‘Too Much Time’ offers hundreds of do-it-yourself green projects

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From turning old shopping bags into Christmas tree garland to transforming an old wooden fence into a headboard, local blogger Kim Hanou has a project for every do-it-yourselfer.

Hanou, an elementary school teacher who took a break from teaching to raise her son and daughter, started doing do-it-yourself, or DIY, projects and crafts a few years ago.

“Two years ago I started my own blog,” she said. “My husband came home from work and saw a lot of my projects and said `You have too much time on your hands,’ which is where the name came from.”

Her blog, Too Much Time on My Hands, features a plethora of DIY projects and craft ideas nearly anyone can do to spruce up the home and entertain their children.

As a mother of two — her children are 3 and 5 — Hanou said she doesn’t have too much time on her hands. Instead, all of the projects she undertakes and posts are simple, basic-skill projects.

For example, one of her favorite projects was turning an old fence into a headboard.

Hanou found a listing on craigslist for an old fence someone was giving away. She went to the property and loaded the fence into her Subaru. She has since made nine projects from it.

“There’s so much that inspires you,” she said. “I just say, `What do I have? How can I make this work?’”

Much of the inspiration for her own projects comes from magazines, stores, Pinterest and other websites, but she personalizes them and does them as cheaply as possible.

Many of Hanou’s projects involve upcycling and repurposing old materials.

“It’s just to be respectful. You definitely want to respect the environment,” she said. “It’s important not to be wasteful. It’s an important lesson for my kids to learn, and we can have fun being creative.”

Hanou’s upcycling Christmas ideas include garland made from paper shopping bags and jute, Christmas ornaments filled with recyclable paper and stockings made from burlap. Her creativity helped Hanou land a spot in Better Homes and Gardens’ holiday issue.

While Hanou has blogged about hundreds of projects, they don’t always turn out well, she said, and she makes sure to let her readers know that.

“About two out of 10 don’t turn out,” she said. “I hate giving up though, so I alter my plans. It’s a learning process. I post, `This is what I tried.’”

Hanou’s headboard project, her upcycled Christmas decorations and other ideas can be found on her blog at www.too-much-time.com.

Some of Hanou’s projects, can be purchased through her store on Etsy, K & H Homegoods, at www.etsy.com/shop/khanou11.

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