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Tuesday, June 17

cheap, chic, and eco-friendly!

Here are some inexpensive, DYI projects to spruce up your homes for the summer from the Martha Stewart website. Enjoy!

Make napkins or dish towels out of old gingham shirts! Really, you could use any cotton shirt, but, in my opinion, the more patterns, the better! (You can go the extra mile here by using recycled glass dishes as well.)

Create a one of a kind tiered serving tray with mismatched cups and saucers by gluing them together (ceramic epoxy would be ideal.) You can also use this adorable piece for keys, small kitchen items, or jewelry!

Use various glass bottles together to make a centerpiece or fill a table. (Options include old bud vases, apothecary jars, Mason jars, lotion and perfume bottles, etc.)

Collect wine corks and pull them together to make trivets for the kitchen. 
(To make: arrange corks in a tight circle and surround them with a metal hose clamp from the pluming section of your local hardware store. Tighten the clamp and trim the excess! For a medium sized trivet, collect about 50 corks.)

Melt down bits of old candles in a saucer or on a hotplate and pour into old flower pots to create new, rustic-inspired candles. Make sure to cover the hole in the bottom of the pot with an old coin and to tie the wick (found at your local craft store) to a pencil laid horizontally across the top of the pot.

Sew old scarves together to make a unique throw. Don't worry if you are like me and aren't the best seamstress in the world. All this project needs is a straight line on a sewing machine. If you have the skills, however, a solid color backing would make this blanket look extra special.

Make a plastic bag drier from a pretty toothbrush holder and some chopsticks. Although we normally use and discard our Ziplocks, they are actually durable enough to withstand multiple uses and washings. Not only is this project eco-friendly, it is wallet-friendly as well!

For those seasonal allergies or that pesky summer cold, hang a bunch of eucalyptus (from a craft or flower store) from your shower curtain rod for a few weeks. Make sure to hang the eucalyptus in an area that isn't directly in the water and to use garden twine which is moisture resistant. It is an inexpensive and natural way to get rid of congestion. 

If you decide to take on any of these projects, let me know! I would love to hear and see about the outcomes. I plan on trying a few of these (as well as some others) myself, so look for those posts in the near future!

all photos courtesy of


Danz said...

These are all great ideas! They're all very lovely, charming and practical. Thanks for sharing :)

Ashley said...

I am glad that you like them, danz! I think they will be easy, fun summer projects. If you decide to do any of them, send me the pictures! Keep up your great blogging!

Elizabeth Westby said...

Hey there-- cute blog! The Asian Cajuns sent me to it. :) I have a style/social scene blog over at (, and I love finding similarly themed blogs from local writers.

And I am totally trying that mason jar centerpiece.

the Launderette said...

Those are all so cool! Especially the tiered plate thing. I wanna make one!

Ashley said...

elizabeth, thanks so much for stopping by! I'm glad that you love the blog, and I can't wait to check out yours! Let me know how the centerpiece works out. I will definitely be posting some pictures of my projects pretty soon, and I'd love to see yours!

the launderette, please send me a picture if you decide to make one! I can't wait to make mine.. I'm just having trouble deciding which plates to use!

Cheryl Lynn Pastor Romance Author said...

So happy I found your blog. The tiered serving dish is wonderful. I have so many small trinkets and cups with saucers. That's a great idea and the scarf throw is another one I like very much. I will be returning to your blog. I would like to link to you on both my blogs if that's okay and hope you'll do the same.

Just let me know.

Ashley said...

cheryl lynn, thanks so much for reading! I would love the link to your blogs as well, and I would love pictures if you decided to take on any of the DIY projects!

Lisa Nelsen-Woods said...

I dry ziplock bags on chopsticks in the silverware basket of my dishdrainer. I tried it once to see if it would work because I didn't have to buy a special doo-dad to try it out. I kept doing it 'cuz it worked and still was free :)

Ashley said...

Condo Blues, I hadn't thought of the silverware basket... that's a great idea! I too love recycling the bags, and you're right, it's free!

Vanessa said...

Fantastic ideas! I do the wine cork trivets already, looking forward to trying out the other ideas.

Leslie Richman said...

Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous!!