Tag: recycled

The coolest birthday dresses, now 100% for charity

This October, my youngest daughters will be turning 4 and 2 and as part of our family tradition, they will be wearing hand-me-down Courtney Courtney kids’ dresses. We first featured them in 2008 on Cool Mom Picks, and designer Courtney Chu has since remained one of our all time favorite indie designers, period. Well now, she’s decided to use her now hugely popular birthday dresses to raise money for charity. And we’re in love all over again. If you’re not familiar with her work, Courtney whips recycled t-shirts and fabrics and turns them into the most amazing dresses unlike...

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Tree swings like they used to make them

One of my children’s very favorite thing about Grandma’s house is the the swing in the backyard. We are city-dwellers after all, and swings are generally something you have to wait in line for. This one started as a little baby swing hanging from a sturdy tree branch, evolved to a tire swing, and who knows what it will become after that. Maybe even this beautiful, totally handmade swing. The handmade tree swing from Philly woodworkers Margaux and Walter Kent is totally made of reclaimed wood and each one is made to order. The one in the photo is...

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A cool passport holder – you won’t believe what it’s made out of.

Not everyone gets excited about cool passport holders. But I do. While I’m not the most organized of people in my normal, day-to-day life, I turn into an organizational queen when my family travels, so I’m always on the lookout for organizational tools so amazing, I might actually get to relax a little. All the better if said tools are upcycled and totally gorgeous. Poketo’s Upcycled Leather Passport Holders will do the job quite nicely. These sleek cases are handmade entirely from leather of vintage sofas. Cool right? The results are textured collages, and no two are the same. Kind of a...

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A bag that will weather the storm

When shopping for the perfect bag, I always look for something that is unique, pretty and durable. While unique and pretty are important qualities, durability goes a long way with me. As a mom, I don’t have time to shop constantly, so when I make that purchase I want it to last a long time. Sea Bags is a home-grown Maine based business that makes bags, totes, baby bags and now memory books out of recycled sail-cloth. Their adorable baby bags are decorated with boats, stars or anchors. They have six interior pockets and one outside pocket making them...

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And for its next trick, PlanToys will turn sawdust into toys

Long before it was considered the “right thing to do”, one of our favorite toy companies, PlanToys was making imaginative, eco-friendly toys in cool, modern shapes and bright colors. While they’ve pushed the standards in environmentally friendly business practices over the past 30+ years, we are so impressed by their latest innovation. With over two tons of rubberwood sawdust generated daily, PlanToys has come up with a brilliant solution to what has always been just “waste.” They take the sawdust and squish it together under such great pressure that it creates a solid material which only needs a wee...

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Pop culture junkies, your finger puppets await

So I’m a sucker for everything handmade with a nerd-chic pop culture reference built in. It’s like three of my favorite things all in one glorious, slightly weird package. And the handmade finger puppets from Abbey Christine fit the bill perfectly.  I mean, where else can an NPR fan find an Ira Glass finger puppet? Or most of Wes Anderson’s characters from Max Fischer to Steve Zissou? They’re all free hand cut from recycled felt, giving them that perfectly imperfect handmade look. Keep them in mind as a great inexpensive little gift for your coolest indie friend. I was...

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thredUP’s new Concierge service – the easiest way to resell your kids outgrown clothes

It is a sad moment when I put a barely worn outfit on one of my kids and realize they’ve outgrown it before they’ve even had a chance to spill something on it. But now the smart people at online clothes-swapping site thredUP have come out with a new service that’s perfect for parents who love buying their kids cute clothes, but hate when they’re outgrown. Let’s just say it’s not so bad knowing your kids outgrow their clothes when you can get paid for them.  {keep reading for a chance to access this service before it goes live...

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A blue letter J makes it a red letter day

O, G. Can it B? Y, yes, I can C that a rainbow of letters is waiting for U. Seriously, though. Aren’t these recycled felt letter pillows too adorable for words? The Personalized Letter Pillows from MableDear on Etsy are big, snuggly, and sewn of felt made from recycled plastic bottles. Each letter is handmade of bright felt on cream with a cute, letter-appropriate shape on back. J is for Jellyfish, A is for Apple, and E is for Elephant. And we think that’s totally C-U-T-E. If you want, have them customized for a few bucks more in peacock...

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Expensive fashion for those with more modest wallets

Designer clothes tend to be timeless and well made — I guess that is why the magazines call it “investment dressing.” However, the reality is that most moms simply cannot afford to invest thousands of dollars on one article of clothing, no matter how timeless and chic it is. Even if we want it really, really bad, and it would look super cute on us. Yes, you could always hit up the consignment shops — but who has time to do that with kids in tow? And of course, there’s eBay, but how do you know that item you...

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Beautiful ornaments with a past life.

Garfield has never been called elegant, nor is Snoopy considered stylish. And yet, in the right hands, the Sunday comics are being transformed into stunning holiday ornaments. The Sea Urchin Recycled Newspaper Ornament from kissadesign on Etsy is a fun new twist on traditional Polish folk art. In fact, the artist’s family has been hand-creating such decorations for over fifty years. This is serious crafting–each ornament includes eighty meticulously hand-formed points for a delicate and celestial look. Hang them from a tree, dangle them from a chandelier at a party, or even use them for a year-round splash of...

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