Q & A | The Merry Thought

TEXT by Katherine Oakes | PHOTOGRAPHS by The Merry Thought


One of the best and most inspiring ways to live a sustainable and conscious lifestyle is to assign value to all of our things. When you have so much of something how can you possibly appreciate it or know where it all came from -- and to that extent, know just the impact that it's made on the world? Well, there's one way to solve that problem: you make it.

To make something with your own two hands is an experience like no other. Sure it can be hard, but a little crazy glue and determination goes a long way when it comes to being a DIYer. Aside from cutting back on consumption of the things we don't need, it also provides such a profound sense of confidence, pride, and satisfaction with your work. All of which, we would love to have more of in our lives. How about you?

We're certainly no experts at DIY but these ladies are. The Merry Thought is a beautiful website with stunning and surprisingly easy DIY projects all crafted by hand and imagined up by the authors themselves. So in an effort to get a little more creative, we caught up with Caitline and Manda from The Merry Thought and picked their brains on thrift shopping, sustainability, and how to DIY.


We at Pure Green are such fans of the way your beautiful and simple aesthetic are also so useful. What was your motivation to start crafting and creating in the first place?

Crafting was a hobby that started when we were younger and it evolved into something that we did every day and the blog was just a way to encourage us to follow through with our to-do lists while inspiring others to do the same.

You hail thrift stores as some of the best places to shop. What about them appeals to you and what have been some of your favorite finds?

Honestly, we love the thrill of a good deal (we've had some very tight budgets in the past, so it's been extremely helpful being able to find necessities and treasures at a great price!); but we also love reusing things and the character and quality that you can find in older items that are a bit harder to find nowadays.
A few favorite finds have been: a Pendleton blanket (for $1!), Minnetonka moccasins, copper mugs, and an antique braided rug.


People and places are two things that always offer inspiration. How does the natural landscape of your surroundings and working with each other creatively affect your work?

Where we live it seems like it's cold more often than not, so we have been working hard at simplifying our homes to create a clean, streamlined space. This helps clears our minds, keeps us from feeling overwhelmed with clutter and gives us time to think of new projects that we want to bring into our space that will add to it, rather than brining more clutter into it. We're also forunate to live out in the country, so during the warmer months we like to be outside as often as possible (soaking up that warmth!) and many of our projects are inspired by the nature around us or somehow incorporate natural elements.

Having someone else to work with and bounce ideas off of definitely keeps the creativity spark alive. Often we have very similar project ideas planned, so we can work together on projects or plan a series from the couple ideas we had. It also just brings a lot of fun and laughter into the work space and that always seems to keep the feel of everything light and fun!


Obviously DIYs are eco-friendly, in what other ways do you incorporate sustainability into your lives?

A few of our favorite ways to live a more sustainable life is to raise our own chickens, buy locally grown produce (and sometimes attempt to grow our own, which doesn't always end with the best success!), and of course, giving thrifted and homemade gifts for birthdays and holidays.

Do you have any advice for people who want to do DIY but are unsure where to start?

Grab some glue and a hammer and just go for it! Honestly, there will be a lot of projects that will fail at the beginning but as long as you can just laugh at yourself, it'll be a ton of fun! Start with projects that don't require too many tools or exact measurements.

See more DIY and get to know them better over on their site, themerrythought.com