Posts Tagged ‘Ikea hack’

Zero Budget Project: Waste & Recycle


When we moved into our house, there were naturally a million boxes everywhere. We soon got those under control, but the regular recycling was not. Since the island in our kitchen wasn’t in use with bar stools, we just stacked all of our recycling there. And yes, it looked absolutely awful.

I happened to be at a farewell party for a friend when I spied the most beautiful garbage can that took care of both waste and recycling. Of course it was simple human. Those trash cans are really well designed. But I’m not about to pay near $175 for one or even $90 for something similar. I’m sure they’re worth it, but I’d much rather that cash go towards furniture we really need right now (coffee tables, rugs, etc). So the plan to buy a sexy trash can was nixed.

I eventually came across these bins at Ikea. They’re simple enough and sit next to one another nicely. They also happen to fit our little garbage nook and budget perfectly ($26 for the pair). We’ve had them for a few months, and our system is working really well. We don’t have lingering recycling (unless it’s the big sort, in which case it’ll never fit any bin besides the giant can outside). And we actually recycle instead of hide our recycling items in the trash can.

The only problem with these cans was that they were not labeled accordingly. Items would usually get mis-categorized when company was over, but that’s easy enough to remedy. I designed and cut out some vinyl stickers to attach to the bin. BAM! DONE.

I’m sure grubby waste and messy hands will gum up these stickers sometime in the future, but they’re not too hard to replace.

How do you manage your recycling if you’re not taking every recycle item outside to the large bin?

Ikea Tote + Sewing with Leather


A few weeks ago I attended a blogger event at Ikea in Draper. They wanted to collaborate with bloggers, show off their new PS collection and brag about being completely solar powered. I’m already in a love affair with Ikea, so all those things made me love them even more.

At the event, they challenged us to find something in the store to work into a DIY. I wasn’t planning on participating until I found this pillow case in the As Is section. I love this print and the tooth of the fabric, but it doesn’t match my house.

I’ve been mulling over the idea of making a leather tote for years now, so this case was screaming to be a leather-bottomed tote.

The tote took about 5+ hours to complete because I took my time and did things right the first time. Leather is a bit tricky to work with, so here are a couple of tips to help if you’re thinking about working with leather any time soon:

  • use a leather needle – they are made for puncturing through the material
  • use a walking foot – they keep the leather from slipping
  • use bulldog clips instead of pins for keeping pattern pieces in place
  • use the widest stitch length possible
  • sew once, and only once – once you puncture the leather, you can’t un-puncture it!
  • go slowly
  • iron your seams – cover the leather with a cotton cloth and iron at the hottest steamiest setting

The pillow already had a zipper set in, so I worked around that. It’s super roomy, so this tote could easily work as my diaper bag, but transition effortlessly into a weekend tote.

I added lots of pockets for compartmentalizing my stuff and the kids’ stuff. I used a charcoal grey canvass for the lining instead of the typical black. It looks clean, but it’s not so dark in there that you can’t find your black pen (a dilemma of mine all the time).

Doing the leather bottom and handles wasn’t as hard as I thought. It helped to have a walking foot, leather needle and kick-trash sewing machine. This project is evidence of how much I love my new sewing machine.

I can’t help but check out the As-Is (Chris and I call it AZEEZ) every time we’re at Ikea, and we always find great items for DIY projects: my tabletop for fabric storage, our poang chair for our music room and now this tote. We were at Ikea this weekend looking for a couch and I found lots of great ready-made panels perfect for wall art there, too.

Outfit Details:

  • top: Walmart
  • necklace: handmade
  • jeggings: PacSun + refashioned
  • shoes: from Sarah
  • tote: Ikea + refashioned

This post is not sponsored by Ikea, but the materials were given to me by Ikea.

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