DIY Inspired Guest Posts, DIY Craft Ideas - DIY Inspired
04th Mar2014

DIY Entertainment Stand Slip Cover

by Dinah Wulf

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One of the things that I can’t change every easily in my home is my entertainment stand. My décor in my home has been changing slowly and the one thing that seems to be a little of an eye sour is my entertainment system. I can’t afford to buy a new one to go with my new style so I decided to give it a little of a face lift. Here is how I made my DIY Entertainment Stand Slip Cover.

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I went to my fabric stash and started looking to see what I had to work with and I found a white duck fabric which was perfect. Duck fabric can take dirt and stain easily. I know that is something I look for in a fabric when I use it on my furniture especially having kiddos.

I then measure the top of the entertainment system. Remember to wash your fabric first or it might shrink in the wash and you will need to make a new one all over again.  I cut the rectangle fabric.

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I then cut four strips of fabric and sewed it to the rectangle piece.  As you see below I lay the fabric over itself a little to make pleats.  I did not hem the edges because I like the raw edges and the fray look it has.

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I cut a piece of fabric and wrapped it around the poll of the T.V. stand and secured it with safety pins. The reason I did that was to make sure I could remove it later on if it needs a wash.  Now I have a cute slipcover for my entertainment system.

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Stay crafty,

Loren, Pandora’s Craft Box

28th Feb2014

DIY Wood State Art

by Dinah Wulf

DIY Wood State Art, Written By Loren Crane

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I’ve been to many states but there have been to places in this world that I would call home. They are New York and California. I miss one home but live in the other and I wanted to find a way to remember them both because we sometimes need a reminder that we are very lucky to be living in such a beautiful place. I also want to have another reason to smile at something pretty every morning.  I went out and got two wood slices which you can find at your local craft store to make the silhouettes for my two favorite states.

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The first thing I did when I got wood slices was clean them up from any saw dust. Then I applied black acrylic paint. Depending how hot or humid your home might get you might even want to seal the wood so it won’t dry out.

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I got my cameo silhouette out and made a stencil of New York and California. I decided to design a cute little heart in the middle of New York and add the words home is where you are because where ever my hubby goes I will follow.

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Once the stencils where created I used white acrylic paint to go over the stencil. Except for the heart which I did in purple because it my favorite color.  To finish it off I added hanging hooks so I can display them on the wall or maybe on my DIY trunks.

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What state will you be stenciling on your wood slice?

Stay Crafty,

Loren, Pandora’s Craft Box

21st Feb2014

DIY Marquee Sign

by Dinah Wulf

DIY Marquee Sign, Written by Loren Crane of Pandora’s Craft Box

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We have a new little addition to our life and our little princess seem to be missing something in her room and guess what it was? I heart marquee sign. It also helps for extra lighting in her bedroom. The first thing I thought of was making it out of wood. I have seen it made from cardboard to metal all over Pinterest but I have a love of wood and wanted to give it a try. I enlisted the help of my hubby in this project mostly because at the time I was nine months pregnant and working with power tools with a big belly.

The first thing was to draw out the heart design you want onto the wood.  My hubby even used a red sharpie for the job.  My hubby used a jigsaw to cut the heart out and then sanded the edges down.

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After the heart was cut out I used Tim holtz distressed paint to paint the heart a beautiful red.

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I used a ¾ inch drill pit to make the holes in the wood to fit the light in. Remember to drill from the back just in case the wood slits while you drill. Also remember to have enough space between the bulbs because you don’t want them touching because they will over heat on you.

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I found the light that I used on the DIY marquee sign at target in the garden section. They are super powerful when you turn them on.

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Before I placed the light in the wood I made a stencil with my silhouette cameo with the word LOVE. I used white acrylic paint to go over it.

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I let it dry and attached the light and ta-da!  You have your every own love heart DIY marquee sign to display in your home!

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Happy Crafting!

Loren

13th Feb2014

How to Upholster a Step Stool

by Dinah Wulf

How to Upholster a Step Stool was written by Loren Crane from Pandora’s Craft Box.

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When they tell you that you are not going to like the terrible two’s they did not know how badly the horrible three’s where going to be. My little kiddo is fantastic but at times I need to remind him of the rules and that’s when I decided I needed a time out stool.  I needed something he could also use to help him get his clothes out of the dresser. I decided to purchase a stool from Joann’s and upholster it. I rather make something with my hands than purchase a predesign one.

You will need a couple of things: fabric, foam, and batting.

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The foam I cut to almost the same size of the stool, the fabric and batting I cut to fold around the bottom of the stool.  I used Airtex foam that I also got from Joann’s.

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The first thing I do when I start stapling is staple once on each side of the stool and adjust the fabric as I go around. 

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You will need to fold the fabric and batting as you staple so you don’t have rough edges.

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Once that is done I used a small brush to paint the stool legs white. I would recommend that you paint the stool before you attach the fabric but I was so excited to reupholster that I skipped that step.

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The last thing I did was free hand the number three on the fabric with a gray metallic sharpie. I do have to say that I am in love with the metallic sharpie!

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Now I have the cutest time out stool for my little kiddo even if he does not agree.

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Stay Crafty,

Loren 

11th Feb2014

Antiquing Furniture with Chalk Paint

by Dinah Wulf

Antiquing Furniture with Chalk Paint was written by Loren Crane from Pandora’s Craft Box.

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I don’t know about you but I love chalk paint. I want to use it on everything. There is fun making something new or damaged seem rustic. I am all into antiquing furniture and transforming it into something you can’t recognize anymore. Using chalk paint is easy, just requires one more step than just painting. The good thing about recovering my trunks was that I did not have to sand them down or prime them. I just went ahead and applied my home made recipe for chalk paint!

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If you want to see my recipe for chalk paint click here for more information on how you can make it.  Once you have the mixture you will need to apply a couple of coats to your furniture. I applied about two to three coat of white chalk paint to my trunk. The chalk paint dries pretty fast so you don’t have to wait too long between coats.

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I then used sand paper to remove the chalk paint from the edges and in areas where damage would occur with time to make the furniture seem worn down.

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You of course don’t want to forget to seal your furniture because if you don’t the chalk paint will flake off with every touch.  You have a few choices of sealer from wax to oil sealers.  I used Americana Paint Company top coat which leaves the surface smooth once dried.

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Ta-da! I love the look my trunks give to my living room now.

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Stay Crafty,

Loren

31st Dec2013

Transform Your Backyard With These DIY Projects

by Dinah Wulf

Transform Your Backyard With These DIY Projects, written by Guest Author Melissa Jordon

Some people ignore their backyard and it becomes just a place to let the dog run and the kids play. With these easy DIY projects, you can turn your backyard into a place to entertain and relax. Once completed, these additions will look masterpieces from a professional, however all are projects you can do yourself in a weekend!

Backyard Fire Pit

Photo by ACM Design Architects via Flickr

One of the most popular additions to the backyard is the fire pit, according to the DIY Network. A built-in, stone fire pit can create a central relaxation spot for the whole family. Whether it’s toasting marshmallows or warming yourself on a cool evening, it is an addition everyone can enjoy year-round.

Build a square or round fire pit, whichever fits the yard and landscape. A good size to start with is a round pit that is two feet tall and five feet in diameter. The interior area will be three feet in diameter.

Lay a concrete foundation for your fire pit that is six inches deep with an outer wall 12 inches wide. To allow for proper drainage, leave a small cement-free hole in the very center. After the foundation has set for 24 hours, build the outer stone wall. Select a natural stone or prepared brick material and use mortar to lay the stones around the circle. Line the interior of your fire pit with fire bricks and top with a layer of smooth, flat stones to create a polished look. Finally, place a layer of river rocks on the bottom to complete the fire pit.

Backyard Gazebo

Photo by ARNOLD Masonry and Concrete via Flickr

Build a simple gazebo in your backyard to create a shady place to sit and relax with your spouse. A standard option includes an eight-foot by eight-foot wooden frame and can be completed in just a weekend. Find some simple project plans that include all materials and steps on DIYNetwork.com.

Backyard Stone Paths

Photo by woodleywonderworks via Flickr

A natural stone path can accentuate the landscape and create a focal point to the real highlight of your backyard space: the pool. Use some simple flat stones to place size to 12 inches apart in the grass or gravel leading up to your pool, then dig down far enough that each stone sits just one inch above the soil. In rainy areas, a gravel base may be required to set a stronger foundation. Once the stones are set into place make sure they’re level. When you’re satisfied with the stones’ placement fill in the spaces with gravel or ground cover. This will draw the eye to the pool area, so take special care to ensure your pool is in tip-top shape. Find a new cover from PoolProducts.com and make sure your deck is free of debris.

About Melissa Jordan

Missy started blogging from home after earning two bachelor’s degrees (one in English and one in history) the same year the Great Recession hit. The economy’s picking up, but she like the freelance lifestyle and doubts she’ll look for a “real” job anytime soon.

26th Dec2013

4 DIY Lace Projects

by Dinah Wulf

4 DIY Lace Projects is written by Guest Author, Molly Mulgrew

Coco Chanel knew a thing or two about the beauty of lace. In 1939, the iconic fashion designer had this to say about the openwork fabric. “I consider lace to be one of the prettiest imitations ever made of the fantasy of nature; lace always evokes for me those incomparable designs which the branches and leaves of tree embroider across the sky.” It’s a fabulous quote and spoken like a true fashion designer. It’s also the type of inspiration you need the next time you break out the sewing machine for a DIY lace project. Whether you’re enhancing collars and cuffs, adding modern lace tattoo details to a bridal gown (the latest craze at Bridal Fashion Week), or making lace accessories like earrings or necklaces, it’s all about creating “incomparable designs.”

Add Pizzazz to the Scarf

Photo by The Greenery Nursery from Flickr

With the temperature plummeting faster than Scarlett Johansson’s neckline, you’re going to need a toasty scarf to keep warm this winter. However, not just any old scarf will do. By adding sections of lace and chiffon to a store-bought scarf, you’ll give it a chic texture that’s not often seen. A zigzag stitch will give the scarf a messy, night-on-the-town look. For an extra bit of cool, be sure to leave a fray.

Accentuate the Dress or Shirt

Photo of a simple black dress from Target

Photo by …love Maegan from Flickr

Lace adds femininity and texture to clothing. Whether you’re doing ruffles, overlay or trim, solid color dresses at Target are a great foundation for your DIY project. If dresses aren’t your thing, you can add a small lace trim to a classic button cardigan. If you feel you have the skills for a more challenging project, then go ahead and start with a more expensive foundation. The satin camisole you bought at Nine West would look spectacular with a lace sleeve, right? Just be careful not to take on more than you can handle. The last thing you want is to have scissor and recycle that beautiful dress because you suddenly thought you had the sewing skills of a classic 16th century European lace maker.

Accessorize the Accessories

Photo’s by …love Maegan from Flickr

Lace can be used for other purposes than embellishment on apparel. For example, have you ever looked inside your jewelry box and thought, “Wow, I really need to get some new earrings, or I’m not wearing that necklace, it’s so last season.” Instead of heading to Tiffany’s to drop a bundle on a heart pendant, why not take what is old and on-hand and make it new again? Let’s put it another way: Why don’t you accessorize the accessories. From lightweight lace earrings to a simple, silver chain necklace embellished with a structural piece of lacquered lace, adding a little flair to your existing jewelry collection is a good idea if you’re tired of wearing the same stuff every day.

Decorate the Denim

Denim and lace go together like wine and cheese. It’s a fashion match made in heaven. Embroidery always looks good on jeans, but lace trim work and intricate, branching pinwheels are more elegant than traditional colored embroidery. A lace overlay on a denim pocket looks great, but it’s nothing in comparison to restyling those old Daisy Duke cut-offs that have been buried in your closet since the 1970s with lace trim or a small peekaboo window.

About Molly Mulgrew

Molly always looks like a million bucks. Her sense of style is excelled only by her knack for finding the best deals.

23rd Dec2013

DIY Style: Decking Your Halls for the Holidays

by Dinah Wulf

DIY Style: Decking Your Halls for the Holidays, Written by Rebekah Saner

There’s no need to worry about guests saying your home has a bah-humbug attitude when you can easily dazzle it up with a dash of do-it-yourself holiday inspiration. Remember that decorating during the holidays includes the entire room, even the windows. With a touch of DIY creativity, you can transform your windows into joyful holiday centerpiece. Start first by creating a backdrop for that wintry whimsical scene with window treatment ideas that serve as a focal point in any room. Whether you choose wooden or pleated shades, Roman, roller or solar shades, vertical blinds or drapery, a striking window display can make a lasting seasonal statement. Next, you’re ready to spruce up your windows with these festive and easy DIY creations.

Decorative Window Swag

Photo by Andrea_R via Flickr

Frame windows with festive garlands that highlight the beautiful colors and shimmers of the season that highlight the spirit beautiful colors and shimmers of the holiday into your home.

Supplies:

  • Two 9-foot artificial pine garlands (longer pieces, if necessary)
  • Sparkling miniature lights Additional stems of artificial greenery
  • Pine cones
  • Ribbon 3-inches wide
  • Artificial red, gold or white poinsettias with glitter
  • Colorful ornaments
  • Gold or silver metal tinsel
  • Hot glue pot
  • Craft scissors
  • Thin craft wire
  • Adhesive hooks

To Construct: Attach an adhesive hook at each corner of the window approximately 2 to 3 inches from the window rim. Hooks can also be placed along the side of the windows to help secure the garland. You’ll need a large table or countertop to decorate the garland. Place a sheet over the surface to prevent scratches from the craft wire. Overlap the ends of the two pieces of garland and secure with wire. Test that the lights are working. Intertwine the lights from one end of the garland to the other securing with wire. Cut a piece of ribbon a little longer than the length of the garland. At intervals, squeeze the ribbon together creating folds. Wrap a piece of wire tightly around the fold, twist to secure, then attach the ribbon to the base from end to end.

Before proceeding, fluff up the pine needles so the garland has a full look. Use hot glue to attach additional greenery, pinecones and poinsettias. Use either wire or hot glue to attach the ornaments. Wire tinsel to the garland. Optional: hang miniature candy canes or attach miniature ornaments to the garland.

Once the garland is decorated, fit it into the hooks. Place the garland so the length is even on each side of the window then pull the center portion down to create a draped look. Check out Martha Steward for more decorative garland ideas.

Festive Centerpiece

Photo by Wickerfurniture via Flickr

To draw attention to the decorated window, place a colorful centerpiece in front of the window.

Supplies:

  • One red or gold basket
  • Red, white and green tissue paper
  • 1 to 2 blocks of craft foam
  • Silk red and white poinsettias, assorted seasonal floral picks, holly, pine cones, cinnamon sticks, and stems of greenery
  • Bag of green craft moss
  • Red or gold ribbon with glitter
  • Miniature ornaments
  • Hot glue

To Construct: Line the basket with tissue paper. Fan the paper so each color is visible. Wrap a piece of ribbon around the basket handle, if applicable, and secure with hot glue. Cut and place the foam on top of the tissue paper so it fits snugly inside the container. Insert and arrange the greenery creating a backdrop, followed by poinsettias and assorted picks. Cover the foam with green moss working it in-between the stems. Glue pine cones, ornaments and cinnamon sticks to moss.

About Rebekah Saner

Rebekah is an aspiring interior designer who enjoys furnishing her rental properties with mid-century modern furniture.

26th Nov2013

Ribbon Christmas Tree Tutorial

by Dinah Wulf

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Hi everyone! I am very excited to share a craft with you all and so appreciative to Dinah for letting me share it here. I’m all about simple crafts because I’ve been known to start a project & leave it half finished (we won’t talk about how many I have going right now!). This Ribbon Christmas Tree was the perfect craft to do while watching TV and one I could set down, make dinner and come back to it without missing a beat. I also like that I didn’t need to buy a bunch of supplies that I will never use again!

Supply list:

  • Green Styrofoam Cone from the Floral section (I chose the 6″ one but you can choose any size)
  • Push Pins
  • Ribbon, I cut each of my ribbons into 3.5″ sections (I needed about 1 1/2 rolls of each of these colors for this project)
  • A star for the top of the tree

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I started out by cutting all my ribbon into 3 1/2″ sections. Using a straight pin, I pinned the first loop of polka dot ribbon onto the bottom of the Styrofoam tree. Following the tree all the way around, I lined up each ribbon, side by side to complete my first row.

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Once I had the first row done, it was easy to start the next row & pin those as well. I started the red ribbon loops so that each one laid right on top of where two polka dot ribbons came together. This way, it would help to make sure none of the green Styrofoam was peeking through. I also made sure that each of the stick pins was covered as much as possible.

After finishing all of my rows, I took three strips of the green ribbon and pinned them around the top to finish off the tree. With my hot glue gun (how wonderful is that thing? Man, I love it!) I glued the yellow star to the green ribbon strips on the front of my tree. I really wanted a smaller star when I was shopping for my supplies but this was the only one I could find and I’m actually really happy with the size now that it’s all finished.

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What’s really great about this, aside from the fact that it’s super easy to do, is that you can make it match any Holiday decor you are planning on doing. You could do an all green tree, just using ribbons with different patterns & textures on it. Or, you could make a really pretty blue and silver tree for a classier look. These trees would make a great hostess or neighbor gift, as well.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my fun craft! I can’t wait to make more trees and use them around my house this Christmas. If you stop by A Spectacled Owl, please let me know that you came over from DIY Inspired. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest & Google+.

13th Nov2013

White Wedding: 5 Tips for Planning Your Winter Nuptials

by Dinah Wulf

A Good Day for a White Wedding: 5 Tips for Planning Your Winter Nuptials, written by Guest Author Beverly Farrell

Bare branches sparkling with diamond-like frost and snow falling under a street lamp make winter a gloriously beautiful season. And when you plan a winter wedding, you can have those images as your backdrop. In the midst of the stark beauty of winter, though, ice, snow and other weather annoyances can derail your big day. If you are committed to frosty nuptials, guide yourself through the process with these five winter wedding planning tips.

Make the Most of the Season

From slippery sidewalks to harsh travel conditions, there are disadvantages to having a winter wedding so it is critical to make the most of the advantages. One of the biggest benefits is the sales that happen during this time of the year. From Black Friday to Cyber Monday to pre-Christmas sales, you will get the opportunity to sift through lots of items at lowered prices.

Many bridal shops may not have sales during this time of the year, but you don’t have to restrict your shopping to dedicated bridal shops. Perhaps you could buy your wedding favors at World Market or your bridesmaid dresses from Macy’s—check out the department store’s Cyber Monday sales here for big day savings.

Photo of bridesmaid dress via Macy’s

Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

You’ve already bought your dress and you look fabulous, but those cookies that your coworkers keep bringing to the office are threatening to throw you off course. With all the goodies around for the holidays, it can be hard to stay slim for your wedding.

Photo by DC Central Kitchen via Flickr

Portion control is key. WebMD advises keeping yourself full with nutritious snacks so that it’s easier to avoid sugary indulgences. Keep in mind that food is not the only thing with calories. Although it may be tempting to drink through the stress of wedding planning, you don’t need the extra calories. Exercise portion control when it comes to alcohol as well, and, if possible, substitute a diet soda and vodka for a caloric winter ale.

Wintery Extras

Instead of fighting the elements, embrace winter as the theme of your wedding. Martha Stewart recommends serving eggnog cocktails and offering the guests a bit of extra warmth with a pile of shawls at the entrance of the event or even draped over some of the chairs. Integrate snowflakes into the cake decoration, and make sure that you remember to have a dedicated place to store all of the coats that your guests will be wearing.

Photo by Dinner Series via Flickr

Plan for the Chilly Elements

Just because you are getting married during the winter doesn’t mean that you have to take your pictures inside. You can optimize the bright winter light and have pictures taken outside as long as you bundle up. The Knot recommends having a shawl (maybe even a blue one) for the bride and a formal wool dress coat for the groom. The groom can finish off his look with a coordinating scarf, and the bride can wear white tights and fuzzy white earmuffs to complete her warm look.

Photo by sleepyjane via Flickr

Winter Colors

When it comes to color, Huffington Post recommends staying away from holiday hues unless you want your big day to be an extension of the winter holidays. Instead, play with winter-like shades of ivory and white. Make these colors look even more sophisticated by tying in metallic shades of copper, silver and gold.

Photo by natakie.brenner via Flickr

About Beverly Farrell

Beverly is a party planner for weddings and events. She started her own business in a cabin in the woods.

17th Oct2013

How Going DIY Helps the Environment

by Dinah Wulf

How Going DIY Helps the Environment is a Guest Post Written by Andy Giardo.

Photo of a upcycled bowl made from cans by bee-cycle via Flickr

Saving on energy has deep roots closely tied to the burgeoning indie craft community. It may seem a crazy connection, but the ties between the two movements are closer than you might think.

Both movements are linked to conservation. Both DIY-ers and green community members care for the environment and ensure they haven’t squandered resources future generations will need. Members of the green movement embrace natural beauty in the world and work toward conserving that beauty as much as possible. The indie craft community, likewise, recognizes resources to use and reuse to create beauty around. DIYers reuse, recycle, upcycle, and re-create. They’re ingenious and careful, and they appreciate beauty in unusual places, seeing the potential, where others just see old materials. They don’t like creating waste, which ultimately makes for a more beautiful planet.

DIY Movement

HLN calls “The Maker Movement” one of the biggest trends of the past year, in response to the effects of the recession and people looking to save money while also creating one-of-a-kind goods. The roots of the DIY community come from pioneer women who made warm, practical quilts with what they had, not carefully coordinated fabric store finds. The desire to be surrounded by organic beauty naturally flowed throughout daily life. Decorating today’s home without harsh chemicals continues with wood staining techniques using nut husks, vegetables and herbs.

What’s available to DIY-ers now includes everything from crochet hooks and batting, to mobile apps and Internet resources. CraftGossip.com editor Rosie Bromberg uses the Internet to connect to like-minded crafters around the globe. Bromberg says through craft shows, bazaars and online activity, she sees a promising future for indie crafts.

Photo of a craft show by rpongsaj via Flickr

How Energy Consumption Ties In

Both the green movement and the DIY movement consist of creative people who look for unique solutions to problems others can’t see through. Energy savers — those who engineer solar hot water heaters for use in sunny climates, to those who spin and dye their own alpaca wool — use what they have for a bigger, practical, upcycled purpose.

While some may call the two groups subcultures, hold-outs from the 1970s who haven’t quite recovered from Woodstock, that’s rapidly changing. People are discovering a conservation-focused way of life is not a passing fad. Using resources wisely dates back to Biblical times, when women dyed clothing with indigo and pulp from the dogwood tree. Yasmin Chopin Interior Design named indigo as the decorating “color of 2013,” calling it a visual answer to hectic and chaotic lifestyles.

When it comes to conserving energy in your own home, there are many DIY methods to helping the earth while saving money. Deregulation of energy providers, as seen on electriccompanies.com, gives DIY-ers more choice when it comes to services. Do-it-yourself energy audits, in which homeowners can look for cords to unplug, air leaks to fix, and insulation to improve, can create satisfying, Earth-friendly home projects. You can even install your own solar panels, which will create lifelong energy savings. Just like most any object could be repurposed for a craft or new product, that same approach to energy savings is vital because of the unstability of nonrenewable resources.

Photo by OregonDOT via Flickr

About Andy Giardo

Andy writes about amateur woodworking, welding and other DIY projects.

01st Oct2013

Repurposing to Reuse

by Dinah Wulf

Repurposing to Reuse is written by Guest Author, Keith Hamilton

We’ve started recycling all paper, plastic, cans and glass, but what about other things that may be broken or out of style? Most garbage stays in a landfill for about 30 years. Also, there is no current study, but in 1975 the National Academy of Scientists estimated 14 billion pounds of trash are dumped into the ocean every year. We should be recycling, repurposing or reusing as much as we possibly can.

In 1995, over 200 of the world’s landfills were full. Can you imagine what it will be like when our children and grandchildren are grown? Each person throws away approximately four pounds of garbage every day. Where is it all going to go? Plastics and aluminum can take up to 500 years to break down, according to DoSomething.org. Organic materials, cotton, rags and paper take 6 months to completely break down. Why wouldn’t we try to reuse the things that are reusable?

When it comes to getting rid of large items, clothing or books, thrift stores are helpful resources. But what if we kept those things that we didn’t want, only to repurpose them? We’ve all browsed Pinterest and have seen wonderful craft ideas for things that we would normally throw away, but what if we actually turned those things into other usable items that we would otherwise have to purchase? You can search websites for unlimited repurpose ideas, or even start an eco-craft blog of your own. All you’d need is a wordpress site and a DSL.com connection. There are so many ways to keep from throwing away old things and buying new. At least 75 percent of waste can be recycled or repurposed, according to GreenWaste.com. Experiment with your old stuff before throwing it away.

One great idea that I love the most is using an old door or window and turning them into something else that is shabby chic and completely adorable, found on designbykelli.com. You could lay a piece of custom cut glass over an old door and attach legs to make it into a cool coffee table. You could also have a mirror put into a cut-out on the door and create a full length mirror that is not only useful, but very cool, too. You could create a headboard or a bench with almost no effort at all. An old rustic window can be turned into a mirror, picture frames, or something artistic. Anyone can turn a door or an old window into any beautiful piece of art or décor.

Photo of a repurposed door to hold a guitar by Juhana Leinonen via Flickr

If you ever come across a yard sale or your grandma’s attic and find an old vintage suitcase, grab it! You can do some really interesting and unusual things with old suitcases. If the outside is sturdy, you can attack legs and create a foot stool if it’s rounded or a side table if it’s flat. Another cool thing to make with an old suitcase is a medicine cabinet. You would have to cut into your wall in order to fit the case in, and then add small shelves once the cabinet is up. Attach a pretty mirror to the outside and you’ll have a unique addition to your bathroom. If the shape is difficult to work with and you aren’t able to create furniture with your old suitcase, clean out the inside and attach an accordion file folder to store your personal papers and other keepsakes.

Photo of an upcycled suitcase by Stacie Stacie Stacie via Flickr

Old books can be turned into small individual bookshelves by adding a bracket to the back cover and attaching it to the wall. These cute “book shelves” are a great place to put knick knacks or small picture frames. You can put up a few, or make a wall full of these individualized shelves.

Photo of a bookshelf by 2Tales via Flickr

If you have old vintage tennis rackets, take the strings out and replace the head with a mirror or glass for a picture frame then hang it on your wall, which can be found by typing in Tennis Racket Mirror on CountryLiving.com.

A vintage bicycle, suggests pixadus, can be made into a small table by attaching a piece of wood to the handle bars and the level seat. Place it on your front porch or garden and make planters out of the basket, the seat, the fenders and the handle bars. Then add your own favorite flowers to create a sweet and fun conversation piece.

Photo of a vintage bike in a garden by gamppart via Flickr

About Keith Hamilton

Keith is a blogger who enjoys writing about home improvement and DIY projects.

23rd Aug2013

Tackling the Garage

by Dinah Wulf

Tackling the Garage was written by guest author Jen Small and sponsored by California Closets.

  garage-storage-solutions (1)

After years of begging my husband to clean out our garage, I finally got sick and tired of hearing those famous words, “I’ll get to it, sweetie.”  I decided it was time for me to take things into my own hands.  Even after all these years living in the suburbs I still never understood why everybody parked their expensive cars in the driveway and kept their junk in the garage.  It was something I never understood.

On one hand, I knew there were some invaluable items that we just couldn’t do away with inside the garage.  On the other hand, I knew very well that by the time I was finished in there I’d be making half our mortgage on the money I would make from the garage sale I planned to throw.  So in I went…

Two days, a scrape on my knee and lots of sneezes later I finally finished and had cleared out more than half of our junk to sell at the yard sale.  And, just as I expected, it was a great success!  The key: if you haven’t used it once in the past year, you probably will not need it again. 

The next step of course was finding garage storage solutions that would work for the remaining items in our garage such as our bicycles, sports equipment, memorabilia and other spare items we had.  I heard that there are simple ways of storing items in your garage, similar to the way that people use closet design to organize their wardrobes.

At the end of the day we were able to store all of those bulky items and more in creative ways, on the walls and in overhead storage bins.  You’re not going to believe this… but even our cars have a spot in our new garage!

 

Thank you to California Closets for sponsoring this article. Monetary compensation was provided in the publication of this post.

 

20th Aug2013

Planning an Autumn Party for Your Little Pumpkin

by Dinah Wulf

Planning an Autumn Party for Your Little Pumpkin, Written By Heather Martin

If you’ve got a little one on the way, then baby shower party planning is also on the horizon. As leaves change colors and breezes turn brisk, why not theme your autumn party to complement the season? Replace bright floral invitations with invites featuring owls and ditch the strawberry lemonade for apple cider punch. Host an autumn-themed baby shower for that special little pumpkin and mom-to-be with the following ideas.

Pumpkin Contest

Since “your little pumpkin” is the theme of the baby shower, host a pumpkin carving and decorating contest. Fill a large wheelbarrow full of mini pumpkins for each guest. Provide each table with supplies, including newspapers and pumpkin carving knives, Sharpie markers, puffy paint, glitter and glue. Also provide baby materials, such as pacifiers, ribbon, diapers and bibs. Guests can either carve their pumpkins into shapes like baby feet and hands, decorate the gourd into a baby or decoratively write a warm message, such as “Congratulations on your little one!”

Image by Flickr user Brett L.

Fruit & Gourd Table Centerpieces

For your fall-themed baby shower decorations, adorn each table with a festive centerpiece. Fill large glass vases of various sizes with plastic pears, apples, pomegranates and oranges. Fill another group of glass vases with a variety of gourds. Accent the vases with fake (or real if you can) berries and foliage. Place the fruit centerpieces on a couple tables and the gourd centerpieces on other tables. For additional fall flair, disperse artificial colorful autumn leaves throughout the tables’ surfaces.

Image by David Boyle via Flickr

Autumn Sweets & Treats

Sweeten your party with homemade maple cupcakes and caramel apple bites. Friends’ and families’ mouths will water as they sink their teeth into Country Living’s maple cupcakes made with tasty ingredients such as ginger, brown sugar, walnuts (or pecans), and of course, maple syrup. Top cupcakes with homemade light and fluffy maple-butter frosting. As an extra touch, Country Living suggests creating a dimple in the center of each cupcake to fill with maple syrup.

Burwell General Store’s Amaretto-spiked caramel apple bites will also impress guests. An indulgent bite full of tangy sweetness, these caramel apple desserts are green apple squares deliciously topped with soft and buttery caramel and laced with a hint of Amaretto liqueur. Once you’ve made a pan of caramel in a thin layer, cut apples into cubes, top with a square of caramel and insert a toothpick. Display cupcakes and caramel apple bites on a three-tired cake plate and “sprinkle” candy corns throughout each tier as edible decor.

Image by Flickr user solyanka

Dessert Favors

As party favors, bag pumpkin Rice Krispies treats and frosted pumpkin sugar cookies. Tie each favor with fall-colored ribbon. You can place a favor in an every other-style pattern by each plate on tables or fill two baskets for each favor to set on a display table. To make the Rice Krispies treats, add red and yellow food coloring to give the melted marshmallow mixture its orange color, and then stir in Rice Krispies. Separate the mixture into small pieces, wrap with wax paper and shape into round balls. After they cool for 30 minutes, put in a tootsie roll to create a stem and insert a Popsicle stick. Draw a jack-o’-lantern face with black decorating gel, and use green decorating gel to create pumpkin foliage. Not only are these favors tasty treats for guests to enjoy at home, the favors are festive decorations for the baby shower as well.

Image by Veganbaking.net via Wikimedia Commons

About Heather Martin

Heather is a wife and mom from the South who just sent her oldest daughter off to college. She loves to blog about arts and crafts, DIY and green living.

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