Tag: upcycled

Turn your kids into toymakers this summer

Wow, is our email box and social media feed getting packed with parents stressing out about what to do with kids during downtime this summer. Seeing as how we can’t let kids play in the park by themselves without 8 “concerned” neighbors calling 911 (grrr…but that’s another post for another time), we’ve been actively seeking out fun crafts, projects, and educational activities that keep them busy until you can get out with them. Or even just let them have a little fun time indoor on a rainy or zillion percent humidity day. Related: summer fun Now our friends at Cate +...

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5 gorgeous photo gifts for Mother’s Day that are worthy of the photos

We’ve always said that some of our favorite Mother’s Day gifts are personalized, and well, you can’t get more personalized than photos of your own kids and family. Of course, not all photo gifts are created equal. (Sorry, badly printed photo mugs.) That’s where Artifact Uprising comes in, a wonderful small company that we — and our readers! — have truly loved even before they became our newest sponsor. And we are so thrilled to continue to support them. These are folks who are driven by the belief that everyone has a story to tell, and we couldn’t agree...

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Courtney Courtney: Now one more way to get your hands on our favorite girls’ dresses. If you’re quick.

At a time we’re seeing some of our favorite small artists abandon Etsy for their own storefronts, we’re thrilled to see one of our all-time favorite makers, Courtney Courtney, back there again, giving us one more place to shop in addition to the Courtney Courtney shop on Big Cartel. Kristen and I may each own more of her amazing handmade dresses for our kids than anyone else in the world, and every day our kids put them on it gives us joy. While other artists have tried the whole upcycled t-shirts turned into dresses thing, no one we’ve ever seen does it quite...

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6 wooden blocks crafts to make those old toddler toys new and fun again

I’ve been cleaning up and paring down lately, and that includes some of the wooden blocks my kids got as gifts when they were young. So I started thinking about upcycled wooden blocks craft ideas that might breathe some new life into them. While a fresh coat of paint (with a non-toxic finish!) is an easy fix, there are so many neat ideas out there from talented crafters to help you take those basic wooden blocks your child may have gotten as a baby, and repurpose them to make them fun for toddlers, kindergarteners, or even puzzle-solving big kids.  ...

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Tree Change Dolls: Turning trash (i.e. Bratz Dolls) into treasure.

Like many parents I know, I have never been a fan of the pouty-lipped, heavy-lidded, overly-made-up Bratz line of dolls. But after I saw what this mother-daughter team has been doing to “rescue” the discarded toys, I was totally charmed by the sweet little dolls who it turns out were were hiding behind all those false eyelashes and lip injections. Renamed Tree Change Dolls, from an Australian phrase that refers to a move from urban glitz to a more down-to-earth style, these repurposed dolls aren’t even recognizable as their formerly wide-eyed selves. Their eyebrows are repainted to be more natural, their lips look less injected, and even their hair is reconditioned...

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The coolest school supplies to make school more fun: Back to School Guide 2014

Sometimes it’s the little things that make the biggest impression, and when it comes to back to school shopping, it may be the backpack we spend all our time stressing about, when it turns out to be the $1 hamster eraser or the personalized pencil case that our kids love and cherish like nothing else. So we’ve scoured the web for you to track down two dozen of the very coolest school supplies and fun accessories to make all this preparation a little more fun. For both of you.   Flying colors rainbow tape dispenser ($11.99, coming soon to Perpetual Kid) And...

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Celebrating America every day with our favorite made in the USA clothing brands for kids

While of course there are beautiful clothes made all over the world these days (we’re not one to say no to Italian leather), in honor of our nation’s birthday, we wanted to highlight just a few of the small labels and indie designers that continue to make their clothes right here in the US. Sometimes that means it’s more expensive. But there’s something to be said for paying a living wage to someone here at home, who’s often fighting really hard to keep prices down as they grow and continue to manufacture locally. As luck would have it, some of...

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5 of our favorite cool tech picks you don’t want to miss this week

In case you missed them, here are 5 of our most popular tech picks from Cool Mom Tech this past week. Enjoy!   1. An awesome wireless speaker that does so much more than blast your tunes. 2. Coolest iPad accessory ever. 3. We’re loving this new feature on one of our favorite photo editing sites. 4. You won’t believe what someone did with upcycled vintage toys. We want all of them! 5. Don’t miss these smart tips that could save you from a worst case tech...

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Recycled book journals are utterly cool, even if they’re older than Grandpa

I love when vintage books are given new life, and I found that very thing in these gorgeous handmade recycled book journals from Renovated Books on Etsy. They’re made by carefully pulling apart old and rare books and recombining them with 70 pages of fresh, smooth paper to create an utterly unique journal with a mysterious past. Each book is beautifully hand-bound with Irish linen thread to lay flat, and 28 pages of the original book are thoughtfully placed throughout like mile markers. The spine even becomes a bookmark. Isn’t that clever? I love the dashing, Clark Gable look of the more manly volumes for...

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5 of our favorite cool tech picks you don’t want to miss this week

In case you missed them, here are 5 of our most popular cool tech picks from Cool Mom Tech this past week. Enjoy!   1. We love this geeky upcycled jewelry — a perfect Mother’s Day gift for a techie mom. 2. You’ll never guess what this new selfie app can do. 3. Could someone really hack into your baby monitor? Editor Liz offers some facts to put your mind at ease. 4. This hot new tech toy might be at the top of every kid’s (and dad’s) wish list. 5. Is Amazon Fire TV a good fit for families? We’ve...

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That exquisite new children’s outfit? It had a past life as a men’s shirt.

It’s been a while since we’ve found a label along the lines of Seven Smooches, a favorite indie designer who repurposes vintage clothing into stunning upcycled clothes for children and babies.  And now…well, found one! A great one. Enter mom-run  Kallio NYC. For parents who are looking for a special piece for their babies and kids that aren’t the same ones every other kid will be wearing, these carefully crafted, eco-conscious, Brooklyn-made clothes are a wonderful (if spendy) option. Men’s cotton shirts become swingy girls’ dresses of all kinds, which are definitely the standout of the collection. Skirts, dresses, and lounge...

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How to refinish old picture frames: the best tips from around the web

If you’ve ever tried to refinish old picture frames you know the look is so gorgeous. As for me, I am such a fan of the distressed frames from O’Brien Schridde, whose frames I now own quite a few of, and more recently, the stunning array of refinished frames above from The Art of Chic on Etsy. That said, my inclination is generally to buy great frames from artists like these, since I don’t always have the time to do major DIY projects. But if you want to refinish old picture frames yourself, here are a few resources to help you...

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Got bling? Here are some of our favorite jewelry storage ideas.

We love fabulous jewelry around here, so, naturally, we love to find new, innovative ways to store all of it. Recently we shared a great jewelry storage tip in our post about solving 10 tricky organization problems, making us thinking about some of our other favorite ideas for jewelry storage. So here they are, including DIY projects, repurposed vintage items, and some amazing purpose-made storage pieces should you want to splurge. One of my favorite ideas comes from the Love and Lace blog. In fact, I’m swooning over the way she’s organizing her amazing jewelry collection. This wooden serving bowl (at...

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In a past life, these sunglasses could do a mean Ollie

I love upcycled art and design, but more so when the designs are so fantastic, you’d like them even if you didn’t know a thing about their past lives. And in this case, that past life was a little dangerous, a little edgy, and had nothing to do with UV protection. Update 2015: The shop is no longer making sunglasses but they are making very cool handmade watches! The family run Ontario shop, Second Shot, was born from a passion for skateboarding, art, eco-mindfulnes and well, cool stuff. In a collaboration with BotanyCo Eyewear they’ve created an awesome line...

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Hearts.com: Gorgeous accessories for a cause. Is there a better kind?

I hardly need an excuse to shop for new jewelry or handbags, but hey, when they support an amazing cause, I have to buy them, right? Here are a ton I’m coveting for more reasons than one. Hearts.com is a new-to-me site that works with more than 2000 artisans all over the world to make a positive impact on world issues and support people who need it most. And their original designs actually help the environment too, thanks to low-impact manufacturing processes and responsible materials. Here’s just a few of my favorite items. Be sure to click over and...

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A baby gift that’s adorable, organic, and only $15. For real.

The perfect stuffed animal I want snuggling up against my kids’ face at night? Soft, cuddly, machine-washable, and made of safe, organic fabric. And it’d be nice if it didn’t cost a small fortune, so I wouldn’t mind my kids drooling on it in their sleep. Target located! Check out how this cute kid-stuff company is repurposing the scraps from their soft and safe baby clothing to create precious loveys at a price that makes me love ’em even more. Under the Nile’s adorable Scrappy Dogs are the cutest little hounds, all dressed up in 100% Egyptian organic cotton scraps that...

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The eco beach totes that look like summer heaven

With our family living at the pool all summer long, a strong, sturdy tote bag is a summer must-have. This year, I’m thinking of switching from my standard canvas bag to one of these amazing totes made from recycled sails. Sea Bags are an old favorite of ours, designed and crafted in Portland, Maine from recycled sails and the result is a tote you’ll use for years to come. I mean, is there anything sturdier and weather-resistant than a sail? I love thier fresh new designs for this summer like the Chain Design Tote Bag, which features a unique, bold...

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Adorable new lunchboxes for kids that are recycled. But you’d never know it.

I take lunchbox shopping verrrrry seriously. I need a durable, reusable lunch pack for the kids that is insulated, looks great, is eco-friendly, and stays closed (so the leftover crumbs don’t take up residence in my car). Take it from a woman who just took on a thousand goldfish crackers wreaking havoc in the trunk: we’ve found a fabulous new option. Cool Mom Picks fave Apple Park has got just the lunch bag, and just in time for summer camp, too.Their reusable kids’ lunchpacks cover all of the bases that get us interested; they’re made from kid-safe, eco-friendly materials without compromising fun...

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Cool kids’ belts crafted from fire hoses (plus proceeds help firefighters)

When I first discovered the cool gifts at Gallo en Fuego, I was definitely intrigued. And not just because there were hot firefighters all over their website. HOT. As it turns out, Gallo en Fuego offers more than just eye candy. Their kids’ belts are made from decommissioned fire hoses, most of which are from New York. They are just plain awesome: bright, sturdy, and perfect for any little kid, boy or girl, especially if he (or she) is a firefighter fan. Each belt (the belts come in adult sizes too, by the way) is made in Gallo en Fuego’s custom...

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Stylish storage solutions for an organized home

Let’s talk storage solutions, shall we? Or rather, my lack thereof. Bills and random paperwork end up mishmashed into the Play-Doh tub (which, of course, contains no actual Play-Doh). There’s not one item of winter clothing in the winter clothing box, but for some reason there are six spoons in the bathroom drawer. My only real consolation? A lot of you are living exactly the same way. Luckily, these storage options offer those of us dreaming of a more organized home the chance to sort out our stuff in the most stylish, prettiest way possible–meaning that this just might...

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