Archive for August, 2011

Upcycling with Kathie Lee and Hoda

August 31st, 2011

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The title says it all! Enjoy the clip!

Tutorial: Beach Finds Clock

August 31st, 2011

Here’s another Michaels Stores tutorial video I shot on how to take a few beach finds, a clock kit and unfinished wood shadow box and make it into a functional and beautiful clock for your home.

This is a simple and easy way to upcycle found objects. Try feathers, river rocks, shells and both colored and uncolored sand for your project.


A Simple Idea: Upcycled Wheelbarrow

August 30th, 2011

With Labor Day just around the corner and many of us planning parties to celebrate the end of Summer (er, or to mourn the end of Summer…depends how you look at it), I thought I’d share one of my favorite ideas to keep beverages chilled for outdoor entertaining: use a wheelbarrow.

I layer the bottom of the wheelbarrow with some old bubble wrap collected from packages over time, lay wine bottles, beer, soda and anything else on top of the bubble wrap and fill it with bags of frozen ice.

This helps “lift” up the bottles so they aren’t on the bottom of the wheelbarrow, keeps them clean from getting dirty (there can be rust inside the wheelbarrow) and protects them from shattering in case you want to wheel the portable bar to another location.

The best part?  When the ice melts, you can just tip the wheelbarrow and give the lawn or a plant a quick drink.

Tutorial: How to Sequin Pillows with Safety Pins

August 29th, 2011

Here’s the first of a series of fun tutorial videos I did with my friends at Michaels craft stores.

This one take regular throw pillows and upcycles them into “sequined” ones using colorful safety pins. Yes, PINS. And I promise they are totally safe and cool to the touch when you use them.

For more ideas, you can also check out my just-released book Upcycling, now in stores!

PS-I’ll be on The Today Show with Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford tomorrow on August 30th to talk about the new Upcycling book and share some of my favorite projects from it!   Tune in if you can!

Green Your Back to School

August 26th, 2011

Happy Friday all!

Today, I’m doing a segment on NBC Philadelphia’s 10! Show and I’ll post the video on this post later today when it’s up.

But here are my 5 easy ways to green your back to school shopping routine.

PS-Over at the website Recyclebank, they are doing a fabulous contest right now where you can learn all sorts of ways to green your Back to School routine and have a chance to win some fabulous prizes.   The electric Bodhi Bike looks pretty amazing to me.   Good luck and check it out!

TIP #1:  Pack waste-free lunches: It’s estimated that Americans go through 100 billion plastic bags a year- this averages to 360 bags per person. Purchase a reusable lunch bag or box for your child, and fill reusable bottles with water or juice and FREEZE them to help keep food cold and fresh.  You can also freeze yogurt to do the same thing; when lunch comes around, the yogurt will be defrosted and cold.  If you do use plastic bags, reuse and recycle them. Clean and dry Ziploc® bags can be recycled at most grocery stores where you drop off plastic shopping bags.

TIP #2:  Choose sustainable school supplies: In the U.S. alone, approximately 11,600 incense-cedar trees are cut down to create the 2 billion pencils made each year.To minimize your environmental footprint, opt for school supplies wrapped in limited packaging and recycle what you can. Seek out greener supplies like recycled pencils, refillable pens and paper clips made from recycled steel.   Staples has a great program called Eco Easy that help customers identify eco-friendly supplies in their stores.

TIP #3: Recycle old electronics: If you’re upgrading your family’s electronics this year, be mindful of recycling old models. You can get rewards like cash or gift cards for doing so – visit to check the value of your old electronics and use their free mail-in program. You can also download money saving coupons on the site for things like $2 off any Kashi product, $1 off any Dagoba chocolate bar, $2 off Earthbound Farm salad mixes, and $1 off Stonyfield greek yogurt to save money on your school lunches.

TIP #4: Upcycle” last year’s supplies: Three ring binders that are still in great working order can be refurbished at home. Cover the entire exterior of the binder with a sheet of cork contact paper, then trim to size for a clean, modern looking folder.  You can even cover journals with old keys from broken computers to make something very cool and modern.

TIP #5:  Speed up the morning routine:  Any help to make the morning’s faster and easier to get the kids out the door is always welcome.  Invest in “quick drying” towels and bathmats that dry 1/3 faster than traditional towels; a special weave in the towels makes them dry more quickly, making them less prone to smelly mildew.    You can find Danny Seo Eco-Existence towels at stores like TJ Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods and they are just $5.99!