Category Archives: Eco-friendly living ideas

Upcycled Plastic Pots: Beautiful Bark Covered Pots

Something as simple as covering a plastic nursery pot with bark can have wonderful results.

Adding a ribbon around the pot is a nice touch.

Nice for a house-warming gift or teacher gift.

Beautiful for a wedding or dinner party.

Add bark in a horizontal pattern or a vertical pattern.

We have a wood burning stove so I’m able to gather bark from around our log pile. Alternatively, you can harvest some from fallen trees. Using a hot glue gun, attach strips of bark. I used a pair of pliers to break the pieces to the appropriate length. Work your way around the pot: adding strips as you go. Reuse plastic pots you have hanging around your garage or find some secondhand. This blog is about wise use of resources so ask around and reuse items as much as possible.

I used 3 inches tall pots with square tops for a windowsill herb garden and I used a 4.5 inches tall round pot for a centerpiece.

Jean Pocket Patches: Repairing Knee Holes

A cool and easy way to repair knee holes in jeans is to sew on the back pockets of a pair of older jeans. It’s hard to get my daughter to part with her favorite pair of jeans. Sometimes when summer comes we make them into shorts but if not, here is a solution.

You will need a pair of jeans that you can salvage the back pockets from. I like the ones from smaller jeans. You might have some that your child has worn out/ out grown. I used a seam ripper to remove the pockets then I sewing them over the holes of the jeans that we want to keep. I left the pockets open on the tops but you can sew all the way around if you like. When salvaging old pockets, you may want to cut the pockets off instead so that you have two layers that you sew on.

They are approved by fashion conscious people (like my daughter).

Reuse Brown Paper Packing Material

Save the brown paper used as packing material in the boxes you get in the mail. You could recycle it but it would be even better to reuse that paper in other ways.

This is what I’m talking about.

I roll it up and put it away until needed.

Besides an amusement for my cat, it can be reused in so many crafty ways.

One example is as a protective table cloth when doing craft projects.

Here students are painting bread dough ornaments made during one of my workshops.

Mixed Matched Place Settings For Your Family: Teaching Responsibility To Children One Meal At A Time

As a parent, are you tired of finding dishes all about the house? Do your kids claim that they aren’t theirs? Avoid squabbling and teach responsibility by providing unique dinnerware to everyone in your family. A fun thing to do is to go to yard sales or thrift stores allowing each member of your family to pick out a plate, cup or glass, bowl, fork, knife, spoon (anything they will need). That way they will like what they have. Don’t get carried away and get lots of accessories; start with the bare minimum. The key is to use one of a kind items so kids will not mistake another’s for their own. Also, you don’t want the kids reaching into the cabinet for another plate when they can’t find their own. After each use, everyone should wash their own dishes by hand.

I’m trying to teach responsibility and self reliance to my children without a lot of nagging. It’s been two weeks and I’m seeing an improvement.

Mix n Match place Settings

Set your table with mixed and unmatched plates and cups. Most of the tableware in the above photo came from the thrift store.

You might also try this technique with bath towels. Even if your kids don’t have to wash their own towels, they won’t be allowed to keep grabbing a new one while leaving the old one on the floor somewhere.

On a side note, I threw a dinner party one time and used mixed matched plates because of the large amount of guests. It turned out to be fun; I let the guests pick where they wanted to sit.

Do Not Forget To Save Your Colored Paper Scrapes for Future Projects

Tray of scrap colored paper for eco-crafting

Saving scraps of colored paper saves resources and saves money. When doing a craft project involving colored paper, collect the paper scrapes and save them in a box or tray for future use. Whenever you need a piece of colored paper, first look in your scrap colored paper tray (or box) and see if there is one the right size. Only if you can’t find what you need there do you get a new piece of paper.