Repurposing category

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DIY Wine cork bath mat

CB2 bamboo bath mat

Inspired by CB2's bamboo bath mat

I’m evidently on a hot-glue kick lately. This bath mat requires just three materials: shelf liner, hot glue, and 175 wine corks. How did I gather 175 wine corks, you ask? Working at Sunset had its perks. With all the wine tastings in that office, collecting corks was a cinch. So far, I’ve made a wine cork trivet with them and now this cork bath mat.

It was inspired by CB2’s bamboo bath mat, which is perfectly lovely and affordable but too big for my tiny bathroom, hence this equally eco-friendly version. My sister Christy gave me the genius idea of using non-adhesive shelf liner with a grip bottom, so it stays in place. The cork feels good on my bare feet, plus it goes perfectly with the natural color palette of my bathroom.

Yeah, but how durable is it, you say? Hmm. I’ll test it out for a few weeks and let you know how it holds up. UPDATE: Check this post for updates on the bath mat and to read about whether you should seal yours. Read more »

DIY paper lanterns — flowers and pom-poms

I planned to make a flower-covered paper lantern for months. Not until I found a white poinsettia garland at a Michael’s after-Christmas clearance did it become a reality. Normally, I’m not a fan of artificial flowers, but I think this is a great way to use them. After making the floral paper lantern, I had some leftover pom-pom fringe, so I festooned the second lantern with pom poms. Now I can’t decide which one I like best. I bought these white 12-inch paper lanterns at Ikea years ago. Raise your hand if you don’t like the cheap white paper lanterns that Ikea and World Market sell these days. Me too. Read more »

DIY reusable gift canisters

Chocolate canisters - before

Here’s a last-minute idea for us last-minute gift wrappers. I felt guilty about discarding those round, sturdy cardboard canisters that hold nuts, cocoa, and other foods. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think they can be recycled (aluminum + cardboard?). But they definitely can be reused! Here, I covered them in gift wrap and tied on ribbon—and they can be reused year after year to hold anything from cookies to socks. Or you could wrap them in everyday decorative paper and use them as pencil holders or storage containers. I just thought they were too cute to toss. (The blue and green is for you, Carolyn!) Read more »

Framed botanicals

I know: Monica, you need to get your seasons straight, right? I’m celebrating Spring in November because I couldn’t wait four months to share these beauties. Besides, red and green makes it almost Christmasy. I’m sure you recognize this window that used to be a mirror. I decided I had too many mirrors in my apartment and not enough art. And one can never have too much white paint, I say. The botanical illustrations are from Köhler’s Medizinal-Pflanzen, a four-volume German book published in 1887. Botanicus.org scanned the nearly 300 drawings and made them available to download for free! © 1995-2009 Missouri Botanical Garden. Read more »

DIY tank top headband

Tank top headband - before

Remember my tank top totes from a few weeks ago? Well, I just had to share this tip. The piece I cut off the bottom of the one of the tank tops made a perfect—and super comfortable—headband. My friend Rhean did a beautiful job modeling it for me. So, save your scraps. Mine is about four inches wide, but nearly any width works. Skinnier = headband; wider = head wrap. They’re ideal for pulling your hair back to wash your face or apply make-up too. Read more »

Tank top totes - after

Tank top totes - before

Before you pack away your summer clothes for the winter, you might want to set one of your tank tops aside to make one of these easy totes. The best kind of tank tops to use for this project are ones that have front and back necklines that are the same height—or very close. Otherwise, your tote bag will be lopsided. The brown tote is reversible, so the pockets can be on the inside or outside. I made that tote small because the straps were thin and wouldn’t hold a lot of weight. The magenta tank top had a gathered neckline in front and back, so a gathered bottom was ideal. A pink store-bought flower pin finished it off. Read more »

DIY magnetic picture frame - after

Supplies for DIY magnetic frame

What can I make with an old picture frame that’s missing glass, a free fabric sample from FabMo, and an 8- x 10-inch LoRan magnet board that my friend Chris gave me? Another friend, Kristi, had an idea: a mini magnetic board. If you add a few more magnetic boards, frames, and coordinating fabrics, you could hang a whole collection of magnetic frames on the wall. They’re perfect for school photos, business cards, or other small ephemera. And you can easily swap out the fabric to fit the season. Read more »

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