Category Archives: Project Ideas

DIY Projects & More with Homegrown Collective

Thanks to David Soref for this post about our affiliate partner, Homegrown Collective.

Tempted to try your hand at homesteading? Maybe grow your own bean and broccoli sprouts, make echinacea and St. John’s wort tinctures, or brew up your own batch of kombucha? DIY projects like these can be fun, empowering, and economical ways of enhancing our lives and our sense of well-being. And of course, DIY is the ultimate form of acting locally. The question is how to get started.

The Homegrown Collective is a company dedicated to promoting the DIY ethos by providing its members with products that foster self-sufficiency and promote sustainability. Here’s how it works: For a fee, each month Homegrown Collective sends its subscribers a “GREENBOX,” which contains professionally curated items designed for a particular seasonally appropriate DIY project (for example, the ingredients for home-brewed hard cider for the holiday season). And no, having a backyard garden is not a requirement for any of these projects.

Homegrown Collective DIY

Mitchell Rose, the founder of Homegrown Collective, says he started the company after having trouble finding a trusted source that not only vetted green and sustainable vendors, artisans and small businesses, but also made them accessible to everyone.

Links to products featured on RecycleScene are affiliate links. We try and only feature products that close the recycling loop. Make a purchase of recommended products on our site, and we get a small percentage of affiliate commission to maintain our site. Thanks!

Get Creative with Pine Needle Crafts

Pine needles may seem like a nuisance when they’re falling off your Christmas tree, but there are some really neat things you can make using them. You may step over them on your walk through the park, but next time take care to see if you might be able to collect some fragrant pine needles to make your own pine needle crafts.

The book Pine Needle Basketry takes you through the steps to create your own pine needle baskets and provides tons of pictures and diagrams. The surprisingly simple technique involves wrapping needles around a center. Choose from over 40 projects that refer to general techniques with clear and easy-to-follow instructions.

pine needle crafts

Below are some finished pine needle baskets to start you thinking on your own design. Bear in mind it is recommended to start with a practice project before attempting a more advanced pine needle crafts and baskets. You may not have thought about it until now, but classes may be available in your area to help supplement ideas covered in the book.

Even if you come from a family of basket weavers, you’re sure to pick up some useful skills and be on your way to beautiful pine needle baskets!

pine needle crafts

Adding beads to a pine needle basket, as shown in the picture below, gives it another textured look.

pine needle crafts

Special sections in the book Pine Needle Basketry will guide you through gathering and storing your pine needles and other materials you need, as well as making lids and handles as shown in the basket below:

pine needle crafts

Once again, a simple look at the forest floor will give you the raw materials needed. For other crafts made from natural materials, check out our recycling project ideas tab and read about pine cone crafts and amazing art made from leaves. Happy crafting!

Photos: MountainMade WV Handmade Art, Wicker Paradise, Alby Headrick

Links to products featured on RecycleScene are affiliate links. We try and only feature products that close the recycling loop. Make a purchase of recommended products on our site, and we get a small percentage of affiliate commission to maintain our site. Thanks!

Fun Fall Bird Feeders Made from Sunflowers

There’s still plenty of time to recycle creatively this season. Just because sunflowers are no longer in full bloom doesn’t mean they can’t be useful and decorative. A recent trip to a farmer’s market lead to the discovery of this idea that was just begging to be shared!

The bird feeders below are great examples of crafting for the garden, and provide a change from the usual fall decor of scarecrows and pumpkins. If you’re all Halloween’d out and want to switch gears for Thanksgiving, these are just right. Or, why not keep them up year round.

sunflower birdfeeder

Bird feeder made with pine cones, sunflowers, and chili peppers.

We’ve already covered recycled bird feeders made from salvaged wood, recycled plastic, and even an old computer. Now take a look at the expressive faces made by using simple items found around your yard, grocery store or local farmer’s market.

sunflower birdfeeder

Be creative with items you find around the garden. Make a bird feeder from old sunflowers.

Use these imaginative examples to make your own. Use a dried sunflower head as the base and grab a peanut or clove of garlic for the nose, walnut halves for eyes, acorn caps for ears, and corn husks or more dried flowers for hair, or switch around each item. It’s up to you!

Photos taken at farmer’s market stand for Pumpkin Ridge Gardens, an Oregon farm providing fresh produce baskets by subscription. See more cute creations as well as festive fall wreaths on their website.

Links to products featured on RecycleScene are affiliate links. We try and only feature products that close the recycling loop. Make a purchase of recommended products on our site, and we get a small percentage of affiliate commission to maintain our site. Thanks!

Amazing Art Made with Leaves

Who says art supplies don’t grow on trees? If you know how to use them, leaves are perfect for creative projects. They can be used as stamps, folded like origami, arranged in beautiful designs all on their own. Leaf it to us to show you these ideas to create something to keep or share as a gift. It’s as easy as walking outside and collecting leaves.

[leaves]

Maple leaves in particular offer a recognizable wide shape, but oak is also used widely to create leaf stamps. Incidentally, you’d need a lot of finger paint or ink if you chose from the largest leaves in the world, Raphia regalis, a species of Raffia Palm native to parts of Africa.

Leaf Art

A sampling of leaf art using leaves as stamps shows off dazzling colors.

Links to products featured on RecycleScene are affiliate links. We try and only feature products that close the recycling loop. Make a purchase of recommended products on our site, and we get a small percentage of affiliate commission to maintain our site. Thanks!

Book Review: Making Bits & Pieces Mosaics

mosaic art projects
We’ve all had an “Oops” moment where we broke a vase, plate, or teapot that we loved or we knew was important to someone else. Well thanks to the useful and instructive book Making Bits & Pieces Mosaics, those accidents can be transformed into decorative keepsakes. For when you’ve fallen upon shard times…

The folk art of making mosaics, or “pique assiette” (a French term that comes from “stolen from plate”) is found all over the world and is at least a century old. We’ve already posted inspiring examples of this on RecycleScene, as both the bottle garden in California and the rock garden in India are examples of intricate large-scale mosaics.

Whether large, like the garden examples mentioned above, or small, like a flower pot or piece of jewelry, the methods of creating pique assiette mosaic art projects are the same- and super easy to do at home!

Links to products featured on RecycleScene are affiliate links. We try and only feature products that close the recycling loop. Make a purchase of recommended products on our site, and we get a small percentage of affiliate commission to maintain our site. Thanks!