CONTEST and “40+ Ideas- Dumpster Dived/Free items to build/decorated/craft your home with!”

by Derek “Deek” Diedricksen

Hey All,

I just had a little fun shooting this one-take DIY-idea video on using free and salvaged goods for decorating and construction, from windows to wall hangings, and while some of the ideas might be ultra-bizarre, others might be practical enough for your needs, or better yet, might spark another new idea in YOU.

Below, for readers, I’ve also added a few more photos of examples that the video DOES NOT cover (and believe me, I have about 100 more, but the video is long enough already!).

glass dinner plate

A window on “The Gypsy Junker” cabin (for sale btw $1200 OBO), made out of a colored glass dinner plate

Building on a budget is something I always make sure to cover in the workshops I host for Tumbleweed, and the ones I host/set-up on my own, in fact, our April 26th-28th build/3-day workshop with Steven Harrell in North Carolina, will not only incorporate A LOT of hands-on building, but a good deal of free-form design, salvage construction, and recycled material problem solving- ALWAYS fun! We do have a few slots left, but not many at all, and some INCREDIBLE guest speakers and demos planned! Check out the flyer below for a full listing of our AWESOME guest teachers- its more or less a “Tiny House Convention” at this point. Just crazy…

North Carolina Workshop

Aside from this new video….here are a few photo examples and their explanations. Some are taken from my book “Humble Homes, Simple Shacks“, while others are brand new shots which might end up in the next book. Continue reading

Compact Cabins Book Preview

Recently I was contacted by Michelle from Storey Publishing asking me to preview a book that is coming out in December.

The book is called Compact Cabins and subtitled Simple Living in 1,000 Square Feet or Less. It is written by Gerald Rowan has taught art, ceramics, architecture, and graphic design for more than 30 years. He is currently a visiting professor in the art and architecture department at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. He has a strong personal interest in “building small,” and he lives in Pennsylvania.


Okay this is one neat book and really covers a lot. Besides having 50 unique designs that will inspire you, the book is full of useful construction information and the book is divided into three sizes of cabins. Micro, below 300 square feet, mini 300 to 500 square feet and compact from 500 to 1000 square feet.

  • It covers ways to include RV materials into your small cabin to make it more efficient.
  • The book has a section on using shipping containers in your cabin construction.
  • Another section on living off the grid and cabins/houses designed to take advantage of off the grid design.

“Most of us dream of having a small place on a lake, in the mountains, on the shore, in the woods, or even in our back yard. Some dream of a place for privacy and solitude.”

Below are a couple of examples of the cabins and artwork in the book. Floor plans for each cabin are included. You can also pre-order the book from Amazon and will be available December 6, 2009. There timing is perfect for a gift for the tiny house lovers library. Pre-order here: Compact Cabins: Simple Living in 1000 Square Feet or Less; 62 Plans for Camps, Cottages, Lake Houses, and Other Getaways


This tiny cabin is based on ideas gleaned from the travel trailer industry to utilize space very efficiently. In a cabin this small, electric space heat makes sense. This is a 162 square foot Micro Cabin.


380 Square Foot Round House Cabin. A round cabin – how unique! Curved cement blocks are available for building cisterns and farm silos and adapt well to building round cabins. This design calls for a custom-built curved sofa and fold-up table to make the most of the interior space.


Off-The Grid Passive Solar Cabin A

This cabin is only 322 square feet, but the loft ceiling height makes it feel much larger. The passive solar feature is a large glass window opening into the living space. Space heating is provided by a wood-burning stove.

Reprinted with permission from Compact Cabins, published by Storey Publishing, LLC., December 2009.

by Kent Griswold (Tiny House Blog)

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