Author Archives: Abril Loya


5 Things to Do with… Plastic Bottles

Every year, billions of plastic bottles end their useful lives in landfills, but with these creative repurposing ideas, you can snatch at least a few from that fate.

Plastic bottles make it easy to hydrate on the go, but they’re tough on the environment. They too often end up in landfills where, being non-biodegradable, they will sit for hundreds of years before they even begin to decompose. That’s why eco-conscious DIYers have sought and found many ways to reuse plastic bottles at home. Scroll down to see five of our favorite ideas.

 

1. CREATE A CHANDELIER

Reuse Plastic Bottles - Chandelier

Photo: inhabitat.com

Light fixtures can pull a room together, but they can also tear your budget apart. Here’s a way to get a luxe look for less: Make your own chandelier out of all those plastic bottles in your recycling bin. With little more than fishing wire, you can re-create this shining example from the London Design Festival.

 

2. PLANT AN INDOOR GARDEN

Reuse Plastic Bottles - Planter

Photo: inhabitat.com

Each bottle in this window installation serves as a miniature greenhouse that encourages the growth of the seedling planted inside. Isn’t there a certain poetry in growing greenery within containers that would otherwise be trash? Set aside plastic bottles until you have enough, and then visit wikiHow for the project details.

 

3. MAKE A JEWELRY STAND

epbot.com

It can be a hassle to find the perfect jewelry holder, so why not design and build your own? EPBOT offers a step-by-step tutorial, which explains how to assemble soda bottle bottoms and inexpensive, readily available hardware—rod, nuts, and washers—into a simple and eco-friendly stand for your accessories.

 

4. PUT TOGETHER A DESK ORGANIZER

How to Reuse Plastic Bottles - Desk Organizer

Photo: makezine.com

If you’re looking for a stylish way to corral thumbtacks, rubber bands, and other things for your home office, consider this crafty, low-cost approach from MAKE. Cut the bottoms off some plastic bottles; spray paint them; line the cut edges with felt; then glue the pieces together in whatever arrangement suits you.

 

5. HANG A BIRD FEEDER

Reuse Plastic Bottle - Bird Feeder

Photo: spoonful.com

Last but not least, you can reuse plastic bottles to attract winged and feathered friends to your backyard. Simple to construct yet effective for its purpose, this bird feeder, via Spoonful, requires only a craft knife and some twine, plus two wooden spoons and, of course, an empty water or soda container.


Last Chance to Enter the GE Appliances Big Summer Blowout!

This week, enter daily for the best chance of winning a new GE Hybrid Stainless Steel Interior Dishwasher, valued at $699.

GE Appliances Give-AwayIs your dishwasher louder than your lawn mower? Does it get pooped out during the pots-and-pans cycle? If you spend more time washing your dishes than your dishwasher does, waste no time in entering the third and final round of our GE Appliances Big Summer Blowout. You could be the lucky winner of GE’s most powerful dishwasher yet!

ENTER OUR GE APPLIANCES BIG SUMMER BLOWOUT

Today and every day through Friday, August 30th (11:59 a.m. EST), you can enter to win the final prize in our GE Appliances Give-Away: a GE Hybrid Stainless Steel Interior Dishwasher, valued at $699!

GE DishwasherThis dishwasher is the most innovative in the GE line. Designed with the customer in mind, the Hybrid Dishwasher boasts carefully positioned jet streams that leave no trace of food behind, and customizable Wash Zones enable you to do small loads in an environmentally friendly way, without running the machine at full tilt. If the idea of minimal effort and sparklingly clean dishware sounds pretty good to you, this is the dishwasher of your dreams:

  • Advanced system delivers 65% more washing power per rack, blasting food away with ease
  • Wash Zones, exclusive to GE Appliances, make small loads guilt-free!
  • Adjustable racks accomodate up to 10.5-inch plates on top rack
  • Removable filter system, including a patented hard food disposal, ensures impeccable dishes every time
  • EnergyStar certified means you save water and money!

Enter daily from today through Friday, August 30th (11:59 a.m. EST) to increase your chances of winning!

For more on the full line of GE Appliances, click here.

 

The “Bob Vila’s GE Appliances Big Summer Blowout” sweepstakes is open only to permanent legal U.S. residents of the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia; residents of Alaska and Hawaii are not eligible. Void in all other geographic locations. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Contest Period runs from 12:00 p.m. (EST) Thursday, August 1st, 2013 through 11:59 a.m. (EST) Friday, August 30th, 2013. One entry per household per day on BobVila.com. Alternative means of entry for Drawing is available by faxing your name and address to 508-437-8486 during the applicable Entry Period. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. See Official Rules.


5 Things to Do with… Corrugated Metal

Once used primarily for shed roofing, corrugated metal is turning up in the most interesting places, both inside the home and out in the yard.

If your impression of corrugated metal is that it belongs on a barn roof, take another look. Lightweight and inexpensive, new or salvaged, corrugated aluminum sheets are finding a variety of practical and decorative applications in the hands of creative do-it-yourselfers.

 

1. CREATE AN ACCENT WALL

Corrugated Metal DIY - Accent Wall

Photo: interiorsbykenz.com

Looking to add an industrial vibe? It doesn’t get much easier. Simply measure the surface area and cut the sheet to size (or have it cut for you). From there, it’s a matter of securing wood strips to the wall, upon which the metal is installed. For a detailed step-by-step tutorial, visit Interiors by Kenz.

 

2.  MAKE A HEADBOARD

Corrugated Metal DIY - Headboard

Photo: homedit.com

If you’re hesitant to blanket a full wall in corrugated metal, why not compromise with a headboard? You’ll need the proper cutting tools and a design template to replicate the one pictured. For a less demanding approach to getting the look, pay to have the sheet cut for you, then simply secure the piece to the wall.

 

3.  GO METAL IN THE KITCHEN

Corrugated Metal DIY - Island Surround

Photo: inspirationgreen.com

If your style sensibility is more rustic than modern, try getting your hands on some salvaged stock of corrugated metal, and consider the material either for the backsplash or as a surround for your kitchen island. Aesthetic upgrades don’t get much more affordable (or more distinctive) in the kitchen.

 

4. BUILD AN OUTDOOR SHOWER

sunset.timeinc.net

Outside, too, there are many corrugated metal DIY projects to spend this weekend completing. For instance, this great-looking yet functional outdoor shower requires only basic building skills and minimal materials: aluminum sheeting, lumber, and an outdoor shower kit from your local home improvement store.

 

5. ASSEMBLE A PATCHWORK FENCE

Corrugated Metal DIY - Fence

Photo: landscapingnetwork.com

If you happen upon smaller scraps of sheeting (or discarded tin ceiling tiles), remember that they are anything but useless. With its patchwork grid of mismatched squares, this low-cost corrugated metal DIY fence makes for a distinctive landscape feature with handmade country charm.


5 Things to Do with… Lattice

A familiar yard element designed to support climbing plants, lattice may be used in a variety of alternative ways.

Diamond-slatted lattice—it’s as iconic as, and perhaps more often seen than, white picket fences. While primarily meant as a structural aid for garden vines, lattice may be put to a variety of uses, indoors and out. Here are five favorite not-so-traditional DIY ways to incorporate this classic.

 

1. HANG A WALL TREATMENT

Lattice DIY Projects - Wall Treatment

ninemsn.com.au

Wall suffering a lack of personality? Take country chic to the limit with latticework in a hue that either complements or contrasts your existing paint color. There’s little risk of damaging your drywall or plaster, so give this accent a try; if you don’t love the result, you can easily take the installation down.

 

2. BUILD A RANGE HOOD SURROUND

Photo: housebeautiful.com

What the range hood contributes from a functional standpoint, it takes away from an aesthetic one. Fortunately, there’s at least one method of masking the ugliness of this appliance: completely hiding it from view! For inspiration, look no further than House Beautiful; its profile of an Allison Caccoma-designed kitchen provides ample, drool-worthy evidence that for the remodeler bent on creating a beautiful space, one can’t-miss approach is laying lattice over mirror-front cabinetry.

 

3. DEVISE A TOOL HOLDER

Lattice DIY Projects - Tool Rack

Photo: marthastewart.com

From Martha Stewart, this clever repurposing idea might finally enable you to organize the chaos contained within your toolshed. All you need is a square piece of heavy-duty lattice: Cut it to whatever size meets your storage needs, then fasten the piece to your shed door (or an interior wall). S-hooks hold smaller items, while clamps keep larger tools in place.

 

4. MAKE A HEADBOARD

Photo: dinasdays.com

Looking to add a quirky touch to your drab bedroom decor? It couldn’t be much easier to make a headboard out of lattice. If you have the necessary tools and materials on hand, the project won’t take more than an hour, and the minimal effort involved is well worth the remarkable result.

 

5. INSTALL PORCH SKIRTING

Lattice DIY Projects - Porch Skirt

Photo: houseofearnest.com

Outdoor constructions like porches and decks are raised from the ground, leaving an exposed area of dirt or gravel beneath. Lattice may be installed there as a skirting, not only to impart a more finished look, but also to keep out critters. This Old House offers a step-by-step guide to help you start and complete this low-cost, high-impact curb appeal project. Only bear in mind that when it comes to weather resistance, vinyl lattice is superior to wood.