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DIY: Eco-Friendly Party Decor - recycled newspaper streamers

This past month I found myself in a dilemma. David’s birthday was suddenly at hand, we had a party planned, and I totally forgot to consider decorations! With just an hour before the first guests’ arrival, I devised a quick and resourceful way to get my apartment into the party spirit: Upcycled paper streamers!

Sneaking a few sheets of newspaper away from my bunny’s stash, I concocted a simple banner design that only required a few strategic cuts and less than 10 minutes of sewing. The result? A transformed festive space that’s eco-friendly and ready for fun!

Should you be on the lookout for a simple and design-savvy way to deck out your place for an upcoming get-together, give this easy four step tutorial a try!

upcycled party streamers tutorial

1) Cut your newspaper into one inch slices.

2) Gather a stack of your sliced paper and cut each strip in half.

3) Align your strips to ensure they’re all the same length. Don’t worry about the width of each being exact.

4) Use a simple stitch and same plain thread to connect the strips together, sewing about a half inch from the tops. Sew approximately 30-40 slips per streamer.

And that’s it! To hang your streamers all you need to do is grab some washi or marking tape and affix them to your ceiling at varying lengths and spaces. You’ll find that the more streamers you hang, the fuller the installation’s look, so don’t be afraid to go nuts and make ten or more pieces!

Do you have a secret last-minute party decor idea that’s easy to make and eco-friendly? Share your tips with us!

Pierogi Picnic: Handmade Party Streamer Tutorial

Handmade Sweater Knit Stocking

I absolutely love the look of soft cozy knits in the winter. If it were up to me I’d enshroud my entire apartment in knit blankets, rugs, pillows and drapes!

But since that’s not currently possible – I’ve had to satiate my urges to make everything soft and fluffy in a different way. Rather than go out and purchase a set of readymade holiday decor, I decided to handcraft a set of rustic Christmas stockings on my own. Utilizing pre-loved knit men’s sweaters, these elegant and wintery gift socks were quick to make and added just the right amount of cheer to our fireplace mantle. Follow my easy instructions below to craft a set of stocking for your home or to give as a gift to your favorite homebody!

DIY Eco-Friendly Knit Sweater Christmas Stockings

Supplies you’ll need: Sharp fabric scissors, knit sweaters (you’ll get 2 stockings out of 1 sweater), yarn for hanging, white thread, sewing machine, embellishments.

DIY Sweater Christmas Stockings

  1. Gather up your supplies. Think soft, cozy, and creamy colors.
  2. You’ll need a stocking template. I used the one off Martha Stewart’s website as a loose guide.
  3. Cut out the stocking shape using two layers of your sweater fabric.
  4. Bring the two right-facing sides together and stitch along the sides and bottom, leaving the top un-sewn.
  5. Cut 3-4 inches of yarn. Fold the top of the stocking over an inch around the top and pin the yarn on either side of the top back seam (the one that leads to the heel of the stocking).
  6. Sew across the top of the stocking hem using a zig zag stitch. This will keep the top from fraying and separating as you stuff the stocking with presents.
  7. Choose your stocking embellishments. These will add color, texture and spice to your stocking. You may also want to consider using something that will help identify which stocking belongs to which family member.
  8. Hang, fill with presents and enjoy!

DIY Sweater Stocking Eco-Friendly Chrristmas

Pierogi Picnic: Handmade Eco-Friendly Men's Cotton Bow Tie

Who doesn’t love a dapper looking gent?! This new incarnation of the classic “Perfect Gent” Pierogi Picnic bow tie design has a new texture and feel, making it even easier to pair with a guy’s everyday wardrobe. Handmade using sweatshirt fabric scraps, the “Perfect Gent” bow ties have a solid structure, soft feel, and clip on back, making it a fast way to add a dash of gentlemanly charm to any outfit. Coming in a variety of sizes, it makes a fantastic stocking stuffer too! Check out the full link of “Perfect Gent” bow ties here.

diy infinity scarf pic

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!

pierogi picnic infinity scarf demo

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!

DIY Infinity Scarf from an Upcycled T-Shirt by Pierogi Picnic

Pierogi Picnic: DIY Upcycled cut-out tie top

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 »


WGN Chicago Style Files: Upcycled Sweater Cowl

We are super stoked to report that our newest “Take A Bow” spring cowl was featured on Chicago’s WGN news yesterday! The Style Files segment focused on made in Chicago seasonal accessories. So thankful to Marris Callahan of My Daily Find for including us in her curated collection of favorites! 

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!

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