I would just like to start by thanking everyone who commented on last week's Eco-Friendly Friday post. You all made some wonderful suggestions for future installments of EFF and I want to make sure that I eventually address them all. But since DIY projects and ideas seem to be the hot topic, I thought we would start there :-)
D0-It-Yourself projects and ideas are everywhere these days. Obviously, this has a LOT to do with both the green movement, and the economy. Saving money while saving the planet is pretty much a win/win for everyone so I am completely on board with sharing more DIY ideas and information. But sadly...I am no expert in this department. I have never made my own shampoo, sewn my own reusable lunch bags, grown and canned my own vegetables, etc. The most I have done is make a few of my own cleaning products and even that was made simple by a kit I purchased from Reuseit.com. So I decided that the best way I can help anyone with DIY projects and ideas is to leave it to the experts. I have been doing a lot of internet research, as well as checking out Reuseit.com's DIY Resource list, and I have found some amazing blogs and websites that I can't wait to share with all of you. Looks like it is going to be a DIY month here on Eco-Friendly Fridays :-)
But before I turn my posts over to the professionals, I thought I would at least contribute something to this discussion with the type of DIY that I am fairly good at...Redesign.
Eric has always made fun of me for keeping old home decor. I simply can't bring myself to get rid of perfectly good furniture, picture frames, pillows, curtains, lamps, rugs, etc. when there are so many ways to reuse them later. I have a set of curtains from Pier 1 Imports that I bought in 2001 that have been used in my college apartment, my townhome when I was a single lady and in Eric and I's first house. Now, these curtains have been turned into floor pillows (thanks to my mom) and we use them in our basement play area. I also have a set of two 8x10 picture frames that have been painted 3 times to coordinate with different rooms I have used them in. They are currently sage green and hanging in Blake's nursery :-)
I wish I would have been better about taking pictures of different ways I have used old furniture and home decor to change the look of a room...but luckily other real experts in Redesign have. There are countless websites out there dedicated to Upcycling, Green Design and Redesign (with links to DIY projects and instructions) and here are just a few you should really check out...
This website focuses on redesigning your home by using furnishing you already have. Lauri Ward has also published several books on this subject and you can purchase them on her site.
Re-Nest, which is a part of ApartmentTherapy.com, focuses on green home design and they too offer lots of great DIY projects using sustainable materials.
This website has a TON of fabulous upcycling DIY projects for the home. And the best part...the projects are actually super cute! I love this flower light made of paper pulp egg cartons...
You could spend hours surfing around the ReadyMade website looking at all their fabulous DIY projects in Crafting, Food & Entertaining, Fashion & Style, and of course, Home and Garden. I know my mom has a HUGE supply of old buttons and I think this winter button wreath is adorable...
This site has a lot of easy, practical ideas for reusing items in your home. One project I know even the most craft-challenged person can handle is recycling old candles...
And of course, Martha Stewart always has awesome DIY projects and redesign ideas for your home.
I realize that not everyone has the ability to keep a bunch of old furniture and home decor lying around for a DIY project. And obviously, if the whole point is to save money and recycle, you don't want to go out and buy anything new. So...the next best thing to reusing your own junk is reusing someone else's!! Summer is a great time to check out local garage sales and yard sales to see if there are any great steals. A lot of times, the items sold at garage and yard sales don't make it to Good Will or other donation sites. They simply get tossed in the trash so if you can save even one picture frame from making it to the landfill...you are doing your part. And just think of all the great ideas Martha Stewart will have for that picture frame!
And don't be afraid to host your own garage sale, or better yet, "Reuse It Sale". If you have a lot of items looking for a good home, make sure to ask friends or family members if they can make use of the items. Or, take the time to have a sale to raise money for your family or a local charity. In fact, a friend of mine has put together a Reuse It Sale for her church and I think that is a great idea to bring people in from the community! If you live in the Chicagoland Area, be sure to stop by Cross of Glory Church in Homer Glen this Saturday, August 14th, from 10:00am-3:00pm.
Well that's all I have for this Friday folks! But be sure to check back because there are a lot of great DIY posts to come :-)