DIY Seed Bombs

In honor of Earth Day we’re bringing you one of our favorite kid-friendly crafts: Seed bombs!

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This fantastic project allows you to beautify your neighborhood while also providing additional green space for wildlife in your community. Plus, if you have a little at home, this is a great way to keep them occupied on a rainy day. Win – win!

Here’s what you’ll need to create your own homemade seed bombs:

  • Newspaper
  • Bowl
  • Baking tray or candy molds (if you want to get fancy!)
  • Water
  • Potter’s Clay
  • Chemical-free compost
  • Wildflower Seeds (make sure there are no invasive varieties in the mix!)
  1. Determine where you’ll be doing the project. A low table, bench, or windowsill works best. Then, line your work surface with newspaper.  Soil + little hands = A big mess!
  2. I recommend portioning out the water, clay, and compost before setting them out in front of your toddler. This way they can grab the ingredients and mix them up without too much fuss. Once everything’s ready, pop your toddler next to the work station with a bowl and let them mix the first three ingredients together. The texture should be shape-able, like a chunky dough, but not too moist.
  3. Show your toddler how to form balls from the mix, or if you’re using a candy form, how to press it into the tray.
  4. Once your balls or shapes are ready, set them out on a high windowsill or table to dry overnight. And that’s it! once they’re dried out they’re ready for you to use.

The next time you’re out for a stroll, pop your seed bombs into a basket, and have your tot throw them into abandoned lots or planters. Ensure they’re not chucking them into private plots or landscaped spaces. As the days go by, visit your bombs to view their progress. If you have a tech savvy kid, have them take photos of their plants in each stage. In just a couple of weeks, under the right conditions, you should see bursts of wildflowers in bloom.

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When seeing this project through be sure to speak with your toddler about the importance of plants, especially in urban environments. It’s a great way to impart knowledge about science and nature while teaching them how to be stewards of creation. And, as an added bonus, describe the importance of caring for the community you live in too! That way, you won’t just have plants in bloom, you’ll also have a budding little social activist on your hands.

Voila! You’ve now trained a mini guerrilla gardener!

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An Indie Biz: 2014 in Review

Pierogi Picnic: Eco friendly, affordable, design savvy clothing

2014 was quite the year for Pierogi Picnic and there’s so much to celebrate!

Beyond being the sixth year that I’ve been creating and selling my eco-friendly wares, this was the year I learned to pace and prioritize like never before! And with a baby on the way (we’re at 9 months today!) that’s a valuable lesson to have learned.

Though things had slowed down the second half of the year due to some funky early pregnancy woes, the first half of the year was as productive as ever. With custom orders pouring in off of Etsy and lots of traffic hitting the website, I found myself busier than ever! Focusing on the Pierogi Picnic website and online sales continues to be the best business plan I can have – especially now that baby is almost here!

My focus in 2015 will continue to be on expanding Pierogi Picnic’s virtual reach while really honing in on creating more made-to-order items. Once the babe is here and we’re in a rhythm the custom order portion of my Etsy shop will be up and running again and I can’t wait for that time to come! My hands have been fabric free for far too long! And who knows – maybe a new munchkin line will be on the way this year too!

So without further adieu – here’s a look back at what rocked the Pierogi Picnic world in 2014!

My Favorite New Designs: The Dawn & Dusk Collection

Pierogi Picnic: Dawn + Dusk CollectionMost Popular Item: Green Gal Custom Swimsuit

Green Girl swimsuitRunners Up: Sir Cycle men’s sweatshirt, Just in Case Lace women’s tank, all things Vintage

Most Popular Post of the Year: DIY Love Patch

Elbow patch: afterRunner’s Up: Inspiration: Suitcase Dresser, DIY: Earring Tutorial, DIY: Homemade Cheek & Lip Stain, Trends: Lovin’ the Leggins

Thank you to all of you for your support and encouragement throughout 2014! Here’s to making 2015 the best year for Pierogi Picnic yet!!!

Featured Design: The Dodger

Pierogi Picnic: The Dodger eco-friendly cowl scarf

There’s a chill in the air and the month of November is well underway – which can mean only one thing. It’s bundling season! And for that reason we’ve chosen The Dodger cowl as our featured item.

Whether it’s for keeping yourself or an eco-savvy giftee warm, this elegant and utilitarian accessory is the perfect piece for the chilling season. Available in several color combos, the grey on grey is my personal favorite as it has unisex appeal and a slightly military vibe.

Handmade using recycled sweatshirt fabrics, these uber soft and snuggly cowls are great for day-to-day wear, biking, or spicing up a weekend outfit. And with the holidays just around the bend, they’d make a great stocking stuff too! To check out which color combos are currently available visit my Etsy shop here.

Greening Martha: Eco Chic Autumn Table Runner

DIY Eco-Friendly Leaf Table Runner for Thanksgiving

There are so many incredible DIY craft tutorials out there to try – but how do we scratch that creative itch without compromising our earth-loving-ethics? That’s what the “Greening Martha” series is all about! I take some of the most lusted after Martha Stewart tutorials and give them an eco-friendly makeover, making you feel better about indulging your crafty cravings!

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I thought it was high-time to get some seasonal tutorials going. This month I’m bringing you a DIY twist for dressing up your holiday table: the Eco-Chic Autumn Table Runner.

Designed after Martha’s “Festive Fall Felt Trivets“, my rendition of this uber cute seasonal decor utilizes leftover fabric scraps from sweatshirts and t-shirts instead of virgin materials. By using textiles that you already have lying about your home you can spice up your Thanksgiving spread without purchasing new fabric, which wastes valuable resources and pollutes the environment.

For an in-depth account of the full effects of the textile industry, read this report from the Indian Textile Journal, which documents each step of the fabric creation process and its impact on the planet.

So in the true spirit of  the “Greening Martha” series, here’s a fun eco-friendly tutorial that will have you jumping for joy with your Thanksgiving table design, while feeling good about your conscious craft choices.

Greening Martha eco-friendly leaf table runner

Eco Chic Autumn Table Runner

Supplies Needed:

+ Various fabric scraps or used t-shirts, sweatshirt and other textiles
+ A sharp pair of fabric scissors
+ Fabric chalk, marker, pencil or crayon
+ A leaf (go get one from outside!)
+ A threaded sewing machine or old fashioned needle and thread

  1. Gather up your fabric, paying particular attention to the color scheme. Warm, earthy autumnal tones are best. Also try to find a variety of fabrics to create a more rustic look. Think cotton, knits, fleeces and other cozy textures.
  2. Grab your leaf and set it down on your first piece of fabric.
  3. Outline the leaf’s shape using fabric chalk, a marker, crayon, or anything else you may have lying around.
  4. Cutout your leaf outline – doubling the fabric if you want to be extra efficient.
  5. Trim up your leaf cutout to ensure it’s look even sharp.
  6. Repeat steps 2-5 with your other fabrics.
  7. Once all your leaf shaped are cut out, set your sewing machine to a zig zag stitch pattern. If you’re stitching by hand – skip this step.
  8. One leaf at a time, stitch across the surface of the shape, lining up your next leaf just after you hit the edge. Alternate the orientations of the leaves with each new shape addition to ensure a more natural pattern.

DIY Green Tutorial: Thanksgiving Leaf Table Runner

 
And that’s it! In fifteen minutes or less you can have an eco-savvy, super chic table runner with which to adorn your Thanksgiving spread. It’s an easy, affordable, and of course, earth-friendly way to liven up your space without compromising your ethics.

Is there a sustainable how-to that’s caught your eyes for the holidays? If so – share the link in the comments below!

greening martha diy eco table runner

Anniversary Sale Week 3: Free Shipping

Pierogi Picnic Anniversary Sale Week 3 Free Shipping handmade custom vintage clothing

As we move into the third week of our month-long anniversary extravaganza – we have another treat for you: Free Shipping! Starting today until the end of the week, enjoy free shipping on all your Pierogi Picnic Etsy purchases. This includes those of you who live ‘across the pond!’

So when checking out with all your favorite Pierogi Picnic goodies, be sure to enter coupon code “saleweek3” during checkout to have your shipping costs deducted.

Happy shopping to you!

DIY: Printed Picnic Tray

DIY upcycled serving tray

The sun is shining, a gentle breeze is blowing and you just came home from the farmer’s market. So what do you do? Plan a picnic of course! Some of the basic you’ll need are tasty local treats, a blanket, reusable napkins, utensils – and my secret to picnic success – a sturdy tray!

DIY Picnic Tray from pierogi picnic

Helping to keep your food stable and elevated, while upping your presentation ante, having this simple accessory will make your outdoor dining experience fun and functional. Follow my quick pictorial instructions below Continue reading

Sale: Spring Cleaning Bonanza!

spring sale

It doesn’t feel like spring in Chicago quite yet – but despite what my weather app may say – the season is officially here! So to celebrate the beginning of longer days and soon-to-be warmer temps, I’m having a one-day-only Spring Cleaning Bonanza sale!

From now until midnight you can take 40% off any ready-made or vintage items in my Etsy shop by using the following coupon code during checkout: springbonanza03

Sound crazy? It is! 

Whether you’ve had your heart set on a new design or a vintage find – now’s the perfect time to scoop things up! There won’t be another sale like this one for months and months to come – so go ahead – and take advantage of this great deal.