Condo Blues: reuse/recycle




Showing posts with label reuse/recycle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label reuse/recycle. Show all posts

Sunday, February 28, 2016

DIY Allergy Friendly Homemade Furniture Dusting Spray

Dusting is not my favorite chore. I tried to make it easier by using a feather duster to dust the stuff on bookshelves and other hard to reach up too high places.

Until my allergist put the kibosh on that. He says feather dusters push more dust around than they pick up (including my fancy ostrich feather duster as well as the even fancier lambs wool dusters.)
Which for most of you will still work all fine and dandy but not for me. I have a litany of seasonal allergens including and especially dust mites.  So how exactly am I supposed to dust the furniture without commercial dusting sprays or a feather or lambs wool duster?

In this instance, my allergist recommended the best way to clean dust and dust mites is also the most non toxic and cheapest cleaner in the world – water!

How to Make Nontoxic and CHEAP! DIY Dust & Allergen Furniture Spray

 

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Sunday, February 21, 2016

12 Things I Do Not Buy and What I Use Instead

 Like most of you, I buy things on sale to save money where I can. Unfortunately, I’m just as guilty as anyone else who ran to the store to buy two things and came out with a buggy of stuff because I found a sale or a deal.

Sometimes I saved money and often times I didn't. The light bulb went off when I decluttered and organized the basement of our old place. Most of the Donate Pile was stuff I bought on sale because I thought I was saving money at the time.
  


 The easiest way to stop those intermittent money leaks disguised as saving was to stop buying things I didn't need even if they were on sale. I either gave up using it, found a reusable for a disposable, or repurposed something to take its place - all are extremely green, painless, and low cost options!

 So scoot over to my food blog Lazy Budget Chef to read my  post:

12 Things I Do Buy


Make sure you read the comments. A bunch of super smart folks shared their money saving tips there too!


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Monday, February 15, 2016

How to Make a Reversible Valentine’s Day and St Patrick’s Day Garland

I don’t decorate for Valentine's Day or St Patrick’s Day very much, if at all. I’m not hating on either holiday.  I don’t have much room to store extra decorations that will be up for only a few weeks for Valentine's Day only to take them down and put up new decorations that will be up for only a few weeks for Saint Patrick's Day.

I got a flash of inspiration when I saw the servants hall in Downton Abby decorated with colorful cloth pennant garland in a recent episode. I know I’m a little late to the cloth garland party but a Valentine’s Day decoration I can flip over and reuse as a Saint Patrick’s Day decoration will solve my storage and holiday décor problem nicely.

Let’s get our DIY on!

St Patrick’s Day and Valentine’s Day Garland Decor Tutorial

 
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(No dog Project Mangers where harmed in the making of this project.)

 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

DIY Cigar Box and Wine Cork Storage Box

More often than I want to admit, phone and table cords, earphones, and eyeglasses are strewn about the side tables in my living room.  I put the stuff away. The next evening we need the stuff to read books or watch movies on our tablets and plop it on a table before heading off to bed. I put the stuff away…

It’s a never ending cycle.

A friend found a bunch of empty wood cigar boxes in the basement of her wine shop. I was drooling when I found out. Old cigar boxes are the gold standard of recycled project material just begging for an upcycle!

Needless to say, I made my way over to her shop and came home with a cigar box to make into a decorative storage box with wine cork feet to contain the flotsam and jetsam littering the living room.

 You have no idea how much work it took to to win the eBay auction for these vintage metal frames. I had my optimist fill them with my prescription. I love them!

How to Make a Decorative Cigar Box Storage Box 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

How to Cut Wine Corks for Crafts the Easy Way!

Have you ever tried to cut a wine cork in half?
 
Neatly?

Without the cork flaking and shredding?

Or  accidentally cutting your fingers to shreds?

ME TOO!

I need to cut a wine cork in half for an upcoming project. I want to cut the cork quickly, easily, and safely. Most of all I want to cut the wine cork without cork bits shedding all over the place. A nice, clean, cork cut is all I ask.


How to Neatly Cut a Wine Cork in Half


Cutting wine corks for crafts isn’t hard to do. If you want to cut a wine cork without it falling apart, you’ll need to do one simple step before you cut into it.


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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

How to Make an Office Chair Mat

The plastic mats under the rolling chairs in our home office have seen better days. No matter what kind of office chair mat I buy, it eventually cracks, breaks, and sheds plastic chunks all over the carpet in the office.

I need to use a chair mat under our rolling chairs to protect the carpeting we aren't ready to replace.  Replacing the mats every couple of years isn’t sustainable. More than that it is a pain!

I solved our problem by making durable office chair mats from laminate flooring I bought at the Habitat Restore. I went with laminate flooring instead of plain plywood because I was concerned the plain plywood office chair mats would crack and break. Laminate flooring isn’t my favorite look but it is built to do the job I need it to do – be a floor.


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Thursday, January 7, 2016

DIY Recycled Bottle Cap Zipper Pull. So Easy!

I keep my dance, color guard, and yoga gear organized and ready to go in separate string backpacks. I am extremely fortunate to get the little backpacks from marching band events. That  makes it a zero cost organization system. The downside is all of the bags are from the same sponsor. Is too easy to grab the wrong bag for the wrong class. Whoops!

I can fix this by making a unique handmade zipper pull for each backpack so I can tell them apart.

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This is a quick and easy recycled craft that is fun to do with kids. Sourcing the materials might be the best part of the project because we are reusing bottle caps. Enjoying a soda treat in the name of recycled organizers? Don’t mind if I do!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Our Favorite Condo Blues Craft Projects of 2015

We’re celebrating the New Year by looking back at some of our favorite Condo Blues craft projects and tutorials we published in  2015.

When it comes to crafts, upcycling and recycling materials are the things you crave. 8 out of our most popular craft post tutorials feature reclaimed materials. Woo hoo! Who says green living can’t be cute and creative living too?
 

Our Top 11 Condo Blues Craft Projects in 2015


Make Candle Wax Warmer Melts, Tarts, and Cubes: The Complete DIY Guide!  

 
 
 

How to Make Aluminum Can Coasters 

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Our Favorite Condo Blues DIY Projects in 2015

We’re celebrating the New Year by looking back at some of our favorite Condo Blues DIY projects for 2015.

From the looks of it, we are all extremely organized people! Or at least we all want to be extremely organized people, myself included!
 

Our Top 10 DIY Projects on Condo Blues in 2015

 

Organize Your Garage in Three Easy Questions   

 



6 Smart Strategies to Organize a Garage and Workshop 

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Our Top Condo Blues Blog Posts for 2015

 Before we can say hello to 2016 we should take a look back at 2015. It is always interesting to me when I take a look at which Condo Blues projects and blog posts are the most popular posts of the year because I am almost always surprised!

2015 is no exception. I had no idea there were so many readers who want to cut glass bottles without fire or risk of burning down your house. I thought it was just me!
As we say good bye to 2015 and before we say hello to a bright, shiny, and new 2015 let’s take a look at my most popular Condo Blues in 2015.
 

How to Cut a Glass Bottle with Hot Water

 


Sunday, December 20, 2015

Make Minion Gift Wrap!

I will let you in on a little gift wrapping secret. The reason why people rave over my pretty and clever gift wrap is not because I have a grand creative design going into the project, oh no.

It is usually the result of wrapping a present at the 11th hour when the stores are closed and running out of traditional gift wrap supplies.

Blind panic is the Mother of Creativity.

Now you know.

That’s how I came up with this Despicable Me Minion gift wrap idea. I used the last of my wrapping paper to wrap this gift. It looked plain. I didn’t have any stick on bows and since I was going to mail the gift, I didn’t want to make a magazine bow (read the tutorial here) because it might be crushed.

A yellow Twinkie shaped present with twisted puffs reminded me of a Minion. Hey, let’s make Minion gift wrap!

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How to Wrap a Present to Look Like a Minion

Friday, December 18, 2015

Vintage Button Gift Tag Tutorial

I have another craft supply stash bust gift tag tutorial for you. Today we’re making gift tags with fabric ribbon and vintage buttons! Oh heck, let’s throw caution to the wind and use some scrapbook paper too.


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Many of the buttons I have in my grandmother’s button box are plain old shirt buttons. Great for replacing a lost one and better for crafting because there are so many of them. I also have odd lengths of ribbon from sewing projects that are too long to throw away and too small for my recent sewing projects. Inspired by finding  a box of business cards from my old company (may it rest in peace) I figured I could get these kids together and let them make quick, easy, and beautiful recycled gift tags together.

I’m sure you can figure out how I made the gift tags by looking at the picture so I almost don’t have to write a tutorial but since this is the holiday season is all about giving I will.

Monday, December 14, 2015

How to Make Evergreen Window Swags for Free!

We’re bumping up our outdoor Christmas decorations this year. We have a house full of energy efficient disco projector Christmas lights to replace our dead strings of LED Christmas lights.

I saved some Amazon Subscribe and Save boxes and wrapped them as Christmas presents and put them in the barren flower beds. We’ll recycle them after the holiday because storage space for holiday decorations is at a premium.


The front yard still needed a little something and when I saw a pair of dachshund Christmas decorations (learn more about them here.) in a neighbor's yard I had to have them too as a tribute to Lacey. What can I say? We are dog suckers through and through.
 
 The dachshund lights come apart for storage after the holiday. They make make me insanely happy.


Friday, December 4, 2015

Make Peek a Boo Window Gift Tags

After a two day craft room excavation I had a couple of boxes of old business cards and nice little pile of random paper, ribbon, buttons, and punches on my worktable. The following day and fueled by probably more hot chocolate than one person should drink in an afternoon I started to play.


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Once I got on a creative roll, I upcycled a bunch of old business cards into gift tags I’m not ashamed to tie onto our Christmas gifts this year. I have so many handmade stash buster gift tags, that I’m going to turn this craft project into a blog series. Come craft with me!

 

How to Make Embossed Gift Tags for Hanukkah or Christmas

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Bottle Cap Wreath

Husband and I have have a huge bottle cap collection just waiting for me to reuse them to make awesome bottle cap crafts and DIY projects. Last year Create. Craft. Love. gave me a blank wreath form and challenged me to make a wreath for her blog. The first thing that popped into my mind was - make a bottlecap wreath!


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If you do not have five years worth of bottle caps in coordinating colors you can still do this project if you spray paint your mismatched bottle caps in coordinating colors before you start making this wreath.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Washi Tape Headphones

I decorated the headphones I keep on my desk with washi tape. By using paper washi tape I have a plastic free craft and the option to easily change the design in the future.

After awhile I wanted to step up my washi tape craft game from covering an object with the same washi tape design to projects that mix and match different tape patterns and colors. But here’s a little secret you don’t know about me: I choke when it comes to mixing and matching patterns in my décor projects. Also I only have two rolls of washi tape and they don’t coordinate.


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Luckily, I received a review copy of  Washi Tape Crafts: 110 Ways to Decorate Just About Anything by Amy Anderson, the author of the book Mod Podge Rocks! I knew Amy was writing a washi tape craft book but what I didn’t know is her book comes with 10 rolls of custom design washi tape.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

How to Make Wine Cork Napkin Rings

I want to switch up my dining room decor for Thanksgiving. One of the easiest and cheapest way to do that is to decorate with fall colored napkins and napkin rings. The cloth napkins I have. The cute fall napkin rings I do not.

I have a TON of wine corks in my craft room, just waiting for a crafty wine cork project. Time to get my upcycling on and recycle some of the corks into handmade napkin rings!


Recycled Copper Beaded Wine Cork Napkin Rings

This is a quick little project you can do for yourself or make and give them to someone as a homemade gift. Christmas is just around the corner you know!


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For each napkin ring you will need:

Monday, October 26, 2015

10 Natural, Reycled, and Upcycled Acorn Crafts

Fall is one of the best times of the year to decorate with nature. A simple walk in the park or, if you are lucky, a few steps from your front door is a whole host of Mother Nature’s splendor just waiting for a little green Fall decorating and craft magic.

 
 Pin these clever ideas for later!


Autumn leaves, pumpkins, and cornstalks (I almost bought some from a farmer’s market on a whim last weekend,) are what I normally think of when it comes to Fall décor.

It wasn’t until I saw Dandelion Patina ‘s  recycled sweater and coconut shell acorns that I thought about decorating with acorns and acorn crafts. I pinned her post to my Fall decorating Pinterest board (follow me @condoblues on Pinterest pretty please?) and fell head first into real, recycled, and upcycled acorn crafts and decorations.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Quick and Easy Boat Cleat Towel Rack

I need to to organize the towels in the guest bathroom and found my design inspiration at the vet’s office. Wha? Let me explain.

Lacey’s vet has boat cleats on the main desk which allows you to anchor your pet’s leash (pun intended) over the cleat so your hands are free to make payments and sign paperwork.  It is quite genius and something I’d totally expect seeing growing up on Lake Erie.

The guest bathroom is taking on a nautical vibe. I like repurposed and reclaimed design elements. So why not organize my bathroom by repurposing dock cleats? Sounds like a plan.

How to Make a Boat Dock Cleat Towel or Coat Rack

 
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Sunday, October 4, 2015

Decorating with Real Pumpkin Topiaries and Mosaics

I appreciate carving and decorating with real pumpkins for fall and Halloween.

Doing it is another story.

 Pin this post for pumpkin decorating ideas!

Carving pumpkins is messy, goopy, and if you do it too early, moldy by the time Halloween rolls around. Besides, if don't carve the pumpkins, we can make fresh pumpkin puree (learn how on my food blog Lazy Budget Chef) and use it to make fantastic food after Halloween. Lacey likes this idea very much.