DIY: How to Turn Your Wallet into a Crossbody Purse

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Here’s a little DIY I came up with after running into a bit of a conundrum when trying to pack for a few upcoming bachelorette parties. Without making myself sound like too much of a fogie, I’m well past my clubbing phase, and I realized I no longer owned any Vegas or Cancun-appropriate tiny purses or pochettes. But I didn’t want to go out and purchase an entirely new bag that I knew would likely just get shoved in the back of my closet (at least until some of my other friends got engaged). After scouring Pinterest for an hour or so, I saw that the young whippersnappers were favoring teeny, colorful crossbody wallet-on-chain bags and then it hit me! A wallet-on-chain is not much more than what the moniker implies – a wallet on a chain. So I basically just took my Chanel wallet and popped a chain on it to turn it into a mini purse. The neat thing about this DIY is that when you’re done using your wallet-on-chain, you can simply convert it back to a regular wallet. Don’t you just love convertible accessories? Read on to see the full how-to tutorial.

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DIY Confetti-Filled Wedding Programs

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Perhaps you’re a non-traditional bride looking for a unique way to present your wedding programs, or perhaps you’re a traditional bride hoping to incorporate a confetti toss at the end of your ceremony. Or perhaps you’re a groom. Whatever the case may be, these DIY confetti-filled glassine bags are a lovely way to shout out all of the VIPs in your wedding while also acting as a pretty receptacle for lavender, bird-safe rice hearts or biodegradable eco-confetti. Read on to see how you can make them!

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HOW TO: Refashion a Too Large T-Shirt into a Reversible Dress

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Almost every girl has a few too-big T-shirts in her closet, but instead of just wearing them to bed at night how about refashioning one into a cute tunic dress? I love this fashion DIY because it’s really easy to do and the resulting A-line dress is so easy to just throw on – especially for summer. The other great thing about this DIY is that if you have a tee with a graphic on it, you can even make your dress reversible so that you can wear it with the image in front for days you feel cheeky or wear the plain side in front on days when you’re feeling more serious.

For the full recycled fashion tutorial steps click the pages below.

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HOW TO: Make a Sad Old Pillow Case Into a Summery Tank Top

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Pillowcases, like earrings, shoes, and even some people, just don’t seem to function as well when they aren’t in a pair. So what do you do when you’re left with just one pillowcase after losing one to the laundry monster? Well, there’s no reason why you can’t just keep using it, but if you’re one of those people who is nitpicky about things matching, you can also turn your lone pillowcase into a cute summery top. Read on for the instructions.

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Easy, Free and Green Boot Storage Idea

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We’ve all experienced it – boot slump. When the weather warms up and you go to store your favorite pairs of boots only to have the tops flop over like Sad Sam’s ears, creating a messy situation in your closet and making your boots more likely to get fall into disrepair. I’ve seen products on the market like these blow up “boot keepers,” but who wants to spend more money on plastic when the solution to boot slump could already be right on your coffee table – back issues of your favorite magazines! They’re free (well, besides the money you originally dished out for your subscription), they keep your boots nice and crisp, and when you go to fetch them in the fall, you’ll get a blast of past fashion inspiration (because who wants to be a slave to the season’s latest trends anyway?).

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Could a Fridge Triage Box Help You Stop Wasting Food and Money?

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As a sustainable design writer, one question I get asked a lot is do I actually practice what I preach? The answer for the most part is yes: I recycle, I rarely buy stuff (and when I do, it’s usually secondhand), I sit in the sweltering heat instead of turning on my AC and I probably only drive five times a year. But there is one thing I do that probably negates a big chunk of all of my other eco efforts – I waste food like a mofo.

I don’t know when these horrible habits of mine began but I have identified some of the causes. First off, for some reason I can’t go to the grocery store without stocking up like Armageddon is near. I don’t feel that it’s acceptable to leave the store with just one type of cheese (you need the sliced kind for sammiches and the block kind for snacking), and anything that looks tasty in any way is going to end up in my cart whether it’s going to be physically possible for me to eat it all before it rots or not. And it’s not like I’m cooking for a large family. There are usually only two people eating and sometimes just one. So yeah, at the end of the week, there’s a lot of expired food that just gets tossed. For shame! If you read Inhabitat, you probably know that food waste is a huge problem, contributing to climate change and filling up our landfills, but it’s also just bad form and a huge waste of money. Cheese isn’t cheap, you know.

So after I spent a few days guilt-tripping myself worse than my own mother would about this situation, I decided to do something about it. But what? Well, certainly I could control myself a bit more at the market, but I also felt that the design of my fridge was part of the problem (blaming others is fun). Yes, the fridge is roomy and even has configurable shelves and nicely labeled compartments, but if you think about it, it actually has too many levels and food storage areas. So I’d have cheese in the cheese drawer, milk on the righthand middle shelf, veggies in their drawers and other perishable items scattered all over the place. Now I know that this is the way we’ve been taught that it should be – a place for everything and everything in its place – but that was before our lives got so crazy that we needed to hire virtual assistants in Asia to tweet things for us from our personal Twitter accounts. When I’m busy writing a story and it’s lunch time, I sprint over to the fridge and just grab whatever’s right in the middle. I don’t have time to look in multiple compartments for items that are sometimes hidden behind or under other items and I’m sure you don’t either.


Anyways, sorry for this extremely long-winded intro, but the point I’m getting at is that I decided to modify my behavior by essentially forcing myself to consume the things in my fridge that were in danger of going bad by gathering them in a central location that visually tells me to eat them – a fridge triage box. I’m (for the most part) not dumb, but I know that without this behavior-modifying “system” – it’s really just a shoe box with a sign on it – I wouldn’t be able to cut down my food waste as much as I have.

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DIY: How to Turn a Regular Tote Bag into a Wine Bottle Carrier

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While I’m certainly not one to scoff at free stuff, there is such a thing as too many totebags. A go-to “green” promotional item, these babies are now so ubiquitous that many people now own totebags filled with totebags (I know I’m not the only one). If you want to do something with your t-bags that isn’t as d-bag as just hoarding them in a hallway closet, here’s a really easy DIY to turn them into one of those trendy double wine bottle carrier bags you might have seen being sold in specialty shops for $20+. Once you’re done making yours, bring it with you on runs to the wine shop or give it as a gift (complete with two bottle of vino, of course).

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What is somen nagashi (noodle waterslide) and where can you try it?

Waterfall Dining in Kibune Kyoto Japan

Living in modern times, it’s pretty rare to be able to tap into our primitive instincts and catch our own food – doubly so if you’re a vegetarian like I am. That’s why I’ve been so fascinated by somen-nagashi, a Japanese dining concept that takes bundles of somen (a type of thin white wheat flour noodle) and flushes them down tubes that look like mini waterslides to eager diners waiting to scoop them up with their chopsticks. Last week, I finally had the chance to give somen-nagashi, which translates roughly to “flushing somen” a try in the mountain town of Kibune, outside of Kyoto. Read on for the deets!

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A Punny and Pretty Way to Ask Your Girls to Be Bridesmaids

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Can someone please tell me when all of this wedding mania became such “thing”? I’ve no doubt that TLC and Pinterest had a lot to do with it, but I was really surprised to see how many parties now need to be thrown (an engagement party, a bridal shower, bachelorette/bachelor parties, a rehearsal dinner AND the wedding reception itself!), and how many gifts need to exchange hands before two people can be joined in marriage. Of course, I’m using the word “need” very loosely here, and none of these things are at all necessary to tie the knot. A truly alternative bride might be able to shut out all of the noise and omit all of these superfluous bits and baubles (a path I did consider), but after having been given memorable “Will you be my bridesmaid?” gifts from many of my best girlfriends, I decided it was only fitting to reciprocate.

But what exactly is the best way to ask your closest girls to join you at the alter on your big day? In the past, I’ve had the honor of receiving a lovely personalized bottle of wine (very eco-friendly when bestowed upon a lush like myself) and was also delighted to open up an adorable ring pop bridesmaids proposal box (a Pinterest favorite). But when it came time for me to pop the question myself, I was baffled.

After much introspection, I decided that I wanted to ask my bridesmaids for their hands in a way that was both punny and practical. The following is what I finally came up with. Warning: extreme corniness ahead.

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“Baby, It’s Cold Outside” Winter Baby Shower Idea

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My friend Mary’s little one is already a toddler (where did the time go?), but I recently unearthed these photos of the winter-themed baby shower we threw for her back when she was still expecting. Since the celebration took place around the holidays, the “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” motif made perfect sense! Read on for all of the sparkly, snowy DIY ideas we incorporated into this fun alternative to a typical pink or blue baby shower.

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7 Adorable DIY Engagement Party Decor Ideas That Will Make You Say “Awwww”

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This past spring, my BFF Amy’s beau Dave let us in on a little secret: he was ready to propose! Dave was envisioning a proposal surrounded by Amy and his loved ones, but other than that, he wanted to keep it simple. I had other ideas. Thinking back on all of the fond memories Amy and I have shared together, and knowing her eye for thoughtful details, I really wanted fill this special moment in her life up to the top with lots of bells and whistles. I know that Dave’s surprise alone would have been plenty to take Amy’s breath away but I think she appreciated the little DIY touches we prepared for her. Read on to see all of the engagement party ideas we employed and get some inspiration for your own pre-nuptial event.

NOTE: Apologies in advance for the smartphone pics. We were so excited about setting up the party that we forgot to bring a proper camera!

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DIY: Don’t Throw Your Pickle Juice Away, Use It to Make Pickled Daikon!

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I love pickles and can finish a jar off in one sitting, but then I’m always left with a bottle of brine that I end up pouring down the drain. While it’s not the end of the world to let that leftover pickle juice go to waste, I often wondered if it could be reused in some way and finally came up with a solution – use it to make pickled daikon! If you’re not familiar with it, pickled daikon is a popular Asian side dish/condiment (here is a recipe if you want to put some elbow grease into it and make it without the lazy man’s cheat I’m about to show you) that pairs particularly well with Bonchon chicken or other hearty dishes that could use a crisp, acidic bite.

Okay, so you probably guessed it by now, but all this DIY really entails is chopping up some daikon (to clarify, I used regular radish for this tutorial since that’s what I already had), tossing it in your leftover pickle juice and letting it brine for a few days. How easy is that? You don’t have to go through the trouble of mixing up a new batch of vinegar, salt, etc. and if you’re using a brand of pickles you already know you enjoy, you don’t have to worry about testing out the right proportions to get the taste you like just right. Plus this DIY would work with lots of other veggies like pickled peppers, pickled pearl onions or just pickles (sliced up cucumbers). They make great gifts too!

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Sneak a Peek at Faire Collection’s Elegant New Midnight Line of Fair Trade Jewelry

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Can you believe summer is nearly over? The transition to fall is always bittersweet – it’s sad to see the balmy weather go, but updating our wardrobes for cooler climes is always a fun challenge! You can put a fresh spin on your autumn look by recycling pieces you already own, but if you want to purchase new items, why not opt for ones that not only make a visual statement, but also support fair trade and provide a living wage for artisans around the globe? Faire Collection, one of our favorite ethical fashion companies, is about to launch their new “Midnight” line of handmade jewelry, and offered Clossette a sneak peek. Read on to get a glimpse of what they have in store for tomorrow’s launch!

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