Earth Week DIYs & Upcycling Projects

Recycled-Bottle Boat

I’ll humblebrag and say that I’m a pretty good recycler – I even bring bottles home from restaurants who say they don’t recycle, that counts right? What I’m not always great about is giving that plastic bottle, or cardboard box a new life. (And I use waaaaaaay too much water and electricity.) But the kids are I are working on looking at things and trying to see what they wanna be in their next life. We made some bird houses and feeders from a chip can, plastic bottles, and an old tea pot. Watch for that video on Friday. Not quite a boat, but you gotta start somewhere.

Here are a few of my upcycling craft favorites from around the interwebs to make something from your trash!

Make a Floor Mat from Leather Belts: Yes, please.
diy leather belt rug
Lots of other great belt diys at this Source

Upcycled Magazine Pages: DIY Paper Gift Bags: Great for craft fairs!
upcycled magazine crafts

Tire Tread Chair: Want!
upcycled tire chair

Soda Bottle Zippered Pouch Making these immediately!
soda pouch bottles zippered container recycled

Records into Stools, or Sidetables How great are these?!
Couldn’t find original source.

Paperclip Chandelier made from 14,700 Paperclips Not sure I’ve the patience for this one, but wow!
paperclip diys chandelier

Old Boot Birdhouse Genius. Pure genius.
diy birdhouse upcycled

T-shirt Skirt These are super cute for summer!

And here’s a little quiet soapbox about recycling and using less.

Recycling Infographic – That’s a lot of trash
recycling infographic

Happy Earth Day/Week/Month/Year – we’ve seen them all!

xo Loves,

Check out a few more upcycled crafts on Pinterest & be sure to follow all of our boards while you’re there!


Have you joined our Random Acts of Positivity movement? Print this free printable sticker sheet to spread a little (more) positive in your neighborhood. #RAOP


Random Acts of Positivity Sticker Sheet

DIY Chalkboard Paint + Chalkboard Projects

diy chalkboard door wreath

I’m obsessed with all the cute chalkboard projects on Pinterest lately. Like this one my dear, sweet friend, Heather  made for her front door. They are fancying up their house to put it on the market. So if you know anyone looking for a house in Pittsburgh, PA it’s a cute one. 😉

While there are a ton of colors and places to get chalkboard paint these days, it can get a little pricey. So I figured out how to make my own. I couldn’t believe how simple it was – thought for sure I had missed some steps and it wasn’t going to work. But it did! Watch this quick video to make your own chalkboard paint. And a few suggestion on how to use it!

Now go chalkboard paint ALL THE THINGS, loves!!

xo, Jennifer



T-shirt Yarn + DIY Cat Toys

delores karl hudson the cat

We are over the moon excited to welcome our new kitty home! We adopted her from a great little place called Kitty City (which Riley made a really funny jingle for, but refuses to sing to you guys). Her name was Cass, but we renamed her. Everyone got to choose a name.  And somehow our female cat became Delores Karl Hudson, or Karl Hudson for short. Cracks me up!

She was immediately comfortable and sweet. Mind you this was our second shelter cat in as many weeks. We originally adopted an older female we named Yeti, but she ended up spending the better part of two weeks hiding in a hole in the basement wall. We started calling her “wall kitty”. The foster folks were so sweet to come and coax her out and match us with the perfect pet.

fun with our new cat

All things for a reason, I guess. Anyway, we are loving her like crazy people. Lola wanted to make her toys so we made two and I went nuts pinning others to make real soon.

First we made a dangle cat toy with a piece of yarn and a stick. So simple and highly recommended by kitty Karl Hudson. And we made some t-shirt yarn and turned it into a really simple, crazy easy pom pom.

diy dangler cat toy

Here’s how to make your own t-shirt yarn for cat toys and a bunch of other crafts, too.

diy tshirt yarn crafts

First line up the bottom hem of your shirt and cut it off (this is a very forgiving project) with scissors or a rotary cutter. Then cut the top portion of the shirt off – I cut under the arm holes straight across.

fold leaving one inch_diy tshirt yarn

Next turn your shirt sideways, using one of the uncut sides as the bottom. Then fold from the bottom up leaving about an inch at the top.

diy tshirt yarn 2

Fold from the bottom again, still leaving an inch at the top. This will give you four (4) layers to cut through to make your strips.

make your own tshirt yarn

Cut through the four layers stopping at the one inch you left at the top. I cut through with scissors, but a rotary cutter would have been easier. I cut about one inch strips, but it’s totally up to you.

how to make your own tshirt yarn

Keep cutting your strips all the way to end. Remember not to cut all the way up to the top – leave your one inch uncut. Then you can open it all up to see your long strips and uncut top.

make your own tshirt yarn cutting

You’ll need to cut across the top and I found it easiest to lay it across a plastic bottle. You could put it on your arm, but this is way easier. Make a diagonal cut from the bottom of the first strip to the bottom of the second. Then keep cutting on a diagonal to the end.

You’ll find that the first strip is still attached so just cut it on a diagonal again and you’re all set. Sorry I forgot to snap a pic of the yarn laid out! We were too excited to make it into a toy, I guess!

After you have your yarn ready you can drive your cat crazy make a pom in just minutes!

diy tshirt yarn pom poms

First wrap the yarn around your hand, pull it off your hand and tie another strip in a knot across the middle. Then cut the loops at each end open. Then instant pom pom! You can give yours a little haircut if you want to get a tighter, more uniform pom. We left ours as is because she already wanted to play with it!

But she’s a smart one and refuses to have her picture taken in action. So here are some really bad pics of Karl Hudson staring at us, guarding her new diy cat toy!

diy cat toy

Hope you’ll make these two (ridiculously easy) diy cat toys! And here are some MORE adorable diy cat toys from folks way more creative than me!
diy cat toys
1. Cardboard Mice 2. Fish Head (fish heads, rollie-pollie fish heads…eat them up yum!) 3. Kitty Sushi 4. Knitted Corks

xo, Jennifer, Lola, + DKH the Cat

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DIYs for My Dream Backyard

backyard movie theater lounge - backyard lounge - outdoor design - patio design and decor via pinterest

I’m on a spring cleaning jag and thinking a lot about being outside. Grilling veggies, playing in the grass, my kids laughing, birds chirping. I can’t wait! Today it’s dark and stormy, but I keep thinking about DIYs for the yard. Well, the yard we don’t really have. We’ve a huge front porch, decent sized front yard and then a weird, little paved  sideyard. But it has potential, I think.

smile and wave fence

I’ve been revisiting a lot of the backyard ideas from Rachel at Smile and Wave, like this privacy fence she created over a chain link fence.  She’s my blog crush for sure Does anyone say that any more?? I don’t care. She is.

I want to add a privacy screen, a garden, a cozy little nook, and maybe a place for the kids to play in the water this summer.  Here are some of my inspiration pins.

I’ll pretend it isn’t the Midwest and we won’t be eaten alive by mosquitoes.
outdoor space - outdoor dining - flowers - romantic picnic - outdoor decor and design - dining room pillow chairs via pinterest

We’ve had small container gardens in the past, but this year I’d like to really try hard to grow more.
vertical garden
The pin goes nowhere, and I didn’t find the original source. Here’s one that gives you the general idea.

Thinking something like this could act as a privacy fence, too. Going to see if I can talk the man into helping.

This one is a pipe dream, but I’d love to have a pond some day.
tire into pond
I’m not doing great at loving original sources am I? This one also goes nowhere, but the pictures give you the gist.

This is on the list for sure. But it’ll have to be in the front.

I’d want to read, cuddle up and never leave this little spot. I’d add some twinkle lights, too.

Maybe you have a little patch of grass that you could fancy up. I’m going to keep decorating my fake one on Pinterest, but yours could be real! Lucky, lucky you!!

So, what does your dream yard look like?

xo, Jennifer

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DIY Wind Chimes: Keys & Broken Necklaces

diy windchimes on

There are so many jokes about the weather in the Midwest. And it’s not uncommon to have rain, snow, sleet, and 70 degree temperatures all in the same day [not kidding!]. But this weekend was beautiful and I’m sincerely hoping that means it’s spring. We seem to get about 3 weeks of spring until it’s ridiculously hot. So we took full advantage and spent most of the weekend outside.

I tripped over a stick when we were playing frisbee that I decided would make the perfect holder for a diy wind chime. And I thought I’d show you how I made it!

supplies for diy wind chimes

I grabbed some of the keys we used recently in another project and two broken necklaces that I’ve been saving forever. I also used some nylon thread that is used for boating or fishing, or something outside. I don’t really know,but I used it to make some macrame plant holders.

make your own wind chimes

First I cut the string at in random sizes and used a slip knot to attach the keys.

upcycled wind chimes from keys

And then I tied a square knot for spacers and to attach the beads from the broken beaded necklace. The bead were in clusters with the jump hooks still attached, so I just used those to attach to the strings. After I had the beads and keys attached to my liking, I tied a square knot at the top of the string.

how to make a wind chime

Now to attach ’em to the stick. I nailed through the knot to attach each key string the wood. I also used a nail to attach lengths of the metal broken necklace. I attached each key string and necklace piece with a nail. Then I used a piece of wire attached with two nails for the hanger.

And that’s it! It came together really quickly and sounds beautiful. There are a few spots where I should have put the keys closer together to get more sound. I think I’m going to make another with an embroidery hoop to see how the circle changes the sound. Take a listen to this one!

Our trees are still bare, but the gentle clinking of the keys makes it feel like a beautiful springy day! I hope you’ll try making some wind chimes of your own. These came together easily and you could use anything you have at home. Can’t wait to see yours!

xo, Jennifer


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