Showing posts with label recycle. Show all posts

Trash to Treasure

They always say “One mans junk is another mans treasure”. I can prove it and it’s not the first time. 

We set out to take our normal afternoon walk. The next street over was a house that had just sold and they were gradually throwing trash to the side of the road on Sunday evenings. The trash truck would pick up on Mondays. This day as we walked past, I saw an old vintage step stool waiting for the big truck to come along and scoop it up. I pointed it out to Nick and said “I like that old stool. I could fix that up”. He just sort of shrugged his shoulders and had a look on his face that suggested I didn’t need any junk at that house. We kept walking and I didn't think much more about it. 

Before we turned down our road to finish our 2 mile walk, he said “Do you really want that stool? If you do, we can walk back over there and get it.”
Of course I said yes and we headed that way. I was hoping it was still there and it was. 


As I was carrying it back home, I was telling Nick all the ideas I had for it. I figured if I look at it a while and decide I didn’t want it, I would just throw it back to the curb or see if my neighbor wanted it for her little antique booth. 

I decided to keep it and use it as a plant stand on my patio. It looked in pretty bad shape and I was losing any hope that it would look good enough to ever bring into the house. I took my chances anyway and we headed to the hardware store. I needed some sand paper, paint and new leg tips. I also went to the dollar store and picked up a cheap thin rug to use for a step cover. 

2 hours and 10 dollars later, It did not look like the same stool. My idea worked. 


The rust was only surface rust and I was amazed at how well it painted. It took less than a can of spray paint and only one coat. 
I still plan to use it as a plant stand on my patio but I have it inside for now while I admire how cool it is.  

Reusable Produce Bags

Who else struggles with those thin plastic produce bags? They are a pain to open. I have never been one to lick my fingers to open a plastic bag or even flip through papers. This is something I think is nasty so I do not usually do it. I just keep rubbing the bag between my fingers until it breaks loose. A lot of people do find it easier to open the bags by licking their fingers. With the mask mandate, this has become a struggle for many.
Advice: Just rub your fingers on a wet fruit or veggie instead.

Or you can just order a set of these cute little Lotus produce bags which are washable and reusable. These bags are made of 100% organic cotton. They are cute sitting on your counter and keeps your fruits and veggies fresh. 

Just put a few in your purse and your ready to hit the market.
I really have enjoyed mine and think they are absolutely adorable filled with fresh fruit or veggies. 

Do you reuse or recycle? I am not in a big habit of doing either. I probably waste more than I need too. I am not a huge advocate of keeping America Green but I like the way some of the reusable items look. I do not look at is as less waste but as saving money when I can just wash things and reuse them again. I have seen reusable sandwich bags. I am not real sure about those yet. I’m thinking they would be hard to wash out. 
If you own any of the reusable sandwich bags, I would love to know your thoughts.

You can purchase these organic, reusable, cotton produce bags from Lotus products 

DIY Wallflower Bud Vases

We are finally getting some Spring like weather here in North Carolina. The afternoons are now warm despite the chilly mornings. Getting myself to go out and walk in the mornings have been brutal for me. I’d rather do my walks in the afternoon when its warmer. Now I can as the days are beginning to stay daylight longer.

When I go outside now, I enjoy seeing all the new growth on the trees and the flowers blooming. I am already seeing bees looking for pollen and birds fighting for a mate. I love Spring time.

Speaking of flowers, I found a perfect idea for little bud vases. 

We are always buying air fresheners for our Wallflower plugins by Bath & Body works. I had a few of the empty glass fragrance bottles hanging around in the cabinet so I could remember the fragrances I liked best.
While cleaning out the old bottles the other day, I decided to turn a few of them into tiny bud vases. I am all about recycling things when I have a chance.

With a pair of needle nose pliers, I gently removed the plugged openings and gave them a good wash and rinse. Then I put in some fresh water and a cut flower. So far the flowers have stayed bloomed all week. These vases will give me something to put my little flowers in that I pick along my afternoon walks. Yes, I’m that person. 

These vases would be perfect used for a fine dinner or wedding reception. You can use them for place markers on the tables for guest.
They are also pretty simply sitting on a window seal. 

I plan to use mine in a decorative tray as I decorate for Spring.

What are some other ways you can use bud vases? 

Repurposed Home Keys

Do you have a drawer of keys? Or do you have key rings laying around full of keys that no longer belong anywhere? Well, I do.

Why is it that we keep keys? When we move away or our locks are changed, people tend to keep the keys. I even have old car keys from when I was a teenager. They are no longer any good. 
Or are they?

Nick and I got a little crafty last week when my daughter said she was looking for a small key hanger for her new little 400 sq ft studio apartment. She loves to throw her keys up on a hook when she comes in. She has always shared an apartment with her Kappa Delta sister but has now decided to try things on her own. Her apartment is adorable and we can’t wait to see how she decorates it. 

We looked around for some ideas to make her a key hanger. Hooks can be expensive, so we found a cool way to make some hooks using old keys. Nick carefully bent the keys into hooks. With a little cutting, sanding and painting, we created her the perfect key hanger. This key hanger will also have some sentimental value as each key is from a family home. 

There is a key from both her grandparents homes.
One key is from the first house she grew up in and our first home.
And one key is from our current home she continued to grow up in until she moved out on her own.
The wooden part of the key hanger is a piece of the molding from our house. 

Nick did the sanding and I did the painting and writing. 
We decided to give it a distressed look by sanding down and scuffing some areas. 

We had fun making this together and all it costed us was a dollar paint brush and a Sharpie. 
Now let’s hope the area where she wants to put it will be big enough in that tiny little uptown apartment. 

Do you have old keys laying around? I think one of these days people will no longer need keys as everything is touch or speech activated. 
Even cars nowadays are cranking up by themselves. 

Destroyed Jeans

I’m on a jean frenzy again or should I say “jean fingy”
Summer is coming so I really do not need a pair of jeans but yet I want a pair. Everywhere I go, all I see are the distressed, torn and ripped jeans. It's the style.
I get it. But I can not bring myself to buying a pair of jeans that look like someone wore them for ten years and decided to return them to the racks. 

Seriously, I really do like the style and are perfect for warm weather, but why are they so darn expensive? Here is a pair I found online since I didn't have my camera out in the store.

They typically range in price from $39.99 to $99.99 depending on which store you shop or how bad they are torn up. I think the more holey they are, the more they cost. 

So, I said the heck with that and dug an old pair of Old Navy jeans out of the closet and destroyed a pair myself.
For free! 

I just made a $20.00 pair of jeans look like an $80.00 pair of jeans by using grandma's old grater and a pair scissors.  

I like them better now and it’s all I needed to satisfy my fashion nerve until....well....until next week. 
I need new summer shoes! 

Ive linked up to these fun parties:

Lovely Linens

Then other day I had sat down to my dinner after a long day of work. My husband sitting across from me with fork in hand ready to dig into his dinner as well.

He asked me about my day, I ask him about his. Just the normal table talk. Then I glanced over to a chair next to me and there sat a box of vintage linens! My eyes widened. "What?, oh my gosh! Where did you find these!". I said with excitement. He just smiled and said, "They are yours to do what you want with them. Use them, sell them, put them away, just whatever".


If you follow my blog, you have heard me mention before how I love vintage linens along with Pyrex and Fire King dishes. With the linens, its mainly the tea towels I adore but I love it all. Something about the waxy yet soft feel of the cotton and the simplicity and character they display.


I think I swallowed my food whole before grabbing the box of goodies. The rest of the evening, I spent playing with them like a little girl in a mess of doll clothes. 
I examined each piece and tossed them in the washer.


The next day (or two), I ironed and sorted them by color, and texture. Then sorted them by size and later sorted out the ones that were too damaged by age.


Though I love these pretties, I have no use for them. I took out the tea towels and table cloths to keep for myself and put the other pieces in my Etsy shop so they can find a new home. If they do not sell, I'm ok with it. Its just something about having them around I don't mind.

Its just an obsession, but not necessarily a collection.
If you would like to purchase any of these linens, just visit my shop by clicking HERE or on the tab at the top of my page.

What are some old things you always got an eye for? 

DIY Earphone Case

I'm bad at keeping up with wires, chargers, cords , etc. So I found this really cool little do-it-yourself earphone case using a mint box. It was an Ice Breakers mint container to be exact. I didn't get a picture before I peeled off the label because I'm inpatient like that.

Here are the supplies you will need:

  • Empty mint box with the label removed.
  • Printed scrapbook or printed paper.
  • Sissors
  • Cylinder to trace a round pattern.( I actually used the bottom of a lysol can).
  • Glue
  • Mod Podge (to seal). 

Find a place to punch two holes for a key ring. I did this on the side I did not want to open since the container opens in two places.

Once you have your circles traced, carefully cut them out and glue them on your container. Do this any way that is easiest for you.

Mine was a little big so I cut out the opening seam and had edges but you can make the print to only fit the opening part if you wish.

Glue the 2nd circle to the bottom. Now you have two printed sides. Using Modge Podge, paint a coat on the entire printed area to seal the print on.

Once its dry, Its ready to use.

Have fun. Customize yours to fit your personality. You can paint them or even leave them plain. Add a clip on the ring and clip to a bag or belt. You can also use it to hold change and other small items. Great project to do with your kids.

Spring Nesting

Spring is finally in the air. Looking around you can see the flowers and trees blooming. Before long, everything will produce pollen and the town will turn greenish/yellow.

I love to watch the birds play in my yard. During the winter months I keep them fed with bread, seed or suet. Never fails though, the squirrels will ruin it. They eat the bird feeders and somehow figured out how to get into the suet cage. I almost give up, then spring arrives. I will no longer put food in the feeders because I know the birds will get enough bugs, worms and berries. As for the squirrels, they probably have a little hiding place full of the bird feed I put out all Winter.

I will sit back now and watch as the birds work franticlly to find just the right twig to build a nest by full spring. I'm going to help them with that this year.

I took the suet feeder and filled it with some scrap yarn pieces I have been saving up just for this purpose. Each bird will take her share of colorful string and use it in her nest construction. I was worried about doing this at first, thinking it may cause them to get tangled. Lets hope not. I would feel so bad.

I think its rather pretty hanging there in the tree. I cant wait to see how it works out. I can picture this fall after the leaves have fallen from the trees, I will see little colorful nest embedded between the branches as the renters leave and await for the next spring.

I've shared this at:
be-inspired-features-and-link-party at elizabethandcovintage

Recycled Leggings

Its been cold here the past few days. We had a day of ice, a day of spring, and then some snow. Its just crazy how the weather changes her in North Carolina.

I had a pair of nice soft leggings that I though were just ugly on my legs. I bought them to go with a sweater I have but cream color legging and fat legs do not go together. So, I'm going to show you a couple things I made with the leggings instead of giving them to the good will. I wanted to get some use out of them somehow.

When its cold in the house, we get this draft under the door that I'm sure is not suppose to happen. But it does. You know how those 1960's homes are. I fixed that by making a door draft stopper.

First I cut one of the legs off and sewed one end. Then I got an old towel and rolled it up to fit inside the leg. I could have used stuffing, but this way, I can take the towel out and wash the draft stopper when it gets dirty.


I cut a slit in the hem of the legging and threaded a ribbon into it and I slid the sock over the towel and tied the end shut for easy removal for washing. Works perfectly.


With pieces of the other leg, I decided to make a couple hand warmers.

 These cute little things are filled with rice.

All I have to do is pop them in the microwave for a minute, stick them in my pockets and have warm hands for approx 20 minutes.

Perfect if you have to stand outside in the cold or for kids at the bus stop. These hand warmers will work great with the snow we are getting.

Ive shared this at:
be-inspired-features-and-link-party at elizabethandcovintage

Extra Ice and Yarn Tutu

This week has been a long one. Starting on Sunday, I skipped church to be an extra in a small film that was filming in my hometown. That was a fun experience. I didn't have to say anything, thank goodness, because I have a fear of public speaking and this would be in line with that. I did however have to pretend to be talking and eating in a restaurant.... over and over and over. Maybe I will see my ear or back of my head when the movie comes out, who knows.

Then we get an ice storm on Monday which kept me out of work on Tuesday only to be bored all day. It was nothing worth going outside and breaking my neck for. There was no snow, just a thick bed of ice over the whole town. I could only do so much bird watching.

So,I decided to do something with my scrap pieces of yarn. I grabbed my stash, curled up in my chair and started wrapping yarn around an old picture frame. My husband gave me that look again. I said "don't ask, I have an idea". He knows something is about to happen when that light bulb goes off in my head. He still gives me a look though.

I did not have a color plan, I just grabbed colors until I was out of scraps. Then I cut the yarn to have a bulk of strings all the same length. I took pinches of yarn and tied them onto a piece of sewn elastic and created this yarn tutu

I call it a gypsy tutu. It has a mix of different textured yarns. Some strands are braided. Some have knots, and some unraveled. The textures give it a unique one of a kind look. I can just picture this on a little toddler with a headband, big bow and bare feet. I think it would be so cute. 

I think it turned out so well that I put it in my shop. It was a little bit time consuming to make but I only priced it to pay for some new yarn to make more items. I will make more as I accumulate more scraps. I still have enough to make another one if its requested.

Meanwhile, the ice has melted from the roads but temperatures are not out of the teens. That's really unusual around here where our winters are in the 30s and 40's. The weatherman is calling for more wintery mix this weekend and next week. I really am looking forward to spring.

Ive shared this at:
be-inspired-features-and-link-party at elizabethandco
submarine-sunday at 
snickerdoodle-sunday-link-party at 2crochethooks 
inspire-me-monday-week at  
yarn-fanatic-party at thephilosopherswife

DIY Hat Pumpkin

Happy Fall everyone! First I want to share this perfect leaf I found laying on the ground at Walmart. I was not sure if it was real or fake. I took it home and used it. It will work perfect on my Pumpkin I made.
So I thought.

Every year I come up with some way to recycle something from the house to create a pumpkin for Fall.

As I was searching around the house, I came across a bag of things I was going to take to the local Goodwill store. The bag was over stuffed and an old hat kept falling out. I kept stuffing it back in the bag as I searched for something of a sweater material to create a pumpkin with. There were no options in there. As I turned around to leave the room, the hat fell out again. That's when it hit me. "It is the perfect color. Could I? Will It work? I will make it work".

So, I filled the hat with stuffing.

With a string of yarn, I sewed and gathered the hat closed. Then I ran out into the yard and grabbed a piece of stick for the stem. and.....added the leaf.

I had some raffia and it was perfect for the bow. Remember the leaf? It turned out that it WAS real because after a day, it was not this pretty. This is a very easy project.

Here are a few of the other DIY pumpkins I've made through out the years.
DIY Lace Pumpkin
DIY Book Pumpkin
DIY Toilet Paper Pumpkin

Anything you see that can be gathered at the top, you can make a pumpkin. Now go round up something.

Ive Shared this at:
monday-handmade-linkup-party at judyscardmakingandpapercrafts
tuesday-pin-spiration-link-party at thestitchinmommy.
amaze-me-monday at dwellings-theheartofyourhome
something-fabulous-wednesday at roubinek
thursday-favorite-things-blog-hop at katherinescorner

Vintage Bike Recycle

I have always liked to ride a bike. Its something you learn and never forget. I didn't have a bike since I was about twelve until a few years ago. We lived in a little house on side of a main road where there was no place to ride a bike. I managed to teach my girl how to ride one by using the driveway and back yard. It didn't take her long to learn.

One day (about 15 years ago) a stranger came into our yard holding a rusty, shabby, radio flyer vintage bike frame. The bike was in no condition to be ridden. He was looking to make some money. My husband and I felt sorry for the fella and gave him five dollars for the bike and he went on his way.

It just so happened that we were talking about getting some coaster bikes to use at the beach so it was not a whole loss of five dollars. Im thinking these bikes are from the 60's.

My husband said he would fix this one up. He worked hard sanding it down and painting it. He found a bike shop in the next town over and ordered some necessary parts needed to fix this little gem up. He replaced the handle bars, chain, seat, rims and tires. Before long, it was ready to go....

Meanwhile before he even got this one all the way fixed up, the same stranger walked up wanting more money and yes, he was holding another radio flyer vintage bike frame. By now, we seen what was going on here and didn't buy any more from him, but I was excited to see now we have two bikes. Bike (#1) for my daughter and bike (#2) for my husband.

Vintage bike #1 (before)

Vintage Bike #1 (after)

vintage bike #2 (after)

I don't have a before picture of this one but did manage to get a shot of the finished results. 

If you are wondering where is my bike? I actually have a bike given to me by my father-in-law. He had it sitting in his yard sale and I snatched it up. Its a road master brand vintage bike. I have not done anything to mine because its in fairly good shape. However, I did have to get some whitewall tires for it.

Its now showing some rust (Probably from riding it on the beach). I plan to give it a good paint job soon. I also want to add a wire basket to it and a book rack on the back. I am debating on what color I want to paint it. I'm thinking I may keep it blue but not sure.

Wait!....My husband just told me that he found me a basket and its on its way! He is just the best.
I cant wait to show you my finished results so follow me and stay tuned.

Maybe my readers can help on a color. I'd love to hear any ideas you can give me.

Ive shared this at:
dare-to-share at pamspartyandpracticaltips
nifty-thrifty-sunday at niftythriftythings
snickerdoodle-sunday at 2crochethooks

before-and-after-wednesday at thededicatedhouse