DIY Eco-friendly Christmas Gift Ideas

Christmas is right around the corner, but there's still time to make your own gifts. These 10 eco-friendly Christmas gift ideas are sure to please this holiday season:

1. Wine Cork Candle

2. Girl Scout Notebook + Decoupaged Comic Book Pencil

4. Cereal Box Notebooks

5. Capri Sun Purse

7. Melted Record Ornaments


Catching Up After the Big Move

Where have I been? Life has been pretty hectic for me the past several months and I haven't been crafting or scrapbooking as much as I like. 

For the first time ever, I didn't complete a Layout a Day Challenge. 14 pages. That's it. I was off to a good start the first few days and then went straight digi by creating layouts on my phone using PicsArt in the brief moments I could spare.

My main excuse is my family moved in late September.

It almost didn't seem like it was going to happen, but we finally moved! We're in a nicer neighborhood and in a bigger house. We were lucky. To prove it, I found these two four-leaf clovers in our front yard as I was moving in boxes:

Unfortunately, during the weekend of our big move, our beloved Bane was not so lucky. Three weeks prior to our move, we were happy to bring home a rescue dog. Things were going well until we took them both to a boarding facility so they would be safe and out of the way while we moved. Short story, both 80 pound dogs were put in a small kennel area overnight (and unsupervised) and our new dog attacked Bane.

That was Bane when we brought him home after his first surgery. We then decided it would be best to give our new dog back to the shelter we got her from. It was heartbreaking. 

After a second surgery and plenty of love, by his first birthday, Bane was pretty much healed and back to his happy-self.

He enjoys his new big backyard and runs around like a maniac! It's so wonderful to see him play with the girls like nothing ever happened.

In the mean time, and back to the good stuff... I did manage to get a little crafty by updating a knife block:

I'm going for a retro feel in the kitchen and added vintage milk glass from my husband's grandmother. Here are a few pieces:

My husband got creative by upcycling a door and wood from our kitchen remodel to build a bar in the basement.

Fancy! He even picked out his own fabric to cover the storage area underneath the bar.

We're pretty excited to have a fireplace, too! And I'm more than happy to have a mantel to decorate.

Then there's the first floor bathroom. Either you'll love it or hate it. I'm choosing to embrace the bathroom. I plan on updating it with paint (where I can) and add new curtains. The hubby already replaced the old toilet with one that's more efficient:

Yes, that's a lot of pink tile! Just like the sink and the former toilet, the bathtub is also blue. At least the upstairs bathroom looks like this:

There's plenty more work to do around the house, but for now, I'm happy

And I'm also proud to share my latest adventure, Greater Toledo's Mama Meow, a place for local kids to go to find out what's happening around the area. It's still in it's infancy, but I have big hopes for Mama Meow. Check it out! The official launch will be in January! ~Danielle


How to Make Your Thanksgiving Eco-Friendly

When I think of Thanksgiving, family comes to mind and I'm thankful to have such a wonderful support system in my life. I also think of turkey and all the food that comes with it when we gather together for a feast. I think of fall colors (not the snow and frigid weather outside my window right now) and realize Christmas is right around the corner.

As an eco-friendly crafter, I created three projects with Thanksgiving in mind. I have Halloween decorations, but not many Thanksgiving items to put out in the fall. The projects below will last the entire season.

Twine Bottle

I've been collecting empty bottles since there are so many ways to upcycle them. This particular bottle is from the Mexican soda Jarritos. It has a cool texture and I didn't want to cover the entire bottle with twine. Find out how you can make it on the Glue Dots Blog.

Fall Votive Candle

Who doesn't love burlap and chevron right now? When shopping for projects, you'll want to look for natural fiber items like jute twine and burlap. And I've always promoted eco-friendly and recycled cardstock like the kraft paper shown above. The supply list and directions can be found here.

Thankful Spool Centerpiece

This is a perfect addition to the projects above and includes the same type of embellishments in the supply list. Visit the Glue Dots Blog to find out how I made it.

Now that we've greened-up our Thanksgiving decorations, how else can we make a day of thanks also a day to be eco-conscious?

Green Thanksgiving Tips
  1. Support local farmers' markets and stores when shopping for your meal. If the budget allows, choose organic foods.
  2. Use recipes that allow you to make your food from scratch. I recently made a green bean casserole I found on Pinterest. Instead of canned soup, I made a homemade cream sauce and the result was delicious.
  3. Eat dinner by candlelight (see projects above).
  4. Ditch the paper plates and disposable napkins and cups. This is the perfect time to bring out those cloth napkins you rarely use. You can also invest in a nice place setting to use for years to come or find an assortment of pieces at a secondhand store.
  5. Avoid the aerosol sprays and scent your home by simmering a pot of cinnamon sticks.
  6. Recycle packaging, cans or bottles used to make your meal.
  7. Compost scraps of vegetables and other leftovers.
  8. Plant a thankful tree with your family.
Have another green Thanksgiving idea? Share it in the comments! ~Danielle