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Posted by on Oct 10, 2012 | 0 comments

DIY Pet: Making a Braided Dog Toy

DIY Pet: Making a Braided Dog Toy

I saw the DIY dog toy idea on Pinterest (like this one) and it seemed too easy to resist replicating. It’s also a great way to upcycle an old pair of jeans. One leg of my husband’s jeans equals one braided dog toy. Tennis ball optional. You can spend about $10-15 on these toys in the store. Ours cost nothing since we already had a tennis ball. And it only took about a half-hour to make one. 1. Cut 9 long, narrow strips of fabric (about 3 feet long). 2. Braid 3 strips one at a time so you have 3 separate braids. 3. Tie a knot of the 3 braids at one end and then braid all three together. (Optional) Cut two slices on opposites sides of the tennis ball with a box cutter and then squeeze the braid through the ball. It can go anywhere on the braid. 5. Let your dog chew to her heart’s...

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Posted by on Sep 4, 2012 | 1 comment

Framing Travel Photos with Upcycled Maps

Framing Travel Photos with Upcycled Maps

Among my “upcycle” supplies, I’ve hung onto various maps and atlases Katie and I picked up on freecycle when we made this woven basket from folded maps.  I’m glad I still had a few to make a decoupage frame highlighting the North Carolina beach we’ve visited for many years. I started with a couple of cheap frames from A.C. Moore ($3 each). Luckily, I found many maps showing the same coastline. I figured out where best to position the location on the frame and then cut out the image leaving about an inch margin all around. Then, I used a small paint brush to apply mod podge to the frame and underside of the map. I folded the edges around the sides and smoothed them down as I went. I also cut the paper at an angle in the corners so the corner folds would look nice and neat. I put sections featuring the region all around the perimeter of the frame. After applying mod podge liberally over the...

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Posted by on Apr 23, 2012 | 0 comments

Adventures in Dumpster Diving

Adventures in Dumpster Diving

We’ve written a lot on this blog about all the free stuff we find in the neighborhood — curb alerts, Freecycle, Craig’s list — but nothing beats the free stuff you find during Alexandria’s Spring Clean-up when residents can throw out pretty much anything. For people who like to refurbish, upcycle, and turn trash into treasures, it’s like a month-long carnival with surprises around every corner. Trash day eve is when you’ll find some fresh picks and this past Friday night, people were already starting to put out their stuff. En route to pick up a pizza for dinner from Del Ray Pizzeria, here’s what I saw. First, terra cotta pots of all sizes, neatly stacked. They’d be fine to use with their weathered patina, or they could be covered with chalkboard or spray paint for a clean look. Those smaller ones are practically new. Along Bellefonte, I found these great Adirondack chairs. I especially like the minty green one on top and I pictured myself relaxing in the chair...

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Posted by on Apr 19, 2012 | 0 comments

Five Ways to be Eco-Friendly This Earth Day

Five Ways to be Eco-Friendly This Earth Day

With Earth Day this weekend, what better time to look back at some of our favorite eco-friendly projects and ideas. Here are five ways to protect and preserve our beautiful planet on Earth Day and every day. 1. Install a Rain Barrel Rain barrels are a simple way to collect rain from rooftops for watering your garden, lawn, and household plants. They are inexpensive and easy enough to make yourself and many local groups offer classes for a small fee. Read more…     2. Turn Your Backyard into a Certified Wildlife Habitat Leslie and her daughters worked together to accomplish this relatively easy task. Their back patio now provides food, water, cover, and a place for many different species of wildlife to thrive and raise their young. Read more… 3. Consider Green Elements for Your Next Home Renovation Melissa and Bruni added a green roof to the shed they built. The roof is not only attractive but it also reduces storm water run-off, creates a habitat for wildlife, and filters pollutants...

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Posted by on Mar 16, 2012 | 0 comments

Children’s Artwork: What to Keep and Where to Keep It

Children’s Artwork: What to Keep and Where to Keep It

DIY Del Ray welcomes Laine Hardman, owner of Tidy Up, Professional Organization, as a special guest blogger. Laine will be writing a series of posts about storage and organization, something we struggle with every day in our small homes. In this first post, Laine has some really creative ideas for displaying, storing, and preserving kids’ artwork. We all love our kids’ artwork. The tiny handprints, the sun with the face, the macaroni skeleton. But saving it all is impractical. As a professional organizer, I am constantly being asked: With all these piles of masterpieces, how do we decide what to keep and how do we store it? Here are some ideas to help you and your child proudly display, sort, and store those works of art. Display It Designate one high-traffic area where you can display the newest, favorite works immediately. A clothesline can be strung high on a wall with clothespins to hold the art or clips can hang from the ceiling. (See this previous post from DIY Del...

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