Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Another fantastic pet bed

This time made from a reused table. This project is gorgeous!!! What a spoiled cat... it's so regal! Oliver looks totally worth it, though.

Reusing old bicycle tire rims in the garden

There's about a bazillion things you can do with old bicycle parts. Here's a project that reuses bicycle tire rims to create a trellis for creeping plants. Special thanks to a good friend, S.H. for the link.

So many uses for old bottles

Here's a cool slideshow from Treehugger. There's even a plastic bottle "greenhouse" on slide 8. There's a part of me that would love to have one of those!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

water balloon luminaries

I found this link via @SisterDiane on Twitter and I now know what I'm going to do with my left-over candle wax. I have a candle warmer and after I've extracted the wick and all the yummy smell from them, I wasn't sure what to do with them. I was thinking about freecycling them to a candle crafter, but this looks like a lot of fun and relatively simple to do. Now, I just need to add a few old pots to my thrift store list and get some water balloons! Yay! New project!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Reuse contest-win this travel mug!

When I first had the concept for this blog, what I always envisioned was to find creative reuses for things that I (or others) were currently throwing away. Because I'm not above bribery, I've decided to reward your awesome ideas with a prize! So, here's the first in what I hope to be a series of contests to come up with the most creative reuse for an otherwise trash item. As you probably already know, we have two dogs. These dogs are very spoiled and get all kinds of yummy treats. The treats most often come in sealable plastic bags. (Pictured is about 1/4 of the bags I've collected.) Your task is to come up with a creative reuse for these bags. Could be utilitarian, could be art-it's completely up to you.

When you have your reuse, add it as a comment to this blog post. You can enter as many times as you like (as many reuses as you can think of.) Please post only one reuse per comment. Make sure you include some way of me contacting you at the end of the contest. The contest will end on Sunday, May 31st at 12 noon PST.

What are you going to win? I'm so glad you asked. It is this wonderful insulated travel mug which can be used again and again and is made from recycled plastic. Read more about and see much better photos of this mug here.

Thanks for playing and good luck!

P.S. In the interests of waste reduction, I did contact the company that we buy some of our treats from to try to buy them in bulk. I was told they don't package them that way, but I might try again. If anyone knows of any way to buy any of the pictured treats in bulk/with less packaging, please let me know. I would certainly like to eliminate this waste at the source! I would accept this information as a contest entry, since reducing waste is even better than reusing!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Reused suitcase as dog bed

Recently, while looking for reuse projects to feature, I ran across this. I thought I might be able to make it myself. Shortly after that, at an estate sale, I found a suitcase for $1. It seemed like I was fated to attempt the dog bed.

The first step was to open up the suitcase and take out all the guts. Who knows what this suitcase was used for, but there were some very odd items inside. Included was foam with voids cut out. Two of them were obviously bottles of some type and then there were some others that I really have no idea their purpose. Anyway, I took out the foam and on the other side of the suitcase was some faux sheep skin fabric and under that was foam pieces and a fleece pillowcase. I ended up using the pillowcase and foam pieces in the project.

Once I pulled everything out, I spent the next few frustrating hours trying to take it apart. Samsonite really made this thing to last. You can see in the photo all the different tools I used. The next step was to add the legs. I drilled holes, slightly smaller than the furniture screws. I added foam blocks to keep the dogs from getting poked. Finally, I made a no-sew cushion and added it on top. In addition to the fleece from the pillowcase and the foam pieces, I also reused stuffing from carnival animals that I purchased the last time I made a no-sew dog bed. (You can see the first one I made in the background of some of the photos.) If you're looking for cheap poly-fill, carnival animals from thrift stores are a great way to go. You just have to cut them open, pull out the stuffing and then fluff it up a bit before using it again.
I was a tiny bit worried that after all that work, the dogs wouldn't like it. I had Wash jump up on top so I could take a few pictures and he seemed pretty comfy. Later, as I was cleaning up, I turned around and he had got up on the bed by himself. I'm glad the dogs like it, because if they hadn't, that would have been really frustrating to put in all that work.

For more photos of the process and the final project, click here.

One final note: this project was harder than I expected. If you want one for your pets, but don't want to spend the hours making it, feel free to buy it from the Etsy merchant in the first link. I'm sure they'd love your business and it's really worth the amount they're asking for it.

Friday, May 8, 2009

planters galore!

Here's a bunch of different types of planters. Hopefully, using stuff you already have sitting around.

Self-watering plastic bottle planter
Building your own Earth Box
Why spend $20 for the Topsy Turvy, when you can make your own at home for much less! Inverted planter
Or, if you don't like that one, here's another

reusing paper bags for packaging

For instructions on how to do it, click here. My mom always used paper bags for wrapping packages, but I've never seen an envelope made out of them. I need to start learning how to use a sewing machine. Doing "no-sew" projects only takes you so far.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

ReStore and CREAM Grand Opening

Earlier this morning, I was at the Grand Opening of the Habitat For Humanity's ReStore and CREAM. They've been open for business for a few months now, but today was the big shindig. I didn't stay for long, but I did snap these pictures there this morning. If you have a project that you need materials for, please consider shopping the ReStore (or a similar store) first. If you don't currently have a project, that's ok. I've collected some to inspire!

How to decorate with windows. (ReStore has lots!)
Give your house more curb appeal by changing out the door.
Finally, I don't think ReStore has any of these right now, but you'd be surprised what they do have that could be changed up a little bit or completely altered to be reused and given second life.

Also, if you need some electronic equipment, the shelves of CREAM are the best place to start. Perhaps they'll have what you need, perhaps they won't. But, if they do, you'll be very happy you made the stop!

Instructables Earth Day round-up

Not Round Up like the nasty chemical. No, this is an awesome collection of Earth-Day inspired links via Instructables. Sweet!

Jewelry frame

I'm totally going to make me some of these. I added "frames" to my thrift store list.

bottle chandelier

I'm not sure I'll be trying this one any time soon, but I think it could look really cool in the right situation. Via Ready Made here's a bottle chandelier.
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