Suburban Pioneers

The Adventures and Misadventures of Homesteading in 21st-Century America

Lauren: DIY Double-Layer Infinity Scarf January 7, 2014

My husband was getting rid of two shirts. The white one was a little stained and the blue one showed off his sexy belly when he raised his arms (why he didn’t want to keep wearing it, I don’t know). I rescued them from the goodwill bag. They had a higher purpose.

Here’s the process:

Step One: Find two shirts wherever you can: your drawers, your spouse’s drawers (I guess I should say bureau so there is no confusion, but who says that?), or thrift stores. Take the shirt off your husband’s back, if you have to. This project is soo easy!


The shirts were size medium, which turned out a little small for me to wrap around my neck twice. I recommend useing size large or extra large shirts for adult scarves.

Step Two: Cut the shirts. Cut horizontally underneath the armpits and right above the bottom seam.



Step Three: You should be left with two tubes. Layer them. Place one t-shirt tube inside the other one, wrong sides together (make sure you can see both nice sides). The ends will naturally roll, so don’t worry about people seeing the raw edges. You can decide which color you’d like to be the dominate one by placing it on the outside.

Step Four: Find a model, preferably one that’s in a phase where he likes to make funny faces for the camera.

DSCN2123 DSCN2122 DSCN2121

Goes well with the Buckeyes shirt, right? Well, you get the idea.



Lauren: How to Turn a Stick into a Work of Art February 18, 2013

There’s an empty space on my dining room wall that’s really been bugging me. I had wanted to hang a work of art in that space–a somewhat abstract portrait, possibly done with oils. So far, I haven’t been able to find the picture in my mind’s eye, at least, not one within my budget. After almost five years of an empty space, it was time to execute a backup plan.




Supplies Needed:


Clothespins (amount depends on length of stick)

Wood Finish Stain

Polycrylic Protective Finish


hooks, nails, or fishing line

Step One: Procure a stick. Luckily, our tree in the backyard sheds sticks whenever there’s a thunderstorm. . . and on windy days.

Step Two: Scrape, peel, rip, and/or sand the bark off. My stick had been sitting outside for a while so half of the bark came off very easily. The other half I had to work for.  Have I ever mentioned that our power sander is my favorite tool. of. all. time.


Step Three: Wipe off the dust and dirt with a cloth. In the direction of the grain, apply wood stain with cloth or brush. I bought my stain at a Habitat for Humanity resale shop for $1. I did about three coats. (Follow directions on stain can to see how long to wait between coats). Stain clothespins as well.

You could enlist a helper at this point, but beware that wood stain. . . stains. And that helper might just rub it all over his face.


DSCN1477 DSCN1478


Step Four: Apply the polycrylic (another $1 Habitat purchase) onto stick and clothespins. I did another three coats.

Step Five: Attach clothespins onto stick using superglue with the spacing you desire.

Step Six: Hang onto wall (or get a handy man to do it for you). We hung our stick with white hooks on our crown molding and fishing line and by “we” I mean my husband. Sometimes its very convenient to be married to an eagle scout who remembers how to tie weird knots and stuff.

Clip up pictures, children’s art, or anything else that you want displayed.

And there you have a functional work of art for super cheap!

Total Project Cost:

Stick: Free!

Clothes pins: $1

Wood Stain: $1

Polycrylic: $1

Superglue: $3

Fishing Line: $6

Total: $12


Lauren: How to Turn a Pillowcase into a Scarf! January 31, 2013

I am often cold in the winter so you’ll rarely find me without a scarf wrapped around my neck to keep me warm. I came across some scarves that I liked at a store (which shall remain nameless), but price tags that I did not: $14.99! I couldn’t part with that much money for a long rectangular piece of fabric. . . especially when I have a sewing machine at home.

So I made my own. I found three pillowcases from a thrift store and paid around $2 each. Two are Egyptian cotton and the other is jersey. All of them are super-soft  which is a requirement of mine for scarves. It only took me about a couple hours to make three.

Step One: Go rummaging through your linen closet or the local thrift store and find some pillowcases (king size is best).


Step Two: Cut it to the size you would like. I cut about an inch and a half off one side. I also snipped off the bottoms of the Egyptian cotton ones (near the open end) because they looked too pillowcase-y.

Step Three: Fold over all the edges and iron. You could either fold over twice and hem or fold once and use an overcasting stitch. I did some of each.

Step Four: Sew around all the sides on the fold. You made a scarf! Add embellishments if you’d like. To the jersey one, I added prints of keys.


Step Five: Waste twenty minutes of your life watching YouTube videos of people tying scarves in all sorts of different ways. (I know I’m not the only one that has done this; there were 300,000 views. . . )




%d bloggers like this: