum-plastic fusion. Not sure…
Anyhow, I experimented how to use it, and I realize that there are so many wonderful uses for it.
My first craft project I pursued with this wonderful sheet of silver is a silver doily (doilie)
Making Silver Doilies is Easy with these Step-by-step instructions.
A. How to Fuse Recycled Packaging into Silver Sheets
1. Wash your recycled coffee pack with a bit of soapy water and dry it.
2. Fold the sheet of coffee wrapping in half, placed it under a hanky/piece of cotton and every so lightly iron over it. I really mean, ever so lightly. Just a 1/2 a second rub over it. Do this again and again. You will find that with a minimum of heat, it fuses!
Once, fused, you have a nice-sized, double-sided silver sheet for your craft projects
Now what to do with it??
B. How to Make Doilies – Step-by-Step Instructions
I’ve already posted how to make heart-shaped paper doilies for Valentine’s Day.
The method for making doilies from these fused silver sheets and from paper is identical. It’s only harder to make detailed shapes as the material is thicker, so sticking to a bolder design is easier.
Fold the sheet in half, in half again.
Now cut a 1/4 circle on the ‘open’ side.
Then fold it in half again. Now you have a pointy little strip that represents 1/8th of your circle.
On either of the long sides of your strip make little cut outs.
The pointy end will be the center of your doily, so give that a little cutout as well. If you cut it into an upside down V, you’ll get a center star. A scalloped edge will become a flower….
Sure, I could tell you here is your free doily pattern, but honestly, you don’t need a pattern. You just need scissors and give it a go. These last two steps are steps of pure experimentation. Even without some planning/thinking and just doodling, you’re off to a good start.
If you want to do some thinking: If you make a triangle cutout, it will become a diamond shaped cutout when folded open; A half-heart will become a whole heart when unfolded . Etc. As this material is rather sturdy, you can fold it open while you are working to see the effect of your cutouts and adjust it according to your designer inspiration!
DELIGHTFUL ARTISTIC EXPRESSION
it is nearly impossible to make ugly silver/ paper doilies, so don’t be shy and try this out. Before you’ll know it, you’ll be all excited and cry out: … “Ohh….They came out great!”
What a way to treat someone special with a new express cup liner…. with handmade cookie, with love!
Craft Creating Tips
Tip 1: I heard that fusing plastic can lead to fumes that are unhealthy, so iron only in well-ventilated places, e.g.. in front of an open door or window, outdoors or near your kitchen fan.
Tip 2: Hold the iron over the handkerchief for just a second, otherwise you’ll see your doily material shrink….
Tip 3: You get particularly useful larger sheets of aluminum/plastic fusion out of the wrapper of twin packs of coffee.
Alternative Uses for Your Upcycled Doilies
Beyond lining a coffee cup and saucer, you can use your silver doily in a million other creative ways.
I see al decoration of all kinds:
- As a tag for a Valentine’s Gift
- As the central ‘image’ of your handmade greeting card
- As a collage for notebook or diary covers. Also consider cutting symmetrical shapes and creating repeated patterns with silver hearts, gorgeous curls or diamonds.
- As Christmas tree decorations. The fused sheets are strong enough to hold some weight of jewelry, so hang on some beads as well.
- To cover coasters, and
- To create whimsical mobiles made with the slivers of silver (use your cutouts), and add silver hearts. Lovely decoration for a girl bedroom or a Valentine party, when combined with pinks and/or reds; or
- … or for Christmas when a good dose of glitter is added….
- Another mobile variant is a ‘scarecrow-assistant: …. hang garlands or cords with several shapes made with this material in your fruit trees near your vegetable garden. The moving shine will keep the birds at bay.
A Kid Craft?
I would not recommend the fusing part to be a child activity, however, doily making sure IS FUN FOR KIDS ! They’ll love it.
Originally posted January 15, 2011. Updated 2022.