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10 Sustainable and Easy DIY Projects for your Home

Sustainable DIY Projects

I was chatting to my grandma recently who has just been crocheting a dishcloth out of bamboo wool. So simple for creating sustainable living, but so innovative!! So that got me thinking about what other easy ways are there for us to make sustainable DIYS for our home. I started my research, and realised that it was very hard to find a full list of easy crafts to help make our homes less disposable. So I made a list for you.

All of the patterns below, besides one crocheted, are knitted patterns. But don’t worry – they are very easy and you can definitely finish one of them in a day. And if you have any problems, let me know and I can guide you.

Here are the list of the patterns you can find below:

  1. Dish Cloths
  2. Shoppings Bags
  3. Cleaning Cloths
  4. Spa Cloths
  5. Make-up Removal Cloths
  6. Napkins
  7. Soap Poaches
  8. Scrubbies for the kids
  9. Scrubbers for Griddle Pans
  10. Christmas Decorations

10 Easy Knitting Projects with Free Patterns

  1. Dish Cloths

These are very easily knitted in an hour or two, and I just love the colours of these. They will definitely brighten up my kitchen, and not to mention save us having to buy and use the thin rags we buy for a dish cloth currently. And, the textured knit will help you with your scrubbing!!

Here are two free patterns: Just be Crafty (the ones in the picture) of The Daily Greens (these ones are knitted in a diagonal)

Sustainable Dish Cloth Knitting tutorial
  1. Shopping Bags

These are super cute! What better way to be sustainable than to put a stop to all those plastic bags and knit your very own grocery bag/s? This pattern seems quite easy to follow, and she suggests using a recycled yarn to take a step even further to sustainability.

Here is the free pattern: Mama in a Stitch

Knit a grocery bag
  1. Cleaning Cloths

Here is an easy to make, easy to reuse and recycle homemade dusting cloth!! According to research, microfibre cloths are essentially plastic and release more microfibre in the air which pollutes waters. Here is a blog post debating the use of microfibre cloths when trying to live green.

Here are the links: Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mum (free crochet pattern) and Time to Craft (homemade cleaning spray)

  1. Spa Cloths

Doesn’t this just sound so luxurious? Again, this knitting pattern is super easy, and will be much better for us than those plastic scrunchies that I use because I haven’t thought of making one for myself. This might be my weekend craft sorted.

Here is the free pattern: Nemcsok Farms

  1. Make-up Removal Cloths

Yep, there are heaps of uses for the cloth patterns!! This one I think is ingenious, and saves all those cotton balls/pads from being used up (not to mention having to remember to buy them when you got to your shop – which I always forget). They are also super cute gift ideas!!

Here is the free pattern: Simply Notable

  1. Napkins

It makes sense, right? But who actually uses fabric napkins these days anyways? Well, these are really easy to knit and will make sure you won’t be throwing out paper napkins any time soon!! I also love the textured look to them.

Here is the free pattern: Nemcsok Farms

Pattern
  1. Soap Poaches

What a brilliant way to extent the life of your soap! I know that with my soap a lot of the mushy end bits end up down the sink, am I right? This easy DIY will mean you will enjoy your soap longer, and you could double this as a scrubber (although you want to make sure you label with scrubber is for what using embroidery – I had to get embroidery into this post somehow). The best thing is, these are so easy to wash and reuse.

Here is the free pattern: Snap Dragon Life

  1. Scrubbies for the kids

I have yet to meet a kid who loves to go in the bath … Well these should help 🙂 It should also mean less plastic toys needed in the bath. Right? Well, anyways, they are super cute!!

Free pattern: Simply Notable

  1. Scrubber for Griddle Pans

This one I added because this is reusable and works well on griddle and cast-iron skillet pans. I have never tried it, but it looks like it could be a brilliant way of replacing those metal scrubbies that smell horrible and leave stains on the counter top. And did I mention that these are fully biodegradable? The only draw-back, as opposed to the other patterns above, is that you knit twine rather than wool and you it is recommended to order in a special cellulose sponge for the inside to make it biodegradable.

Here is the free pattern: Original Homesteading

Hand Knit Dish Scrubber
  1. Christmas Decorations

I HAD to add this one. They are just soo cute!! And they are sustainable because they will last forever and save all the plastic Christmas decorations.

Here is the free pattern: Italian Dish Knits

Okay, so that is my list of 10 easy sustainable DIYs that you can make for your home. Once you have made all of your reusable cloths, I found this blog post to be really helpful at explaining how to look after your cloths.

If you want more inspiration, here are some great blogs I have found to inspire my research into sustainable crafts and living:

Have fun with your DIY projects, and let me know if you give any of them a go!!

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How to Start Cross Stitching for Beginners

Have you ever wanted to learn to cross stitch? I love cross stitching!! If you would love to learn, I have attempted to explain the basic cross stitch below in this post and in a video tutorial. This post also includes an easy free pattern to cross stitch a heart. This pattern is great to glue onto hand-made cards.

How to start cross stitching for beginners

Basics of Cross Stitch

A cross stitch is, as the name suggests, a stitch that is worked into a cross. There is a joke that I just find so hilarious that was originally aired on Blackadder (which my husband and I use for EVERYTHING). So here it goes (and don’t judge me if you don’t find it funny): “There are two things you need to know about cross stitch: 1. It is a cross, (pause) and 2. it is a stitch.” Okay, so maybe re-read it in a mysterious voice. Does that make it more funny?

Okay, moving on.

The cross stitch is worked over a square. Like you can see in the image below, you start in the bottom right corner. I know I used to struggle with knowing whether the thread is supposed to be on top of the fabric or not, so here the thread comes from under the material to the top of the material.

A Drawing of a cross stitch

Once the thread is on the top of the material, move from the bottom right corner bringing the thread to the top left corner. This is the first line of the cross.

Next you stab the hole at the top left corner and bring the needle under the material. Once under the material move the needle down to the bottom left corner and bring the needle up through the hole. As you bring the needle up, move it to the top right corner and stab the needle in to the material to the bottom of the material.

Did that make sense? If you learn better from seeing, here is a video tutorial:

That is the basic cross stitch, and there are variations when you move upwards and downwards which I will explain in the next blog posts.

Try this tutorial out

Give this free pattern below a go to cross stitch a basic heart. I would recommend starting on an Aida cloth, which you can order here. To get the thread click here, and to get a needle click here. If you would like to get fancy, here is a link for a cute embroidery hoop and scissors.

One you have your fabric, I would suggest to start with your first cross stitch at the bottom cross in the pattern (make sure it is in the middle on the fabric where you would like the heart cross stitched). The pattern is 9 rows horizontally across, and 8 rows vertically, so if you start on the bottom-most cross stitch you will want to start 9 rows below where you want the top of the heart to be placed, and with 4 squares on either side to be in the middle of the pattern.

Crossstitch pattern for a basic heart

I love hearing stories of people starting to learn handcrafts! If you give the cross stitch a go, please let me know how you went in the comments.

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10 of the Most Awesome and Unique Types of Bookmarks

Everyone likes some kind of bookmark, right?

I don’t know about you, but I am someone who uses anything I can get may hands on as a bookmark. Whether it is a parking ticket, receipt or instructions manual (I am using one right now). But when I do manage to find a nice bookmark, especially a beautiful and inspiring one, I start to feel so excited to read my book and admire and feel my amazing ‘proper’ bookmark. Can anyone else relate?

This blog post is going to go through 10 of the most awesome and unique types of bookmarks there are in the world with some online tutorials for your own DIY projects.

Firstly, we will need to discuss the different ways that people mark their pages. I have found 3 different ways of marking a page, but are there any more? If there are let me know!! Which one are you?

3 Ways of Marking a page

Before we go on to talk about the different types of bookmarks, we need to discuss the different ways of making a page. And it could be that it entirely depends on your mood, on the season, where you are, who you are with etc. So here are the 3 main ways of marking a page:

  1. Proper bookmarks: made of cardboard, leather, fabric, rope, etc. They are usually beautifully designed with inspirational and motivational quotes/images printed on them. I will be going through 10 different types of these below (although I am sure there are more!). Personally, the bookmarks that you make for yourself, or get as gifts, are probably the most special ones (and definitely not the ones you get in the mail or at a conferences that are full of branding).
  2. Anything you can get your hands on: This kind of way to mark your page could include a plane/train/bus/parking ticket when you are travelling, a napkin (I have done that before, but not a used one – eww), a prescription (maybe some people do that), a sticky note, a card (I do this ALL THE TIME, I mean what else do you use cards for other than putting on your mantlepiece to collect dust?), clothing tags, etc. Can you add anymore to my list? Share this on social media and get a discussion going!!
  3. Folded corners, also called “dog ears”: The interesting technique some people use by bending down the top corner of a page (indenting it forever). I am really not sure why people would do this to a book, unless there is literally nothing else around them they can use. Guilty as charged!! I have to admit, I did this when I was younger.
10 types of bookmarks blog cover with 4 hand embroidered bookmarks in background

10 Types of bookmarks

So, this leads on to to the different types of ‘proper’ bookmarks. I did some searching online to find a lot of these (especially the last one), and so I thought I would add a tutorial if you are interested in making one for yourself. I know I am very inspired to make some of these!

  1. Hand-painted Card Bookmarks: For those extremely talented artists who can paint more than stick figures, this is where your beautiful bookmarks come in!! This is one of my favourite types of bookmarks because you can make it super personalised, it has a lovely feel to it, and the colours come out so vibrant!! I love these ocean ones below.
Hand-painted type of bookmark by TinyThings
  1. Embroidered Bookmarks: Beautifully-made bookmarks using embroidery techniques like cross stitch or other stitches (aka. the ones that I make). There are many embroidery packs you can get out there to start making some amazing embroidered bookmarks, and soon (if there is demand for it) I will be coming out with some of my own embroidered bookmark packs for you to make!! Let me know in the comments if you would be interested.
Embroidered Bookmark from Laura's Embroidery
  1. Metal Bookmarks: Made on metal, cut out of metal, engraved onto metal – basically any bookmark with metal. I like these personalised metal bookmarks with cute leather tassels.
Metal type of bookmark by CoachHouseForge
  1. Leather Bookmarks: There are so many different types of leather bookmarks out there!! love these simple and elegant leather bookmarks with different colour main and tassel leather.
Leather type of bookmark by Swag and Tassel
  1. Corner Bookmarks: Bookmarks made from paper or fabric that slide onto the corner of the page without damaging the book. There are heaps of cute tutorials on making an origami corner bookmark, and so I decided to attach a tutorial for a butterfly corner bookmark. This one below is such a lovely colour and a great personalised gift idea!
Corner type of bookmark by HurleyBurley
  1. Ribbon Bookmarks: Can be as basic, as a strand of ribbon, or as complex as you would like. Here is a tutorial for an easy DIY ribbon bookmark.
Ribbon type of bookmark by MareMarks
  1. String/Tassle Bookmark: Bookmarks made out of string which usually have a tassle attached to it. Here is a very easy and quick tutorial on how to make a Tassle Bookmark.
String or Tassle type of bookmark by Kutuu
  1. Bookmark clips: These can be made using a paper clip, magnetic strips, cardboard, or any other creative clips. I found a really cute tutorial for make a heart-shaped bookmark clip using a paper clip <3
Clip type of bookmark by Dibor

9. Beaded bookmark: Bookmarks that are a thin piece of material that slide into the book that ends up looking like a beautiful piece of jewellery. Here is a tutorial on a beaded bookmark. I love the turquoise colour of these beads below!!

Thong or Beaded type of bookmark by BeckyAndVince
  1. Macrame Bookmark: I added this one at the last minute! I was talking to my parents-in-law last night and they suggested that I could try making rope and macrame art, which I was super interested in. And then I got thinking, surely there is such a thing as a macrame bookmark!! So I found it along with a brilliant tutorial for you all to try out. Again, I love this colour (you might be able to tell how much I love blue!) and the gorgeous pattern in the bookmark below.

Personally, my favourite is the embroidered, macrame and hand-painted bookmarks. I love the unique and hand-made aspects of these bookmarks. But then they can all be hand-made, so that isn’t much of a reason – is it?

What type of bookmark did you like best? Have I missed any out? Let me know in the comments, and if you give any of the tutorials above a go do show me a picture!! I would love to see your bookmarks!!

10 types of bookmarks with embroidered cactus freedom bookmark in background