Goodwill DIY: Succulent Planters

by Kim Merrikin, Seattle Goodwill
July 26, 2016

DIY Succulent Planters

I’ve got a thing for turning everyday objects into succulent planters. Part of this was inspired by a friend who had tea cups and ash trays and cute little bowls filled with succulents as part of her wedding decor—the rest of it is because succulents are the only plants I’ve ever managed to keep alive.

I took some time to plant some new succulents in some everyday objects, including a small mason jar, a tiny moka pot that I found years ago at Goodwill—and have never actually used to make coffee—and I decided to try my hand at cutting glass bottles to turn a beer growler into a planter.

Replanting a small succulent is easy—all you need is some succulent dirt, a pair of gloves if you’re working with cacti, and the plants! Simply put a bit of dirt in the bottom of your container, loosen up the roots on your plant, drop it in, and add a little dirt to the top. It is really that easy when it comes to small succulents.

As for the growler, here are the supplies you’ll need:

  • From Goodwill: glass growler, cotton string or yarn, leather gardening gloves, metal tongs, hammer
  • Other supplies: 2–3 small succulent plants, succulent/cactus potting dirt, a 60 grit sand paper block, acetone, and a lighter

(In total, this project cost around $25—and I’ve got leftovers of everything but succulents and the growler for my next attempt!)

DIY Succulent Planter Growler Supplies

DIY Succulent Planter Growler

Be sure to do this in a well-ventilated area—with access to water. I used my dual-basin sink with my kitchen windows open.

The first step is to decide where you want to make the cut on your bottle. As you’ll see, my cut wound up much lower than where I had wrapped it—so plan accordingly. You can’t put the glass back on, but you can chip more off! Once you’ve decided where you want to make the cut…

  • Fill one side of your kitchen sink with ice water.
  • Cut a length of string that can wrap around the bottle 3–4 times, and soak it in a dish of acetone.
  • Wrap the string 3–4 times tightly around the bottle slightly above where you want to make the cut.
  • Set the bottle down in the empty sink basin, don your gloves, and get ready with your lighter and tongs.
  • Light the string on fire—it should burn for 30 seconds to a minute before you start to hear the glass crack.
  • Once you hear the glass begin to crack, and the fire burns out, pick the growler up with the tongs, and submerge it in the ice water.
  • Use the hammer to gently tap the glass just above the string—the top part of the bottle should begin to come off in chunks.
  • Use the hammer to chip away other unwanted pieces. (Tip: Hit them from the inside to keep the edge smoother looking on the outside.)
  • Once you have the rim to the basic shape you want it, (and you’re still wearing your gloves!) use the sand paper block to thoroughly sand the sharp glass edges.

Once you’ve adequately sanded your edges, use the same instructions above to arrange and plant your succulents. I opted to put the taller cactus toward the back, and the shorter plants toward the front.My growler was cut a little shorter than I planned—but I still like the gold accent on the brown—and it’s a nice little summery centerpiece for my kitchen table.


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No-Sew T-Shirt DIY Project

by Kim Merrikin, Seattle Goodwill
July 22, 2016

DIY Workout T-Shirt

Earlier this month we shared some simple no-sew t-shirt modification ideas from some of our favorite blogs. Having just found a Sounders FC shirt at Goodwill that I liked—but didn’t quite fit as well as I liked—I decided to try my hand at the DIY Workout Shirt from Rabbit Food for my Bunny Teeth.

This project was certainly as easy as she made it look!

I trimmed the sleeves and collar off—leave the shoulders a bit thicker than the original tutorial showed, and leave the underarm a little higher so it doesn’t scoop as low beneath the arm. Since I like extra length on my shirt, I didn’t trim the bottom hem off, and used the extra fabric from the sleeves to tie the back.

This project took me about ten minutes from the time I took the scissors and shirt out to the time I put the modified shirt on. Check out my version in the images below—scarves up, Seattle! 

DIY Workout T-Shirt - How To

I’m looking forward to wearing this out on hikes, camping—and maybe to a Sounders game on a hot summer day! 

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Goodwill DIY: 5 ways to no-sew modify a t-shirt

by Kim Merrikin, Seattle Goodwill
July 17, 2016

GoodwillDIY T-Shirt Mods

One thing that’s an incredibly easy find at any Goodwill store is a solid t-shirt. There are funny ones, ironic ones, cute ones, plain ones, throwback ones, local ones, foreign ones, ones with someone else’s last name… Goodwill is an unceasing goldmine of all things t-shirt.

So—this summer, while we’re talking about many of the nifty #GoodwillDIY projects you can do, here are a few that can be accomplished with nothing but a t-shirt and a pair of scissors (which, of course, can also be found at Goodwill).WobiSobi_ShoulderTieSHOULDER TIED T-SHIRTWobiSobi
This tied sleeve pattern can be used on its own with an oversized men’s t, or with other tie/braid patterns. Easy, quick, and totally doable no matter what level of a DIY-er you are.

RabbitFoodformyBunnyTeeth_WorkoutShirtDIY WORKOUT SHIRTRabbit Food for My Bunny Teeth
This only takes a couple of minutes to do—and is great for just about any sunny day excursion!

ILoveToCreate_GlueResistShirtGLUE-RESIST ALTERED T-SHIRTILoveToCreate.Com
This DIY altered t-shirt takes a little extra time—and a few extra supplies (look in our crafts section for glue and dye!)—but looks so cool with the rich, vibrant colors and self-made patterns. Pick your own pattern—whether it’s abstract and free or something like chevron or stripes. Bonus: This one has a suggested no-sew alteration—but keep in mind you can dye the shirt, and use any cut and tie pattern that you want!

Refinery29_CutOutShirtDIY CUT OUT T-SHIRTRefinery29
While you’re hunting for the perfect t-shirt for this project, don’t forget to find the perfect shirt to wear underneath it! This one is all cutting, no tying—and can be done in 15 minutes or so. (PS. We think this might look awesome over a tie dyed shirt!)

AllDayChic_LadderWeaveShirtT-SHIRT RESTYLING IDEAAll Day Chic
Add a little sass to a fitted women’s t-shirt with a simple ladder weave pattern! You can also use this pattern down sleeves, or across the upper chest on a t-shirt that has a higher collar.


BONUS: Now that you’ve got some spare sleeves lying around, make a headband!

If you’re into upcycling and no-sew fashion, check out our Goodwill Design Challenge and No-Sew Refashion Contest! It’s an excellent opportunity to get inspired by other upcycle fashionistas, and get involved by creating your own no-sew fashions with a chance to win a Goodwill gift card and tickets to attend the Glitter Gala

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How to support Goodwill on Amazon Prime Day

by Kim Merrikin, Seattle Goodwill
July 11, 2016

Are you an Amazon Prime member? July 12 is Amazon’s second annual Prime Day—a day of some serious deals exclusively for Amazon Prime members. If you’re planning to partake in the flash sales and major discounts, consider using your desktop (or a mobile browser, rather than the app) and going to to make your purchases.

AmazonSmile is a simple way for you to support your favorite charitable organization—365 days a year—simply by doing your regular Amazon shopping. Amazon donates .5% of the purchase price for all eligible purchases to your selected non-profit organization. When shopping #PrimeDay on Amazon Smile, you can select Seattle Goodwill as your charity of choice, and every purchase you make will support our job training and education programs!

Here’s an easy tutorial to support Seattle Goodwill when you shop Amazon:How to shop AmazonSmileHow to shop AmazonSmile:

  1. Go to
  2. Log in with your Amazon credentials.
  3. Search “Seattle Goodwill” to find us.
  4. Select “Seattle Goodwill.
  5. Shop!

All you have to remember is to start shopping from instead of If you’ve got Amazon saved as a favorite—just delete the old favorite, and replace it with AmazonSmile—and you’ll always be supporting Seattle Goodwill when you shop Amazon! Purchases are still Prime-eligible.

And don’t forget! When you shop Goodwill—or AmazonSmile—you’re supporting students like Leah, who came to Goodwill looking for direction in her life—and found so much more. Watch her story below.

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Goodwill DIY: Porch & Patio Projects

by Kim Merrikin, Seattle Goodwill
July 6, 2016

This summer we’re celebrating all things DIY (do-it-yourself)—and introducing a new permanent page on our website, our Goodwill DIY page! Throughout the year, it’ll have rotating seasonal themes—right now we’re talking about ways to upcycle Goodwill finds into summer fun.

Our region spans densely urban areas, as well as rural areas. As we were looking at outdoor garden and patio themed DIY projects, we wanted to choose ones that would work well in big and small yards alike—and some that would work for those with no yard at all. Check out our SPEED.I.Y Herb & Succulent Garden created by Gold Standard Workshop, and find some of our favorite patio and garden DIY projects below.


DIY Triangle Gold Foil PlanterGold Standard Workshop
You’ll see some of this project in the video above, but the blog contains some more specific DIY instructions with a list of things you’ll need. Terra cotta pots are an easy find at Goodwill!

DIY Wine Bottle TorchesWhen The Pigs Fly
This project is super easy and quick—and it’ll add light to your porch or patio without adding a whole lot of cost to the décor. You can also take this one a step further by painting the wine bottles to match your color theme!

How to Make a Tabletop Fire PitDunn DIY
This is an excellent step-by-step tutorial that will leave you with a cute little tabletop fire pit! You can find a number of the materials needed—like plastic bowls, buckets, and cutting pliers, at Goodwill.

Prism Candle LightDIY Ready
These easy-to-do prism candle lights add just the right amount of ambient light to your outdoor seating to keep the conversation going as the sun sets. Most of the supplies can be easily found at Goodwill between the housewares and crafting aisles.

Upcycle Glass Bottles into a Garden BorderThe Greenbacks Gal
Have a garden area, but no border on it? Start saving those wine and beer bottles—and swing by Goodwill for some more. Check out the photos from The Greenbacks Gal to see how to turn glass bottles into your garden border.

Wind Chime ProjectsOutdoor Theme
Be sure to scroll through the photos at the bottom! Make a unique wind chime for your outdoor space with upcycled kitchen utensils, terra cotta pots, or bicycle gears!

DIY Citronella CandlesGarden Therapy
This is a borderline necessity for patios in the PNW—keep the mosquitos at bay! You can easily do this project in unique jars or bowls—and there is almost always an abundance of candles just waiting to be melted down and reworked at Goodwill.

Upcycled Garden Planters – HGTV & DIY Network
The two blogs above have a lot of similar (wonderful) ideas on objects that can be turned into your small-space garden—or an accent in a larger yard. Whoever thought of using a pair of heels as a planter? From birdcages to old chairs—if it can hold dirt (and let water drain), it can be a planter!

We’d love to see some of YOUR summertime DIY projects! Share them with us on Instagram by tagging @SeattleGoodwill and using the hashtag #GoodwillDIY. 

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