the ReFab Diaries

Reducing waste through upcycling, repurposing, refashioning and reloving.

2018 Holidays by the Book

Hi everyone! Yes, I'm still alive even though my blog has been very quiet - a new job and life-in-general will do that. Anyway, it feels like fall in Chicago and my daughter's mind is already on Halloween and holidays in general. So I was inspired to pull together a thoroughly bookish holiday post.

The goal: Everything holiday, by the book! Halloween costumes, Thanksgiving decor, and all December decorating and giving... using old books and book pages. 

Doable? Yes! Ready? Here we go.

HALLOWEEN 


"Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!"

I'm not a big wreath person but holy Poe, this Raven-inspired thing is cool! All the instructions here.


Six ways to relove your old furniture




If you live in the northern hemisphere, then it's the time of year when you're aching to throw open windows, pack away blankets and refresh, well, everything! You've been stuck indoors with your stuff for months and you're tired of it. Maybe you're even ready to donate half of it and throw the other half into a dumpster somewhere. Today's message is... don't. There are other, less wasteful ways to refresh tired old spaces. Here are six great tips from today's guest blogger Kacey Bradley, of The Drifter Collective!


14 Unexpected Benefits of Hand Sewing


Every now and again I'll go on a mending or refashioning spree, and I'll share it with you guys. What I don't share are the many times I thread a needle to stitch on a button or repair a small hole in a shirt I love ... or put small darts in a dress otherwise too wide for my daughter; by hand. I was raised by a tribe of woman who sewed - not in some precious, artistic way... it was simply a survival skill for them, like being able to boil an egg. I realize that this mindset has shifted, and our generation is more likely to replace than repair. So I recently gave the 7.5 year old Ms R her first lesson in sewing on a button. And as we worked together, I realized again how valuable it is for her to learn things like this. Why?

Making things Bright.


Confession: I loathe the forward and backward movement of the clocks. It messes with my body's rhythms, my appetite, my energy levels etc. And right now, the sun starts going down around 3:45pm in Chicago. So, I'm literally looking for light, and always grateful for the merry and the bright. Here are some ideas for making your life a little lighter, if you're needing it as much as I am!

Sustainable pet care: 5 ways to get started


sustainable dog treats
Written by Nat Smith, Rover.com community member. Rover is the nation's largest network of 5-star pet sitters and dog walkers.

If you're a dog owner and also trying to find ways to reduce packaging and plastic waste, this post is for you! As Nat Smith (from Rover) points out, do-it-yourself treats and toys are not only a great way to cut down on packaging: sustainable pet care can also save your money and improve the quality of your pet’s life. What could be better? Here are five ideas from Nat: