Archive for May, 2011

Robot Pinata

May 31st, 2011

Over the holiday break, I found myself on an upcycling spree, of sorts, making and crafting new things to test out and try for the latest book Upcycled Celebrations.  There were some doozies and successes and this one I think could be the beginning of a successful idea for the book.

I rummaged my supply closet for old boxes and shipping tubes to see if I could fashion a pinata together.   Traditionally, making a pinata can be very messy: you  need to layer wet newspaper together smothered in white glues, let it dry, cover it with paint or tissue paper, fill it with candy, and somehow get it to look nice and hang from a tree.   In this project, you don’t need any of that mess at all.

In fact, once the boxes were assembled and filled with candy, you just tape the whole shape together using regular old painter’s tape.

It doesn’t look pretty now, but that’s not the point: you want the components to be as secure as possible, so tape tape tape away.

I decided to use a combination of silver duct tape and this wonderful aluminum plumbing tape from the hardware store.    The mix of silver textures works to create a robot feel and look.

And 20 minutes later, you’ve got a pinata.    It’s durable and strong, too, meaning kids can beat it with a stick as hard as they want and it won’t burst open the first whack around.    

And they can help decorate it using black electrical tape or office supply stickers, too.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

May 27th, 2011

Have a great Memorial Day weekend everyone!  I’ll be back Tuesday with more projects and ideas.

Congrats to our recent winners of the Lowe’s gift card and advance copy of my new book Upcycling.   Check both of those posts for the winner’s names…. but you know who you are if you’ve checked your inbox!


Danny Seo

New “Danny” Towels and Bath Mats

May 26th, 2011

Over the past few months, I’ve been super quietly hard at work on a new line of home products.

It’s been a dream of mine to create a line of environmentally-friendly home furnishings that not only considered the impact we all have on the planet, but also looked great and could be available at an attainable price point without sacrificing quality in the process.

I’m proud to announce that we’re rolling out our line of Danny Seo bath towels (along with coordinating hand towels and wash cloths) along with our Danny Seo bath mats nationwide right now.

I’m slightly obsessed with all the colors, but if you visit one of the 2,000+ retail stores carrying the towels and wonder “why can’t I find that gray towel I see?” it’s because I probably bought them (I’m half kidding).    The colors are inspired by nature and include tones like mossy green, bark brown, slate gray, cool khaki, creamy white and bright white.   Yes, a bright white eco towel!

The towel features quick-drying technology that cuts down on energy use when you’re using the dryer, but also means the towel is way less prone to smelly mildew since it also air dries faster, too.

The bath mats are incredible     Deep, plush, soft like a sheepskin rug, but entirely made out of natural cotton.   It also features the quick dry technology and comes in all the same colors as our towels.

The natural woven “lines” in the bath mat mimic some of my favorite laid brick patios I see in gardens.  It’s subtle, but pretty enough to give the bath mat some character.

You can find the Danny Seo towels and bath mats at fine retail stores nationwide and also at stores like TJ Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods (I find the best selection at those). 

Very excited for these and hope you’ll check them out!

Upcycled Reusable Bag

May 25th, 2011

If there’s one eco item that I think most of have are these inexpensive (sorta flimsy) reusable bags that we’ve picked (or gotten free) from one of those mass retail stores.

They are square-ish and often advertise the retailer’s logo or just have something a little too graphic on the front.  

I prefer my reusable bag to be pretty simple: a solid nylon fabric or my LL Bean camo tote bag that I’ve been reusing for like 10 years now.  

But I pulled this Staples bag out of the drawer and wanted to see what I could do with it.

I had this roll of aluminum foil repair tape that I picked up in Lowe’s.   I don’t know WHAT it’s intended purpose is (guessing duct work or something like that), but I liked how it was actual aluminum with adhesive on the back of it… I also liked the fact it had this nice, very shiny texture and crinkled when you used it.    It was durable, strong, very very sticky.

It started to look cool.   Like, really cool.   And it was so easy and foolproof to lay down and fold the edges over the bag.   Because it was aluminum, it also was bendy and pretty hard to mess up.  If it tore, you just put a new piece on top and it somehow blended right in. 

It started to look a little like this aluminum colored tote I saw Kelly Ripa toting around NYC….

Anyway, five minutes later, here ya have it (a thunderstorm was rolling through when I shot this… but in person, it’s pretty pretty nice). 

The handles I’m having mixed feelings about, but the overall body of the bag is very ultra, modern cool.  And with the aluminum tape on front, it actually helps keep cold food inside, well, colder!

I’m gonna play around with this idea a bit and try to mix different colors of duct tape into the mix.  Maybe color block a bit….    Happy Wednesday, All!

I started layering strips of on top of the tote bag.

HomeGoods Opening Party

May 24th, 2011

Last week, I was invited to attend the grand opening of the first-ever NYC store of HomeGoods.

I’ve been shopping at HomeGoods for years and love the constant changing inventory of product and—this is key—incredible prices.    For the Stella McCartney fashion presentation in NYC a few months ago, I took the styling team to HomeGoods to find the perfect mix of plates, trays, tiered trays, bowls, vases and more that we could decorate the space with and keep it looking very “stella.” 

It was good to run into some friends and make new ones, too:   Designer and talk show host Nate Berkus, Bobbie Thomas (style editor for The Today Show and close friend!), and actress and “The Talk” host Holly Robinson Peete.

Samantha Yanks is the editor-in-chief of Gotham and Hamptons magazines.    I’ve contributed many stories to both and I just love Samantha’s enthusiasm for mixing and matching high-end and off-price merchandise together in her NBC fashion segments.     She’s a shining example of someone who doesn’t believe just because something costs a lot makes it stylish or good; it’s all about your personal style, eye and ability to see the possibility in a sea of ideas.   

Ran into my pal Kelly Bensimon from The Real Housewives of NYC.    We’ve worked a lot in the past and it was great to see her stocking up on pet essentials for her rescue pooches.    She also found some of my Danny Seo eco towels at HomeGoods (stacked on top)!    For those of you wondering where to find my towels, stores like HomeGoods, Marshalls and TJMaxx are the best nationwide retailers to find them. 

Bye Kelly!

Congrats to HomeGoods on the store opening!   It’s up at 99th and Columbus in NYC.    I’ll sure be there quite a bit…. trust me.