All posts by stef11

Repair your broken phone screen

broke phone screen

It is pretty simple to repair your broken iPhone screen, there are multiple instructions about it on the web. Just google your specific type of phone. Inspired by my friend gaiageek I used these instructions and it worked really well:

I admit, it was a bit nerve wrecking and I had my repair-it-all dad with me who is more specialised in cars and was amazed himself that we could repair a smartphone. But with time, humour and the right size screwdriver we made it. It is also a good idea to consider replacing the battery as this is only a few more steps and can increase your phones value.

There are multiple repair packets, I bought my iphone screen for around 8 EUR and the battery for 10 EUR on and If the LCD part is broken it is slightly more expensive.


floppy disk upcycling

Floppy disk your photos

Floopy disks are very much outdated and I would not even know where to use one now. I did find a staple at my parents place and before throwing them out I thought about some ways of reusing and upcycling them.

Now this is my first trial – a photo holder or pin board. This could be extended with more floppy disks to the side or even longer at varying length of cord. The disks usually have two holes however it needs drilling two more holes to be able to connect the disks. I used a gimlet for drilling and some cord for connecting the disks. It needs some patience to have the cord at the same length on both sides. You can see my first trial is a bit uneven. I can imaging colourful cord to look cool. Furthermore you can turn the floopy disks around and write on the sticker that is on there.

Great (christmas) gift for a techie friend.

floppy disc connectionfloppy disk frame

Tsampa – Tibetian Porrigde


Feeling experimental for breakfast? Try making some tsampa!

This roasted, ground barley porridge is tasty, filling and can be eaten sweet or savoury. You start by soaking and rinsing the barley grains. Then you dry them on a cloth or in the oven. Now roasting it in a fry pan (without oil) is the fun part, it just smells great. Once the air is all nutty and the barley slightly roasted it is ready to be ground. I use a coffee grinder and it is rather coarse. The tsampa you can buy in health food shops is very fine however I like the coarseness. Now the traditional way is to have tsampa with black tea, butter and some salt. I prefer it with hot water & fruit or olive oil & herbs like rosemary or thyme. It really depends on what I feel like or have around the house.

This is also a great food to take camping – nutritiousness, filling and tasty. Tibetans take it up the mountains when hiking and more often than just for breakfast. Here are some great thoughts on the art of eating tsampa

Enjoy your journey to Tibet in your own kitchen!

Chickpeas and Kale in a Curry

curried chickpeas and kale

Chickpeas and Kale in a Curry make for a beautiful winter dish – Very satisfying and nurturing!

Immune system booster kale and protein-rich chickpeas combined are a match made in taste bud heaven. Garam Masala, ginger and garlic add the perfect spicyness. I added tomatoes for taste and look and some paprica spice also. This can be served with rice, millet or in a pita bread.

Here is the basic recipe:



The monthly Re-CYCLE using menstrual sanitary cups


This is one of the least talked about sustainable products that has had a big impact on me. This is well worth supporting. I am talking about a reusable menstrual cup – the moon cup.

I first came across one in a London pharmacy in 2008. I had never heard about it but of curiosity I bought it for around 20 pounds – a bit of an investment for a sanitary experiment.

Using and appreciating all its advantages took a few cycles of getting used to. For me it is not inserted as deeply as a tampon and does not work when swimming. After those lessons learned it has ever since been my best buddy for the monthly catch-up. Talking to friends about it their initial reaction was disgust. I witnessed some deep fears of touching ones own body and blood. Menstrual predictability through the pill and overly hygienic worrying across many parts of life seem to have done their part on conditioning. However reflecting and questioning this routine, the advantages about using a moon cup are outstanding. This one cup can last my whole life. It is always at hand and there is no need to re-stock on sanitary supplies. It is hugely economical – this has saved me a few hundred Euros in the last 5 years. Apart from those cost-savings there is no waste and no toxins. And there are two sizes – size A for women over 30 or who have given birth vaginally and size B which is for everyone else. 

Now there is some extra work involved in cleaning the moon cup. Sterilizing can be done by boiling it in water for 5 minutes before and after each cycle. In between it can be cleaned with water and soap. Once a day you need a private bathroom to empty and clean it.

If you want to order a mooncup online or find out more check these links:

Info on original mooncup from the UK, cost around UK 20 GBP, they also offer free shipping to the US for 30 USD:

For a wider range check out mooncups on or Menstruationstassen on


tyre bag

Upcycled tyre bags

Old bicycle tyres are great for upcycling. With a sewing machine they quickly are turned into a useful little bag – a perfect present for yourself and others. It can be a simple phone protection case or a bag for jewellery or a torch. Just be careful with your sewing machine. The lower thread needs to be widened much more than for clothes material. You can do that on the little screw of the case that your lower thread is usually living in.

The pictures below give some design inspiration where also the opening and closing mechanism is from recycled material. The blue band is looped through holes created with a paper punch. The white cord with the plug is from a broken headset cable and was a present for my best techie friend. The last picture shows a bum bag where the upper part is open for a belt to fit through.

The main thing that makes upcycled tyres look special is using colourful thread and unique closing mechanisms. Make use of what you have around.

upcycled tyre bag IMG_3620 IMG_3608 IMG_3609IMG_3228IMG_3361IMG_3365bum bag from upcycled tyre


Upcycling skirts – puffing it up

These two cord skirts were lying in my wardrobe for many years unworn. Somehow an odd length and not matching my body shape. Or maybe it was just my perception of fashion at the time. Instead of going out shopping for something new I though of ways to make them more interesting. Unique. Add something. Something simple but effective.

By folding the lower part and sewing a loop for an elastic to go through the cigar void created I created two new favourites. Puffy short skirts, adjustable depending on occasion – clubbing or uni – comfy and unique. 

skirt upcycled IMG_3077 IMG_3078

knitting with plarn

The plastic revolution – upcycling plastic bags

Most products are wrapped in plastic. It is hard to avoid in your daily shopping from food items to toilet paper. Plastic bags are easily turned into plastic “wool” for knitting or crocheting. Start reusing plastic bags by making yarn out of them. You can then knit or crochet anything that comes to your mind. I was inspired at Peats Ridge Festival – a New Years festival near Sydney know for it’s sustainability focus. The little workshop tent was full of hand bags and clutches. 

In the picture below I have started knitting a curtain for our bathroom window out of the plastic bag that toilet paper is stored in. Preparing the plastic wool is more time consuming than buying wool but it takes rather time than money and then the knitting is much faster as plastic is thicker than wool. The outcome also makes for different purpose than wool. It is more robust and can also turned into e.g. a mat for shoes. You can go colourful. You can knit hand bags and braid the handles. You might want to experiment with different size needles.

Be creative and share your ideas with me!

IMG_0040upcycling plastic

How to create yarn out of plastic bags:

1. stretch a plastic bag
2. roll it up like dough for cookies with the longer side facing you.
3. cut off the end parts – the bottom rim and the handle
4. cut the long dough piece in 2cm wide pieces
5. unfolded they turn into a large loop.
6. now you connect loop through looping and you will have a string of yarn

This is a great video to explain the process

Upcycled books as pieces of art

upcyled book to art Books can make a great wall decoration or even used like a pin board, photo or card holder. With different repeated folding techniques the pages create a unique pattern. And inbetween the tightly folder pages you can pin important or pretty things.

These photos are from a clothes shop decoration in Berlin Friedrichshain / hub for creativity.

For even more inspiration check out Pinterest.

Turn your Old Pants into Shorts

recycled shorts

Do you have torn pants that you don’t wear any more? Instead of throwing them away you can turn them into shorts. Just cut them at the desired length and fold the lower part up. With the leftover leg part you can sow a bag or use the material for patching up other clothes.

If you have some other fabric that would match and like more individual looks, sow it on the lower part like in the below picture.

colourful shorts