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
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
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:
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!
I’m always peeking at the recycled-and-upcycled offerings over on Etsy – and today I found this great looking pendant light.
It’s made from a colander! And a lot of careful craftsmanship.
Look at all the positives: it’s recycled (a colander!). This could have gone in a landfill – and it shouldn’t have – and it didn’t. It’s handmade, which is always a good thing. (There’s enough big box stuff out there already). It uses the new energy-efficient CFL bulbs. It’s unique. It’s affordable – a pendant lamp for your place and even with the shipping, it’s only $55? Oh yeah, this is of the good.
And of course the most important thing – it LOOKS GOOD.
It’s available from SpokenStitch on Etsy – go over there and take a look, they’ve got lots of goodies, both recycled and handmade. Totally worth checking it out!
Think how great this would look in a loft space. Or a farmhouse kitchen. Or over your dining room table. (Or mine!)
You get the idea I like this lamp? I really really do
Now this is very cool. Take an old phone book (yeah, we’ve all got them, and who uses phone books anymore?) – and turn it into a useful, funky, and attractive pencil cup holder for your desk.
I found this nifty idea over at Chico and Jo’s Blog and they have pages and pages of terrific do-it-yourself ideas.
Of course they also show you how to do it, and as you can see, you can use the phone book “au natural” or choose your own colors. And you’ll probably think of other variations to make it your very own.
So – a useful and decorative way to get a little more organized, and if you’re like me, you can really use THAT.
And it’s fun, and it’s recycled, and it’s practically free. Too cool!
It’s springtime. I’m in the mood for color and look what I found
It’s from Bahee, on Etsy and she has a shop full of goodness for you to explore. Happy and colorful goodies. And recycled!
Here’s a pic of the brooch modeled on a garment, so you can see how it would really look:
Also did I mention recycled? I did? It’s worth repeating. Recycled – and adorable Go peek!
You can’t get more “fashion forward” than upcycled, newly created one of a kind garments that are made from recycled clothing
It’s the best of both (all) worlds – unique styles, handmade quality construction, AND eco-chic! Take a look at these wonderful items from Broken Ghost Couture on Etsy.
That top is so much fun! I love the colors, you know it’ll look great with leggings or skinny jeans, and the black lace adds a cool edginess.
This is such a darling dress! The colors are so happy, and it would be warm with those long sleeves, and those buttons and gathers on the skirt are adorable. Think how much your little girl would love wearing it!
The seller (creator!) on Etsy has lots of other goodies – one of a kind, original, unusual garments. You should definitely check out her shop!
PS By the way. Some people think that creating garments from recycled clothing is easier than starting from scratch with new fabric. I have to tell you, I do some sewing myself, and the truth is, it’s much more work to recycle/reconstruct, than to just cut out fabric and sew. You have to pick and choose carefully what you can use from the cast-off clothing, often you have to de-construct, and your ‘eye’ for construction must be more finely honed. It’s a demanding skill!
I just found the most fun, cool, unique, eco-friendly, fun, and hey, even useful giftie over on Etsy!
It’s a book, it’s recycled, it’s (ta da) a Book Safe – how cool is this!
It’s handmade and available at Conduit Press at Etsy. Here’s how it looks, closed:
She has lots more choices – different books, different shapes inside – but in the text for this one, she even mentions Ayn Rand, whose work I totally loved when I was, er, a lot younger…. and this one has a FLASK included! I mean come on, you can see why I had to pick this one
She also has some yummy handmade journals, notebooks and cards – you’ve got to go peek.
But the book safe? I mean, you can hide all kinds of goodies in there. Anonymously. Even, dare I say, safely
And it’s a recycled book. And it’s paper. And it’s just fun
I found another great example of wallpaper-as-art and wanted to share it, especially because there’s an extra bit of food-for-thought here. First, here’s the inspiration photo:
Wallpaper as Art – Inspiration from Style-Files.com
Now there’s a point to all this. First off, this is (part of) a great-looking room (and Style Files is full of inspiration, truly, go look around!) But even more – here’s the bear-with-me idea.
I happen to think this is a great looking vignette. I also think that the wallpaper they’ve used in this pic is totally unremarkable – in and of itself. It’s okay. It’s not fabulous. But the way they’ve used it, as a strong graphic statement, framed AS ART, really does look terrific.
Okay, that’s Idea Number One. It doesn’t have to be priceless art. It has to say something to you, or be a color you love, or whatever. Treat it as art, be bold with it – and it IS art.
Which leads me to my second point. I took the photo from Style Files and fiddled with it – excuse me ladies, it was just to try something out. What I did, was grab what I consider a totally inappropriate graphic from my own files (inappropriate meaning, it ain’t “art”, it’s just a graphic). This particular graphic is of a pair of earrings on my site – and yes, I do think the earrings are terrific (you can find them here). But as wall art? No, I wouldn’t choose this graphic.
But in my doctored-up-photo, I took the earrings image. I copied it a bunch of times – just like you could do if you took any image you liked and made 20 copies at your local copy shop. Then group the images together on the wall (put pasteboard or something behind them if you don’t want to paste directly on the wall) and presto: you’ve got strong wall art.
See what I mean? This isn’t priceless art. But because it is a strong image, and the repetitive idea makes it even more graphically interesting, and because it’s framed on the wall like “real art” – it works. It looks good. It makes a statement.
It costs practically nothing if you use images from magazine pages. Or maps. Or wallpaper samples. Whatever. Use *recycled* images, that’s even better.
Try it. It works.
It’s amazing the things you can find on the web when you start looking around. I found a beautiful armoire, see the pics, which was made from two bookcases – and it’s entirely do-able!
She found two matching bookcases on Freecycle! so these are even being recycled and reused – and they were free! The bookcases are hinged together with piano hinges, clear plexi is added to some of the shelves to keep things in place, and the drop-down desk is hinged too.
And look how much organization and storage she’s got inside!
So useful but equally as important, stylish and decorative. You could use any sort of paper to decorate the outside – make it shoji style, add a mirror, you name it.
Talk about inspiration! You can check out more directions on Ayoska’s Blog. Lots of green ideas there too