Tip of the Day

I don’t know if I even have a “tip of the day” section but if I don’t, I ought to. I recently found this one over at Apartment Therapy which you know is one of my favorite sites, anyway. And this! so useful.

If you use dryer sheets – well, I’ve said it before – really, don’t. Now I have an alternative to suggest:

crumpled aluminum foil dryer sheet

Voila! I tried it and it works. Crumple a piece of aluminum foil, toss it in the dryer. Instant de-staticer. And you can reuse it for months. MUCH better than buying a new chemical-impregnated sheet for every load of wash.

I still don’t use them very often. But when I do – hey, this works!

DIY Storage and gift wrap – reuse and recycle!

You’re going to recognize this the moment you see the pic: yes, I have found yet another use for Pringles Cans. They’ve got to be one of the most loved packages to recycle. I’m sure that’s why people buy Pringles. Yeah.

But cool DIY storage? Totally. Or, as demonstrated in this pic, gift packaging!

recycle and reuse Pringles can for gift wrap cookie package

In this example, the can is a terrific container for a gift of cookies! Take them to your overnight sleepover (even if your mom made the cookies), or take them TO your mom! or anytime you want to do a little something special for someone. Cookies are fun and you get to sample the product as you create them :-)

I had this pic saved to my hard drive and didn’t save the link – so please, original poster, if this is your idea send me a note – I totally want to give you credit!

Because cookies + recycling + plus a cute container you can reuse (again) – this is all of the good!

P.S. By the way – if you’re a jewelry maker who does craft shows – Pringles cans also make terrific bracelet displays. Just sayin’ :-)

DIY Paper Flowers – easy, pretty, and recycled!

Recycle – reuse – rethink. That’s what we want to remember. And when I saw these adorable paper flowers, that combined all those ideas – and they’re easy, and fun, and cute? I figure this is an Academy Award worthy great idea!

recycled paper flowers DIY how to from Billie Monster blog

I found these wonderfulicious flowers on the Billie Monster blog which is full of wonderful how-to ideas (including jewelry, you’ll love it!) For the flowers, Billie even included a template and how-to instructions – though I have to say, with her wonderful pics you almost don’t need the instructions – you can adapt the idea to any recycled paper.

These flowers? Just think how you could customize these for your house. Make a bouquet scattered on the focal wall above your couch, or in a nook above the baby’s crib. Or in the bathroom. Or, well, anywhere you want a pretty accent that can be in exactly the colors and dimension you want.

This is the best of DIY, and pretty cool recycling too. Think about it: Recycle the paper. Reuse the pages. Rethink how they’re used. And create a really cool decoration for your house at the same time.


Easy DIY – Paper Petal Wall Art – Gorgeous!

I honestly thought I had already written about this one, it’s so wonderful and memorable and EASY and you can tailor it exactly for wherever you need Wall Art in your home. But I can’t find where I wrote it, so it’s another one of those I *thought* it but somehow it didn’t magically get into the computer. Hmm.

However, it’s so wonderful I don’t even care if I repeat it! I found it on Pinterest – such a terrific DIY resource ;-)

DIY Wall Art - customizable wall art

All you need is something to use for a backing – foam core, posterboard, you name it – and some petal-shaped paper cutouts. Recycled paper would be best, of course. Play with the arrangement, try out ideas, and create a wonderful montage that’s just the size, shape, and color range that you need in your room.

It’s Do It Yourself, it’s pretty, it’s cheap-or-free, and you can DO it. This is a win!

P.S. Yes you could use fabrics instead of paper – recycled fabrics would be lovely. Hint: if you decide to create with fabrics, use pinking shears to cut out your petals – it’ll save you having to finish the edges, or watch them ravel away on you.

Or just glue them to your backing so completely that they can’t possibly ravel…!

Recycling, DIY, and Wall Art all in one

I saw this recently over on Pinterest . It’s one of those “Why on earth didn’t I think of that” ideas. Brilliant, useful, fun, inexpensive or cheap. I mean – really Brilliant!

Magazines on Wire Hangers - DIY wall art and storage

Now tell the truth, once you saw it, didn’t you smack yourself upside the head (mentally anyway) and say, Well YEAH, I could do that! Personally I’d use a lot more hangers, spaced closer together, so there really would be a library of magazines – and colors – and the wall would truly be a collage. But these are just details.

The idea’s originally from Unconsumption.tumbler where there are so many good and fun and useful and original ideas on how to use less, reuse what you’ve got, and, well, UNconsume – that you will find endless inspiration there. It’s a fabulous resource.

Of which this DIY wall art / storage is just one super idea. Super-quick to achieve. Low or zero cost – what, you haven’t got some old wire hangers around? Of course you do. Colorful as you want – and changeable, as often as you want.


DIY Drawer Organizer

I am determined to bring some order around here. I am. One way or another. Anyway, while I was thinking about it (instead of doing it) I started looking for ideas for drawer organizers. I’ve seen some great ones at the Container Store, etc., but I hate to spend money when I can do it myself. I just needed to focus.

And then I found a fabulous tutorial:

DIY Drawer Organizer
DIY Drawer Organizer

Aren’t they great? The wonderful tutorial is from The Stonybrookhouse Blog and she has terrific step-by-step instructions.

And a ton of other useful posts, too. Um… you might want to check out the pumpkin brownies. Just sayin :-)

Tutorial – Make Gift Bags – DIY

This is such a useful tutorial! I found it over at How About Orange Blogfrom Jessica Jones. She’s got tons of useful ideas over there. With her super clear pics and instructions, she teaches us how to make gift bags – from newspaper!

Tutorial - gift bag from newspaper - DIY
Gift Bag from Newspaper – Tutorial

And of course one of the nice things is that you can use any paper (no, it doesn’t matter if there are folds or creases). Talk about saving money – and giving a gift where even the wrapping is special!

and did I say “saving money”? Hallmark will have to manage without our $$, thank you very much.

Green Paper Earrings – the Kanji says Eternal

It occurred to me as I was writing the title of this post that “green paper earrings” has more than one meaning.

The color is green, that’s the most obvious of course. But the materials are also green – as in eco friendly and non damaging to the planet. Also very sustainable. I use recycled paper for the inner layers of Paper Jewels – as well as for the padding inside my bubble wrap mailing envelopes. And I use post-consumer white recycled paper even for the ‘face’ of the earrings – it costs a bit more but of course it’s worth it.

Here’s my new design:

Japanese Kanji Ei or Eternal Green Paper Earrings

The Japanese kanji says “Ei”, or “Eternal”. And of course they can be made in other colors – her favorite, for instance!

Decorative Paper Bowl – DIY Inspiration Project

This is a super easy do-it-yourself project – and an inspiration for more ideas, too. I found this over on Pinterest. And if you think I am totally in love with Pinterest, you are right! I’ve linked to Liina O’s “Homemade” page and she has found tons of good ideas, go peek!

As shown here, this is a fun, decorative bowl:

DIY project Decorative Paper Bowl from magazine pages

This cute bowl would be a great accent in the family room, and a fun project to do with the kids. But, I do have to add, it could be a little time-consuming. Rolling up the magazine pages (gluing them maybe?), then cutting them – that could take a bit of patience.

So what I’m proposing is adopting the idea. Blow a balloon up to a nice chubby round shape. Use thinned glue or wallpaper paste, to apply torn strips of magazine pages, old brown paper bags, or newspaper pages, onto the surface. Keep layering them. (Note: the wallpaper paste could be flour-and-water, super cheap and non toxic).

Keep layering the torn strips. When the surface looks good to you, and there are enough strips of paper on there to be fairly sturdy, I’d apply polyurethane to make it waterproof. Add a couple layers.

Then bust the balloon. Voila! A strong-ish container that could be a vase (if you’ve waterproofed the inside, too) – or a toy holder (make the opening at the top really big, for that one) – or a place for the kids to keep all their pens and markers (make that one small) – and, well, you get the idea.

The colors that work in your house, a shape you like, a project that you and the kids can do together – and a way for them to see that THEY can make things that work. Love it!

DIY – Do It Yourself Gift Wrap Ideas

So today I’m talking paper again – and a couple home-made gift wrap ideas I think will offer you some inspiration.

do it yourself gift wrap ideas - number one
Do It yourself Gift Wrap Idea Number One

I love this one! You could use a store-bought doily, and that would be lovely over kraft paper, or fabric, or a plain box. Or instead of a doily, cut out a snowflake like you used to do when you were a kid (basically fold a piece of paper over and over and then cut out various shapes, and then unfold). Use a piece of colored or patterned paper and you’ll have wonderful homemade ‘lace’ like this one. It looks wonderful, and it doesn’t cost much (or anything, if you use old magazine pages or whatever you have around the house) – and it’s fun and individual.


do it yourself gift wrap ideas - second version
Do It yourself Gift Wrap Idea Second Version

Now that is fun! Take any gift box, or a cereal box turned inside out, or a recycled box rescued from your local UPS store or printer. Find some markers or sharpies or paint brushes in your craft cupboard – and draw some pictures! If you have to paint or draw over some printing already on the box, so what? That could make it even more fun. If you’re not a great artist – so what? Draw circles or stars or just add scribbles with lots of colors. Ask your kids to draw their favorite pictures. (Okay, maybe put newspapers down on the kitchen table first.)

I’m sorry, Hallmark Corporation or whatever company it is these days that manufactures wrapping paper – but these are much better. They’re ecologically smart, they don’t cost much – and who has bunches of extra cash these days? – and even more important, they’re made with love and they’re PERSONAL.

Isn’t that what gift-giving is supposed to be about?

P.S. Oh! I must give credit where it’s due. I found both of these wrapping ideas – and more yummy ones to explore – over at Going Home to Roost, a wonderful blog full of do it yourself ideas, and recipes, and gentleness and healthy ideas and, well, it’s a lovely blog you ought to read.