Archives For diy

On making greener choices

Lise —  July 3, 2017 — 4 Comments

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I have talked about my wish to reduce my carbon footprint on this world before, and showing the no-sew tote method I use to recycle old clothing, and I’m always looking for new and better ways to live. Here are a few things I have picked up and learned over the years of trying to live better.

  • Always wait until the dishwasher is full before running a cycle. You use less water on running a full machine than you would have done if you washed it all by hand in the sink. I thought it would have been the other way around but dishwashers have been made to be very efficient nowadays.
  • Use colder temperatures when washing your clothes. This tip can save a lot of energy, and I have not noticed any difference in the cleanliness of my clothes either. The same tip goes for this too, always wait until you have a full machine to avoid having to do two or more unnecessary loads in a few days.
  • Always consider buying secondhand first. Sometimes secondhand items can appear as brand new, and you do good by reusing it instead of buying something new. Upcycling is also something that people tend to do nowadays, purchasing used furniture and making it into something new.
  • Try to repair something instead of tossing it out. Sometimes things can be easily fixed, and in those cases it would be wasteful to throw the item out and buy a new one. If your furniture has gotten a scratch, try to fix it! If something snaps in half, glue or nail it back together and cover the blemish up.
  • Always turn things off completely. Leaving things in standby mode or sleep mode can waste unnecessary energy, and it can make batteries deteriorate faster. I learned to always turn my laptop off instead of just closing it and let it sleep and it extended its life span by many years.
  • Grow your own herbs. Sometimes growing a herb can be fun and less expensive than having to purchase it from the store. If you need a dried version of a herb, dry it yourself! I try to keep my counter stocked with different herbs at all times. The same goes for veggies! There is a lot you could grow yourself that would require minimal effort, try to for example keep a tomato plant on your balcony or porch.
  • Steer clear of store bought cleaning supplies. A lot of the time, all you need to clean something is hot water and some soap. The hundreds of different sprays and cleaners are unnecessary, and most don’t even differ from each other even if the bottles and sprays claim that they do all sorts of things. I usually use warm water and vinegar to clean and I haven’t had any issues with it at all. There are also a whole lot of detergent/cleaning DIY projects that you could try out.
  • Try to avoid plastic bags. If possible, use cloth based alternatives. For the general, you could use a cloth bag to carry it out to the bin, then wash the bag if neeedd before reusing it. For paper waste you could do the same, just use it to carry it out to the recycling bin, washing it is rarely needed since paper doesn’t really emit any odors or have any kind of possible moisture. It is not recommended for food waste though, then you should use biodegradable bags. These are often given out by the garbage workers.
  • Try to make your own skin care/make up. There are a lot of things you can make yourself, like for example body scrubs, lip scrubs, lip balms, deep conditioners for your hair and so on. Doing it yourself could save you a lot of money.

So these are a few of the things I can remember from the top of my head! Do you have anything you do to reduce your carbon footprint? Feel free to share in the comments below.

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A Really Easy No-Sew Tote

Lise —  May 26, 2017 — 1 Comment

There has been many times in my life where I have needed a bag to transport something in but I haven’t had any available. I have also had a surplus of tank tops that I stopped using so converting them into a temporary tote bag has been a good solution to both cutting down on using plastic bags and on throwing away fabric that I can reuse.

So basically, all you will need is a tank top (preferably one with a dense or stretchy kind of fabric that will not fray) and a pair of scissors, or anything else you can cut fabric with. If you want different handles or want to secure the edges you can sew around it, but that will cancel out the whole point of it being “no-sew”.

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I had a long tank top that had a bit too small arm holes for me to be comfortable with using it so I decided to re-purpose it to show how I have done this. Usually I prefer a bit shorter tops because this length kinda makes it feel a bit awkward to use but it still works. Basically, you decide the length of it by cutting even slits into the bottom of the top.

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Once that is done you have to decide on if you want the frills to be on the inside or outside. I prefer on the inside because it just isn’t my style to have them on the outside, but you can do it however you want! If you want them on the inside like I do, make sure to turn the top inside out before tying two and two pieces together, from opposing sides. Make sure to use double knots all the way to ensure that none of the knots will accidentally open when you have stuff in the tote.

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After you have tied all the way across the bottom, hold onto each side and stretch the fabric a bit to see how big openings will appear in between the knots. If they are too big then you can always untie a few and re-tie them to ensure that nothing can fall through them. Once you’re happy with how secure it feels, turn it right side out again so that the frills are on the inside. The bottom has a fancy knotted pattern now and I think it looks pretty okay.

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To make it feel more like a tote I cut the neckline deeper because the back part of the tank top was further up than the front and it didn’t really feel like it had handles to hold at all. If you want, you can use the fabric you cut off to add some more fabric to the handles, making them feel more sturdy.

So that was it! The no-sew method has been used for a lot of things over the years and it’s really handy when you are in a situation where you have no other options or tools to help you out. I like using this method to make smaller totes to use for buying fruits and veggies at the grocery store too so I can avoid using plastic bags. Have you made anything with the no-sew method before? 

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Re-painting a dresser.

Lise —  May 25, 2017 — 14 Comments

Sometime last year I decided to re-paint my dresser, which was just a dull wooden dresser with nothing particularly interesting about it. I settled on going for black and a bronze-y gold kind of metallic paint but the end result was so incredibly streaky and not what I had in mind at all. However, procrastination won and I never got around to try to fix that problem at all, even if I see it every day.

I have re-painted the bottom drawer now and as you can see, it already looks a whole lot better and a whole lot more opaque. I just hope my motivation sticks with me to finish the other three because it’s not even a difficult task. The downside about using a metallic paint like this is that it isn’t really safe to touch or anything until after a whole 24 hours, and I can’t have my floor full of drawers for that long! This might not apply to every single metallic paint that is out there, but this was the only brand that the hardware store carried and I was not really wanting to drive for hours to the next city just to try to find a different brand.

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When I was still in college I was studying interior design and things like this was my favorite thing in the world, so it is weird how our interests change over the years. I wish I still had a passion for it because I love DIY projects and I love upcycling and reusing older furniture. I have taken upon myself to convert old t-shirts into fabric totes that I can use for groceries and fruits and all that when I’m at the store so that I can try to cut down on plastic waste. Maybe I’ll make a post about it when they’re done, showing the process and all that!

I have been trying to be more kind to the environment in general lately, so I’m always looking into more ways to choose more environmentally safe alternatives. — Anyways, this post was about painting, not about being natures super hero!

Have you done any up-cycling or DIY projects lately? I’m excited to hear about it. 

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