Mastering the Art of Spring Cleaning

You're feeling creative, but there are no craft supplies in the house; or so you think! Lurking in the depths of your closets, attic and basement are a wealth of fabrics and other materials that not only make great craft supplies, but using them helps give you a head start on spring cleaning.

Here are some things to look out for as you're filling garbage bags:

Fabric, fabric, fabric! Ok, so you know you will never wear that loud flower-patterned skirt again. Looking at it today, you believe you must have been possessed by some fashion demon when you bought it. But, with each passing clothing trend comes an emerging home décor trend.

Floral patterns and stripes are in when you're talking pillows. Not so much when you're talking pants. Large clothing items, like dresses and skirts often provide sufficient fabric to make a pillow case or seat cushion. Flip through a new home décor magazine and look through your own junk pile for a few fabric treasures!

Dishes and glasses: Give your tableware a second life. Colorful dishes make fantastic wall art, and if they are not colorful you can make them colorful with glass paint available at your local craft store (okay, so maybe you will not be able to completely stock your craft bin from your closets, but they are a good start!)

Glasses make great vases, pen holders, and bathroom accessories for cotton balls or toothbrushes. Jazz them up with a ribbon and your hot glue gun and you can banish the plastic cotton ball bag for good! They also will make great hostess and birthday gifts!

Picture frames: What do you think spray paint was invented for? So your old frames do not match your new living room theme – visit your local hardware store for a can of spray paint and transform your dinged-up or irregular frames into perfect accents. Be sure to remove the glass before you paint. If you can not remove the glass, use newspaper and tape to cover it before you spray. Let them dry thoroughly before you hang them! Add a picture of the kids and grandma will be thrilled!

Old shoes: Believe it or not, shoes make great flower pots. Be selective, though. If you hate the way the shoes look as shoes, you'll hate them as flower pots, too. Fabric shoes are best for this.

Old greeting cards: How long should you keep a Christmas card from someone you know at work? Well, let's not get into that – but what we can explore is the beauty of recycling. The fronts of Christmas cards (that are blank on the back) will make fantastic gift tags for next year. Or, you can attach a tiny bow and make a whole new card out of it. Send it in a handmade envelope for a special touch.

Leftover wall paper: If you still love it, use left over wall paper to cover matte frames, creating instant wall art. Use a staple gun to secure the paper to the matte. Do not hang them on the same wall as the wall paper covered! You can hang them within a reasonable distance of the wall pared room to connect rooms visually. Leftover wall paper makes great wrapping paper, too.

Boxes: Depending on what they were used for, boxes offer a lot of crafting potential. Shoe boxes can be covered in fabric and used as a desk organizer for bills, or a pretty storage box for photos.

Before you rent a dumpster to haul away all the "junk" that has over-wintered in your home, take some time to go through your closets and other areas destined for cleaning for opportunities to reinvent, recreate, and recycle. Almost everything can have a second purpose, and when you're feeling creative, there is no limit to what you can do with "trash."