You know when you go to a children’s party and for their tea they each have a party food box? Such a great idea – each child is given their own food, with no bun-fight involved! There is less food wasted and everyone can eat a balanced and sensible amount (within reason!) I hate to see all those cartons thrown away at the end of the meal. It’s obviously easy and convenient to dispose of everything, but what a waste!
Here’s my solution: a mini Capri Sun bag with handle – 100% recycled apart from the thread that holds it together and the ribbon trim.
What I think is nice about my latest juice pouch upcycle is that it can be used and reused – these bags are easy to wipe clean or can be washed up with the dishes and left to air dry. Now, the party food box can easily be emptied, even given a quick wipe, and used as the party favour bag too, for each child to take home his or her goodies at the end of the party.
I’m thinking maybe even treasure hunt bags or Easter egg baskets too? The possibilities are endless…!
I’m popping this little number in my Etsy shop, do take a look at this and my other juice pouch upcycles if you’re into eco-friendly bags. I’m trying to get to a stage where I have one for every occasion 😉 I’m currently working on a zippered lunch box for picnics or long journeys, when the insulated pouches can really come into their own and keep food cool and fresh.
What’s everyone else recycling? Leave me a comment, or if you Tweet join in #makedoandmendhour hosted by Jen on Twitter, Thursdays from 8-9pm UK time – I drop by when I can 🙂
How about a basket of springy cheer in the form of these tissue pouches and sunglasses cases? Both of these makes are fantastic scrap buster projects and also nice beginner sewing projects to use just a small amount of fabric and test your skills (and your sewing machine!)
The tissue pouches are made from fabric remnants from previous projects; this supersoft knit fabric pouch is mostly upcycled clothing – made from one of my daughter’s outgrown tops…
I love the print on this fabric and the little sequins!
These spotty and flowery fabric ones incorporate one of her cotton tops which was so pretty but only worn a handful of times, as it was sleeveless and rather a chilly summer that year!
This is a rather addictive craft as it’s quick and easy and great practice for sewing straight lines on your machine, something I’ve had to work at myself! There are some great tutorials and patterns online but my favourite is this one from Notes from the Patch
The sunglasses cases are made using flex-frames – I spent ages googling to find out the name of these pinch-open pouch closures!!
Again there are stacks of great tutorials online – I used this one from Fabric Yard (where you can also buy sewing supplies) as it’s got great step-by-step pictures and instructions. By the way, this tutorial says to spray baste the wadding to the fabric – I used a light smattering of fabric glue which seemed to do the trick. Always use what you have to hand, I say!
The glasses cases are also good practice for quilting – a technique that’s quite new to me. It was a fun way to try out different styles of quilting on a small area of fabric before trying a bigger project.
Most of the glasses cases pictured here were made with repurposed fabric from clothing – there are pieces from two men’s shirts, a little girl’s dress and a couple of tops in use here, plus some gorgeous stripy turquoise fabric from a sample book.
What are your favourite scrap-buster sewing projects? I’d love to see your ideas too 🙂
Is this what Being An Adult feels like? I’ve just upgraded my website to ShabbyShe.com (no more clunky .wordpress. gubbins). I’m feeling very Official now!
The prolonged News Blackout for most of March is at an end, as I was focussing my efforts on producing some items for a new local craft market and my Etsy shop. Now the craft fair is done I can breathe a sigh of relief, and maybe even start making some bits for myself & my family again! I had rather limited sales at the market despite it being well-attended – possibly March / Easter is more a time to browse for pleasure rather than buy. I’m hoping to do more markets and fairs around Christmas and put my efforts for now into online sales and updating my blog (my first love!)
On the Easter theme, I made some cute egg cosies to keep the world’s best breakfast warm on these cold Spring mornings…
The Happy Easter cosies are for my children – they begged me for these and I promised they could have them if they didn’t sell on Saturday 😀
I can’t decide which is my favourite – I like the cute chicks but I’m also really pleased with how this bunting design turned out – these were literally tiny scraps of fabric. This is why it’s so hard to part with even small off-cuts!
I also added my new-style shoulder bag totes to my Etsy shop. I’m really pleased with this design, I think the ribbon trim sets off the colour nicely, don’t you?
Happy Easter everyone, see you soon! x
Meet the latest addition to the Capri Sun Upcycle family…
… the large shopper tote!
This beauty uses 27 recycled juice pouches in its construction and I designed it to carry the heavy shopping in the War on Plastic Bags!
I made the straps from red webbing strap of a thicker, more durable variety than the smaller lunchbag totes and stitched two lengths together before attaching to the inside and outside of the bag for extra strength. The “leather effect” finish on the ends of the straps are actually brown electrical tape, squirrelled from the Shabby garage 😉
I’m really pleased with the result. This one is not going in my Etsy shop (at least for now!) as I am doing my first “proper” craft fair at the end of this month. If you’re in the Camberley area, do pop along to Market Mall in High Cross Church on 28th March and say hello!
Back to making now – next up will be a smaller Capri Sun shoulder bag! See you soon x
We’ve been up to a bit of crafty recycling fun recently with some old CDs and wool scraps. The inspiration came from this beautiful post on Make it a Wonderful Life – this lady is a teacher and has had her students weaving an amazing wall hanging with this clever green craft!
For this easy-peasy craft you will need:-
The plastic lid is to make some needles to help the children weave the wool through their loom. I discovered (through my daughter accidentally unthreading it once or twice) that the needle is actually essential – it’s just too fiddly without. You will need to knot the thread onto the needle though, especially for younger children.
We started off by finding some old CDs which were no longer wanted. My kids were very quick to find some song collections we’d had free with something or other and a Peppa Pig DVD. (Please don’t pelt me with eggs, parents of younger children – my two are suddenly Too Grown Up for Peppa! It will come to them all…!)
Don’t you just ❤ my tablecloth??
Next we made some plastic needles…
This is fun! I cut a sort of narrow fish-shape from the lid of a large pot and used a holepunch to create an ‘eye’. As the originator of this idea said, it’s a good idea to round off the needle’s point as it will prevent snagging.
If you don’t have a hole punch you could pop it over some plasticine or Blue Tac and pierce a hole with a skewer – definitely a job for Adult Helper though.
I made quite a few as little fingers tend to drop them on the floor and lose them! They’re quite sturdy though and should see us through a few projects like this.
We knotted a length of wool onto the CD and began making the ‘spokes’ to create a loom. The instructions on Make it a Wonderful Life said to make sure you have an odd number of spokes (in this way, as you come back your starting point, the wool passes under instead of over and vice versa, making a tight pattern). I would add that more is more – the more spokes you have, the tighter the weave. The first two CD looms we made had only 7 and 9 spokes which made the weave very open and loose.
Once your spokes are in place, you can start weaving! We tied our first piece of wool onto the back of the loom but this made things a bit fiddly, so it may be best to glue the first strand to the disk or just weave around the first spoke a couple of times to secure it.
We all had a great time with our individual looms! Surprisingly (to me) – my 5 year old daughter was the most into it and actually completed hers (albeit a mini one – she just thought it looked nice like that!) My 7 year old boy is usually more focussed on crafts but he declared his “Done for now” and said he’d return to it at a later date. My own one is the fullest but due to only having a few spokes it has quite a loose fluffy look.
My plan is to make a few more and hang them vertically in a single line – a great boredom buster for kids and adult alike, don’t you think? x
I’m feeling very pleased to have finished another recycled denim jeans project this week – I’m on a roll now!
As I mentioned in my last post, my friend gave me two pairs of jeans she no longer had use for, knowing my obsession with repurposing clothes! At the same time, my niece (a budding seamstress herself) sent me this video link to a great re-use for jeans – cutting the backside and waistband off to make a garden apron.
The video tutorial shows you how in seconds you can create a little garden apron from your jeans. I immediately took the shears to my friend’s old jeans and reproduced the apron, but decided to “girlify” it a bit by adding a little ruffle.
Rather cuter now I felt – but probably more of an “indoors” apron that a gardening one. In which case, it needed a bit more work. You’ll notice the cut at the side seams left a rather frayed raw edge that needed some attention.
So I added some binding with a pretty fabric to contrast the ruffle fabric. Then I had a dilemma – should I top-stitch from the front of the binding, to neaten it up, or should I go for a cleaner look?
I’ve no doubt everyone has their own view; I put it to both my sewing circle and Twitter friends (I take part in the excellent #makedoandmendhour on Twitter on Thursdays 8-9pm UK time). Needless to say opinion was fairly evenly divided. In the end, my horror of unpicking stitching led me to conclude it was better with! 😀
A bit more ruffling (who doesn’t love a good ruffle??)
and one of my favourite fabric flowers later…
and I’m pretty happy with the result!
Now you can all tell me off for stitching over my binding – I can take it 😉 x
This week I have been mainly trying to complete a couple of WIPs (works in progress) without getting distracted by the fantastic crafts I’ve seen on some of the blogs I follow! Ideas like The Renegade Seamstress’s beautiful sweater boots which are so tempting with the cold snap we’ve been experiencing recently in south east England, or trying free machine quilting as demonstrated so cleverly by Sewchet.
However, I recently started wading through my ex-denim jeans stash to make up some more denim pocket purses and I really want to get something finished!
Firstly this cute mini pocket which belonged to my daughter’s age 3-4 jeans.
The flower was an experiment with a new method for making scrap fabric flowers: using a circle of fabric, I sewed a running stitch around the perimeter then pulled it as you would a drawstring bag and knotted the ends. Then I pressed it flat and it made this lovely effect – almost like a pinwheel I think! The button already had a nice bright cover which complements the fabric.
Not exactly finished, but on its way!
I had more success with this denim purse, which I have Actually Finished!!
The slowest part of making these mini bags is hand sewing the fabric patch onto the back, as it involves stitching through a layer of denim and the fabric itself using tiny stitches to keep them as invisible as possible. I can’t wait until we have the long, sun-filled evenings of summer to work by, instead of squinting in the gloom at tiny stitches …
I used the same upcycled fabric on the front of the purse to make a little flower – this one uses the hem of the original t-shirt and stitched it into a coiled flower shape. I was rather pleased with the effect.
A thin ribbon strap was the last piece of the jigsaw and the denim pocket purse is complete. Hurrah!
So one WIP now complete, one still ongoing – but whoops! – my friend gave me some jeans of hers and I accidentally started a new project involving an apron and some ruffles. Eek! More on this soon…! x
We are so fortunate to have several lovely friends with older girls who pass on their sweet clothes to us when they’re outgrown. I love this stripy pink jumper dress but unfortunately it has several stains on it which I couldn’t remove with washing – a hazard of raising young children!
There are several ways to recycle clothes that look a bit too sad – a great way is to give them to your favourite charity shop as they can sell the items by weight to textile recyclers for bedding etc. Another even better way is to refashion or upcycle them into another item of clothing, a keepsake soft toy (like we did here) or in this case a bag! I do have a bit of a thing for bags, as regular readers will know…!
I decided to keep this bag quite soft and floppy as the fabric is soft and cuddly itself. It’s lined with a man’s shirt (husband’s cast-off) and I decided to also use the shirt fabric for the strap.
Here’s what I used to make this very simple bag…
The fun part is cutting it all up…
To get a clean straight edge and a matching size on my shirt lining fabric, outer bag and interfacing I used my self-healing mat and rotary cutter with a wide ruler. Once the inner bag fabric (the shirt) and the outer bag (jumper dress) were cut to size I ironed on fusible interfacing to the shirt fabric to give it more structure.
Then just sew it all together…
I made the strap from the shirt’s placket (the button hole strip on the front of a shirt). This has the advantage both of being already shaped & straight and having interfacing inside so it has a stiffer texture, useful in a strap.
I stacked the pieces together and pinned ready for sewing in the following order:-
Then I sewed the top ribbed part onto the bag and attached the shirt placket strap
The resulting product is a soft bag, ideal for a little girl (or even a big girl like me!). I really liked the buttons feature on the original dress so used them to embellish the bag. A fun way to recycle pre-loved clothes into something cute and useful 🙂
I’ve linked this to Craft Schooling Sunday by the fabulous Creative Jewish Mom – have a click to see the awesome craft shares 🙂
The shade in question is from our downstairs loo, recent recipient of the makeover treatment with a pallet wood and peg upcycle project and a good old lick of paint. However, the pendant light fitting has remained naked as this lampshade was both ugly and seemed to be the wrong size compared to the huge energy-saving bulb!
I’d seen several lampshade revamp projects on Pinterest and other blogs using either fabric, printed paper or maps which look great. This lampshade was a good place to start as if the worst came to it I wouldn’t have ruined a nice lamp! The tube map was a bargain I spotted a few months ago in a card shop: although I have lots of maps at home from past travels which would be great to upcycle, they are both too thick and have too many creases to apply smoothly to a rounded surface such as a lamp shade. (I have to admit, although I love maps I have a slight horror of opening the folded, booklet kind as I can never work out how to close them correctly again! There’s probably a name for map phobia…)
I assembled my supplies:
I forgot to take a “Before” picture of the map prior to cutting, but you get the idea! I just aligned my starting point on the map with the seam on the lampshade and rolled it slowing, tracing the shape top and bottom with a faint pencil line. I left a generous margin for folding the map in to leave a nice finished edge.
If I were doing this again I would take time to smooth the map flat first as I had to weight it down (as you can see from the picture) – a cool iron and tea towel would be good for this. I carefully cut the shape about 1.5cm (1″) outside the pencil line to allow some overlap for a tidy edge.
Having cleaned the lampshade and removed the thin fabric trim top and bottom, I taped the map onto the shade and rolled to make sure it would be a correct fit. This picture also shows the wire frame edge with the fabric trim removed.
I applied matte Mod Podge to both the outer shade and the back of the map cut-out and rolled the map on. I then smoothed the map towards the outer edge to remove any air bubbles and ensure a smooth application. Next I quickly re-painted the overlapping edges with more Mod Podge, tidied them up a bit with scissors and snipped at regular intervals in order to fold them tightly over the edge.
Another generous lashing of Mod Podge all over the decoupaged map sealed it in and gave it a nice slightly sheeny finish. I left it to dry by standing it on a jar so none of the wet edges would get smudged, and then …
I hung it up! I’m really pleased with how it turned out. It goes nicely with our recently redecorated downstairs toilet complete with pallet wood upcycle loo-roll holder. The only slightly, well, ME-thing about it is that I was intending to hang it the other way up (as it had been before I removed it) hence why the map is actually upside down if you look closely!! However, even with a smaller lightbulb it still looked all-bulb-and-no-action – I want the outside to be displayed not the inner part. So I hung it upside down and I think it looks quite funky 🙂
What do you think? I might give some more lamps this treatment now I’ve had a go…
This post will feature in Handmade Monday on the lovely Handmade Harbour – check it out 🙂