DIY Tips & Tricks
June 7, 2017
Confession: I love the current terrarium trend—but they can be so expensive! So a terrarium—with low-maintenance succulents—seemed like a good foray into adding some summer vibes to my home.
To start, I did a bit of research into the layers of a proper terrarium—and then headed out to our Shoreline store. One of the reasons I head to Goodwill Shoreline for many DIY projects is its proximity to the other stores I’ll need to stop at for DIY supplies—like Home Depot, and a couple different craft stores. (Fun Fact: Home Depot is also one of Seattle Goodwill’s employer partners—they hire students who have gone through our job training & education programs.)
To make the terrarium, I used these supplies:
- Large river stones (Hobby Lobby)
- Small river stones (Found at Goodwill, but originally from Hobby Lobby)
- Succulent Potting Dirt (Home Depot)
- Succulents (Hope Depot)
- Glass jar/container (Goodwill)
- Clay Pot for décor (Goodwill)
- Sheet Moss (Home Depot)
Assembling the terrarium is quick and easy, and all about layering your materials in the correct order to ensure drainage.
Start with a layer of the large river stones, followed by a layer of the small ones. In total, this should take up about 1/3 of the depth of your container.
Next, add a small layer of dirt, and arrange your succulents in it—adding more dirt to make it level if necessary.
Once your plants are in, add an accent item or two, and fill in some of the area between your plants and décor with a little bit of sheet moss.
Be sure to place your terrarium in a place that has a lot of natural light!Add a Comment | Comments (0)
June 2, 2017
With grilling weather officially here—and plenty of sunshine and daylight for evening barbeques and picnics, I wanted to put together a mini herb garden so I can freshen up my summer dishes a bit and also add a little indoor foliage to my dining area.
With a little browsing through Pinterest, I decided making my herb garden in glass jars—with some sort of container to keep them all together—beyond that, I didn’t have much vision for this project. Over the years of #GoodwillDIY-ing, I’ve learned to approach projects with flexibility. You never know what you’re going to find at Goodwill!
For this project, I shopped at our store in Shoreline—and found everything I needed in one stop! I found some canning jars in a bright blue color, a basket that fit them perfectly, and some unopened “river stones”—which are a common craft store find, so it was easy to find matching rocks for our next DIY project. (Coming soon to the blog: DIY Succulent Terrarium)
Here’s the full list of materials I used for this project:
- 4 small jars (Goodwill)
- A small basket (Goodwill)
- Acrylic paint (Already had in my craft supplies – but easily found at Goodwill!)
- Potting soil (Home Depot)
- 3 Herb Plants: Thai Basil, Rosemary, Thyme (Home Depot)
- River Stones (Goodwill)
I started with removing the lid from my basket, and painting the inside. Once the inside was dry enough to touch, I painted the outside.
For the planting, I put about 1.5” of the stones in the bottom of each jar—this will help with drainage when you water the plants, since the jars don’t allow water to run out.
Next, I added a layer of potting dirt, and added the plants themselves to the jars—covering any remaining area with a little more dirt. Because the thyme plant I bought was so full, I divided it into two separate jars—plus, who wouldn’t want a little extra thyme on their hands?!
Once my painted basket was dry, I set the jars into the basket—and voila! A tiny herb garden that met my spatial needs—and added a little color and flavor to my summer.Add a Comment | Comments (0)
March 14, 2017
Saint Patrick’s Day originates from the traditional death date of the patron saint of Ireland on March 17, 461. For nearly 1200 years, he was largely forgotten—but then on March 17, 1631 St. Patrick’s Day was declared a feast day by the church in Ireland. In 1762, the first St. Paddy’s Day parade was held in New York City—and in 1798, green became the official color for the day. It was declared a public holiday in Ireland in 1903.
In the last 114 years, St. Patrick’s Day has become a globally celebrated holiday with annual parades and festivities on six continents—and even in outer space on the International Space Station in 2015.
Last year for the holiday, we shared some of our favorite Irish recipes with you—this year? We’re getting crafty with some good-for-kids DIY projects.
Here are five simple craft projects for your little ones to do for Saint Patrick’s Day:
Coffee Filter Shamrocks – via We Know Stuf
This was one of my favorites as a kid—and I was glad to find this beautiful DIY blog that summarizes the craft exactly as I remember it! All you need is circular coffee filters, green pipe cleaners, water, and green food dye—and they make an excellent decoration!
Shrinky Dink Lucky Charms – via The Tiny Funnel
Who remembers Shrinky Dinks from their childhood? They’re extremely easy to replicate with some #6 recycled plastic, sharpies, and an oven! The Tiny Funnel does a great job of summarizing how easy the project is—and you can make charms in any shape and color! From shamrocks to rainbows, this one is great for any age that can hold a marker! (With parental help, of course.)
Rainbow Glitter Shoes – via The Swell Designer
Add some color to your St. Patrick’s Day outfit with a pair of rainbow glitter shoes! You can find craft supplies—as well as a pair of shoes in your size—at Goodwill. Be sure to start this one a day or two in advance, so they have time to dry before wearing them.
Mini Pot o’ Gold Party Favor – via Make and Takes
Does your little one have a class St. Patrick’s Day party? Here’s a great little party gift that can start with some easily thrifted terra cotta pots and craft supplies, and are easy for little hands to help assemble.
Eraser-Stamped St. Patrick’s Day Shirt – via Cutesy Crafts
This craft is easy, quick, and ensures no one gets pinched on St. Paddy’s Day! Add a shamrock to a light-colored t-shirt in this simple, kid-friendly DIY project. All you need is a t-shirt, freezer paper, green fabric paint, and a pencil!
“To all the days here and after—May they be filled with fond memories, happiness, and laughter.” – Irish Toast
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February 13, 2017
Emerald City Comicon (ECCC) is just around the corner. Every spring, thousands of people make their way to the Washington State Convention Center for three days to celebrate all things comic culture—from the artists and storytellers that create them, to the movies, games, and toys they inspire—and a serious swath of pop culture and cult fandoms that have earned iconic and inspiring spots in the hearts of comic fans. (We’re looking at you, Star Wars.)
One fantastic tradition at comicons worldwide, including ECCC, is the cosplay (costume + play). Some cosplay costumes are over the top, featuring exquisite costume design work utilizing seamstress, sculpture, and makeup art skills—whereas others are simple (yet awesome)—and just a matter of putting together the right outfit.
We would love to see your finished costume! Share it with us by tagging @SeattleGoodwill on Instagram.
We’re giving away $25 to one lucky ECCC cosplayer for their costume! Enter to win at the end of this blog.
If you’re new to the cosplay world, but wanting to try it out at ECCC this year, here are a few tips before you start your costume:
- First and foremost, know the rules. Before you start hunting for pieces to your costume, or creating your weapon, check out ECCC’s FAQ page.
- Look at your character’s costumes in sections. Breaking down the costume can be helpful for finding what you need. For example, look at the base layer, then the outer layers, then the head/face, and the hand/footwear separately. It can help you identify the key components.
- Think functionally. You’ll likely be in your costume all day. Will you be comfortable? Will your design allow you to move, see what’s around you well enough to navigate without hurting yourself or others? Can you drink and eat while wearing your costume or use the bathroom?
- Keep it as lightweight and breathable as possible. Heavy costumes get uncomfortable and hot fast. Wearing a heavy wig can also contribute to overheating.
- Evaluate your skill level. It’s always good to learn new things and push yourself—but if you’ve never threaded a bobbin before, maybe this isn’t the year to sew your own steampunk Chewbacca costume. Being realistic about what you have the time, budget, and skills for will help immensely.
- Make a plan for shopping. Once you’ve broken down your costume components, you’re ready to make a list. Items, like base layers, fabric, hand/footwear—and sewing machines—can be readily found at Goodwill. (Check our weekly tag sales to stick to your budget.) Other items, like spray paint, or heavy duty adhesives might require a trip to your local craft or hardware store.
- Think outside of the box. A lot of components to cosplay costumes might seem hard to find—but if you think of how things can be repurposed and transformed, a whole new world of possibilities will open up. For example, if your costume needs stuffing—you can repurpose pillows and stuffed animals. If your costume needs a shield—a plastic trashcan lid and some spray paint might do the trick. Pool noodles and other foam floatation devices are a great source for the light-weight structure you may need to build your costume.
- Opt for fit over color. It is usually easier to dye a garment than to tailor one. Craftsy has an excellent tutorial on dyeing, and you can use a basic color addition to figure out what color dye you need to add to achieve the color you’re looking for (think blue shirt + red dye = purple shirt).
- Keep an “emergency kit” with you at comicon. As well-made as your costume might be, it’s always a good idea to keep a little sewing kit, gaff tape, and a makeup retouch kit.
- Give yourself some time. Between finding the right pieces, and assembling them in a way that functions and looks awesome—costumes can take some time. To avoid that hot-glue-mess-and-stress-filled-night-before-con, start the process now!
December 22, 2016
Saturday is the first day of Hanukkah! Also known as the Festival of Lights, or the Feast of Dedication, Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem after the Maccabean Revolt. It lasts eight days, and is celebrated by lighting candles each night, singing traditional songs, reciting prayers—and like many other holidays—eating traditional holiday food.
One of the traditional pieces of holiday décor—and an integral part of celebrating Hanukkah—is the menorah, a nine-branched candelabrum. Traditional menorahs are usually made of metal, with eight branches—four on either side—and a spot for the shamash (the candle used to light the other candles) in the middle, or somehow separated from the other eight candles.
Since we love doing all things DIY here at Goodwill, we thought we’d share some menorah DIY projects and some tips on making your own:
- Traditionally, menorahs should be placed in a high-visibility location such as a window facing the street, or at the entrance of your home. Think about how to create your menorah to fit one of those spots—and still be safe for burning candles.
- The candles should be in an even line—so no candle is above another, or in front of or behind another. The candles should be far enough apart that the heat from one isn’t melting another. (The exception is the shamash candle—which should be set apart from the other eight.)
(For more info on tradition and specifics, here’s an excellent resource.)
Gold Leaf Glass Menorah
This tutorial is a great way to learn how to use golden leaf—and has some great inspiration for using gold leaf on a simple, elegant menorah. Whether you do it with mason jars, or shot glasses—it will look great in a window, on an entryway table, or even on a shelf—without dripping wax, or the open flame of traditional menorahs. See the project from Aunt Peaches here.
This can be easily done with blocks from Goodwill’s toy aisle, a little paint, and a drill to add holes to hold the candles. With this project, you get to choose your own colors—and make it fit your own home. See the project from Martha Stewart here.
Upcycled Baby Food Jar Menorah
There are many ways to adapt this idea—whether you follow Moms & Crafter’s idea, or combine the gold leaf idea and this one to create something like this unique menorah from Chabad, or adapt our glittered mason jar DIY blog with baby food jars.
Kid-Friendly LEGO Menorah
Have a child who loves LEGO and DUPLO blocks? Invite them to help build this year’s Menorah. You can easily clean the blocks and add them back to the toy supply after Hanukkah by chipping off the wax that you can—and then washing them in very hot water to melt away the remaining wax. See an example from Cha Ching Queen.
We would love to see your DIY menorahs! Share it with us on Instagram, and tag @SeattleGoodwill and #GoodwillDIY!
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