2ndhand Knowledge


DIY Headwrap

This weekend, my sister tossed a shirt because it was ripped in under the sleeve. The shirt used to be mine until I outgrew it, and it was really tough for me to give up because I love the colors and pattern so much. When she deemed that it was unwearable , I snatched to, knowing I could make something with it.

I decided it would make a nice spring scarf/headwrap. So here’s what I did. Not very complicated. 


old blouse (this one’s a very thin cotton, no stretch)


sewing machine & thread


1. Cut off all the bulky stuff – cuffs, collar, buttons. I ended up with about 5 rectangles: 1 from each sleeve and three from the body. Don’t worry about seams – you can see in my pictures that there are seams on my pieces of fabric. They won’t really be noticeable on the final product, particularly if you’re using a shirt with a fun pattern.



2. Cut all the rectangles so they are the same width (length doesn’t matter). Sew them together along their widths so you have a long strip of fabric like below. shirtscarf4

3. One you have the rectangles sewn together into a long strip, fold it in half lengthwise, right sides facing together, and sew together the edges to make a long tube. Also sew shut one end of the tube. I cut the ends at a slant to create more of a tapered shape. Turn your creation right side out. Fold the edges of the unfinished end inward and sew shut. I topstitched each short end of the headwrap just for added durability.


4. Wrap around your head and tie! Also makes a cute scarf. 🙂shirtscarf5

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DIY Newspaper Necklace

I made a a necklace from newspaper a few years ago, and it’s one of my favorite pieces of jewelry I’ve created. It’s a bit time-consuming, especially if you attach them with wire like I did, but it’s such a versatile necklace – it matches everything! Check out the following instructions to make your own.



Mod Podge or other craft glue

paint brush (for glue)

newspaper (I used colorful pages – like comics)

eye pins (I didn’t have any, so I just cut the flat end off of head pins) or something to string the beads onto

jewelry pliers and wire cutter (not necessary if you are stringing the beads)



1. Cut newspaper into triangular strips. Different size strips will make different bead shapes. Just experiment with a few different sizes to see what you like best. I like the shape the longer strips create, so that’s what I used. The long ones below are about 10″ long and 3/4″ wide at the widest end.


2. Paint the back side of the strip (the side you don’t want to see) with Mod Podge or glue of choice. Don’t put glue on the widest end of the strip. Start about 1/4″ down. If you cover the wide end in glue, it will be really difficult to roll up into a bead.newspaper-necklace-diy3

3. Start rolling at the wide end. I find it easiest to hold the strip between my fingers like in the pictures below and just keep wrapping the newspaper around. Roll tightly for the neatest-looking bead. It may take a few tries before you get the hang of it and make a pretty bead. You might try wrapping the newspaper around something like a skewer if you find my method to be difficult. Just be sure to take the beads off the skewer before the glue dries.

4. Let the glue dry, then coat the outside in Mod Podge to waterproof the bead and make it more sturdy. Let dry completely.newspaper-necklace-diy5 newspaper-necklace-diy6

5. Once you’ve created all your beads, slip them onto eye pins and bend an eye hole onto the other end of the wire. You may need to trim the wire down some – it took a little less than 1/2″ of wire for me to create an eye hole. I actually made my own eye pins because I didn’t have any. You could also string your beads. It’d be much quicker and would still look nice.newspaper-necklace-diy7 newspaper-necklace-diy8

6. You’re done! Wear your necklace proudly. The beads would also make a cute bracelet or earrings.newspaper-necklace-diy9

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Recipe: Avocado Pie

Remember when I said I love avocados? Remember when I said (in that same post) that I love trying weird foods? Well it’s true. The day I discovered that avocados can be used in desserts, I had to try it. So I whipped up this avocado pie. When my mom got home, she looked in the fridge and saw the green pie. She asked me what I used to make it green, because the only green food we had in the house at the time was avocados. “If you put avocados in it, I’m not eating it,” she said. Now, many years later, it’s one of our favorite desserts.

It may sound weird, but trust me, it’s delicious. In Vietnam, there’s a beverage called sinh to bo, and it’s made with avocados, sugar, and milk. In Indonesia, they add chocolate or coffee and call it es apokat. In the Philippines, Brazil, Morocco, and India, avocados are traditionally eaten in sweet rather than savory dishes as well. In many countries, it’s mixed with other chopped fruits to make fruit salad.


Avocados are a rich, buttery, creamy fruit, so it makes sense that they’d be great for desserts, right? Just forget about guacamole and California rolls for a while. If you like lemon- or lime-flavored desserts, you’ll enjoy this. It’s similar to key lime pie. Here’s the recipe for avocado pie:

Ingredients for filling:

1 large Hass avocado

1/4 cup lime juice

1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk

Ingredients for crust (you could buy a graham cracker crust, but homemade is so much better!):

1 cup graham cracker crumbs (If there are pecans in the house, I’ll do 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs and 1/2 cup ground pecans – delicious!)

1/4 cup brown sugar (sometimes I reduce this or leave it out just to cut down the amount of sugar in the pie. I compensate with more graham cracker crumbs or ground pecans. The sugar does help hold the crust together, though, so if you choose to leave it out or use less, just expect a more crumbly crust.)

1/4 cup butter, melted


  1. Preheat oven to 360˚F.
  2. Grind graham crackers (and pecans if you want) in a food processor. Mix the crumbs, brown sugar, and melted butter in a small bowl.
  3. Pour your crust mixture into a pie plate. Press the mixture to the bottom and sides of the plate.
  4. Bake the crust for 10 minutes. It will bubble and the sides will probably melt down a little bit, especially if you choose not to use the sugar.
  5. While the crust cools, scoop the avocado meat into a blender. Add the lime juice and blend until smooth.
  6. Add the condensed milk to the blender and blend again until your mixture is a consistent pale green.
  7. Pour the avocado mixture into the crust. Spread it evenly.
  8. Refrigerate the pie for three+ hours – it’s best after it has had time to chill and get a bit firm. Or if you’re impatient like I sometimes am, pull it out after half an hour. 🙂
  9. Serve with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream…or both!

(I didn’t have ice cream OR whipped cream. Sad! But it was still delicious.)

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DIY Valentine Mobile

I was feeling crafty over the weekend, so I gathered some supplies and made this little Valentine decoration. I actually intended to write a quote about friendship on it, stick it in an envelope, and mail it to a friend…but I decided to just keep it as a decoration.

Heres’ how you can make your own!

valentine1 valentine2


pink and/or red felt

pink or red yarn or string

pretty patterned scrapbooking paper

quilting needle


craft glue

clear tape


1. Cut 13 squares of felt. Mine are about 1.5″ x 1.5″, but you can make them bigger or smaller depending on how big you want your hearts to be. You could also cut a different number of hearts, depending on how long or wide you want your mobile to be. 13 will get you 3 rows of 3 and 2 rows of 2.


2. Fold each square in half to cut it into the shape of a heart (you know, like your mom or teacher taught you in elementary school).valentine5

3. Arrange your hearts how you want them to hang. Make sure you have the spacing how you want it, too.valentine6

4. Cut a piece of string or yarn for each row of hearts. My lengths of yarn were long enough to space the hearts the way they are laid out in the picture above, plus three extra inches above and below the rows.valentine8

5. Prick 2 holes in each heart to thread the yarn through. I used a quilting needle to poke a hole, then I stretched the hole with the tip of my scissors. valentine7

6. Use the quilting needle to press the string/yarn through the holes in the hearts.valentine9

7. Once all your hearts are strung, they should look something like this:valentine10

8. Cut 2 strips of craft paper – one for the top of the mobile and one for the bottom. Mine are 3″ x 9″. Fold each strip in half lengthwise.valentine11

9. Mark in pencil where you want to glue each string. Use a dab of craft glue to glue each strand in place. Apply some glue to the other half of the paper, then fold and glue down. Do the same thing to the other end of your mobile. valentine12 valentine13

10. Beaaauuutiful! Hang it in a place of honor (take a length of string and tape each end of string to either end of the top paper strip), or write a note across the top piece of paper, carefully place in an envelope, and mail to a friend.valentine3

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DIY Necklace Holder

For years, I’ve had all of my necklaces separated by color into a little set of drawers. I rarely wore them because I didn’t really think about it. I decided that in order for me to wear them, I actually needed to see them so I would remember they exist. I came across this tutorial for a necklace holder and I knew that was the solution.

The tutorial there is great, so I’m not going to repeat it here. I will share pictures of my finished product, though, as well as some tips based on my experience making it.

A little about my supplies. I really wanted to find some vintage knobs, but the local antique store didn’t have any, and shipping charges would have made ordering some from somewhere like Etsy cost more than I really wanted to put into this project. I ended up going to Hobby Lobby with a 40% off coupon. They have a huge selection, many of which are vintage-looking, and most of them are around $3-4 (before discount). My dad pulled the wood out of a creek for me. We live in an old mill town, so the wood is actually an old floorboard from one of the mill buildings.

necklacerack1 necklacerack2

The part of this project that may cause the most questions or confusion is attaching the knobs. If I had just drilled holes in the wood and attached the knobs as I bought them, extra screw length, washer, and nut sticking out on the back would have prevented me from hanging the slab of wood flat against the wall. The girl who wrote the tutorial…well, here’s what she said in a comment, “I used the knobs with the screw head on the back so it was flush with the wood. The knobs screwed in from the back to the front (into the knob) so I didn’t have to cut off the extra metal.” If the knobs you use are made like hers, then great. Mine were not, however.

In order to attach mine, I didn’t use the washers and nuts that came with them. First, I measured the thickness of the wood to determine the length the screws needed to be. I (my dad, actually) put the knob in a vice to hold it securely while sawing, and used a hacksaw to cut the screw to the needed length (please only do this if you have experience using a hacksaw. Find someone with experience to guide you or do it for you if you’ve never used one).
necklacerack3Once they’re the right length, just screw them into the holes you drilled in the wood. As long as you’re not hanging ship anchors on them, they should be secure enough.

I love my new necklace holder (above) and I have indeed been wearing my necklaces more often. Below are a few more pictures of this same project done by others (each linked to original source).

via Selective Potential

via A Beautiful Mess

via Etsy

via Visibly Moved (original tutorial)

via Art Actually

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