DIY: Eco-Friendly Handmade Gifts

DIY upcycled sweater stockings

Are your fingers feeling itchy to craft? Then get those digits to work!

To get your creative juices flowing, I’ve assembled my all-time most popular DIY tutorials for you to peruse through. Click on any of the photos below to read the full set of instructions on how to make these practical and design-savvy eco-friendly gifts for the holidays.

After all, nothing’s more festive and heartfelt than something that’s handmade with love!

dit printed eco gift wrap

diy orange spice face scrub face scrub

diy upcylced sweater leg warmers

homemade cheek and lip stain

embellished heart elbow patch sweater

diy sweater bracelets

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DIY: Newspaper Party Streamers

DIY: Eco-Friendly Party Decor - recycled newspaper streamers

This past month I found myself in a dilemma. David’s birthday was suddenly at hand, we had a party planned, and I totally forgot to consider decorations! With just an hour before the first guests’ arrival, I devised a quick and resourceful way to get my apartment into the party spirit: Upcycled paper streamers!

Sneaking a few sheets of newspaper away from my bunny’s stash, I concocted a simple banner design that only required a few strategic cuts and less than 10 minutes of sewing. The result? A transformed festive space that’s eco-friendly and ready for fun!

Should you be on the lookout for a simple and design-savvy way to deck out your place for an upcoming get-together, give this easy four step tutorial a try!

upcycled party streamers tutorial

1) Cut your newspaper into one inch slices.

2) Gather a stack of your sliced paper and cut each strip in half.

3) Align your strips to ensure they’re all the same length. Don’t worry about the width of each being exact.

4) Use a simple stitch and same plain thread to connect the strips together, sewing about a half inch from the tops. Sew approximately 30-40 slips per streamer.

And that’s it! To hang your streamers all you need to do is grab some washi or marking tape and affix them to your ceiling at varying lengths and spaces. You’ll find that the more streamers you hang, the fuller the installation’s look, so don’t be afraid to go nuts and make ten or more pieces!

Do you have a secret last-minute party decor idea that’s easy to make and eco-friendly? Share your tips with us!

Pierogi Picnic: Handmade Party Streamer Tutorial

Finds: Renegade Recap

Necklace & Bracelet by Love Nail Tree

It was the first time in over 4 years that Pierogi Picnic did not participate in Chicago’s September Renegade Craft Fair. We took the summer off from custom orders and sewing – and took that time to enjoy the season – which means getting to shop the event instead!

By far, one of the best fair line-ups I’ve seen in many years, this Renegade had a little bit of something for everyone. Whether finely crafted jewelry and elegant housewares or kitschy screenprinted posters and fun stuffies, this was the craft collection to end all craft collections.

Bouncing from booth to booth, David and I scooped up some fun items for ourselves and friends, while documenting the many talented artisans whose items inspired, delighted or enthused.  Here’s what we brought home:

Jewelry by Love Nail Tree from RCF 2013

AVP Designs Clay & Pyrite Earrings

Adorable dress by MaryInk

By Mindy handmade baby shoees

The Wind & the Sail happy rabbit baby rattle

To scope out all of our favorite finds at this year’s fair, take a peek at our Facebook event album here.  To see a full list of who exhibited, click here.

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Events: 14 Days of Crafting

14 Days of Crafting from Eco Etsy photo by Lydia Krupinski

The Eco Etsy Street Team is holding our first-ever 14 days of crafting! We’re rounding up the best of the best green tutorials and sharing them with experienced upcyclers and newbie DIYers alike.

Several posts that I’ve written for the team blog from over the years, like the one above, will be featured, along with many other fun ways in which you can get your “craft on” sustainably.

Tune in each day of the challenge to be inspired and take your creativity to a whole new level!

Events: Renegade – Creation Station

I have started a tradition at my in-person events to always have some kind of earth-friendly craft ready and waiting for fans to make.  And this September’s Renegade will be no different!

Since I’m not sharing a booth this year I’ll have a bit more space to stretch out – so I’m planning to insert what I’m calling the “creation station.” This little nook of my tent will feature supplies and instructions on how to make your very own green-it-yourself bracelets. Created from the remnants of my cotton-based designs, these accessories will be a fun way to get fair-goers to try their own hand at crafting. I’ll be hand-dying each strip in advance too – so that the finished bracelets have a lovely ombre effect.

So if you’re planning on coming by the fair on September 8th or 9th, be sure to set some time aside to make your very own fabric bracelets. There’s nothing better than a free, green and trendy souvenir!