Topic: DIY

12 Days of DIY: Adjustable Knot Recycled-Leather Bracelet

12 Days of DIY: Adjustable Knot Recycled-Leather Bracelet

Make this bracelet with recycled leather from something else (like an old leather clothing item you own or pick up cheaply at the thrift store), or with another material if leather’s not your thing. The final product looks deceptively complicated, but making one is actually incredibly simple. Add a painted placket, beads or charms to personalize yours and you’ve got unique, homemade Christmas gifts for your best girls, your roommates or anyone else you want to know you appreciate at this time of year without spending a lot of money. More »

Deck The Halls With DIY: 10 Upcycled & Handmade Holiday Decorations

Deck The Halls With DIY: 10 Upcycled & Handmade Holiday Decorations

Every year, my mother puts out roughly enough Christmas decorations to outfit a trilogy about the North Pole. It’s not totally her fault — as a longtime teacher and girl scout leader, chintzy Christmas decorations just sort of happen — but as a result, I’ve never wanted to accumulate much in the way of holiday paraphernalia. I do, however, like things to look cozy & cheery for the holiday season — that’s why I’m a fan of these homemade, ‘upcycled’ or otherwise DIY decorations. Most of them are ‘green’ in that they don’t require you to buy new stuff (save $$!) and/or may make good use of old stuff that you would otherwise throw out. Plus, making your own holiday decorations a) makes you look cool and b) means you’re not surrounded by lead- and toxin-laden plastics and paint in the shape of Frosty the Snowman. More »

Vegan Slow-Cooker Broth Makes An Easy Base For Quick Winter Soups

Vegan Slow-Cooker Broth Makes An Easy Base For Quick Winter Soups

Now that winter is seriously approaching, I’m happy to be breaking out my slow cooker again. I know some people whip things up in them year round, but to me the slow cooker (or Crock Pot as my mom still calls it) means stews, chili and soups. So I love this idea from Oregonian writer Grant Butler: A basic vegan broth that you can make in the slow-cooker, freeze and use later to make quick and flavorful soups all winter. More »

Modern Homesteading Isn’t Just For Hippies And Farmhands; Here’s Why You Should Try It, Too

Modern Homesteading Isn't Just For Hippies And Farmhands; Here's Why You Should Try It, Too

Megan Paska (perhaps better known as the Brooklyn Homesteader) has an impressive bio to back up her expertise on modern homesteading: She grew up around gardens and continued with the practice when she moved to Brooklyn in 2006; now, she’s made the leap to running her own farm. Now, she does everything from beekeeping and gardening to canning and brewing–and teaches other people how to do it, too. But modern homesteading and DIY can seem like a lot to take on for anyone who’s struggling to stay on top of work, family, chores–and fitting in a workout here and there. So we asked Megan more about what she does–and why you should try it, too. More »

Witch Hazel: The Cheap, Eco-Friendly Skincare Solution You Should Be Using

Witch Hazel: The Cheap, Eco-Friendly Skincare Solution You Should Be Using

During a recent trip to the East Coast, I had to deal with one of the most inconvenient facets of modern air travel: Liquid restrictions in carry-on bags. As a wearer of contact lenses, I need to have some liquids, no matter what–but I really try to give the TSA minimal reason to tear through my cosmetic bag. Luckily, my skin care regimen, from makeup removal to acne control to toning and basic cleansing–is contained to a single, inexpensive, awesome product. Have you discovered the joy of witch hazel yet? More »

Parsnip and Carrot Chips Recipe from ‘Salty Snacks’

Parsnip and Carrot Chips Recipe from 'Salty Snacks'

If our interview with Cynthia Nims about her new book, ‘Salty Snacks: Make Your Own Chips, Crisps, Crackers, Pretzels, Dips, and Other Savory Bites,” didn’t convince you to make your own savory snacks, this recipe will. Actually, more specifically: This picture of the Parsnip and Carrot Chips made with the recipe will. They look delicious and, unlike most stuff you’ll find in the chip aisle, they’re made from fresh, unprocessed ingredients–and they’re in season right now. More »

The Homemade Pantry: DIY Graham Cracker Recipe For Fall

The Homemade Pantry: DIY Graham Cracker Recipe For Fall

Graham crackers may seem like they’re only good for s’mores (and, thus, a summer-only snack), but when you make them yourself, they’re actually a super yummy, cinnamon-y treat that’s perfect for gloomy afternoons. Kick off the season of baked goods with this awesome graham cracker recipe from Alana Chernila‘s The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying and Start Making. More »

Make It, Don’t Fake It: How You, Too, Can Start Cooking From Scratch This Autumn

Make It, Don’t Fake It: How You, Too, Can Start Cooking From Scratch This Autumn

My mom was the first one who told me about Alana Chernila, her blog, Eating From the Ground Up, and her book, The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying and Start Making. My mom, who is not domestic in the slightest, who can barely make toast, who has never pickled or canned or preserved or even really baked. But that’s how accessible and easy Chernila, a busy mother of two, makes baking and cooking from scratch look. More »

Mouthwash Is Full Of Nasty Chemicals; Try These 5 Natural Recipes Instead

Mouthwash Is Full Of Nasty Chemicals; Try These 5 Natural Recipes Instead

Have you ever looked closely at the label of your mouthwash? You could be swishing with dozens of chemicals like benzalkonium chloride, calcium, cetylpyridinium chloride, chlorhexidine gluconate, domiphen bromide, enzymes, eucalyptol, fluoride, hexetidine, hydrogen peroxide, menthol, methylparaben, methyl salicylate and thymol. Not to mention artificial sweeteners like sorbitol, sodium saccharine, sucralose and xylitol–and up to 27% alcohol. Why are we putting those chemicals in our mouths? Surely there has to be a healthier, more natural way to get fresh breath. There is. Take a look at these five chemical-free mouthwashes: More »

Camping For Beginners: What I Learned From Breaking My Boyfriend Into The Great Outdoors

Camping For Beginners: What I Learned From Breaking My Boyfriend Into The Great Outdoors

For me, it just doesn’t feel like summer without at least one good, dirty-footed, campfire-stinking, vegan hot-dog-eating camping trip. But for those who maybe didn’t grow up pitching tents and splitting wood (like my fairly indoor and highly patient boyfriend, Adam), camping can seem like an intimidating, not-very-fun alternative to, say, a weekend spent in the comfort of a bustling city. Which is why I’ve put together a little list of the things I’ve learned to make camping for beginners not only tolerable, but actually fun and refreshing and lovely. More »