Monthly Archives: January 2010

Custom Hallway Runner for practically free

Blog Projects 009, originally uploaded by kellyinbernal.

My 103 year old house has a winding road of a hallway. I love it. But when it came to putting down a runner it was a real challenge. I simply could not find anything I liked for a price that felt ok. My local carpet store could cut and bind a runner for me – for $400. I wasn’t interested. Then I stumbled upon several craft geniuses who had posted their own DIY carpet runners – Flor style. Inspired, I went to my local carpet store, received several carpet squares for free, and set about placing them in a pattern until I found something I liked. I did consult my artistic boyfriend and one of my fellow crafters on the design before settling on the pattern you see in the picture.

How did we do it?

(1) Go to carpet store and ask for freebies. It was actually incredibly easy to get co-ordinating squares since most samples are part of a collection.
(2) Buy duct tape or carpet tape. We tried both. Duct tape us better.
(3) Buy a Carpet pad that you can cut to size. This is actually the most critical element because it keeps the squares from shifting. The tape will not hold unless you have the help of a carpet pad.
(4) Lay out your squares until you find a pattern you like
(5) Tape in sections of three or four squares at a time. Do not try to start at one end and go to the other. The more squares you have taped together the harder it is to keep lifting it up to tape more.
(6) Cut you carpet pad to size.
(7) Enjoy

I love how it turned out. The colors are soft but interesting. They coordinate with the rest of my hallway. It looks like stepping stones. My little 6 year old niece played hopscotch on the runner during her last visit. Best of all my downstairs neighbor is happy.

Here is my inspiration:

And more links to awesome carpet sample reuse:



Filed under Craft, Repurpose

Organize your undercabinet-practically free

Organized undercabinet, originally uploaded by kellyinbernal.

I work for a company that recently moved offices and had a huge surplus of old office supplies. Many were donated but some had a lot of trouble finding a home. I wanted to find a way to make sure that wepurposed as many of those old supplies as possible. I notice a surplus of old magazine holders and got to imagining how I could put them to use.

I do use reusable bags most of the time but I’m only human and sometimes I forget and I’m not the only one who brings bags into my house. We store all our extra paper bags underneath the cabinet. It used to get so crowded in there and the bags were always overflowing and fighting the bin for space.

The magazine holder is the perfect size for brown paper grocery bags.  Now there’s order underneath the cabinet. It also provides me with a good organizing boundary. When the magazine holder is filled up, that’s it, no more bags.


Filed under Organize, Repurpose

Gift set packaging gets new life as a Spice Rack

Picture 011, originally uploaded by kellyinbernal.

This wooden box was the packaging for a Holiday Gift Set from the Body Shop, circa 2000. My handyman drilled a couple holes in the wall and hung it up vertically. It now houses our tea and spices.

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Filed under Craft, Organize, Repurpose

Dream, make, save – repurpose a gift box into a tea chest

Combining households, friends moving away, Christmas gifts…what do these things all have in common? They’ve left us with a huge stash of teas and an overflowing cabinet.

On Amazon the other day I spied these beautiful wooden tea chests.

Mark Feldstein Wooden Tea Chest

Ironwood Gourmet Acacia Wood Tea Chest

Do you ever start to daydream whenever you’re shopping and you find something you like? I do. I started to imagine that unweidly gallon-sized ziplock bag full of mixed tea packets sweetly compartmentalized in a wooden tea chest. Then happy memories of a lovely dining experience at The Fly Trap capped off by the waiter opening the wooden tea chest and asking me to pick out my tea – just like a present. Lovely. And all of this could be mine – for only $25 – $45.

And then I remembered that I happened to have a metal box left over from a Christmas gift set, a cardboard box from a case of wine, a pair of scissors and a ruler. And also perhaps a greater fondness for the green in my wallet than my shopping daydreams.So here’s what I wepurposed:

I lucked out in that the cardboard inserts from the wine case were just about exactly the right size. I pretty much just trimmed them down with scissors until they fit into the metal tin. I did find that it’s best to keep the height of the cardboard inserts about half an inch lower than the top of the box. That allows you easier access to pick up the tea packets.

Best of all my tea cupboard is no longer overflowing. I can’t wait to have guests over for tea. Total wepurpose savings = $40.


Filed under Organize, Repurpose, Simplify

Extend your reach – repurpose your tweezers

Have you ever had a candle in a tall jar? After awhile the wick ends up pretty far down and you can no longer light it with a regular match or a lighter. Countless times I have singed my fingertips trying to reach down that long skinny glass. Or the flame ended up too close to the glass and created ugly smoke marks.

Turns out I already had a simple tool in my bathroom cupboard that solves the problem.

(1) Strike a match

(2) Hold the unlit end of your match with a tweezers

(3) Light the candle

Simple, free, problem solver.


Filed under Repurpose, Simplify