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There are so many incredible DIY craft tutorials out there to try – but how do we scratch that creative itch without compromising our earth-loving-ethics? That’s what the “Greening Martha” series is all about! I take some of the most lusted after Martha Stewart tutorials and give them an eco-friendly makeover, making you feel better about indulging your crafty cravings!
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I thought it was high-time to get some seasonal tutorials going. This month I’m bringing you a DIY twist for dressing up your holiday table: the Eco-Chic Autumn Table Runner.
Designed after Martha’s “Festive Fall Felt Trivets“, my rendition of this uber cute seasonal decor utilizes leftover fabric scraps from sweatshirts and t-shirts instead of virgin materials. By using textiles that you already have lying about your home you can spice up your Thanksgiving spread without purchasing new fabric, which wastes valuable resources and pollutes the environment.
For an in-depth account of the full effects of the textile industry, read this report from the Indian Textile Journal, which documents each step of the fabric creation process and its impact on the planet.
So in the true spirit of the “Greening Martha” series, here’s a fun eco-friendly tutorial that will have you jumping for joy with your Thanksgiving table design, while feeling good about your conscious craft choices.
Eco Chic Autumn Table Runner
+ Various fabric scraps or used t-shirts, sweatshirt and other textiles
+ A sharp pair of fabric scissors
+ Fabric chalk, marker, pencil or crayon
+ A leaf (go get one from outside!)
+ A threaded sewing machine or old fashioned needle and thread
- Gather up your fabric, paying particular attention to the color scheme. Warm, earthy autumnal tones are best. Also try to find a variety of fabrics to create a more rustic look. Think cotton, knits, fleeces and other cozy textures.
- Grab your leaf and set it down on your first piece of fabric.
- Outline the leaf’s shape using fabric chalk, a marker, crayon, or anything else you may have lying around.
- Cutout your leaf outline – doubling the fabric if you want to be extra efficient.
- Trim up your leaf cutout to ensure it’s look even sharp.
- Repeat steps 2-5 with your other fabrics.
- Once all your leaf shaped are cut out, set your sewing machine to a zig zag stitch pattern. If you’re stitching by hand – skip this step.
- One leaf at a time, stitch across the surface of the shape, lining up your next leaf just after you hit the edge. Alternate the orientations of the leaves with each new shape addition to ensure a more natural pattern.
And that’s it! In fifteen minutes or less you can have an eco-savvy, super chic table runner with which to adorn your Thanksgiving spread. It’s an easy, affordable, and of course, earth-friendly way to liven up your space without compromising your ethics.
Is there a sustainable how-to that’s caught your eyes for the holidays? If so – share the link in the comments below!
If you’ve been looking for an easy 10 minute scarf tutorial – your search ends here!
Boggled by the over-the-top prices of currently trendy infinity scarves, I decided to give a DIY version a go. And won’t you know – the end result is cute, stylish, eco-friendly and el cheapo! So if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to make your own cotton wrap around scarf, grab a t-shirt and scissors and give this a try!
1) Choose a pre-loved t-shirt that’s nice and soft.
2) Cut off the bottom hem of the t-shirt.
3) Make another horizontal cut, about 4 inches above the first. Try to keep the cut clean and straight.
4) Make a third cut, same size, just above the last.
5) Grab each thick fabric strip and pull taught, rolling the edges. This is your no-sew hem.
6) Double loop the top strip.
7) Lay the double loop over the larger loop.
8) Using a small piece of your cut hem, tie a single knot on one side of the gathered loops.
9) Tie a second knot.
10) Pull the knot as taught as possible.
11) Trim the excess fabric.
12) Tuck the knot under and flip. All done!
Lately I’ve been pining for an over-sized statement necklace that has a rustic touch. After scouring Etsy and local fairs, I submitted to the urge to make my very own. I had something so specific in mind that I knew the only way to satiate the urge would to be create it myself!
Using wooden beads, a unique color palette , and embroidery floss, I was able to create a one-of-a-kind color-blocked neck adornment that was both fun and just the right chunky size.
And the best part? It’s easy to make one yourself! Follow these easy steps to make your own using your favorite colors of the season.
1) Pick up a set of large wooden beads from your local craft store.
2) Tape off a portion of each bead – this part will retain the natural wood.
3) Choose your paint colors – make sure they work on porous surfaces. My favorites are the multi-purpose collection by Ms. Martha.
4) Paint your bead. You may need two coats depending on the color you’ve chosen.
5) Set you painted beads aside to dry.
6) Peal off the tape and touch up as needed.
7) Thread a large needle with your chosen color of embroidery floss and string through your beads.
8) Last but not least, knot a complimentary colored floss to your base piece. Cut off the ends and you’re done!
Have you found a fun way to bring together a popular trend with your favorite colors and textures? If so – tell us about it!
I’ve been seeing these adorable tie tops all over the city, Whether paired with cut-offs or a long maxi skirt, the look has definitely caught my eye. So how could I not concoct a tutorial on how to make your very own?!
Using a pre-loved t-shirt and pair of scissors, you can easily create an airy cotton cut-out top to tie just as you see fit. And with the no-sew instructions below, making one of these cute pieces has never been easier! Read the rest of this entry »
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!
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 »
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.
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!