My first ever DIY blog posts appeared in Sunset magazine’s now defunct blog, homebysunset.com. Because Sunset is no longer hosting these projects, I’m making revised and updated versions available here at Crafty Nest. This post comprises Making a paper-recycling tote, originally published January 2008.

Recycling tote on shelf

Ever need something that you’re sure exists, but once you go looking for it, you come up empty? I searched for a bin in which to toss all my paper recycling (let’s face it: junk mail). And I wanted it to fit on the bottom pull-out shelf of my not-so-attractive-but-necessary microwave cart. I found zilch. So I made my own out of a cardboard box and fabric.

toteMobile

The tote is not exactly pretty, but it’s oh-so-handy for carrying paper products downstairs to the recycling bins, and it only cost me $16.

Tutorial and photos after the jump. Read more »

belt bag pouch hip

Small pouch purse

I am all about being hands-free and reducing the weight on my shoulders. I use a lumbar bag instead of a backpack for hiking. Being an asthmatic, taking the load off my shoulders makes a world of difference. Any chiropractor will tell you that carrying a heavy purse on one shoulder can cause misalignment, strain, and injury, so I wanted to find a fashionable belt bag for everyday use. But, aside from the infamously hideous fanny packs of the 80s, I had yet to find one. That’s why when I came across these fabulous hip pouches on Etsy, I was excited.

The North Face - Sport Hiker (Black) - Bags and LuggageRecycled Leather Hip Bags by Happy CowStow All Unisex Pocket Belt in GreenRecycled Black Leather unisex Hip pouchHappy Cow Urban Travel PacksBlack Gold Utility Wear Pocket and Belt

Clockwise from top left: The North Face Sport Hiker, Recycled Leather Hip Bags by Happy Cow, Stow All Unisex Pocket Belt in Green, Black Gold Utility Wear Pocket and Belt, Happy Cow Urban Travel Packs, Recycled Black Leather Unisex Hip pouch.

Then I thought there might be a way to convert a regular purse into a pocket belt. To make one as cheaply as possible, I combed thrift stores for the right purse. I bought this black fabric pouch purse for $3. Converting it to a hip pouch was a cinch. This one is great for casual T-shirt-and-jeans days, but now I’m on the hunt for a more dressy, leather version.
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 »

dscf1944

dscf1943

dscf1946

dscf1947

My apologies to those of you who had difficulty with my site this week. I tried something that didn’t work. It’s back to the old design until I work out the kinks. While I do that, I thought I’d post a project from two years ago. I bought a bunch of canvas tote bags, fabric markers, and stencils and went wild. While I admit I overdid the “It’s easy being green” theme, I had a lot of fun—and they made great gifts. Read more »

One Kings Lane
Tile Choice: Tiles with style
kitchen gadgets
LINKwithlove