DIY Upcycled Infinity T-Shirt Scarf

how to make a diy infinity scarf using t-shirts

Last April I taught a class on making t-shirt infinity scarves at the SNAP Conference in SLC.  I’m just now remembering that I hadn’t posted a tutorial for them…so better late than never!  The scarves were a hit…they are so easy to make that each person in the class made more than one.


I had precut all the squares for the class:

knit scarf instructions and tutorial - recycled t-shirt projects

Here’s Boo with infinity scarf samples I made and wearing the scarf she made: recycled and upcycled t-shirt projects - infinity scarf


Love all the colorful combinations:


To make your scarf, first you need to cut a bunch of 11″ squares from t-shirts, pajama pants, etc or just knit-by-the-yard:

upcycled t-shirt projects

For the adult sized scarf you need 8 squares per scarf and the child sized only needs 6 squares.  Lay them out in the pattern you want the finished scarf to be. 2 rows of 4:


Sew each row of 4 together first using a sewing machine or a serger, like you are making a quilt. So you will have 2 long rectangles: [Read more…]

Recent Reclaimed and Upcycled Wood Projects

Brett’s been enjoying a new hobby of making stuff.  I look outside and he has headphones on, his shirt off….the chop saw and nail gun spread all over the driveway. He says it’s therapeutic. He’s constantly picking up discarded wood and old pallets to take apart to make containers, furniture and wood canvases.  A resourceful hobby/hubby:

DIY Upcycled Wood Projects - Rustic home decor ideas

I came home the other day and he had made us some new furniture from a few old wood pallets. He has since added arm rests but I’m too lazy to walk outside and take a new photo:

diy pallet furniture - furniture made from pallets

They are really comfortable! Here’s Boo watching the sunset from her new chair:

diy pallet furniture - pallet patio furniture


The signs and posts at the inn were in need of a fresh coat of paint so he spent some of the week working on those to help the innkeepers out a bit as they prepare for their son’s wedding.





The rocking chairs are also looking a little tired and are in need of paint.  This little chair is over 35 years old:


I know that because of the photo my mother took of me in it when I was around 3:


Inspired by a bench at the Biltmore, he made me this:


These are just cows. Nothing to see here except that Brett took the photo. And I love these cows.


He found an old table and some barn wood and used it to make…..

rustic home decor ideas - reclaimed table to computer desk

This awesome skinny computer desk for me:

DIY rustic home decor ideas - reclaimed old table to computer desk

The desk today:

rustic flea market style computer desk - DIY project

He’s cut me lots and lots of wood to make things with. Like this “Mountain Dew” painting:

How to make a hand painted rustic sign


And these “Mr and Mrs” signs for the inn’s wedding coming up:

mr and mrs handpainted barn wood signs for rustic wedding

And just one more for today….this old sign was rotting on one side and ready for the dump.  I saw a little potential in it:


Brett cut it off and secured the remaining top pieces and now it hangs above our fireplace:

rustic industrial home decor

It feels good to get creative again.  I’ve been itching to do some painting again too and Brett has made me a ton of small wood pieces that are just sitting there waiting for me.  Now I just need the inspiration to hit.

How to Make Chalk Paint Books

I love this decor from my sister’s house, probably because of my love for a muted palette:

How to Make Chalk Paint Books via #diy #decor #homedecor #anniesloan  (annie sloan chalk paint tutorial)

The books were purchased from the thrift store:

Ideas for using Thrift Store Books via


The dust jackets were removed, and the outsides carefully painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint:

Chalk Paint Book Tutorial via #chalkpaint


I love the matte, sueded look of them:

how to decorate book shelves via


These will go great with almost any type of decor too: [Read more…]

How to Make Altered Thrift Store Pop Art

How to Make Altered Thrift Store Pop Art via


There’s nothing I love more than scooping up something that someone else doesn’t want anymore….and making it my own.  My friend was selling this HUGE dinosaur at her yard sale and I couldn’t resist.  I knew I’d either paint over it to reuse the canvas….or maybe change it up a bit.  Mr. LBB loved the dino but Boo thought it was too scary.  So I changed him up a bit to be more of a pop art dino!

Here’s the before:

thrift store painting BEFORE via #upcycled


The first thing I did was use a pencil and some acrylic paint to add polka dots….or pixelate the dino: [Read more…]

Organizing and Recycling Junk Drawer Contents


Organizing and Recycling Junk Drawer Contents via #recycle #organization #organizing #diy

I can’t stand clutter around the house….so my junk drawers can tend to get out of control.  I also have more than one. They are located around the house.


The first thing I do is consolidate all the drawers in one place…..with a large work area.   I use paper plates to sort through everything.  Then I split the items up by drawer and return everything else to it’s right place.  Anything I’m not quite sure what to do with goes in the JUNK JAR. (see the junk jar tutorial here)

steps to organize a kitchen junk drawer via #organization #organizing


I like for the containers to match the insides of the drawer if possible (makes the drawer look less cluttered)….so I use spray paint to paint various boxes and containers that will fit well:

how to make drawer organizers via


My newly organized junk drawers:

how to organize your junk drawer via #organization #organizing


I went through every single marker, pen, highlighter etc to see which were working and then sorted them into bins within these large wood caddies:

organizing art supplies via


The hardest part about my junk drawers is that I don’t like to throw anything away because I know it will end up in a landfill.  I found everything under the kitchen sink: medications, over 50 dried up pens, tons of old batteries. These are things I don’t want to throw in the trash because:

:: Over 10 billion writing instruments are sent to landfills every year.

:: Over 100 different pharmaceuticals have been detected in lakes, rivers, reservoirs and streams throughout the world.

:: 3 billion batteries are bought a year…and contain harmful metals that leak into our water and soil.


It takes a little more work to recycle and donate….but it’s worth it.  I created a little recycling station in our laundry room to make it easy on the rest of the family. I painted large coffee tins and added a simple paper label:

(CAUTION: Make sure to wrap any 9V batteries in electrical tape to prevent a complete circuit from being formed. Risk of fire!)

create a recycling station for batteries and other items via #recycle #tutorial #DIY


This can is for random items that need sorting: writing instruments, old blades, medications etc:



Here’s where you can easily recycle items from your junk drawer….the links are below the images.  For office supplies that are still working and in good condition consider finding a local non-profit to donate them to!


[Read more…]

Recycled Tie Photo Album


How to make mini memory albums using upcycled ties (from my Dad's ties!) via #diy #tutorial #ties

It’s been almost two years since my dad passed away and I’ve been saving all of his ties to make something from.  I wanted to make something for my mom, sister and brother.  My dad’s ties represented so many different parts of his life….from special events to all of his favorite golf clubs and important tournaments he played in.   I came up with the idea of making a photo album using bits and pieces of each tie so that everyone would have a patch:


How to recycle old ties via


I added a little tag into the front of each album: Made from the neckties of Norman Virgil Swenson Jr., 1947 – 2011, “Golf’s Ultimate Gentleman”:

Alternative to memory bear via


Every tie reminds me of some part of my dad’s life….like the pretty blue tie he wore in my sister’s wedding:

Upcycle old ties to remember loved ones via


To make the albums I purchased simple 4″x6″ albums from the craft store:

Mini Photo Album via

Other supplies you may need: sew-on snaps, fusible interfacing, etc.

Here are the ties I used:

I even took the ribbon off of this belt to work the DeBordieu design into it. We used to own a house at DeBordieu beach when we were little….it’s where most of my childhood summers were spent:

Here’s how I made the albums…..they only took me a few hours with an assembly line:

Step 1: Cut apart the ties and press them flat with an iron. Add fusible (iron-on) interfacing to the back of each tie.  Begin cutting pieces of the ties into random angles and piece them together until you have a large enough piece to cut for the main piece of the album (approx. 11″ x 7.25″ for my album).  Iron all your seams open and flat. Apply fusible interfacing to the back of the finished patchwork.

how to make a kindle cover or photo album out of fabric via

Step 2: Cut the front of the album (approx. 11″ x 7.25″ for my album).  Cut two pieces (with fusible interfacing) for the front and back inside cover (approximately 5.5″ x 7.25″). If you would like a personalized tag in the front, create text and print onto iron-on transfer paper.

upcycled necktie photo album via

Step 3: Turn over the inside edge of each of the inside covers, iron flat and sew with a 1/4″ seam. For a tab closure, cut the end of a tie off and sew it to one side of the front to keep it in place as you assemble the rest of your album cover.  Finish the top and bottom edge of the front cover with a serger or zig zag stitch.

how to make a fabric covered photo album using ties via

Step 4: Lay the two inside cover pieces onto the top of the outside cover piece and sew the seams using a 1/4″ seam.  Your album covers should look like the ones in the 2nd photo below.  Use some fusible web or a few pins to secure your “tag” to the inside front cover and stitch it into place.

how to make a photo album from ties via

Step 5:  Stitch the top and bottom seams of the cover as shown in the first photo with a 1/4″ seam.  Carefully trim your corners and turn the cover right side out using a small pencil or stick to push out the corners.  Sew your snaps into place on the “tab” and the cover”.

how to make a photo album cover via


Your finished album! Use an iron to carefully press the piece flat.

how to make a handmade photo album via

Everyone that opens these albums will know where the ties came from….it makes a nice family hierloom.

tie wallet diy or photo album diy via

They all look so pretty together:

how to make a tie wallet or photo album via

I know that Boo will love keeping ours forever and probably pass it down to her children:

upcycled clothing via

I love the idea of “memory” bears….but this is a great way to make something for the whole family:

repurposing mens ties via

[Read more…]

Make a Button Art Collage

Boo and I finished her Cinderella button collage this weekend!  I made a time lapse process video filled with our tips and tricks and where to buy buttons:

(here’s the direct video link if you have trouble viewing)


Here’s the finished piece:

Cinderella Button Art Collage via (click through to see the "DIY How To" HD  time lapse video)


Now we’ve got three…..I have a few others in mind right now for the next installment.

Button Project Ideas via (click through to see the "DIY How To" HD  time lapse video)

Here are some closeups of the collage so you can see some of the cool little buttons we used: (click continue to read more….)

[Read more…]