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DIY Easy Plastic Bag Dispenser

Do you try to ย minimize the plastic bags at home and go green but always accumulate so many of them at home? Well, I have the same problem at home!

I feel if we cannot totally get rid of them, One way to go green is to at least reuse them.

So I made a plastic bag dispenser for myself about a year back – a simple one by up-cycling a bag that someone had given me. I use it regularly and I have found it really useful. So this year for Navarathri, I decided to make a few of these for the return gift with the Thamboolam (Usually when people visit for Golu, we give beetel leaf, coconut, along with a small gift). It is very common for people to give articles like plastic boxes or small steel bowls or baskets but nowadays people are innovative and thing of different kind of useful items to give as gifts.

Here is how I made the Plastic bag Dispensers –

I got some bags like these below (these are nowadays used instead of plastic in many places – it is not fully cloth but some other kind of material which is quite sturdy and can be reused)

I paired the bags and for each pair – From one bag, cut the top portion (handle) and bottom portion – Bag A. From the other bag, cut the bottom portion alone – Bag B.

Then I stitched some decorative lace on the one with the bottom portion cut (on Bag B). For Bag B, I ,made a small cut in the center of one side, folded the bottom end and stitched it. Put an elastic through this – the cut is to allow the elastic to go through.

Then stitched the two pieces together as shown – Bag B in the top and Bag A in the bottom.

Tips –

  • Since the bags I used were reversible, I reversed it before using it as I did not like the seam showing outside.
  • When you dump the covers inside it, fold/or just squeeze like a ball so that it does not get entangled with other plastic covers

Hang this using a S-hook wherever you need and manage the plastic cover mess in your house :)!

What are your tricks for handling the plastic cover issue at home? Do share them ๐Ÿ™‚

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Rocking Bookshelf – DIY – Reuse

This is a short post… Its been a while since I have updated the blog, so just wanted to share this.

During Navarthri, I had to use his shelf for the Golu steps (Check my earlier post for more details on it). So I had to remove all his toys and books from it. There was a wooden rocking horse that his grandfather gifted him for his 1st birthday and now he has outgrown it. But it is so cute that I have not had the heart to dispose it. When I had to move his toys and books, I suddenly had an idea that I could use it as a bookshelf temporarily.

Easy Bookshelf for Kids room ๐Ÿ™‚

Now I am continuing to use it as a bookshelf for my son in his room and he loves it :)!

Rocking Bookshelf – Reuse DIY

Isn’t it rocking indeed ?!

DIY Kid-friendly Dandiya Sticks

With Dusshera around the corner, I know a lot of you will be busy with Dandiya ๐Ÿ™‚ In my son’s daycare they had a Dandiya event last weekend and as part of it, they had asked us to bring Kid-friendly Dandiya Sticks.

Knowing how these kids suddenly forget the dancing and start fighting, the regular sticks could be an issue. So the idea given was to use paper for making the dandiya sticks and decorate it without using glitter/stones etc.

I decided to make the sticks with some packing material foam which was lying around in my craft cupboard (Being a reuse person, I accumulate a lot of such junk). I just wrapped that to form 2 sticks and put sellotape around it. (See pic below)

Packing material foam rolled as sticks with sellotape

Then I found an old drawstring bag which was made out of velvet cloth – I thought it would be nice to cover the sticks with it. So I cut it and hand-stitched 2 pouches to put as covers for the sticks. Before covering it, I also put a small pencil through each of the foam sticks so that the middle portion would get some stability.

Old Velvet drawstring bag

Dandiya sticks ready for decoration!

Used some simple lace to decorate along with some regular fabric paint dots – I would have loved to use some kundan stones but as this was not allowed, I did not use it!

Here is the final outcome.ย  It was so soft that even if you tried to hurt someone with it, you could not ๐Ÿ™‚ ! There was a competition for the best dandiya sticks – though we did not win that, I was kind of happy that I made this absolutely kid-friendly and by reusing stuff I had at home. Let me know what you think!

Decorated Dandiya sticks – Ready to dance ๐Ÿ™‚

Reuse Golu stand – To a Storage Rack for Kids room

With Navarathri just a week away, I thought I will post this little project I did… What do you all do with your Golu stand after you are done using it for 10 days? Usually it lies in the loft in all our houses.

(For those of you who are wondering what I am talking about…Google out “Navarathri Golu” or check http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golu to know more about this. Normally we use slotted angle Golu stands for this purpose)

Some people assemble it as a regular Storage Rack and use it to store books etc but my problem with that has always been that it looks very dull and unappealing.

I decided to get over this issue of appearance of the Steel rack by painting it and use it in my son’s room. I am constantly challenged with Space issues for storing my son’s books and toys. He is just 3 years old and I cannot believe how much stuff we have accumulated – I don’t even remember buying most of this stuff. I guess friends and family have been very generous with their gifts ๐Ÿ™‚

Every time I think my son has outgrown some of the toys and I try to put it aside, he starts playing with those!

I just painted the rack with the colours I thought would go well with my son’s room. (Anyway for the actual Golu we will be covering this with a white cloth, so the painted rack should not matter). I have used Enamel Gloss paint colours which I picked up at the hardware store.

Kids room storage rack

Painted and ready to be used!

From a different angle

Pros –

1) It can hold quite a lot of stuff.

2) You can fix it as you need – if you need shelves with more spacing and some with less, you can fix it the way you want.

3) It is open and kids can see and pick what they need for playing – Well, this also leads to a mess sometimes ๐Ÿ˜‰

4) You can expand the storage by adding hooks wherever you need and hang some stuff – the options are endless!

Cons –

1) It is a open shelf – so attract dust and you have to keep cleaning it!

Tip : It would also be a good idea to put a couple of nails in the wall to fasten this to the wall, to avoid it from toppling if you have naughty kids who might climb on it!

Hope you like this idea!

It was super easy and did not cost much. Do share your comments ๐Ÿ™‚

Close-up shot of the design…

Filled with toys, puzzles, books…

DIY Earring holder – Reuse and Recycle

If you have a lot of earrings and you do not get time to search for which one to wear when you are stepping out of home everyday, this could be the simplest solution for you!

I have always had the problem of how to store my earrings in such a way that I can easily pick from it in the crazy morning rush. And of course the other issue I always have is I don’t seem to find the pairs!

DIY earring hanger

I have a earrings holder now to hold all the danglers (the ones with hooks). I have just reused an old Duppatta that I had (you could use an old stole or a scarf too) for this.

All you need is a hanger and the duppatta/scarf. Use a command center hook (sticker hook) that can be stuck to the inside of the wardrobe door. The hanger can hang from this – so you save a lot of space and can see exactly what all earrings you have and you will not need to search for the matching earring to make a pair!

This works best for danglers; You could even put studs in these but if you have a lot of studs , I think it is better to store them somewhere else.

Don’t you just love this! Share your feedback and also other ideas you might have for this.

I know what you are thinking now…Too much empty space on this – I need to go shopping today ๐Ÿ˜‰ !

DIY Earring holder on the wardrobe door – Space saver!

Old newspaper recycling – DIY basket

When I was browsing the internet a few days back, I came across a very interesting video in which a lady makes a solid basket using old newspapers. It looked amazingly simple and I decided to try it.

The original video link – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3E3uS9QF28

All you need is some old newspapers, a plastic basket for the template, a clean sink and a little fevicol. If you chose to paint it and stick gift-wrapping paper etc, then you need paint and the wrapping paper but that is optional.

Here is what I did-

1.Started with some Old newspapers…..

Old newspapers

2.Tore it into pieces (that was fun ๐Ÿ™‚ )

3.I used a plastic basket that I use to wash vegetables. I put the old papers and basket in the kitchen sink (For a change my sink was empty and clean – Rare occasion)

Model plastic basket

4.Put the wet paper piecesย into the basket just as shown in the video.

5. Once you feel you have the thickness that you need, just press the basket as shown to squeeze out any excess water.

6. Then just let it dry – I left it for a few days because I did not have time to look at it for sometime! but I think 2 days should be enough if it is summer.

7. When it was dried, this is what it looked likeย  –

Paper basket and the model plastic basket

8. My paper basket was not as hard as what was shown in the video – i think either i did not use too many layers of paper as required or I did not make the papers wet enough to stick together well. (However it is sturdy enough for the purpose I am going to use it for – to organize some stuff in my son’s toy room). The next step I did was, using fevicol I stuck a layer of newspaper on this to give it a neat finish and not show the flaky edges that I had in some places. This was the outcome….

Final outcome

9. The final finished paper basket looked good but since I was planning to use it in my son’s room and place it on his toy/book rack which is blue in colour, I thought it would look good if I painted it blue. Well, that was not such a great idea and i realized that when I was half way through the painting…so I just painted the inside and put some gift wrapping paper on the outside. (I know it probably looked better without any of this with the newspaper finish – but could not revert!)

Finished basket with my son’s alphabet magnets

It is really as easy as it looks and definitely useful – you could use it to organize anything!

Tips :

  • Watch the video carefully and follow it to the ‘T’
  • I think it might have been a better idea to select a regular circular plastic basket as the model instead of going with complicated shapes to start with.