The Joy of letting go and gifting

joy of letting go and gifting, recycled crafts,

Something beautiful happened yesterday as you can see in the smiles above! Something I don’t even know if I will be able to put into words. The actions yes, the result, I doubt. But let me try.

Every wednesday I take ‘recycled magic’ sessions with the kids at the foundation where I volunteer. On monday when I was there, the girls had asked me to teach them a photo frame. Now it had to done through recycling waste, after searching through some ideas, I decided on making a box photo frame with them. I tried one in the night to get all steps ready and also know that I can explain it to the kids in the limited Portuguese I know 🙂

The session starts at 3. For this one, since I wanted to try something else too, I told them to have just 6 girls. I got all material ready and everyone was very excited especially after they saw the one I had made the night before. They couldn’t wait to make one for themselves.

I asked them all to sit in a circle and then I requested them to sit with me in silence with eyes closed for just 5 minutes. During the silence, I asked them to think about one of their happy memories. After 5 minutes when we opened our eyes, I saw that each face had a big smile as if they went back in time to the memory of the event.

And of course the room was much calmer!

Now came the second part. For most part, kids are very possessive of their art. Everytime they make something, they want to take it home and show it to their parents and put it in their homes. If they are asked to leave it in the foundation then they would write their names on it so that it doesn’t get mixed with others! I asked them if today we can do en experiment. How about today, we create not for ourselves but for our friend? A friend who is right in this room. How about after we have made our frames, we put them all together and then have our names on chits of paper and put them on the frames randomly. And that decides who gets what. It may be that we get our own creation, or we get that of our friends’. Should we do it?

They all said yes!

I asked again, you are sure? you all agree?

They all said yes again.

And then we started making our photo frames. Each one of them chose the size that they want to make of.. they chose the paper they want to cover it with and the lace they want to put around…

(here are step by step pictures of how to make the photo frame using old cereal boxes. I hope the pictures are self-explanatory)

DIY photo frame, recycle, up cycle, cereal box crafts
step by step photos of making a box photo frame using old cereal box

The whole process of making the frames took about one and half hour and somewhere towards the end they realised they are not taking what they are making with them home.. and then started..

“Tia eu quero leva minha com me” (aunt, I want to take mine with me) and I reminded them that we all agreed! and they all had the sad faces but they didn’t disagree.

When they were finished (two girls had leave before we could finish, so in the end we only had 4) they all kissed their frames goodbye, wished love to them and kept them all together. We then placed chits with their names randomly and asked some of the little boys to come in and open the chits one by one.

the joy of letting go, recycled craft, volunteering with kids, activities with children
sending love and kissing the frame they made goodbye…

As the chits were being opened, the excitement among the girls was that of Christmas gift opening. They all shouted with each one. And the one who created, gifted her’s to the one whose name it had. And I could see how proud and happy they were in gifting it. They were not just giving it, they were gifting it. I was so happy to see that in the end they were able to let go of their art.

It was so amazing to see them actually 'gift' it <3
It was so amazing to see them actually ‘gift’ it <3

I know they were a little sad but I also know they were happy to gift theirs to a friend. I wanted to do a circle with them afterwards but we were anyway 10 mins beyond the time the foundation closes. Even to this day after I have let go of so many of my art to strangers, I still have that urge at the last minute to keep it for me; to gift it to a known person; to just write my name on it. To let go is something I am working on for more than a year now and to see the girls being so happy in letting go made me so much happier!

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