Eco-friendly Craft Ideas – Creative Repurposing

There are so many ways to go green these days. From energy efficient appliances, to phosphate free soaps, to recycling; if you’re looking to go green, there are no shortage of ways to get started. One very popular and inexpensive way to be a little more eco-friendly is through repurposing.

Repurposing can be something as simple as repainting an old chair and using it as your new bedside table, or it can involve completely dismantling that chair and using the wood to help build a new doghouse; nothing limits you but your imagination – and maybe your skill with power tools and sewing needles! Here are a few crafty ideas for reworking some of that old stuff you’ve been thinking about trashing.

Repurposing Old Sweaters

Got a few old sweaters piling up in the back of your closet that you’re always thinking about donating but somehow just never get around to it? Now you can finally use them; sweaters are one of the most versatile items to repurpose. For example, how about making them into some cozy new pillow covers for those tired old cushions? Carefully cut a straight edge just under where the sleeves attach, turn the resulting tube of fabric inside out and sew the rough edge closed to create a large pocket.

TipSew the rough edge with a sturdy thread and tight stitch to prevent any unravelling. You can even run a double row of stitching for added stability.

Next, depending on your desired look, attach a zipper or velcro closure to the finished edges at the top of the pocket – this allows you to wash the cover separately from the pillow, and allows you to change out the covers as you create more – or hand sew the edge closed with the pillow insert inside for a more permanent look.

Tip: You can get two pillow covers out of one sweater, by making double-sided cushion covers. Simply cut the sweater tube down each seamed edge leaving you with two squares of fabric. Then follow the same steps with an old t-shirt. Sew one sweater square to one t-shirt square to get this double-sided look.

Bonus Tip: Cardigans make great pillow covers too! Follow the same steps to create the sweater tube but then sew both ends closed. Insert the pillow through the front of the cardigan and button it up!

You’re not done with that sweater yet! Use the sleeves to make no-knit cosies for teapots by simply cutting holes in the sleeve for the handle and spout, trimming off any excess material, then finishing the edges to prevent fraying.

Tip: You can also use the sleeves to create unique covers for old jars, or even vases that need a facelift.

Repurposing Old T-Shirts

T-shirts are a fantastic repurposing item; they can be used for everything from quilting material to pillow cases. A really environmentally friendly craft project using old t-shirts is turning them into reusable shopping bags! Such a quick and easy project that’s eco-friendly in two ways – allowing you to repurpose an old item, and encouraging the use of reusable shopping bags instead of plastic.

Tip: Using old tank tops works just as well for this project – saves having to cut off the sleeves!

Repurposing Old Dressers

Take that ugly old dresser you were planning to drop at the dump, and turn it into back useful storage without even painting or refinishing it! Remove the drawers, add four caster wheels, and tuck under your bed to store socks, shoes, and even books.

Or take your old dresser outdoors for garden storage. Move it into your backyard or garden shed, use the top surface for potting your plants, then hide your tools and extra pots in the drawers. Add a few old strawberry baskets to the top drawer and keep your seed packets organised and out of sight. Then screw some hooks onto the side for hanging gloves and kneeling pads. Suddenly that scratched and dented old dresser you hated has become useful storage for all your gardening accessories!

Tip: If you’re handy with power tools, you can also repurpose old dressers into bathroom vanities by cutting holes to fit the sink and pipes, or into kitchen islands by adding caster wheels and a countertop – something to think about!

More Great Repurposing Ideas

  • Crafty Ways to Go Green – Repurposing Your Old Stuff

Repurposing is a great way to go green; anyone can take an old item, rethink its purpose, and create something new out of it. It is inexpensive and rewarding since it keeps junk out of the landfill and money in your pocket. And it feels really nice when people compliment you on your unique creations. There are projects out there for every crafting skill-level, so don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves and start repurposing some of your old stuff!


Window prices: save money with these great ideas

You’ll be laughing all the way to the bank if you take a good look at our window prices article. We’re going to go through all of the ways in which you can save huge amounts of money on your windows, and that doesn’t necessarily mean entirely replacing them, we will show you all of the tricks of the trade and how to upgrade your windows and get the most out of every penny that you spend.

You don’t need to necessarily replace your windows to get them upgraded

One of the easiest ways to save money on your windows is by repairing them rather than replacing. But you probably didn’t know that you could actually upgrade original windows as well. If you’ve got high quality timber windows then you’re fortunate that you’ve probably got an extremely beautiful property, but not just that, your going to have plenty of windows specialists that would be more than willing to work with your original windows rather than entirely replace them. They can do amazing things such as install double glazing or draught proof them.

“The first part of being able to work with your original windows is to understand that they are high quality and made of timber. They might be either hardwood or softwood and in this instance it’s always worth looking at your options” comments Brian Turner of Only Windows, the online window price comparison specialist. He goes on to say “to give you a rough idea of cost savings you might be able to double glaze original windows for around £700, but an entire replacement window with hardwood could be as much as £2500”. So there you have it, I told you that if you keep an eye on this article you’ll find some amazing ways of saving money, but don’t worry if your windows are made of plastic, we’ve got some great tips coming straight up for you too.

Sometimes UPVC windows can be excellent value for money.

Pound for pound, UPVC windows are the cheapest windows available in the UK today. You simply can’t match the cost of a simple UPVC extrusion, with high quality double glazed or triple glazed unit. They can literally start from around £250 for a brand new window and you can get some extremely impressive acoustic and thermal performance from this amount of money too.

Before you go ahead and get a double glazed unit, one and you can see the triple glazing? Acoustic laminate glazing is actually extremely efficient if you’re only looking at a fixed pane of glass. Because of the additional weight doesn’t need to be counterbalanced or held by friction stays, it means that you can have high-end glazing for a really low cost.I recommend taking a look at the 8.8 mm laminate acoustic glazing, it’s relatively well priced but provide extremely high performance in terms of reducing the amount of noise pollution in your home. Not everything’s about saving money and taking it back to the bank, sometimes it’s about making your home by more comfortable and how do you put a price tag on that?

UPVC paint to spruce up your old windows that I made a plastic that would otherwise need throwing away

One great way to get a little bit more life out of your windows if they’re made of uPVC is to take a look at some of the great paint that’s now available. Whilst you won’t get an long term repair on your windows, you could certainly get another few years of them looking pretty clean and crisp. The only problem with the UPVC paint is the fact that they’ll actually break down and begin to peel which looks really rough. If you’re in a position where your crap selling your home and just wanted to make them look as presentable as possible for that., then this will definitely be a way to go about it.

This is how to get yourself some great money saving window tips. Keep the money in the bank and make sure your windows pay and make you warm and comfortable at home.


Picking a windows that maximise the value of your property

What are the first things you see when you walk up to a property as the windows. It’s almost the first thing that will give you an overall impression and the first thought of the property is when you look at those windows and you’ll decide; do you love the property or not. That’s why it’s so important to pick the right windows for any given property. If you got a modern property then perhaps you going to go of aluminium powder coated windows where is if you’ve got a traditional period property and like most of the windows in London you to go for a traditional sliding sash window or casement made from hardwood.

If you’ve got a property that doesn’t really benefit from the aesthetics of quality windows then it’s almost certain that you’re going to go with a UPVC or plastic windows because of the sheer cost. It’s actually about 4 times cheaper to have a plastic windows that hardwood sash window or casement windows. So in this instance it makes far more sense to go with what makes most economic benefit. It’s a shame that UPVC windows are so inefficient in terms of their environmental friendly factors but apart from that, they are extremely good value for money and modern world where we’re always counting the costs and anything that we spend generally ends up on the mortgage it makes sense to keep the costs where they can be minimised.

Best windows to improve the value of a period property

There are two types of windows to really improve the value of a period property and they are sash windows and casement windows. These are normally constructed of hardwood or softwood but originally they would have been constructed something called BC Pine. This is a grain density that we are not used to today. This is good to actually because the timber grew slowly and that means that there was actually far higher grain density.

UPVC Sash Windows
UPVC Sash Windows

These days there are modern UPVC sash windows that look pretty similar to a traditional timber windows but they’re not quite as good. You can see from a few metres away the difference in styles and they’re far more chunky looking. They also don’t have the same elegant beautiful profiles and if there is anything in terms of measurement or any issue with the window then it’s a simple case of throwing it away rather than trying to repair it. This is the other problem of uPVC in general.

Aluminium powder coat windows for more modern properties.

Aluminium windows are really good for modern properties in special if you’re looking for a really super sleek ultra modern feel. Because they really do look the part and the grey that you can get them in really seta some properties apart. Grey aluminium powder coat windows looks super ultra modern and almost gives the impression of a spaceship.

Aluminium window
Aluminium window

The other great thing about aluminium windows is that they last for ages and they are extremely durable. There’s no doubt once you replace them it is almost impossible you have to do it again in your lifetime. This is great for the environment because the longer lasting Windows mean that less production CO2 is required. If you can think a low quality window will last you 50 years and will give you a certain amount of CO2 output. If you consider a high quality window last 200 years but it gives you only half the CO2 overall then of course that’s far more efficient for the environment overall.

UPVC windows can seriously affect the value of your property.

You must make sure that you completely avoid PVC when you own a property that really would be of value for historic purposes. Installing PVC windows really can detract from the overall look of a property like this as well as get you into trouble with the council. If you’ve got some kind of listing or you’re in a conservation area then it’s a requirement that you have a like-for-like sash window or casement installed into your property. This also involves not just the actual look at the window but the material used as well. You can’t switch from plastic to wood or from wood to timber to aluminium, this just simply won’t work legally.

Sometimes a UPVC window can make a property go up in value to. Imagine that you’ve got a building that was made in the 70s or 80s and they had the original horrible looking off-the-shelf type windows in place. Having an upgraded double glazed UPVC windows is not always a bad thing and in this situation you can actually increase the value of your property through careful installation of a sympathetic UPVC looking window. When you buy UPVC windows it’s not always best to go with the cheapest frame. The cheapest frames really don’t last all that long and some of the higher quality ones can really get you some lifespan. The benefit of longer life span is the fact they won’t need anyone round to repair or replace the hinges and that can actually end up costing nearly as much as a window itself.

Overall is really important to make sure that when you pick a window for your property that you do so based on what’s going to make you happy as well as what’s going to increase the value of the property itself and give other people are generally positive feel about your home. Don’t get caught into the idea that cheap is good, in windows cheap is never good. Make sure that you’re spending the correct amount of money and using people there a reputable and they’ve got plenty of positive feedback all over the internet. This is how you maximise the value of your property through windows.


Save money on home refurbishment

This modern time we live in prices are fluctuating almost daily on property, especially London. It’s really important to minimise your costs when refurbishing a property because you never know where you going to be in six months time. You really don’t want to find yourself in negative equity for example. So in this article you can go through some of the best homemade refurbishment techniques to save money and then hopefully you’ll be able to apply those in your own property.

The idea behind the article is that once you save the money on home refurbishment you will be able to reduce the amount of money that you would need to borrow against your mortgage, or when you come to sell or flip a property that you’ve maximise your returns. Either way we want and see you do well in your property in this article covers home refurbishment and saving money perfectly.

Picking a new kitchen that won’t break the budget but still looks classy.

The first thing to do is consider the type of property you own and what kind of kitchen would fit. Also you have to think about the kind of person you are and what you like in terms of style as well because that will flow through the rest of the property. You need to make sure that if you’re a modern kind of person that you make sure that the kitchen is modern and sleek. It must match the rest of the decor otherwise you’ll find yourself in a situation where things don’t look as good as they could. This is not particularly ideal if you plan to live in the place long-term and certainly not useful if you’re planning to sell. A lot of the sale value of the property rests with the quality and selection of a kitchen. So when you are selecting this kitchen make sure that you’re totally focused on the idea of what would fit into your decor plans.

Typically speaking the best value for money are going to be using standard carcasses and off the shelf kitchen doors and draws. Personally I would go to Howdens Joinery because they provide high quality carcasses that are already pre-built and they’re particularly good value for money. It means that you can normally install a kitchen in less than a week and that’s incredibly quick for a DIY’er. One other thing to take into consideration is the appliances that you use. Whilst stainless steel appliances are extremely expensive, they really do add that shine and wow factor to a kitchen that makes it stand out from your average white appliances. Personally, if I was looking to flip a property I would look for potential opportunities that make a home stand out. This is one of those opportunities that won’t actually break the bank despite being so classy looking whilst refurbishing.

What a bathroom can do for your property refurbishment.

One of most important rooms in your property is the bathroom. When you’re thinking about selling a property then your renovation project will all will hinge on two things, firstly the kitchen and secondly the bathroom. The other rooms and mainly decor and more about features. But in the bathroom it’s the room where you really want make things stand out. Most people are now looking to incorporate beautiful quality tiles and even marble if the budget allows.

One of the most beautiful things the bathroom will have is a floor standing bath tub. One that has cast iron legs and ceramic. They look stunning and they just sit there in the middle of the bathroom and it’s a perfect feature that looks amazing and only costs about £1,000 for a lower end one. Although when I say lower end, they really do look really stunning and give the impression of a serious investment in the bathroom. Obviously there’s a big problem with these in terms of their space requirement. You can’t really get away with having one of these unless you’ve really got one of those nice big open space bathrooms. If you don’t have a really big bathroom than it actually might make sense to install a shower hence saving the space and giving a room of giving an impression of more room available is actually far more useful than overcrowding things.

Value for money bathroom

If I was going to look at value for money, I would definitely go with the standard white bathroom because when you consider the costs they can be astronomical and the standard white bathroom normally these days looks pretty sleek and clean. When you consider that you can get a standard miser riser kit for a shower for around about £200 these days then it doesn’t really make a lot of sense to go over the top especially when that shower mixer are already looks good.

Overall when you considering saving money on a home refurbishment you’ve got to make sure that you really take care of the kitchen and bathroom. The other rooms in the house can fall into place and no problem at all, but when you’re planning, make sure that you take advantage of Howdens or any bathroom centres software that will build a beautiful looking room plan for you for free, as part of the purchase price. Good luck with your home refurbishment and saving money project.


Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Saves Money, the Environment and is Fun

Everyone has seen the three sided arrow indicating the environmental loop of reduce, reuse, and recycle. But what does that really mean to the average household beyond returning aluminium cans or donating a bag of clothes to a thrift store? Plenty. People make decisions every day that affect the way they live. Decisions to reduce, reuse, and recycle don’t mean deprivation. They mean one is submitting to a voluntary simplicity for the good of all.

Recycle Concept
Recycle Concept

Reduction, the First Step According to Julie Daniels, Executive Director of BRING Recycling located in Eugene Oregon, the average US residence has increased in size by 79 percent since 1950. Since nature loathes a vacuum, people have learned to fill that space with stuff. Reduction is also known as pre-cycling or waste reduction. This involves revisiting consumption patterns and making lifestyle and behaviour changes accordingly.

These decisions are important because the market listens to consumers .By refusing to buy products that have excess packaging; disposables or items with short lifespans; or, products not made in a socially-responsible manner, manufacturers will be forced to make their own changes or risk profit declines.

Reuse it There are many components to reuse. It could be repurposing an item into something else, such as, turning an old sweater into a tote bag that can be used in lieu of a plastic grocery bag. Things no longer wanted or needed can be reused by donating them to a thrift store; reselling them at a yard sale or consignment store; or by listing them or free cycle. Another way to reuse an item is to buy secondhand or rent.

Composting is also a method of reuse. Instructions can be found at most University Extension offices and the local Master Recyclers. These groups provide invaluable resources, advise, and support. Finally, be an advocate for reuse, mirroring your convictions by your own life.

Recycling – the End of the Line

The final process in the loop is recycling. The first step in this process is collection. It’s here that the average citizen has the greatest impact. Familiarising yourself with local options and following the guidelines provided allow citizens to contribute to the second step which is manufacturing. There, recycled products are converted into new products. One might think that their small amount of recyclables won’t matter in the grand scheme of things, but that isn’t so. Product contamination is the biggest issue facing manufacturers. For instance, a plastic margarine tub is recyclable but the margarine in it isn’t and can contaminate an entire truckload of plastics.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Daniels adds another “R” to the equation – rethink. That is, understand how the stuff used every day shapes the planet that is shared by all and act accordingly. Everyone can make a difference, regardless of how small and added together, will make change