Tools + Supplies

Published on December 8th, 2010 | by Becky Striepe


Creative Houses from Reclaimed Stuff

License plate tiles on the roof.

Dan Phillips is a home builder in Texas and a great advocate for sustainable building.

So what does home construction have to do with crafts? A lot, it turns out! His unconventional take on materials is an attitude that most of us green crafters share. The talk is informative, inspiring, and pretty hilarious. Check it:

While some of the DIY ideas in this TED talk might be a little more construction-related than crafty, I found Dan Phillips’ discussion of the houses he’s built super inspiring! There are definitely little handmade decor touches that crafters can take away here, from the “lumpy tiles” he created using a toilet and a sledgehammer to the eggshell buttons on the first home’s exterior.

I love what he says about patterns, and I think that’s the big take-away message here. Whether we’re talking houses or jewelry, patterns add beauty and interest. Rather than fighting imperfections, we can work with them to make something with unique personality. He says, “I feature blemish,” and I think those are some very wise words.

[Image Credit: Screenshot from the TED Talk above]

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About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .

One Response to Creative Houses from Reclaimed Stuff

  1. Mike King says:

    I really think we need to reuse alot of stuff, when I owned my construction company we used to take stuff to the Habitat for humanity place to let people reuse stuff we would replace in a remodel. Why fill up all of land fills with stuff that can be reused or recycled? We only have so much raw materials and space to put trash.

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