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DIY Bike Seat Cover

Ever get to your bike after a long day of work and realize it’s been raining all day? Devastating! You know your butt will be soaked the whole way home no matter how much Spandex you’re wearing. Fear not, recycle those plastic grocery bags and make your own bike seat cover.2014-06-29 17.19.53

You’ll need 1/2 yd of oil cloth, matching thread, 1 yd shock cord, a couple of grommets and a toggle.

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Grab a piece of paper, flip your bike upside-down and trace your seat. Add 1/4 to 1/2 in for seam allowance.

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Cut out your seat shape and a strip that is 4 in wide and as long as the perimeter of your seat. This one came out to be 4in x 3oin. Bust out the string trick to make your perimeter measurement.

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Install grommets in the ends of your strip so that your shock cord can come out the back of your seat cover and connect through the toggle. Insert your shock cord, fold over the oil cloth and pin in place. Sew up this casing along the entire strip.

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With right-sides together pin the unmodified edge of the strip to the bike seat shape. Make sure your grommets line up with the back of your seat. Sew to attach, add a toggle to your shock cord and you’re done!

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Happy biking!




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DIY Bird Feeder

Growing up my dad always fed the birds (and squirrels). We’d watch them chow down from our kitchen table and dad taught me all of the different types of local birds. So with a little inspiration from dad, I set out to build a bird feeder to hang from the window by my dining room table.IMG_6681

All you need is a quart-sized mason jar, a galvanized jar feeder (you can find these online or at your local feed store), some heavy gauge wire and bird seed.


Attach your jar to the feeder bottom and start to wrap wire around it. You want the wire to hold the jar in place vertically and to provide a hanger but don’t forget you’ll still need to unscrew the jar to fill the bird feeder! I secured several loops of wire around the top of the feeder and then made a few different loops around the jar that criss-crossed at the top. When you are happy with your wire wrapping, fill up the jar with bird seed and hang it up! Don’t panic if you don’t see birds for a few days. They are smart and will find you!



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Mango Agua Fresca

It’s finally Summer. Are you sweating up a storm yet?! I am! After a bike ride downtown and back the other day, I needed to hydrate and was craving any kind of aguas frescas that I could get my hands on. Unfortunately, the tienda around the corner was all out for the day. So when life gives you mangoes, make agua fresca!
IMG_6674Grab 4 small or 2 large ripe mangoes. Peel, core and chop ’em up.IMG_6671
In a blender combine with 3 cups of cold water and blend until smooth. Pour into a big container full of ice, add lime juice and sweeten with honey to taste. Then drink up!

Mango Agua Fresca

Mango Agua Fresca


  • 4 ripe yellow mangoes
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • honey to sweeten to taste


  1. Combine mango and water in a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Add to ice-filled glass.
  4. Stir in lime juice and sweetener.



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Upcycled Window Coffee Table

Hey Hipsteaders, let’s turn a window into a coffee table! We’ll build a box and use the window as a lid. Yes, I know someone’s grandma in St. Augustine has a table like this filled with seashells but who cares, let’s make one anyway.IMG_6658My neighbors must be remodeling because when I was strolling through the alley behind my house a few weeks ago, I found this awesome vintage window.


If you happen across an old window and want to turn it into a coffee table, you’ll need:

  • 1″x4″ long enough to build a box the size of your window frame
  • Plywood large enough to make the base of the box
  • Finishing nails
  • Wood screws
  • Drill
  • Hammer
  • Circular saw
  • Wood putty
  • Table legs
  • Table leg mounting plates
  • A set of 1″ hinges
  • Paint stripper
  • Sandpaper
  • Stain
  • Sweet seashells to put inside


Start by fixing up your window. For this one, I stripped the paint, removed the hardware, filled the leftover holes with wood putty and sanded until I was happy with the finish. Next use your 1″x4″ and wood screws to build a frame for your window box. It should be approximately the same size as the window frame. Don’t forget to drill some pilot holes!


Now cut your plywood so that it is the same size as the outside edges of your frame. Use finishing nails to attach it to the bottom of the frame to make a box.


Attach the table leg mounting plates to the bottom of the box. They look like this:


Only use 3 of the 4 screws that are included with the mounting plates. Place them into the frame, not the plywood. Now attach the legs to your table!


Carefully position the window on top of the box you’ve created and attach two hinges to the window on top and to the table on the bottom.


The construction is complete! Now you can sand and stain or paint your table any which way you’d like. I went for this light mineral green stain and applied a couple coats of clear polyurethane over the top.


Now fill that table with seashells and put your feet up!



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Pallet Planter

Happy Spring! It’s finally here so bust out your seeds and starting planting. I started some seedlings indoors last week and today built somewhere for them to go when it finally stays warm out there. It’s a pallet planter. This container is great for shallow planting. Think kale, not carrots.IMG_6615

I picked up a pallet from a neighbor in my building at work and quickly learned why he was happy to give it away. First and foremost, pallets are ridiculously hard to take apart and turn into something else. Secondly, they do not fit into a Honda Civic. So find a friend with a big vehicle and skip the pallet deconstruction phase. Also, pick up some landscape fabric and grab your staple gun.

IMG_6605Flip her over and staple the landscape fabric onto the back. Pull it taut and leave some overhang to cover the edges. You’ll need it to hold in the dirt.




Once things are secure on the bottom, turn the pallet over and work on the sides. Fold over the top of the fabric like a seam and staple it to the sides.


Now it’s time to fill it up! You’ll need about 4 CU ft of dirt. Of course it’s best if you make your own compost but if you live in an apartment and need to build a portable planter like this one, you probably don’t compost. Chat with the folks at your local nursery and they will hook you up with a good mix.


Now you’re ready to plant kale, spinach, lettuce and herbs with no weeding required.