Magazines

Upcycling

August 20th, 2013

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As you may know, I have written several books on the art of upcycling including the simply titled Upcycling and the followup entertaining book Upcycling Celebrations. 

I love taking old things and elevating them into new beautiful things through a few simple steps.  So, I’m constantly on the hunt for new ideas and inspiration.

This photo has been living on my desktop for weeks and it’s brilliant: old Chinese porcelain tea cups are sliced into bangle bracelets.    If this isn’t the poster child for upcycling, I don’t know what is.

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In the September issue of Elle Decor I found these amazing lights handwoven out of recycled materials.   Look carefully: do you see how the top of the light is the top of a soda bottle?    Then the rest is all handwoven from recycled PET plastic (from soda bottles) to make these colorful pendant lights.   You can order and see more at petlamp.org.

Upcycling is everywhere…. just love these two innovative and very stylish examples.

 

Upcycling Spirited Fun

April 25th, 2012

I’ll be on the fourth hour of the Today Show this morning with Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford teaching my latest and greatest upcycling projects.    Tune in as I show em how to transform an old wine bottle into a cast candle, some torn jeans into elegant napkins and I might even do a technology twist and upcycle old books into an Iphone charger.  Yes, a charger.

If you’re flying Southwest Airlines anytime this month, you may have noticed this story on upcycling I did for them.   In case you missed it, here it is, featuring my favorite and easiest ideas where you can take the stuff you already have and make new and beautiful things from them.

Click image to make em larger.

Do Just One (er, 11) Things.

September 8th, 2011

Every week, my syndicated column “Do Just One Thing” runs in newspapers across the country where I share little eco-nuggets to help people go a little greener each day.

For those of you who don’t have a chance to read it, I’ll share some of the tips right here at Daily Danny for you.

Here are this week’s tips!

  1. If you want to save money on your favorite organic or natural products that you regularly buy but can’t find coupons, ask for them instead.   Click the “Like”  button on the company’s Facebook page or follow them on twitter; they often release coupons to insiders to save money on their products.   You can also post messages on their wall or send them complimentary emails and often they’ll thank you with coupons, too.
  2. Buying concentrated cleaning products that you add water to dilute not only saves on bulky plastic packaging, but can save you money, too.   But adding tap water can mean adding hard minerals, which lessens the shelf-life of your DIY all purpose cleaning mix.   Instead, collect rain water, which is mineral free, and use it instead.   It’s clean, pure and free of hard minerals.
  3. This tip comes from reader Larry Gaso who found another use for outdoor solar powered light fixtures: use them indoors!   When the power goes out and you need a little light, bring in solar lanterns and place them throughout the house.  They’ll light up as if outdoors and can be recharged the next by bringing the back outdoors.   Great tip, Larry!
  4. We all know that bottled water is as good for the environment as a gas-guzzling Hummer, but there’s no denying the convenience of it when you want something refreshing, cold and healthy to drink on a hot day.   Now you don’t have to have green guilt from drinking bottled water with the launch of Green Planet Water: the first bottled water made entirely from 100% compostable and biodegradable material.  The bottle is made entirely from plant based sources—not petroleum—and is 100% recyclable, compostable and biodegradable.   Look for it in your local supermarket.
  5. Grabbing some scrap paper, junk drawer funds and craft glue to upcycle into a fun craft project with your kids is more than just recycling, it can also help them grow into more confident individuals.  According to Michaels craft stores, families who craft together raise children who are more self confident, out-going and become better critical thinkers.  Who knew glitter and glue could do so much more!
  6. Used cooking oil can be a conundrum for home cooks: you can’t pour it down the drain without it clogging and tossing it in the trash can mean almost endless wads of soaked paper towels.    Here’s one way to reuse oil: use it to kill pesky weeds.   Pouring cooled oil where weeds proliferate and it will not only  kill them, but prevent them from coming back.
  7. For those occasions when you are planning a dinner party for a group slightly larger than the actual number of place settings you have, there’s no need to use flimsy disposable products when you can rent instead.   Many people think renting fine china, glassware and linens is only for large banquet groups or wedding parties; on the contrary, rental companies are used to renting their wares for any size party.   It’s also surprisingly affordable and an eco-friendly and elegant solution for your next bash.
  8. If you have to use disposable paper plates for a party, do one green thing by choosing uncoated ones that can be composted after the party.    Chinet’s classic dinner plates bear a composting symbol on the front of the package which  means they can be tossed into a home compost  bin to break down and biodegrade into beneficial compost for your garden.  To speed up the composting process, used plates should soaked with water and tossed into the compost pile.   But as always: if you can use reusable plates, choose that option first.
  9. Bring a plastic Ziploc bag with you the next time you get your hair cut.   Ask your hair dresser to fill up the bag with your own hair and use it to scatter around the house where field mice and other rodents may enter.    With the air getting cooler, critters will be looking for places to burrow and live, which includes your own home.   Your own hair can be a natural deterrent to keep them away.
  10. In my new book Upcycling (in stores now), I share more than 100 recycling projects that take everyday things we commonly toss and transforms them into beautiful new functional things for the home.    My favorite idea?   Stacking mismatched plates, cups and saucers into a tiered serving tray.   Start with the largest plate as the base, center a cup in the middle, add a plate on top and continue.   Glue them all together with E6000 glue for a strong hold (wait 24 hours for the glue to set), then throw a party!
  11. Are the waxy, paper cartons your milk and juice come in recyclable or not?   According to the Carton Council, they are recyclable and many communities around the country are now collecting them as part of their curbside recycling.  To find out if your municipality participates, simply visit recyclecartons.com.

Some Upcycling Love

August 25th, 2011

There’s been some great magazine coverage for my new book Upcycling. Wanted to share some clips with you in case you missed them.    Here’s an idea from the September issue of Reader’s Digest they excerpted from the book: upcycling empty Patron tequila bottles into tabletop lanterns.       (click on image to enlarge for a tutorial.  It’s easy!)

In the new issue of Country Living magazine, they ran the image of one of my favorite ideas from Upcycling: Taking beautiful river rocks, twisting florist wire around them and upcycling them into tabletop picture “frame” holders.   So easy and so pretty.

And in the September issue of Real Simple (one of my favorite mags), they highlighted the upcycled leather belt doormat project and the fact you need 10-12 belts to make it.   I love how they say “it’s a cinch” to make.    Thank you Real Simple!


Instyle Before & After

March 16th, 2011

Out on newsstands today is the April 2011 issue of Instyle that features a gorgeous and green makeover I did on my pal Emmanuelle Chriqui’s home in West Hollywood, CA.   I was introduced to Emmanuelle through a mutual friend and we totally hit it off, so much so, that we decided to work together to transform her apartment from clean and simple into Hollywood Glam meets Gorgeous & Green.

In the magazine, you can get the 411 on everything we did, but I downloaded some pics from my digital camera for you to see.   Above is the before picture of her living room.  

And here’s the after with some styling, re-arranging and additions of just a few pieces here and there.   The key thing in doing this makeover was NOT TO BUY tons of new stuff, since even the greenest of new furnishings is not as a green as reusing what you already have!   The addition of the shag rug from Shaw Flooring makes all the difference here, plus hunting and collecting her personal collection of accessories just brings it all together.

Home office before….

Loved the desk, but we needed real club chairs to make it feel substantial.   The double-lined drapes add warmth to the room, but also insulate from the hot sun and help to keep the electric bills also lower.    The vintage lamp from HD Buttercup was also a nice touch.    In the magazine, you can also see a final final photo of we did to the home office.

Bedroom before…. and she sleeps on a Simmons Natural Care by Danny Seo bed!

And the after…with gorgeous organic cotton sheets…a vintage rug in the corner… a vintage light fixture hung from the ceiling… an eco-friendly ottoman from HD Buttercup… new throw pillows… and lots of faux fur.    The wallpaper hung up is a “test” piece from Trove and we loved it so much, we ended up covering the whole wall with it in the Instyle spread.

Again, check out the April issue and let me know what you think.  She’s a doll to work with and the whole crew at Instyle was amazing, too.