Truly Gifted: It's DIY December!

You've heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, right? But, have you heard about DIY December? Probably not, because I am introducing it right here, right now on econesting!

Last year, I created an ambitious holiday gift guide for Planet Green. It was called, Truly Gifted: An A-Z DIY Holiday Workshop For Everyone On Your Holiday List. It was my anecdote for curbing spending, raising my eco-consciousness and reconnecting with something I love to do: create handmade gifts for my family and friends.

The introductory post to the Truly Gifted series is the only post not showing up on the Planet Green site, so here's an excerpt:

"I did the unthinkable. I ventured into New York City on Black Friday. It was mostly a social visit, but it was hard not to get caught up in the shopping frenzy. You would never guess from the amount of people who braved the stores with their fellow throngs of holiday revelers that there was ever a weakness in our economy, or that our planet was overdue for an eco-consciousness-raising. I found myself tripping over a minefield of holiday stuff and compromising my personal eco-footprint right and left. After an exhausting few hours, I was happy to be tucked back into my nest. The experience reached my deepest resolve to buy less and make more.

Sure, you could go out and buy eco-friendly gifts for everyone on your list, or save gas and time by shopping online. But why succumb to more spending and unnecessary waste? Creating gifts for others allows you to share your great green intention of respecting the planet, by passing along to your recipients the awareness of treading lightly on the environment."

5 DIY Gift-Making Tips

  1. Take stock of what you already have. Scavenge around and give homage to items and materials that are ecologically sound. These items are just waiting for their secret life to unfold so that they can be restored, renovated, recycled and reused.
  2. Be thoughtful about the person you are gifting. Creating items by hand takes time (maybe not as much time as finding a parking spot at the mall). Personalizing a gift is a sure-fire way to get it right.
  3. Choose materials that are recycled and renewable.
  4. Not only is making your own gifts green, frugal and clever, a handmade gift allows the giver to express their love in a whole new way.
  5. Giving a handmade gift is a truly satisfying experience. It has the ability to transform the way we think about the holidays.

DIY December

During the next few weeks leading up to the crescendo of all winter holidays - Christmas, I will provide an alphabetical array of green DIY inspiration for everyone on your holiday list. Since I wrote a post for every letter of the alphabet (absolutely exhausting, but fun), I'll be including excerpts and new information. The posts will have an eco-friendly DIY project for everyone on your list. How cool is that?

Revving to get started?  Here's a real easy project to get you in the DIY gift-making and giving mood: DIY Gift Tags Forget store bought gift tags, Lolly Chops provides stylish free patterned, downloadable gift tags to print out and personalize.

I'll be posting a blizzard of DIY projects. So don't forget to check back each day for greenest of holiday gifts you can make yourself.

Photos: Emma Innocenti via Planet Green, Lolly Chops

An Inspired DIY Idea: Recycled Sweater Sleeve Cozy

Here’s what often happens to me: I am inspired by ideas and new products that I think could be easily made. That was the case this morning while I was pointing and clicking around the blogosphere. I spied this stunning handmade white matte-satin pot over on Swissmiss. It was created by Paige Russell. The pot appeared to be cradled by a sweater sleeve. Tea cozies are not generally my thing, pharm but this one spoke to me. Not only was it beautiful, cheap cialis it totally made functional sense.

Recycled Sweater Sleeve Cozy

How to: Using a felted wool sweater sleeve, viagra buy cut to fit. Grab a hot drink. So easy, so sweet!

Note: Felting will give the cozy a tight finished fit. A felted wool fabric will not unravel. I explain how to felt a recycled sweater here.

Photo Credits: Paige Russell

Rock, Paper…Table

Brazilian designer Domingos Tótora's table appears to be balanced on large stones. Right? On closer inspection, the Agua Table is easy to move, eco-friendly, and no stones were harmed in the making of it. The table is created from recycled cardboard. Check out these amazing photos of the artisan's process behind making the Agua Table via Contemporist: