Tag Archives: good will

Earth Day is Every Day!

Okay, Serious Post for a second here.

9000things, the small independent business is just over a year old now, but the idea behind it has followed me around since forever and ever. I’m not exactly sure when I first realized that far too many useful things make their way to die a lonely death in a landfill far before their time.

Maybe it was influenced by my father’s questionable habit of taking hand-me-ups from my sister and I as we were growing up. He can still be found chopping fire wood from the forest behind our house sporting my mother’s stretched out floral turtlenecks, wide leg jeans from when I went through my grunge phase, and a red and pink hat with knitted hearts that belonged to my sister in the 90s.

Perhaps I grew up a little too close to my mother’s light hoarding of broken things, just on the edge of being functional, that became open ended repurpose projects.

My grandmother, who grew up in the depression, felt perfectly comfortable passing off plastic milk caps, empty glass jars, calendars from years gone by, quality control rejected tshirts missing a (fairly essential) neck hole, and dead june bugs from her Florida winter home as totally normal kid’s birthday presents.

There’s my aunt, the first person to introduce me to the idea of early morning trash picking for furniture from the neighbors.

Another aunt got all of her clothing from thrift shops and did not mind telling us all about it.

As kids, my best friend’s dad woke us up at 5am on Sundays and threw us in the minivan in time to be the first at the flea market to scour for valuable antiques that were priced far below the market.

In short, I’ve been indoctrinated my whole life.

Most of the projects at 9000things involve some amount of upcycling or reuse or repurposing. But I’ve been at this for a long time and I strive to make the most beautiful new things out of the old and ugly.

I saw this post on the blog at Twice and in celebration of Earth Day, wanted to share:

Twice Blog - Used clothing saves the earth

Read about what they do here!

This stuff is so fun! Yay Earth Day!

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Making An Ugly Christmas Sweater “Better”

The boyfriend and I are participating in an ugly sweater contest on Christmas Eve this year. There will be a prize, possibly a crowning ceremony, so we’re taking this dead seriously.

Make Your Ugly Christmas Sweater Better - 9000 things

Ugly Sweaters are a hojillion dollar industry, but we’re thrifty over here with our one-use-ever clothing items. Salvation Army had these beautiful pieces (on sale!), but they needed a little extra flare.

Ugly Sweater DIY before - 9000 things

Note that the sweater on the left is actually not a christmas sweater. We’ve got to figure out how to make that lame heart look a little jollier.

Here’s our suggested materials list:

Ugly sweater diy supplies - 9000 things

1. 25 feet of cheap gaudy garland for $1.99
2. buffalo snow or similar
3. moderately ugly thrift store sweaters
4. puff paint in white, red and green (mandatory)
5. glittery buttons and other random craft cast offs
6. sewing thread (plus a few needles)
7. googly eyes in various sizes
8. plastic beads I found in a drawer?
9. hot glue gun, loaded and ready

Not pictured:
an old red t-shirt
scissors like you used in elementary school (for effect)
your unbridled imagination

The idea here is to ATTACK with more confidence than you deserve to have. Everything you think of is pure gold and doesn’t need to be second-guessed. Trust me.

Big D has never sewn anything in his life. Is that going to stop him from sewing buttons onto his sweater? What do you think the answer is.

Ugly Sweater DIY - 9000 things

The following is a list of hints and tips. Everyone’s sweater is going to look different, but that doesn’t mean we can’t leave you with some inspiration.

If you don’t have glitter or something shiny on your sweater, you might as well give up.

Ugly Sweater DIY - 9000 things

Googly eyes are always better than no googly eyes.

Ugly Sweater DIY - 9000 things

Add puff paint. And when you’re done, add puff paint to the puff paint.

Ugly Sweater DIY - 9000 things

Thematic words always look good written on clothing. Especially in puff paint.

Ugly Sweater DIY - 9000 things

Just remember: When it comes to making something tacky and hideous, MORE is more.

And, we’re done! Look how gd happy we are.

Ugly Sweater DIY after - 9000 things

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Styling Your Home: dresser edition

Interior styling bedroom dresser - 9000things

Styling your house/apartment/condo is actually easier than you think! It all has to do with how you organize your large hoard of random crap.

This is the first in a series of tips on how to make your home look nice even though you live there and own a lot of stuff. (Are we meant to believe that the photos in Dwell represent anyone’s actual reality??)

The top of a dresser is often the first place to collapse into a black hole of tangled mess and loss. But here’s the hint:

Interior styling bedroom palette - 9000things

Pick a palette!

There’s actually a lot of stuff stored on top of this dresser but because I kept everything to a pretty strict set of main colors, it looks totally passable as orderly.

I chose the palette based on things I had – a lot of blue glass, some old bottles, cool hued watercolors and of course, silver goes with everything. (Silver is better here because of the cold colors. Gold is better for warm.)

Interior styling bedroom dresser - 9000things

Silver goblets and closed ceramic boxes make great places to store jewelry and hair elastics and buttons, etc. Note that even though there’s some red in the photo and watercolors, it works because the dresser wood leans towards red.

Okay, here’s my stuff:

Interior styling bedroom dresser - 9000things

1. handmade sea fan soldered to an old blue glass bottle
2. three watercolors of Venice (I actually did these years ago) matted and framed*
*rather than hang, you can set frames on a table like shadow boxes
3. an old blue bottle with craft pearls on twine sticking out the top
4. clear framed grungy old-looking photo
5. round white stone from Montauk – a souvenir from participating in a Spencer Tunick shoot
6. a tarnished silver platter from Good Will ($1) with clear marbles
7. a silver goblet also from Good Will ($3)
8. a blue ceramic keepsake box on a glass shell plate (probably also Good Will)
9. collection of found old bottles
10. mini replica of an ancient Cycladic Greek statue (gift from relatives in Greece)
11. architectural candle by Niho Kozuru (SO AWESOME)
12. vintage blue glass bird-shaped perfume bottle (SoWa Vintage Market)
13. more Good Will silver – this one with a mirrored bottom

I have a minor compulsion for buying silver platters from Good Will for, like, three bucks. They’re especially good for grouping and containing stuff on a surface.

These are a few of my favorite things!

Italy lilacs - 9000things Niho Kozuru architectural candles Sea fan antique bottle by deniselaff

Cycladic Replica Pearl spray in ivory Spencer Tunick Montauk shoot

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