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DIY upcycled serving tray

The sun is shining, a gentle breeze is blowing and you just came home from the farmer’s market. So what do you do? Plan a picnic of course! Some of the basic you’ll need are tasty local treats, a blanket, reusable napkins, utensils – and my secret to picnic success – a sturdy tray!

DIY Picnic Tray from pierogi picnic

Helping to keep your food stable and elevated, while upping your presentation ante, having this simple accessory will make your outdoor dining experience fun and functional. Follow my quick pictorial instructions below Read the rest of this entry »

Plant in a bird cage by Lydia Krupinski

As a contributor to the Eco Etsy blog – I’ve had the opportunity to write on a wide range of topics. From eco-tutorials to sustainable inspirations – I’ve covered a range of topics on the site. Most recently I gathered up some ideas on how you can bring a hint of Spring indoors with creative curating using plants.

If you’re getting antsy like me to welcome the new season, check out the article for some suggestions on how you can bring the great outdoors in this month.

14 Days of Crafting from Eco Etsy photo by Lydia Krupinski

The Eco Etsy Street Team is holding our first-ever 14 days of crafting! We’re rounding up the best of the best green tutorials and sharing them with experienced upcyclers and newbie DIYers alike.

Several posts that I’ve written for the team blog from over the years, like the one above, will be featured, along with many other fun ways in which you can get your “craft on” sustainably.

Tune in each day of the challenge to be inspired and take your creativity to a whole new level!

DIY: Cardigan Slim Down Alteration

When hunting for fabric for my upcycled creations it’s impossible for me to hold myself back from scooping up a goodie for myself here and there. Knowing that I’m scoring a deal and being green, by purchasing pre-worn, makes me feel doubly good!

But one of the dilemmas of buying used clothing is making it fit – which is where my handy-dandy alteration short-cuts come into play! Sure, I can disassemble each item and re-sew each seam, but there are so many other things I have to focus on: filling custom orders, updating my website, cuddling my bostons or noshing on home-baked cookies. So why not find a faster way to alter things to size?!

One of my all-time favorite sewing tricks for slimming down tops uses external seams. When created in multiples, folds of sewn fabric create a unique texture while taking-in the garment. The perfect item to test this technique is an over-sized boyfriend cardigan. Whether originally created for a man or dame, a soft cotton long-sleeve cardi is something I can’t resist when thrifting. So when wanting to taper one down, the “Cardi Slim Down” is my method of choice.

Here’s how to get it done:

step 1 Read the rest of this entry »

I’m always looking for quick easy ways to update my wardrobe. Whether it’s with layering, belting or accessorizing – there are so many methods for updating an outfit for a whole new look.

By far my favorite tactic is giving ‘fashion facelifts’ to already owned objects. Recently I updated a set of bracelets into cozy looking winter bangles using sweater scraps from a recent sewing project. Super easy to make and ultra cute – these fun seasonal accessories are a breeze to create. Try making one for yourself, or as a holiday gift, using this four step tutorial: Read the rest of this entry »

One of my pet peeves is throwing on a pair of super soft, worn-in, cotton leggings only to find a tiny hole near my knee. The culprit: over-exuberant Boston Terrorizers who love to do nothing more than bounce all over my thighs when I come home from work each day.

But never fear “not-pants” attire! There’s help yet!

I found this adorable tutorial on Karen Barbe’s blog. This uber talented textile designer put together an easy how-to for patching up holes and tears in style. Using little more than a cereal box (and you know how much I love to use those!), a needle and colored thread, she shows us how to create folk inspired patches with which to stitch up our most beloved garments.

So next time you find a critter has torn a hole in your favorite pair of leggings – don’t toss ‘em –  bust out some serious stitching and you’ll be glad about your now happy accident.

I have started a tradition at my in-person events to always have some kind of earth-friendly craft ready and waiting for fans to make.  And this September’s Renegade will be no different!

Since I’m not sharing a booth this year I’ll have a bit more space to stretch out – so I’m planning to insert what I’m calling the “creation station.” This little nook of my tent will feature supplies and instructions on how to make your very own green-it-yourself bracelets. Created from the remnants of my cotton-based designs, these accessories will be a fun way to get fair-goers to try their own hand at crafting. I’ll be hand-dying each strip in advance too – so that the finished bracelets have a lovely ombre effect.

So if you’re planning on coming by the fair on September 8th or 9th, be sure to set some time aside to make your very own fabric bracelets. There’s nothing better than a free, green and trendy souvenir!

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