Category Archives: Green


Tutorial: Recycled DON’T PANIC Drink Set for FaveCrafts

Tutorial: Recycled DON'T PANIC Drink Set for FaveCrafts | The Zen of Making

If you’re looking for a craft that’s both geeky and green, you won’t want to miss my Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy-inspired DON’T PANIC Drink Set in this week’s Geek Crafts column on FaveCrafts!

Geek Crafts: Recycled DON’T PANIC Drink Set

Welcome to the Geek Crafts column, your weekly dose of geeky goodness with Haley Pierson-Cox from The Zen of Making!

My local grocery store carries fancy carbonated lemonade in old fashioned bottles with clamp tops, and it’s one of my favorite summertime picnic treats. The bottles are so cool that I can never actually bring myself to recycle them with the rest of the glass, so I’ve amassed quite a collection over the years. But, thanks to the wonder that is glass etching cream, I’ve finally found a way to give them new life! In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to combine a beautiful glass bottle with a pair thrift store glasses to make a fun Hitchhiker’s Guide-inspired drink set. It’s cheap, fun, and Earth Day approved!

Step 1
Trace “DON’T PANIC.” onto a sheet of adhesive-backed vinyl, then carefully cut out the letters using a craft knife.

You may also use an electronic cutter to cut the vinyl. (I used my Silhouette SD for this project.)

Step 2
Thoroughly wash and dry the glasses and the bottle, then clean the outside surfaces with rubbing alcohol

Tutorial: Recycled DON'T PANIC Drink Set for FaveCrafts | The Zen of Making

Head over to FaveCrafts to see the complete how-to. (Just don’t forget to grab your towel before you go!)

Tutorial: Spice Jar Mini Terrariums

Tutorial: Spice Jar Mini Terrariums | The Zen of Making

Turn your empty spice jars into mini moss terrariums with this fun, simple Earth Week project. Tiny terrariums are the perfect way to green up your home decor, and they also make great recycled gifts!

* Spice jars, cleaned and dried
* Fresh moss or Dehydrated live terrarium moss, soaked per package instructions
* Dried moss
* Polished gravel
* Terrarium soil

* Bamboo skewer or chopstick
* Plant mister

★ Please note that the links provided above are affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you choose to make a purchase after clicking through. ★

Tutorial: Spice Jar Mini Terrariums | The Zen of Making

Step 1
Gather your terrarium supplies, then assemble the gravel, dried moss, and soil layers as shown above. Lightly spray the soil with the plant mister to dampen. (You will add the top moss layer in the next step.)

Important: Before you start your terrarium, make sure you allow enough time to soak and rehydrate any dry materials, including dehydrated moss, dried moss, and compressed soil. The soaking process generally takes about 3 hours.

Step 2
Once your layers are in place, use a bamboo skewer or a chopstick to artfully arrange your moss, pressing it firmly into the soil. When you’re done, place a few pebbles on top of the moss to add some color and finish off the landscape.

Step 3
Mist the moss lightly, then secure the lid. Place your finished terrarium in a shady spot where it will receive only filtered light.

To keep your terrarium healthy, spray it every 3-4 weeks (or more often if it’s hot/dry) with a plant mister. The moss should be damp, but never wet.

Terrarium tips:

• If your water is very hard or contains chlorine, you’ll want to use bottled water to rehydrate your materials and water your terrarium. Chemicals in water can burn moss and cause it to turn brown and die.

• Most mosses like filtered light or shade. Avoid putting your terrarium in a window or any location where it will be exposed to direct sunlight.

• Build moss terrariums in containers with lids. Open containers dry out quickly and require daily attention.

• If you’ve over-watered or notice a ton of condensation on the glass, open the top for a few hours to allow some of the extra moisture to evaporate.

In the mood for something a little fancier? Check out my Twig Terrariums Terrarium Kits review. (You’ll love them!)

Ready for more upcycling projects? Earth Week Roundup: Top 5 Upcycling Tutorials

Earth Week Roundup: Top 5 Upcycling Tutorials

Earth Week Roundup: Top 5 Upcycling Tutorials | The Zen of Making

Welcome to Earth Week on TZoM! To celebrate, I’m kicking things off with my five favorite upcycling tutorials. Take a look around and share the crafty green love!

1. Tutorial: Air Plant Chandelier
Make a custom air plant chandelier with thrifted glass.

2. Tutorial: Pillowcase Pencil Skirt
This is, by far, my favorite upcycling tutorial on TZoM. You are officially one old pillowcase away from a stylish summer skirt!

2. Tutorial: Canvas Shoe Kitty Patch
Suddenly, your hole-y TOMS aren’t look half bad, right?

4. Tutorial: Cardboard Cat Rocket for
Have a weekend and a couple of cardboard boxes? Why not build a cat rocket?

5. Tutorial: Pillowcase Sundress: Part 1 and Tutorial: Pillowcase Sundress: Part 2
The pillowcase dress gets a grownup makeover (that won’t show your backside to the world).

Happy Earth Day and happy upcycling!

Tutorial: Canvas Shoe Kitty Patch

Tutorial: Canvas Shoe Kitty Patch | The Zen of Making

Last Wednesday, I was crossing the street and didn’t notice that a misshapen piece of metal was lying in the crosswalk ahead of me. Of course, I stepped on it, causing it to swing around and slice a clean, angular hole in the top of one of my brand new TOMS. (Ugh.) So, since I hadn’t even had them long enough to get them dirty—and since canvas shoes are notorious for developing unsightly holes ahead of their time anyway—I decided to look at the accident as a great opportunity to try my hand at making patches.

So, if you’ve got a hole-y pair of canvas shoes, don’t toss them in the trash, fix them up! In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to make a quick custom kitty cat patch that will repair your shoes and look super-cute doing it!

* Canvas shoes with a hole in them
* Wool felt sheet, brown (sized to fit the hole in your shoe)
* Wool felt scraps, pink
* Embroidery floss, pink, cream, brown, and black
* Fray Check
* Fabric adhesive
* Cardstock, 1 sheet

* Fabric scissors with detail tip
* Paper scissors with detail tip
* Embroidery needle
* Pencil

★Please note that the links provided above are affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you choose to make a purchase after clicking through.★

Step 1
Using fabric scissors, trim away any loose strings or fraying around the hole or tear.

Step 2
To prevent the hole from getting bigger, use an anti-fraying product like Fraycheck to seal the cut edges. Allow it to dry completely before applying the patch.

Step 3
While your shoe is drying, make a cat-shaped template out of cardstock. To do this, draw an oval that is large enough to completely cover the hole, then add two triangles on top for ears. Once you’re happy with the shape, cut out your pattern with paper scissors.

Step 4
Place the paper kitty template on top of your brown felt, then cut around the edges with fabric scissors to make the felt patch.

Step 5
Place a few small dots of permanent fabric adhesive on the back of the patch, then press it into place over the hole in your shoe. Allow the glue to dry completely before sewing the patch in place.

Step 6
Thread your embroidery needle with 2-ply brown embroidery floss, then straight stitch around the edge of the patch.

Note: If your patch is in a tight, hard to reach spot like mine, you’ll want to leave extra long tails on your floss so you can knot off more easily when you’re finished with each color.

Step 7
Cut two small triangles out of the pink felt scraps, then straight stitch them inside each ear.

Step 8
Make two large french knots using 3-ply black embroidery floss for the eyes, then make a rounded nose in 2-ply pink embroidery floss using satin stitch.

Step 9
To finish the face, make three large straight stitches on each side that begin just below each eye, then fan out evenly across the cheeks.

Step 10
Make sure your knots are secure, then trim any extra floss ends.

If you’re worried about your toes snagging or pulling on the stitches, you can use your fabric adhesive to glue a piece of wool felt over the knots on the inside of the shoe. It’s also a good idea to dab a drop of Fraycheck on each eye to make sure that they maintain their shape.

I think they actually look better now than before they were ripped. What do you think?

Shared on Skip to My Lou!