Posts Tagged ‘green holiday decor’

Merry + Green Christmas!

Posted on December 16th, 2011 by Tonia No Comments

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We’re heading off to the cabin in the woods with Mike’s side of the family this weekend. There will be games, gifts, food, laughter, football, and lots and lots of kissing/playing with our sweet niece. Pret-ty excited!

Please excuse the quietness of the blog lately…the holidays have officially taken over our lives for the time being. I’m sure, and I hope, that you’re busy with your own holiday celebrations, so you don’t need me distracting you anyway. ;)

Until we meet again, here are a couple posts I did last year regarding eco-friendly and homemade holiday decorations:

Green Christmas Decor
Green Christmas Decor II

And more homemade decor ideas that will transform your home into a cozy holiday scene without a lot of plastic crap that will sit in a landfill for eternity after you’re done with it:

Ice lanterns {we’re going to do this for our New Years Eve party! You can buy an ice mold -or- you can cut the top off a milk jug and fill it with water!}
Plaid-shirt ornaments {I’d try to use something other than styrofoam for the inside, though…}
Paper-bag flowers {to go with your coffee-filter poufs, of course!}
Yarn balls {would make a beautiful centerpiece for the table, piled in a bowl. Make them smaller and with Christmas-colored yarn, perhaps.}

Happy Holidays, all you wonderful readers!

Homemade All-Natural Easter Egg Dye

Posted on April 21st, 2011 by Tonia 2 Comments

After a long and grueling winter, Easter is finally upon us! I love this holiday because it’s about spring, color, new life, food, and family. Whether you celebrate it or not I hope you have a wonderful weekend full of sunshine and flowers and all the treasures of the beautiful spring season. Mike and I will be celebrating with his family in Minnesota- complete with a big brunch and an Easter egg hunt.

My good friend Kara did some research and came up with several really neat ways to dye Easter eggs using regular household ingredients. What a great way to continue the fun tradition of dying eggs without having to purchase a kit from the store {they come with a bunch of plastic cups and create a lot of garbage. Boooo!} Thanks for sharing your creative and resourceful recipes with us, Kara! Here’s what she said about this project:

There are so many different options for dying eggs, and they will turn out different every time depending on how much ingredient you use, how long each egg simmers for, etc. It was a very fun afternoon project that elicited many questions from my eager three year old son {most often, “NOW can we eat them, Mommy??”}

Natural Easter Eggs

Supplies:
Dye sources
Vinegar
Jars/bowls
Canola/olive oil
Hard boiled eggs

Dye Sources:
Red cabbage {the dye looks purple-ish, but the eggs come out blue}
Beets {makes red/pink eggs}
Purple grape juice {purple}
Espresso {brown}
Raspberry Zinger Tea {gray/green/brown}
Chili powder {burnt orange/brown}
Spinach {greenish/yellow}

Steps:
1. Prepare the dye by simmering the dye-source in water.

- Red cabbage: Cut up about 2 cups of red cabbage and simmer it in about 2 cups of water for 30 minutes.
- Beets: Cut up two or three beets and simmer in 2 cups of water for about 10 – 20 minutes.
- Espresso or strong coffee: I brewed as normal about 2 cups.
- Raspberry tea: Brewed 5 tea bags in 2.5 cups of water for 15 minutes.
- Chili powder: Brewed about 1/3 cup chili powder in 2 cups water for 20 minutes
- Spinach: Brewed a very large pile of spinach in about 2 cups of water for 2.5 hours {it takes awhile to get sufficient color out of it.}
- Purple grape juice: Bring 2 cups to a simmer and remove from heat.

2. Strain the vegetables from the dye and add 1 tablespoon vinegar per 1 cup of dye.

3. Put eggs in a jar {I used 1 pint mason jars and put 2 eggs in each}

4. Fill the jars with dye to sufficiently cover the eggs.

5. Refrigerate overnight.

6. Remove eggs from dye and let dry on a paper towel.

7. Once dried the eggs may have a “chalky” appearance. I rubbed mine with olive oil to give them a shiny appearance.

Other ideas I came across that can be used as dye sources: Violet blossoms, red onion skins, hibiscus tea, red wine, canned blueberries, liquid chlorophyll, yellow delicious apple peels, orange peels, carrot tops, celery seed, cumin, tumeric, chamomile tea, green tea, dill seeds, yellow onion skins, cooked carrots, paprika, cranberries, raspberries, canned cherries with juice …. And I am sure there are many more … great opportunity to be creative!!

*If you plan on consuming the eggs they should never be unrefrigerated at any point for more than 2 hours.

Ohhhhh, so lovely! Great job, Kara. I love, love, love the colors you got from your sources! They’re such a nice change of pace from the usual pastel colors. Thanks again for sharing this project with us. Have a happy, blessed, and earth-friendly Easter, everyone!

Green Christmas Decor II

Posted on December 22nd, 2010 by Tonia No Comments

Hurry hurry!  Only a couple more days to whip your house into a wintry wonderland of holiday cheer!  But don’t rush off to Wal-Mart to pick up decorations.  And don’tspend hours and hours fussing over “DIY” projects you saw in the last issue of Martha Stewart that require way too much patience, crafting skillz, and major bank for all the supplies.  Do use coffee filters to decorate instead!!

Coffee filters are the answer not only because they’re cheap and easy to come by and easy to work with, but also because there’s no post-holiday guilt.  Think ahead to early January when you’d otherwise be throwing away broken pieces of plastic decorations… :(

What you need for this project:

Small unbleached coffee filters

Twist ties

Needle & thread

Scissors

Stack about five or six coffee filters on top of each other and smooth them flat.

Fold one edge of the stack inwards.  Flip the stack over and fold inwards again, like an accordion.  Keep going until you can fold no further and the stack is now a thin strip.

Fasten a twist tie around the center of the strip.

Optional step:  With scissors, cut a point on both ends of the strip for an end result that is star shaped, or cut rounded ends for a flower shape.  Or just leave the ends alone for a natural fluffy shape.

Begin {carefully} pulling the individual leafs apart, starting on one side.

Keep “fluffing” it until you’re satisfied with how it looks.

Make several of them, and string them together with a needle and thread to make a garland.

Tie the string to your tree, and enjoy!

…And if you have any little elves helping you, be careful not to let them eat any of the twist ties…

Happy holidays, you guys!  May your homes be filled with warmth, love, laughter and the spirit of the season….and coffee filter decor.  ;)

Green Christmas Decor

Posted on December 21st, 2010 by Tonia 4 Comments

There’s only a few days left to deck the halls for Christmas!  We love the holidays around here, but what we don’t love is holiday decor.  Wait, let me be more specific: holiday decor that was made in China and sold at Wal-Mart/Target/the likes.  That breaks/goes out of style in a year.  That ends up in a landfill for eternity.  That kind of holiday decor sucks, and is not allowed in our home. 

Holiday decor that was passed down to us by friends and family: awesome!  Holiday decor that is easy to make ourselves, out of materials that will biodegrade in our compost this spring: WAY awesome!

Today we’re going to address the latter, because {channeling my inner Smokey the Bear} only YOU can prevent huge blow-up plastic Santas from entering the landfill!

For this project you need:

Scissors

Needle & thread

Small un-bleached coffee filters

Christmas spirit {not required, but highly recommended}

Step 1:

Fold a coffee filter in half, in half again, and in half one more time so that it is a triangle {with a rounded bottom edge, because it was a circle to begin with}

Cut small shapes into the sides of the triangle {if you never did this in second grade and you need more help, check this out}

Unfold to reveal your beautiful snowflake!  Repeat with as many coffee filters as you want.

Step 2:

Take your needle & thread, and poke a hoke through the top of a snowflake. 

Loop back around and poke through again, so the snowflake is danging from the thread securely.

Repeat with each snow flake, spacing them apart as much or as little as you like on the thread.

The result is a beautiful string of snowflakes that will flutter and spin prettily.  Hang in the window and enjoy the light coming through the thin paper.  Don’t forget to compost them afterwards!  The unbleached coffee filters are biodegradable.

But that’s not all…these same coffee filters can also be made into beautiful, fluffy little “flowers” for your Christmas tree, or for hanging around the house!  More on that coming soon!