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Recycled trash window installation – The Purple Tree!

At the start of this year I stated on Instagram that I wanted to do some public wall murals and installations (like window or art installations) because I just wanted to stretch my creative muscles. (Kinda like I did with my costume challange in 2019) I had some fun plans in place to make this happen, but then COVID 🙁

BUT BUT BUT, one of my favorite stores in downtown Hudson, the Purple Tree, reached out and still wanted me to do their window display for the spring months…..YAY! I decided that it would be super cool (and important) to try and incorporate some of our current situation with being isolated and feeling fearful or generally overwhelmed at what was going on in our world. SO! I decided to make something beautiful out of our COVID trash from local Hudson homes for the display.

I put a call out to anyone in the Hudson area to save cardboard, paper, boxes, toilet paper tubes, paper towel tubes and MORE. And YUP, everyone delivered. I drove around on a Saturday morning picking things up from porches and driveways. (THANK YOU to everyone who saved these “treasures” for us).

Like I said, the goal was to create something beautiful out of trash. I wanted to symbolize that even in these hard and scary and uncertain times that beautiful things can still happen. Maybe this season was not the perfect ending to a school year or the most ideal to work from home, or maybe you felt sad that sports and proms and graduations and recitals and milestones weren’t met for you or your kiddos as expected. Or maybe work shifted and you were left with different roles that you don’t love or tasks that you don’t feel equipped for. All of these things can carry loads of stress…..my hope was that these flowers can give us some hope. Some hope to know that we were all in this together and that this won’t last forever. Hope to know that we can search out and seek moments of joy and celebration and fun and love and happiness even when things don’t go as planned or as expected.

Does this take away from the fact that people have died or gotten sick from Covid or that dreams have been altered and businesses changed, or that some have lost jobs or homes or income or security because of all of this? ABSOLUTELY NOT! But I do, 100% strongly believe, that if we try to look at life with a grateful heart and open hands, we can see beautiful things that happening despite all the bad that is being highlighted.


I broke down some boxes and picked out my fave colors of spray paint. I knew that the flowers had to be colorful and happy (OBVI!)

I also knew that I wanted the flowers to be dimensional and hang together to take OVER the window. So I started cutting shapes to see how layering and rolling edges and glueing together would look. And this is the idea I came up with! I also needed to keep the flower simple so that it was easily duplicated AND easy to hang. The Purple Tree window isn’t super deep so I also wanted to keep in mind that I didn’t want a monstrosity of a display that would overtake their SUPER AMAZING products inside!

So I started to assemble flowers and then add an inside “coil” for the toilet paper/paper towel tube stems to sit on. And, as with any project I do, I just started to make and see where it took me. I arrived at the Purple Tree to install with an armful of supplies and a semi-decent plan to how I could make this all come together. Of course, my plan changed about 12 times in the first hour….but once I got into a rhythm, I went to town and made those trash flowers GROW! 🙂

I used wire to hang on 3M hooks across the window. Then run the tubes of chickenwire/paper tubes through the wire to hang the flowers off of! Like anything, I had to make adjustments as I went and I am pleased with how the finished product turned out!!!
And more than anything I am thankful that I could reflect some hope in this uncertain time with simple things like cardboard, glue, wire and paint!

Check out more of the process from this little video that I put together:

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