ShabbyShe

I like upcycling, repurposing and crafting with my kids

Archive for the tag “Upcycled”

A bit of embroidery…

I adore my sewing machine and couldn’t live without it now, but I do love to go back to basics sometimes – slow down, hand-stitch and enjoy the change of pace and focus. Hand embroidery is such a lovely activity in the evenings when you want to relax but still somehow keep the hands busy! I must admit, though, I increasingly need good strong daylight for hand sewing, so I can see what I’m doing šŸ˜‰

specs case made from felt and upcycled fabric

I made these glasses cases for my Etsy shop using soft felt and upcycled knit fabric – repurposed from girls’ clothing.

The teal/turquoise case was so popular I’ve recreated variations on it since for other customers. I used simple white embroidery silk thread on the teal felt to create a swirly flower pattern to mirror the curves and swirls of the interior fabric. I love the simplicity of this one and it remains one of my all-time favourite makes.

teal or turquoise glasses or phone pouch

The black glasses pouch below is again lined with recycled material and here I experimented with French knots using a beautiful variegated embroidery floss in pale pink through to almost red. I made two heart shapes purely from French knot stitches and I think the overall effect with the ombre-style thread is lovely!

heart embroidery in french knot stitch

I’m back busily using my machine currently as my Capri Sun lunchbags are all the rage – maybe people are getting organised for the return to school (in September here in England)!

What are you up? Do comment below & tell me about your makes/upcycles x

 

Upcycled Phone Cases from Capri Suns

Some of my flip phone cases, made from foil juice pouches!

ShabbyShe flip phone pouches magnetic closuresCapri Sonne orange upcycle

These are great fun to make ifĀ rather fiddly – the tricky part is shaping the hole for the camera on the back of the case. I took my inspiration from a phone case I bought online which started to fall to pieces after less than a year. I loved the design but surely they could be made to last longer, with more robust materials?

ShabbyShe UK flip phone case

Huawei phone case made from upcycled juice pouches

I had already made my phone pouches using Capri Sun packs and foil pouches from other juice drinks, but this required precision, the right type of gel phone cases to hold the device in place, and card to give it structure – in this case, a recycled cereal box (you know me, I love to reuse!)

Capri Sun phone pouch by ShabbyShe UK

Still one of my all time favourites!

I love the end result – I have one for my iPhone 5 and have made them for iPhone 7, 6, 4G, Nexus and even a Huawei phone.

Upcycled phone case for Huawei

Huawei phone case

iPhone 7 upcycled phone cover

For iPhone 7

These are available in my Etsy shop (see link above) – I’d love to know what you think! x

Pine Table Upcycle

I guess this is more of a furniture revamp than an upcycle: we bought a table, and it remains a table. Just now it is a fabulous, funky table!

Here she is in her original state, minus some varnish on the legs. A perfectly nice and functional pine table with a heavy, solid feel that tells you it’s a quality item. We acquired the table at a local charity shop for a very reasonable price. There’s nothing wrong with it as it is, but we wanted to add a bit of interest to go with our new kitchen.

Antique pine table ready for a redo

First we removed the legs, which luckily were attached with screws so were easy to disassemble

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Legs were then reattached after sanding down. We didn’t need to sand the top as we had other plans for that…

pine table with sanded legs

Next job is priming the wood ready for the final colour (I must admit I quite liked it in white too!).

priming pine table legs for repainting

Here’s a glimpse of the final colour – a bold sunshine yellow which sets off the dark top rather nicely! (Excuse the decrepit old laminate flooring).

table with repainted yellow legs

The final part of the process involved adding a zinc top to the table – basically a large sheet of zinc which is moulded around the wooden top and then soldered in and hammered in place. I sadly don’t have a picture of this process as my hubby got on with it quite quickly. He enjoys a new craft as much as I do…!

However I do have a detailed photo of some of the effects we tried out using cut lemons, scourers and sandpaper!

zinc table top with different effects

Zinc can be marked or stained with citrus fruit to produceĀ differentĀ effects

Here’s anotherĀ peekĀ at the finished table…

beautiful pine table upcycle using zinc and yellow paint

I’ll show you more when we have a decent floor in place to show it off!

Meanwhile, we started on up-doing the chairs to match…! More in my next post. Have a great weekend everyone! x

 

Blogiversary!

Oh my goodness, I can’t believe I have neglected my beloved blog since August! I had the urge to write today, logged on and find that it is 3 years to the day that I startedĀ this little project. I love coincidences like that šŸ™‚

My only excuses are the usual: 1) work and family life taking over (happy with family doing that, but as for work…!) and 2) I’ve been busy with craft fairs and my Etsy shop.

Let me show you my latest upcycled makes, on a Christmas theme …

burlap hoop with rustic heart design

This embroidery hoop art is made using hessian (burlap) and scrap fabric, which I’ve upcycled from curtain fabric samples. I used free machine embroidery to applique the hearts to the hessian and make the strings. I love the cute rustic look of this piece, ideal for lovers of shabby chic decor.

embroidery hoop art using upcycled fabric

This green spotty fabric is the perfect backdrop for my cute birdcage hoop. Again, I sketched the birdcage design using the sewing machine without a presser foot. It’s quite hair-raising when you first try it, but I’m addicted to this technique now! The flower is a piece of scrap ribbon and a little bead, and a bead also makes the upcycled fabric bird’s eye!

Here are my most Christmassy designs, which I’m hoping will attract someone’s eye at my forthcoming craft fair next weekend (details here) or on my Etsy shop.

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To make theseĀ Christmas themed hoops, I used both free machine and hand embroidery and some felt. I love using felt as it’s such a versatile fabric and of course non-fraying.

So that’s what I’ve been up to, how about you? Promise I will be back soon, I’ve missed this! x

 

Back to School Craft: Pencil cases and more!

Some more fun makes using one of my favourite materials – juice pouches!

Juice pouch upcycles by ShabbyShe

Clockwise from top left: Apple flavour mobile phone sleeve; small pencil case; shoulder bag with red straps; Tropical & Orange pencil case; Autumn fruits pencil case with red zip; Safari Animals juice pouch pencil case; Orange Fruit Splash mobile case; Sun Shots & Capri Sun pencil pouch with yellow zip.

I love using these foil juice drink packs for several reasons:-

  1. It’s saving them from going into landfill – sadly, Capri Sun pouches are not currently recyclable and as they contain both foil and plastic will take a long time to degrade
  2. They are brightly coloured and fun, appealing to adults and kids alike. I find it’s always a talking point when I use my juice pouch lunch bag!
  3. They are great fun to work with as a material as they are already cut to a standard size (at least most brands are, more on that in a moment) but also they can easily be cut and manipulated to use for other purposes.

The only down side to using them is firstly sourcing them (as I don’t allow my children to drink these kinds of drinks every day) and secondly the cleaning and preparation before use. They are easyĀ enough to slit open and clean but take an age to dry. That’s the only tedious part of the process! As for sourcing them, I have a great supply at the school where I work with a couple of dedicated dinner ladies who get the children to collect up used packs during the lunch break šŸ™‚

These pencil cases are a fun Back to School item, I really enjoy making these and they’re a popular item in my shop

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I even made one which is four juice pouches wide (so 8 in total) for a friend’s son, who wanted to fit his 30cm ruler inside. I will definitely be making more of those!

These Fruit Splash mobile phone sleeves are a new adventure in juice pouch upcycling! At first I was a bit miffed that they are bigger than the standard sized Capri Sun et al packs and therefore I couldn’t use them with other brands. However, I realised they are virtually the same exact size as myĀ feltĀ mobile phone sleeves. So I lined them with soft felt, added some velcro and hey presto, mobile phone cases made from juice pouches šŸ˜€

bag made from upcycled foil juice packs

Finally, I got around to completing a shoulder bag – a bit of a longer task, but very satisfying when I see it all come together. My other tote bags sold a while ago and I kept meaning to make more but life got in the way! I’ve also stitched the front and back for another tote bag, this one featuring Orange and Tropical juices with a yellow strap.

Can you tell it’s the Summer Holidays and I’m not at work..? šŸ˜‰

 

Teacher Gifts – Upcycled Shirt Cuff Pouches

It’s come around quickly again this year – end of Summer term, which means the end of the school year here in the UK. I like to give my children’s teachers a little token to say Thank You for all their hard work & care over the school year. My children are always bereft to be leaving their favourite teacher!

Red shirt tissue pouch with cat buttons upcycled shirt cuff made into tissue pouch

I made these little tissue pouches from preloved shirt cuffs! My son’s teacher likes purple and my daughter’s teacher is a fan of red – perfect!Ā They were quite quick and easy to put together as I had already made some purple and mauve scrap binding by following this excellent post by Heather at The Sewing LoftĀ and some red bias binding – again, there’s a brilliant tutorialĀ by Deb at Sew So Easy on bias binding.

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The red pouch is the largest of the two: the red checked shirt I used had large cuffs for cufflinks. I made a feature of the button holes by leaving them in place and simply stitching the cuff into a purse shape using the red bias binding tape. I then added the cute little cat buttons which add a feminine (or feline??) touch toĀ the finished pouch. I’m really happy with how this one turned out – it is the perfect size to hold a pack of pocket tissues but can also be used asĀ a little purse or make up pouch.

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The mauve pouch is more of a mini pocket pouch as it was a standard size shirt cuff. I kept the orginal buttons for this pouch as I like the mauve stitching. I think the scrap binding goes perfectly with it! Scrap binding is so fun to make and is a great way to use up little pieces of fabric which are too small for other projects. The fabric in this binding was all pre-cut into quite small squares beforeĀ they were given to me:Ā I presumeĀ they were originally going to be part of a quilt. Anyway they look great as binding and give more colour and texture to a simple project like this teacher gift.Ā As this pouch is smaller I could only includeĀ a few tissues and I folded them to fit!

The children made cards and wrote their own special messages in them, then we wrapped the pouches with a little bar of soap (one teacher had already begged the class not to give her chocolate, as she’s on a diet!)

Do you give or make your own teacher gifts? I would love to see a link or photos! x

Kids’ craft: Milk bottle boats

This was a fun afternoon in the school holidays – making boats from recycling scraps! This craft is easy for children of any age and a great rainy day boredom-buster – plus when it brightens up you can go and float your boats in a stream!

For this project we used the following (washed!) items from the recycling bin:-

  • plastic milk cartons
  • lids from liquid laundry detergent
  • lolly sticks
  • fabric scraps (from my huge mountain of scraps, including some old shirts!)

From our craft supplies, we used:-

  • PVA glue
  • hot glue (to glue plastic and wood)
  • pom poms
  • pipe cleaners
  • scissors
  • sellotape
  • felt tip pens

plastic milk cartons repurposed as boatsAs you can see, the larger milk cartons (in this case, 4 pints) make an excellent “hull” if you cut them lengthways. A responsible adult really needs to do this part, but as none was available I did it šŸ˜‰

decorating milk carton boats

We had three children for this activity (my two plus a friend) and it was great to see 3 different approaches to decoration. Here, pipe cleaners were attached to the hull to make a mast and flag pole.

milk carton boat with scrap fabric carpet

My daughter decided hers needed a purple carpet, pink pennant flag and severalĀ pompoms!

making sails for milk bottle boats using lolly sticks and scrap fabric

This upcycled shirt fabric made a great sail, along with some lolly sticks šŸ™‚

Scrap recycling toy boats

I particularly love the ingenuity that went into this craft – the main boat was a plastic detergent bottle cap, extended with pieces of milk carton, lolly sticks, pipe cleaners and a milk lid for the crow’s nest.

milk carton and detergent bottle lid repurposed as a boat

Don’t you just love it when kids really get into an idea and make it their own? A great way to spend a rainy day, which we followed upĀ with a sailing contest in the stream!

What ingenious uses do you put your recyclables to? Comment below or tweet me @ShabbySheUK šŸ™‚

 

Flash Sale – Grab a bargain!

juice pouch pencil case

Special offer – 20% discount for my social media followers now until Sunday 28th June! Lots of fun gifts for Dads, teachers & kids šŸ™‚

Click here or on the picture to visitĀ my Etsy shop šŸ™‚

Juice Pouch Party Food Box or Favour Bag

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.

party favor bag made from juice pouches

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.

reusable party lunch bag made from capri sun juice pouches

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 šŸ˜‰ Ā 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.

bags made from recycled juice drink pouches

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 šŸ™‚

Upcycled Lovelies – Tissue pouches and Sunglasses cases

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!)

Tissue pouches and sunglass cases made from scrap fabric

The tissue pouches are made from fabricĀ remnantsĀ from previous projects; this supersoft knit fabric pouch is mostly upcycled clothing – made from one of my daughter’s outgrown tops…

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I love the print on this fabric and the little sequins!

These spotty and flowery fabric onesĀ incorporate oneĀ 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!

Flower print pretty tissue pouch from recycled clothes Tissue pouches using upcycled fabric in pretty coordinating fabrics Tissue pouch - spotty green fabric with upcycled clothing Tissue pouch reverse - pretty cotton top upcycle

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 fromĀ 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!!

flex frames - used to make pinch-open pouches

Flex frames – picture courtesy of artfire.com

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 theĀ glasses cases pictured here were made withĀ repurposedĀ 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 šŸ™‚

Tissue pouches made from scrap fabric

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