Condo Blues: reuse




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

Sunday, June 30, 2019

DIY Beer Bottle Soap Dispenser

My husband and I often celebrate the end of the workweek with a little TGIF craft beer tasting. Like the full on nerdy thing about recognizing, talking about, and even recording tasting notes of the new beers and types we've tried.

After sampling an Innis & Gunn bottle, my husband commented on the unique look of the bottle and suggested/challenged me to do something cool with it.

Fortunately, I started dabbling in making liquid Castile soap in the slow cooker and I'm in need for a new liquid soap dispenser. (If you want to try it I suggest reading the books Making Natural Liquid Soaps and  Liquid Soapmaking because I'm still learning and it will be quite awhile before I feel confident in writing a tutorial for Condo Blues.) (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links to the supplies I used for your convenience.) 

It practilally a no brainer to to make a soap dispenser from a glass bottle that has a threaded screw cap like my DIY Chamboard bottle soap dispenser because you just screw a replacement liquid soap pump like this one onto the bottle and Bob's your uncle.

But can you make a soap dispenser from a recycled glass beverage bottle that does not have a screw thread top? Yes you can! Here's how!

How to Recycle a Glass Beverage Bottle into a Soap Dispenser


how to make a liquid soap dispenser from an upcycled glass bottle 
Save this quirky bathroom or kitchen decor idea for later! Share it with your friends!

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

12 Ways to Reuse Old Pillows

When our bed pillows flatten I fluff them up after washing them by popping a couple of dryer balls like these into the dryer along with my pillows. (I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience.) That usually does the trick but after many years, there isn’t much left to fluff in our current set of bed pillows. It is time to replace them.

12 of the best ways to reuse old pillows
Pin these clever ideas to your Pinterest Boards for later! Share them with your friends!

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

6 Ways Plastic Helps Me Live Zero Waste

Almost every blog post I read that offers tips and tricks how to live Zero Waste they almost always use plastic free as a synonym. They say something like, “We got rid of all of our plastic stuff and bought the same exact thing in wood/bamboo/natural fiber to replace it and wow how cool we are living zero waste now!”

It. Drives. Me. Crazy.

Throwing away usable items to buy a cool looking replacement is the exact opposite of zero waste living folks!

Zero waste living means giving up using disposable single use plastic and items as much as possible, not no plastic at all.

Plastic free is great but that is a different goal.


6 Easy Ways to Live Zero Waste (ish) and Save Money Doing It!

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Photo used with permission  by Sophia Marston on Unsplash


Sunday, March 24, 2019

Recycled Crafts: Bottle Cap Bumble Bees for Kids

When I perform at my home renaissance festival, children bring little trinkets like shiny stones, jokes, plastic doubloons and such to trade with the performers. I understand that many parents, and my green living minded readers in particular, would rather not have yet more kid clutter in the house but it is amazing how something as simple as a painted acorn can make a child’s visit magical.

A new friend used the word magical over and over to describe her foster children’s visit, how they carried the treasures our performers gave them like gold that day, and even now these trinkets are very special for her children. Learning that her kids marveled at meeting so many "famous people" (what her kids call costumed characters) made my heart flutter and knocking myself out performing, especially on the tough weather days worth it even more.

Last year I made lady bug favors from bottle caps. I was surprised at my own reaction to every single child and adult who politely accepted my bottle cap ladybug only to get excited and surprised once they turn it over to see the little craft gem I glued underneath as craft supply stash bust project.


Pin this recycled craft tutorial to your Pinterest boards for later! Share this idea with your friends!


Who knew a silly plastic gem could spark so much joy?

 

DIY Bottle Cap Children’s Party Favor Craft

Sunday, February 3, 2019

DIY Chambord Liquor Bottle Soap Dispenser

A soap maker friend got me hooked and I love, love, love using her handmade soap! Learning how to make soap is something I’ve been interested in for a long time but the idea of making soap from scratch with lye seemed scary, easy to mess up, and wouldn’t allow me to use the variety of types and scents I like when I buy it from my friend’s shop because one batch of soap makes enough bars to last six months.

At her encouragement I dabbled in making super easy soap with melt and pour soap base like this kind a few bars at a time in the microwave oven. I got a feel for how add ins and scents work and was itching to do more. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience.)

It wasn’t until my friend closed her brick and mortar store that I started looking into making real deal hot process soap in our spare slow cooker. (My Instant Pot has taken the big slow cooker’s place and can now be dedicated to soap making using this liquid soap making book. It’s the best!) 


 Getting my mad scientist on!

I made unscented liquid Castile soap because it is more versatile and requires less equipment than bar soap. My first batch turned out OK for a first timer. I like that I can add a little variety by scenting (or not) each dispenser full of soap with this Organic Aromas essential oil sampler I got last year for review that otherwise will sit largely unused. I love the oils and blends, it's just that I err on the super duper side of caution when it comes to diffusing essential oils around Lacey.


The only downside to eventually replacing all of my bar soap when it ran out with liquid soap is realizing  I don’t have enough liquid soap pump dispensers for every sink in the house. I need to fix that.

How to Recycle a Glass Bottle into a Soap Dispenser

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Recycled Crafts: How to Make Bottle Cap Ladybug Party Favors

At my home renaissance festival, children bring little trinkets like shiny stones, marbles, and the like to trade with the performers. 

Last season I made do with vase filler stones. This season, I’d rather not add something so heavy to the already heavy basket I carry during the show.  I need around 300 party favors, I want something somewhat period, and if I could use this as a stash bust project, my craft room would be ever so grateful.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

8 Zero Waste Lies

If you are trying to be a Zero Waste or Trash Fee home you try to reduce the need to use the landfill by refusing, reducing, reusing, repairing, recycling, and donating your household waste to get your output to as close to zero as you can.

There are some in Internet Land who show you how they do it with Pinterest perfect photos of bamboo toothbrushes like these, stylishly minimalist rooms (you can learn about the minimalism movement here), and  haughtily looking down their nose at people who  – gasp! – follow low waste practices because their primary goal is to pay off bills, live within their means, or save money, with environmental concerns coming in a close second or even lower down the list.

Disclosure: I am including some affiliate links in this post for your convenience.

8 Truths of Trash Free and Zero Waste Living

In my over 10 years of blogging about green living and doing it in one form or another for even longer, I know there are some truths to Zero Waste Living and I also know that the reality is not always what you see in those Pinterest perfect Zero Waste Kitchens either.


8 Truths of Trash Free and Zero Waste Living
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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Quick and Easy Reuse for a Crown Royal Bag

I recently bought an woodwind floor stand for my flute (learn more about it here)  to keep it from rolling off my chair when I set it down during band rehearsal and concert intermission. (Disclosure: I like the price and depend upon it so much I am confident in recommending it to you and using my big bold affiliate links to do it!)

Unlike this table top music stand my husband gave me for Christmas, the flute stand didn’t come with a carrying pouch. Which is odd, because I need to take my instrument stand to concert band practice while my music stand stays home and does duty as an iPad stand in my craft room. (I like to stream movies and shows on Amazon Channels (get the deets here while I work.)

I mentally put Sew Instrument Stand Carrying Bag on my growing To Do List while I was working on another To Do List task: Wipe Down the Pantry Shelves. What can I say? I’m a multitasker.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

6 Ways to Use Less Plastic without Going Crazy

Many folks in the United Kingdom are looking for ways to live plastic free or with less single use plastic for the 40 days of Lent. This is as part of a national Plastic Free (Less) Lent Challenge influenced by the BBC TV program Blue Planet 2: Seas of Life (this show has such gorgeous nature photography and information that I have no problem recommending it to you and using my affiliate links to do it!)

So far, the folks I’m working with are excited when they find a plastic free bamboo toothbrush (read more about it here) or their grocery store allows them to use reusable cloth produce bags and that's fantastic! 

But as they have been living awhile with the low plastic challenge, there are many people who are becoming overwhelmed, or are too time poor to DIY plastic free everything, or worse, being shamed when they admit that they can’t afford the perfect plastic free option. That’s not cool.


6 Ways to Go Plastic Free without Going Broke or Crazy
Pin this list of ideas for later and share it with your friends!


I feel for ya, because I think I am the only person in the world who lives in an area where my farmer’s market, bulk food bins, and fresh vegetable summer CSA subscriptions are typically more expensive than a conventional grocery store. I want to do my bit but I don’t always have the time to regularly grocery shop at three or more markets every other week when one conventional grocery store has everything I need.

Monday, September 11, 2017

20 New Ways to Use and Repurpose Old Towels

I swear the amount of towels in my linen closet magically doubles or triples on its own. I bet it is some relic from a science fiction universe (or that I live in a small house with a small linen closet but I’m still blaming aliens because it is more fun.)

If I don’t clean it out my linen regularly the towel population grows to the point it is so large I can’t close the closet door. Which given the size of the linen closet, it doesn’t take a huge towel population to achieve this.

But it also means that I regularly have old towels with a worn spot or edge but overall fairly usable and as such, something I don’t want to send to landfill hell if I can get another reuse out of it.

Luckily, old and worn towels are one of the easiest things to reuse and upcycle to save a little money, the environment, or better yet – time.

Pin these creative reuse ideas for later!

20 Genius Ideas to Reuse Old Towels You Have to Try!



Tuesday, June 27, 2017

How to a Make Tomato Cage Plant Stand

This year’s Tabasco and Habanero pepper plants aren’t doing as well as they could planted discretely in our front flower bed as they could on the sunny backyard patio. They only way to do that is to eek out space for two more plants on my small patio container garden with  four plant stands.

Which was a fantastic excuse to check out our new IKEA store! I saw a self watering planter and stand on the IKEA website that would do the job nicely.


Until I got to the store and an associate told me they were discontinued. *sad face*

No worries! I swung by Home Depot on my way home to buy tomatoes cages to make into a quick and easy modern plant stand.

Quick and Easy DIY Modern Plant Stands


Pin this idea for later and to share with your friends!

You will need:

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Mod Podge Wallpaper Update: How Does it Last?

Shortly after buying our condo, I used Mod Podge to wallpaper a bathroom with old book pages.
I frequently get email asking me how using Mod Podge as wallpaper glue holds up after the 10+ years I used it to remodel my bathroom.

I thought I’d give you an update.

Pin this post for reference!


Monday, May 8, 2017

How to make an Embroidered Dog Poop Bag Dispenser

When you have a dog, poop happens.

Being responsible pet parents means we need to carry potty bags to clean up after Lacey when she does her her business outside and on walks.

Being the green minded people that we are, I keep and fill two grocery bag holder for the stray plastic bags that cross my path.  I keep the empty grocery bag holder hanging in the kitchen to fill with random bread, frozen vegetable, and the occasional plastic grocery bag when I forget my canvas grocery bags when running a quick errand. When it is full I swap it out with the grocery bag holder I have hanging in the closet by the front door so we can reuse the bags for doggie duty. It isn’t perfect green solution but it works for us.

The big grocery bag dispenser in the closet is too big to take with us on walks. I sewed a small plastic grocery bag holder that attaches to Lacey’s leash to fill with repurposed bags from hall closet holder.


How to Sew a Clip on Dog Waste Bag Holder

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

What’s in Your Trash and How Do You Reduce it (or Not?)

I’ve been thinking a lot about trash lately. The stuff in the bin outside your house, not about tawdry things. Lacey is a genteel lady who not tolerate dirty things in her home (unless it is something muddy or smelly to roll in.)

 I love mud!

I’ve been mulling over ideas to share how to reduce your household trash since the New Year.  I’m coming up short because every draft I write sounds like some big green guru sitting on a mountain top looking down  her nose at the world thinking that my Swiss Army knife of low waste options are the Pinnacle of One Size Fits All Solution to reducing household waste.

Or at least it feels that way and that is not my intent at all.

I want to offer options not absolutes because, honestly, there aren’t any one size fits all eco friendly low waste living solutions. It all depends on where you live, how you like to live, family size, etc.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Quick and Easy DIY Industrial Farmhouse Kitchen Utensil Holder

We recently outgrew our ceramic kitchen utensil and spoon holder. Trying to cram gently fit and remove wooden spoons and utensils from it was like playing Kerplunk on a daily basis.

After a losing round of kitchen spoon Kerplunk for the third time that day, Husband made the off hand comment that we need a new utensil organizer. He's right and we did what happens a little too often than I care to admit.

We totally forgot about doing something about it until the next round of quickly grab a ladle and everything else comes with it. Grr!

After losing that game one night  after cleaning up from making crock-pot chicken enchilada soup recipe (read it on my food blog Lazy Budget Chef here)  I liked how the empty red El Pato Enchilada Sauce can looked in contrast to the green ceramic utensil holder on the counter. Instead of popping the empty aluminum can into the recycling bin, I  washed it out and plunked my short handled Instant Pot paddles into it. Whimsical and functional!

But I needed more.

Fortunately, that was only a cup of coffee away. The next time I opened a can of Cafe Du Monde coffee (Cafe Du Monde has been on of our favorite brands of coffee long before we visited New Orleans - so good!) I got the "medium" in my low, medium, and high food themed kitchen spoon organizer to follow the decorating rule of three: odd numbers of objects look better clustered together than even numbers.


Pin this idea for later!
I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience in case you don't have a local international grocery store that carries these super yummy (and now decorative) products.

Not to mention, using low, medium, and high kitchen utensil caddys saves counter space because I can cluster them together and still find everything I need.

What do you think?


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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Tiny Recycled Glass Bottle House

Recycling glass bottles into walls isn’t a new idea, glass bottle walls have been around since ancient Rome but seeing a glass bottle house in person rarely happens unless you know where to look. This tiny house made from recycled glass bottles is in Ohio practically under my nose until I stopped while walking past it (for a zillionth time in my life,) really looked at it, and realize it is a tiny store with wine glass bottle walls.



 Pin this idea for later!


Isn’t it cute?

Thursday, January 5, 2017

DIY Flannel Handkerchiefs and Friday Favorites Linky Party Week 353

My poor wee little nose just can't take it any more. I blew through a 100 +count box of tissues (literally) in three days and my Plague is now just barely showing signs of stopping. If it weren't for my neti pot (affiliate link for your convenience) I  wouldn't be able to breathe since I'm all stuffed up with a cold AND a sinus infection. Never do anything half way I always say! 

Fortunately, as I felt this ick coming on early, I made a stack of quick and easy flannel handkerchiefs to use in addition to disposable tissues to keep my nose from getting chapped and feeling raw. By bouncing back and forth between the two types of tissues I don't have a chapped nose for the first time in forever! Not to mention, the flannel hankies don't disintegrate after using a neti pot like the paper tissues do. (Ew.)

Flannel tissues are super simple to make!

 Pin this tutorial for cold and flu season!


1. Cut a piece of flannel cloth in the size of your choosing.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

How to Make Pallet Storage Shelves with Side Rails

I have a DIY power tool battery station hanging on the wall on my workbench and little else. All of my tools, hardware, and empty tool cases are stored low to the ground – like me! –  in my DIY kitchen cabinet workbench where I can easily put everything away after I finish a project in my shop.

Short girl problems, yo.

But man, those empty molded plastic power tool cases are taking up some variable storage real estate in the workbench. I don’t want to keep shuffling them around the workbench to get to things I needs but I don’t want to get rid of them either. The cases are nice for those occasions I Handy Ma'am it at someone else’s house.

A dead space the wall over my workbench is the perfect place to store my power tool cases. I put my recycled pallet wood stash to good use and built a storage shelf with built in bookends (for lack of a better term) so my tool cases won’t fall off the end of the shelf.

How to make power tool case storage
Pin this idea for later!

How to Build a Simple Shelf with Built in Bookends

 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Friday Favorites Linky Party - Week 339


Last weekend, I did a Last Blast of Summer Tour by skipping up the road a bit to attend Bloggy Conference 2016 at Cedar Point. 

Tiff knocked it out of the park organizing and planning the conference this year! I learned quite a bit and paid it forward by being the Squad Leader for DIY bloggers during our community breakout sessions.  What's also nice about BloggyCon is being able to spend the evening in Cedar Point after our sessions finished for the day.


Sponsor Lake Eries Shores and Islands gave me the excuse to wiggle my toes in the sand of Cedar Point Beach (how I miss it!)

 I hugged a big cow named Big Cow and tagged it #Big #Cow for a very meta experience courtesy of Ohio made sponsor Udderly Smooth (if you follow me @condoblues on Instagram you would have seen it in real time!)

Not to mention, I named my new Rexy friend Snuggles and asked Husband if I could bring him home with me because we have the same smile. Husband and Lacey vetoed adding Snuggles to our family. Sad face.

Let's party!

 photo Friday Favorites Banner 2.jpg

Sunday, September 18, 2016

How to Make a Quick and Easy Wine Cork and Mason Jar Centerpiece

After I decorated my outdoor patio for Fall, I took a step back and realized something was missing from my DIY chalkboard patio table and DIY bottle cap mosaic chairs.

I need an Autumn table centerpiece!




My Fall centerpiece idea was heavily influenced by the growing number of empty mason jars drying in the dish rack (not to mention Husband’s do something with these will ya? look when he empties the dishwasher) and the wine corks in our kitchen wine cork basket waiting for a craft project (and more Husband’s do something with these will ya? look when he sees them taking up counter space.)