Tag Archives: Upcycling

Tyler’s Tooth Fairy Pillow

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I love to make tooth fairy pillows from well-loved baby or toddler clothes! To transform the Disney World hoodie that Tyler chose, I simply cut it into a square, embroidered a tooth on one pocket and a dollar sign on the other, and stitched and stuffed. So easy! Now he’s eagerly waiting for that first loose tooth! ♥  P.S. Click here for another hoodie tooth fairy pillow and here and here for two more designs.

Tyler'sToothFairyPillow

Sweater Teddy Bears

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ZhenyaSweatersLast fall I shared my first sweater teddy bear, made from one of my mom-in-law’s special sweaters. One of the conversations in the comments (with the fun Evgenia of Being Zhenya) went like this:

I love it! Can I have it, pretty please?

If you have a favorite old sweater, you can send it to me and I’ll make you a bear! (I owe you a present anyway after winning one of your giveaways!) Shoot me an email if you decide to go for it!

Really really? And you don’t owe me anything! Let me see if I can find a sweater!

Yes, really! It’ll be fun!

Eventually, Evgenia got a chance to send a couple of sweaters, and I got to work. The large bear is from the same pattern I used before (McCall’s Crafts 703) and the smaller one is from Claire’s cute (and FREE!) Mr. Ted pattern on Craft Schmaft. After a bit of embroidery and button, ric-rac, and flower a-la-mode, they’re all ready to put in the mail to my bloggy pal. I hope you love them, Evgenia! ♥

Zhenya's Bears

What Can You Make With a (comfybutunflattering) Dress?

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Blue DressIt’s been a LONG time since I’ve posted a What Can You Make With A . . .? project, but I have one today! The inspiration was this blue dress. It was soft, swingy, and SO comfortable, with pockets in the side skirt seams, perfect with a black cardigan for chilly days . . . and what’s not to love about polka dots? But my mirror (and an “honest” family member) told me that this was not my best look and added more than a few pounds to my curves. So, out came the scissors.

  • The skirt is PERFECT as . . . a skirt! And I still get to enjoy the lovely color, fabric, and pockets. I simply cut it off a little above the empire waist, nipped and tucked here and there, and used the top of the cut-off piece to make a waistband. I love wearing it with my black pullover sweater, tights, and boots.
  • You’ve already seen the laptop case I made with the sleeves and neck elastic. I LOVE it and use it every day. It’s especially fun when someone asks where I got it!
  • That left just some bits and pieces, so I cut them into strips, twisted and stitched them into a flower, and used it for a-la-mode on a fun spring pillow I stitched up with some bird fabric from my stash. (Spring WILL come, right???)

Ahhhhh . . . much better! ♥

Skirt

Bird Pillow

Upcycled Padded Mini-Laptop Case

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I have a cool new mini-laptop/tablet that’s super-easy to tote around, but I wanted to give it a little protection before adding it to my backpack on my way to the airport last week. I have a dress that I just turned into a skirt, so I decided to use the dress’s top for this project. I started with the elastic-ruffled sleeves, padded them with quilt batting, and folded and stitched them to size. Then I stitched the elastic ruffle from the neckline diagonally along the front, leaving it loose at the sides and back so I can pull it around the case to hold the laptop inside. A fabric flower from my stash made the perfect a-la-mode for traveling in style. ♥

Computer Bag

Journals from Vintage Children’s Books

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When I saw this post on Thrift Store Crafter, I suddenly remembered that I, too, have a journal upcycled from a vintage book! I also remembered that I’d promised the person who gave it to me (my BFF/sister Susan) that I would actually USE it and not put it away with my treasures, so I got it off the shelf and began listing all the crafts/sewing projects I want to make and tucking in clippings and patterns. Now, when I find myself with a little block of free time, I’ll be all ready to go. And besides . . . this journal just makes me smile! ♥  P.S. Be sure to check out Sarah’s tutorials on Thrift Store Crafter! DP Journal

Sweater Wreath

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BearHappy 2014! I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas season. I had extra fun with my family celebrating Christmas, New Year’s, AND my birthday! And, with several days off from work, I enjoyed some extra sewing and crafting time, too.

Remember my sweater teddy bear? For my first holiday break project I wanted to use up the leftover sweater parts, and I found the perfect idea in the January, 2014 Woman’s Day magazine, submitted by Anna of Lasso the Moon. For mine, I . . .

  • cut the scraps into two-inch squares,
  • folded them in half,
  • strung them on stiff wire,
  • tied off the wire, and
  • added a ribbon.

It’s always fun to have something new to hang after undecorating for Christmas! ♥

Wreath and Ribbon

J-O-Y

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Besides my felt peppermint wreath, another favorite decoration at our home is this set of decoupaged J-O-Y letters . . . I made them from upcycled Christmas cards! Click here for complete instructions as well as links to lots of other fun, crafty Christmas projects. ♥

j-o-y

The Green Crafts Lifestyle

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The Green Crafts Lifestyle - Christmas EditionFirst of all, THANK YOU for all the lovely comments, good wishes,  and over 100 LIKES on my Christmas Bunting post! I met my writing deadline for work and had an extra-special time with our Thanksgiving guests. Before I straighten the house and start decorating for Christmas, I want to make sure you’ve heard about our friend Mahe’s newest “green crafting” e-book that you can get TODAY through DECEMBER 4 for FREE by clicking here! (If you don’t have a Kindle, you can get a Kindle app for your computer—also for free—right here.) The book includes step-by-step photos and directions for a Christmas tree, snowman, package toppers and tags, ornaments, placecards, a mobile, bunting, cards, envelopes, gift bags, and LOTS of fun handmade gifts. Most of the projects are designed by Mahe herself but (as always!) Mahe welcomes guest artists, such as:

You can read about the rest of Mahe’s books here, here, here, and here. Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and I’ll be back with new posts starting Monday! ♥  

Sweater Teddy Bear

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I had a sentimental sweater from a beloved family member that always seemed to say “teddy bear,” so I decided to give it a go! I have a hand-me-down pattern that was a perfect fit for the sweater front and back (McCall’s Crafts 703), but otherwise I probably would have sketched my own. The eyes only required a bit of embroidery on two of the knit-in designs. Then, since the McCall’s pattern was faceless, I used Claire’s cute (and FREE!) softie pattern on Craft Schmaft to figure out the snout. After stitching and stuffing, the squeezable, huggable Teddy is in the arms of a sweet little one. Plus, I still have the sleeves and a few smaller remnants left for new projects . . . we’ll see what those bits say! ♥

Bear

What can you make with a sentimental dress?

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DRESSFor my two year blog anniversary,  I invited you to nominate people you’ve met through the blogging world who you would like to have as next-door neighbors. It was SO heartwarming to read the lovely comments that came from around the world! The blogger with the most nominations was then invited to send me a once-loved garment to remake into some new treasures and return. This year’s winner was Staci of Crafty Staci, who decided to send her going-away dress from her wedding 22 years ago! She said, “It’s been stored under my bed ever since.  I’d love to have it made into some things I could actually have out to enjoy, and red is still my favorite color, so that’s what I’ll be shipping to you.” I was so excited, and when this exquisite handmade dress arrived, my mind started spinning! So . . .today is the reveal! Here we go!

(1) I always like to start with a pillow, and the bodice of this dress was the perfect size to make a pillow cover for a 12 x 16 cushion. After detaching it from the skirt and shoulder straps and removing the boning, I traced and embroidered the logo from Staci’s blog and Etsy shop. Next, I put the pillow inside and nipped and tucked and pinned until I had a perfect fit, then took in the seams and stitched across the bottom. (The zipper is still in the back, just shortened a bit.) To fill in the armholes at the top, I made a lining with a coordinating floral fabric that could peek out at the corners, checked the fit again, pinned, then stitched the top closed. Then all I had to do was trim the seams, turn, press, and zip the pillow inside.  I love that I got to showcase the lovely lace on both the front and back of the pillow!

PILLOW

(2) Next, I wanted to use part of the still-gathered skirt to make something to wear and decided on an apron! I found my inspiration on page 40 of my A is for Apron book by Nathalie Mornu which had a short skirt over a longer one. I used pieces from several different apron patterns along with some of my own ideas and two fun fabrics from my stash, and it came together perfectly.  Here it is blowing in the wind on photo shoot day!

APRON

(3) When I saw the size and shape of the shoulder straps, I immediately thought of a bow clutch–one strap for the bag and one for the bow. However, this project turned out to be a little more challenging! I opened up one of the straps for the bag, made a lining from a coordinating fabric in my stash, and attempted to put in a zipper. Since the bottom was already closed up, that was a total fail! So I carefully removed the crooked zipper and simply blanket stitched the top and lining together, then added a button hole and vintage button for the closure. Next, I opened up the side seams and handstitched the other shoulder strap in on both sides, being careful not to catch the lining since I probably should have done this step first! (Since both pieces are padded, the seam was too thick for my machine.) Finally, I used another strip of the lining fabric to cinch the middle of the outer piece to form the bow. So . . . it’s not as perfect as I had envisioned . . . but maybe it will be cute for an evening event where the lights are low??? ♥

BAG

(4) The next step was to trim the hem from the skirt. With it, I made three of those fun  “twist, coil, and stitch” flowers. I had a straw wreath and some red and green ribbon in my craft stash, so I wrapped the wreath, added green vintage buttons to the flowers, stitched the flowers onto the wreath, and added a coordinating green ribbon for hanging.

WREATH

(5) Last but not least, I decided to make something kind of artsy and festive with a remaining piece of skirt fabric. I cut it into one-inch strips and made a pom-pom, then I hung it from ribbon on a gold wooden frame from my stash. I hope it will inspire the idea of “celebrating the everyday” as Staci lives her very creative life with her loved family and friends.

FRAME

Thank you for being our good neighbor, dear Staci . . . and your package is in the mail! ♥

ALL

Vintage Magnet Board

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A year or so ago I had fun making some vintage earring magnets but I’ve given them all away, so it was time for another batch. Simply use pliers to pull the hardware from a clip earring, then superglue a sturdy magnet on the back! Then I had a chance to go to a new-to-me antique store last week, and I found a vintage metal tray to use as a magnetic memo board . . . a perfect match! ♥

P.S. What are the memos, you ask?

  • Top Left—A recipe for “Peachy Spread” (to serve on quick breads) from my friend Janice: Mix together 4 ounces of cream cheese, 3 tablespoons of baby food peaches, and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. This will keep in the refrigerator for a few weeks.
  • Top Right—”When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.” (Proverbs 3:24)
  • Bottom Left—A photo for a project I can’t wait to make . . . the ANNY BAG from my bloggy friend of It’s Sew Anny!
  • Bottom Right—Adorable Josh . . . our youngest grandson! ♥

Tray Collage

“Runs With . . . Scissors”

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I found a cute brown and pink “saying” t-shirt for $1 at the crafter’s sale and just had to buy it to make into a pillow for a fun-loving scrapbooker I know! One of my handmade flowers covers up a small bleach spot on the fabric and adds a bit of a-la-mode. Easy peasy! ♥

Scrapbooking Pillow

The Good Neighbor Awards and Giveaway Winner!

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Good Neighbor AwardTHANK YOU for helping me celebrate my second blog anniversary with another amazing outpouring of nominations for the Good Neighbor Award! For every blogger listed below, an avid reader (or more than one!) took time out of her busy schedule to send me an email telling me how much she would love to have you for a neighbor and why. Isn’t that just the most lovely compliment?

  1. First, I’ll share the comments, in no particular order.
  2. Then I’ll list the blogs that were nominated in ABC order. (Be sure to click on the links to find some new friends!)
  3. Finally, I’ll announce who got the most nominations and wins the giveaway. Here we go!
  • Living next door to this blogger would be great. She could help me with my photography skills and I know I would learn so much from her.  She is such a sweet person and I feel a kindred spirit with this lovely lady.
  • She’s my twin but she doesn’t know it . . . we must have been separated at birth!
  • She’s so stinkin’ funny!!!
  • Her home sounds like quilt heaven. Imagine being able to visit any time I’d like!
  • Because of her, I can’t throw ANYTHING away without first pondering how to reuse it in a creative new way.
  • I would like to have her as my next door neighbor to have a cup of tea together because she is so friendly and cheerful.
  • I love the ideas she has for different crafts, plus she just sounds like the kind of person who would make a great neighbor.
  • She’s Wonder Woman in disguise!
  • Her tips make my life easier.
  • She makes me look forward to getting older because she has so dang much fun!
  • Her patterns and tutorials inspire me, teach me, and stretch my limits.
  • Her DIYs are to DIE for!
  • I so admire how she balances her family, job, and creative pursuits. I hope to be able to do that someday, too!
  • She’s SO sweet! What’s not to like???
  • Her cards and paper crafts are a delight to the eyes.
  • I’ve learned so much about how to make my home more company-ready and hospitable from her, something that’s very important to me.
  • Her OOTDs are so inspiring! I’d love to be able to recreate something similar from my own closet. If she lived next door, she could help me!
  • Her blog is WAY better than Pinterest!
  • I love, love, LOVE the jewelry she designs and sells! It would be so much fun to watch her in action!
  • She has given me lots of good advice, both knowingly and unknowingly. I just love the way she thinks things through.
  • She’s so creative, yet so humble . . . I can’t imagine a nicer neighbor to have.
  • She was one of the very first supporters when I joined the blogging world and has been a super bloggy friend. Even though we live in different countries, I feel that we are close friends and close neighbours. I am always inspired by each one of her posts. She always leaves me thinking a bit more deeply about the simple things in life.
  • She’s REAL! And not many people are real these days.
  • Her sense of humor never fails to brighten my day.
  • She always takes wonderful photography and it would be so neat if she was my neighbor and could teach me how to take better photos!
  • She makes me laugh every day.
  • I would love for her to drop in for a cup of tea and show me her latest ideas. I would like to tell her some kids’ craft ideas of my own and she could use them in her own work.
  • Her gentle, loving personality comes through her art.
  • I want her craft room! Please, please, please move next door and help me!
  • Her blog is many things to many people (crafty, witty, funny, sweet and always, always kind and caring).  I never would have dreamed that a woman I met through blogging would one day become one of my dearest friends.
  • I wish she lived next door for a hundred reasons:  we have an amazing ‘kindred spirit’ connection. If she lived next door we would share walks, talks and cups of tea.  We would craft together, visit antique shops, eat falafels and be there for each other (as we are now) through thick and thin.
  • She makes me laugh. She makes me smile.  She loves animals and children and shows her care through words and deeds.  I would be one lucky woman to have her living next door.
  • Her life seems to be a lot like mine was 15 years or so ago, when the youngest kid was just starting school and the oldest was starting the teenaged years. I’d love to have her next door so I could say every morning “You’re doing a great job! They’ll be fine!”
  • I love how she weaves her faith in God into her everyday life. It’s hard to do that without being preachy, but she nails it.
  • She’s always nice and encouraging and seems like a fun person to be around.
  • She has a variety on her blog but what I would love to learn from her is paper piercing. She has done some amazing birds and I have bought one of her cushions, so beautifully made.  Very inspiring and very creative.
  • I’ve learned so much from her about how to promote my business through my blog.
  • Her recipes are so amazing that I just want to lick my computer screen. If she lived next door, I’d always leave my window open so I could enjoy the good smells coming from her kitchen.
  • They make me laugh!!! They need to move to my neighborhood so we can go shopping together.
  • She could check my patterns and find the errors! (That’s selfish, I know . . . LOL!)
  • She has a great blog full of wonderful craft projects to do with your children.  They are inexpensive and fun projects that promote lots of creative play. She would be fantastic to have as a neighbour, endless ideas for me!
  • She cares for the world and everyone in it. I admire that.
  • There are actually two ladies that I would like to have as neighbors. They are both so generous with their time and talents. I look forward to their posts. They lift my spirits and make me laugh. They are also wonderful at teaching their particular craft.
  • She’s so open about sharing the ups and downs of her life . . . I need someone like that next door!
  • She helps me so much over at my blog. When I get stuck with how to do things, she just writes me a lovely clear instruction and I am away. She is kind, generous with her time, has a terrific sense of humour and talented at crochet! I wish she lived nearby.
  • Her writing voice is so witty. I’ve learned a lot about writing AND life from her!
  • I’m so much more organized since I’ve “met” her through her blog. If she lived next door, I’d hire her to help me get my whole house in ship-shape.
  • I never heard of “refashioning” until I read her blog. Now I see it everywhere, but hers are the best of the best! I’d so love to learn from her.
  • I want her to move next door so I can see her collections and so we can go thrifting together. What fun we’d have!
  • I’d invite her over for coffee and get her advice on redoing my living room . . . or kitchen . . . or family room . . .
  • Her tablescapes never cease to amaze me. They make me want to entertain every night just so I can create such prettiness!
  • She could teach me to crochet and make me laugh!
  • She helps me keep things in perspective. I need a next door neighbor just like her!
  • She ALWAYS “likes” and comments on my blog posts. That means SO much to me!
  • Her refashions are beyond words! Maybe, just maybe, she could teach me to do that!
  • It is one of many grandparenting blogs I read, but it is above and beyond because of her exceptional photography, quilting, decorating, gardening, shopping skills, and it is an all around fun blog. She has a great sense of humor and I could picture myself sharing a cup of coffee and dessert with her and enjoying the conversation immensely.
  • Where do I begin? I use her recipes! I try her decorating ideas! I pin her crafts! She simply inspires me with each and every post. How wonderful it would be to have her as my next-door neighbor!

Blondies BEARista

Boomdeeadda

Crafty Staci

Crafty Sorcha

Crochet with Tamara

Curtain Queen Creates

DaniellaJoe’s Blog

Diary of a MadMama

Easy Crafts for Children

Empty Nest Feathers

Factotum of Arts

Fashion and Fun After Fifty

Gardening Nirvana

Grab a Coffee

Grandparents Plus 2

Green Door Hospitality

Homespun

Horsemark Cards

House of 34

Images by T. Dashfield

It’s Sew Anny

J.E. Creations

Jewels for All

LCs Cottage

Lightly Crunchy

Lili and Mums

Made with Hugs and Kisses

Memories-Keepsakes-Gifts

Neaten Your Nest

Nice Piece of Work

Now at Home Mom

North Story

On the Upcycle

Pride in Photos

Projects by Mtetar

P.S. I Love Soap Co.

Rainbow Junkie Corner

Second Hand Roses

Spilled Cookies

Stacy Sews and Schools

Swistle

The Adored Home

The Frugal Crafter

The Little Room of Rachell

The Original Thread

The REmissionary

The Renegade Seamstress

The Thinking Closet

Time with Thea

Treadlemusic

Vicky Myers Creations

Winter Owls

Please pick up your button above to display on your blog (if you wish). Nothing is required. I just want you to know that you’ve made a big impression on someone (or many someones!) and that we’re all grateful you’re sharing your life with us. Aaaaaaaaaaaaand . . . the blog with the MOST nominations is . . . Crafty Staci! Click here to read about your prize, Staci, and if you choose to accept it, please email me and I’ll send you my mailing address to get the ball rolling. CONGRATULATIONS! ♥

Three more days until the awards and giveaway . . . and some free books!

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It has been SO much fun to get SO many email nominations for the Good Neighbor Award this week! I’ll be posting the results this Sunday, September 22, so you still have time to send me the names of your favorite neighborly bloggers! Click here for details . . . and remember that the blog with the MOST nominations wins a prize like the one below! (Click here for a description . . . all made from last year’s winner’s beautiful but no-longer-needed sundress!) Also, I got an email from author/blogger Geraldine Hartman of Veggies, Yarns & Tails and she is offering Kindle versions of ALL of her books for FREE this Saturday and Sunday, so be sure to check them out! (Remember . . . you don’t have to own a Kindle–you can download the app here for your smartphone, tablet, or PC.)  Thank you, Geraldine! ♥

Prize Collage

It’s “Good Neighbor Award” Time Again!

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Good Neighbor AwardFor my first blog anniversary last September, I celebrated by hosting the Good Neighbor Award and giveaway. It was so much fun that I want to do it again this year!  Here’s the scoop:

AWARD: Simply put, the Good Neighbor Award is for someone you’ve met in the blogging world you wish could be your real-life neighbor.  To nominate a blogger, simply email me (to keep it a surprise!) at k_scraper@hotmail.com, including a link to the blog and why you’d like this blogger to live next door. Is it to cook, sew, craft, shop, or write together? To learn to do something new? To be inspired? To visit over a cup of tea? Nominees will receive the award button on my second blogiversary, Sunday, September 22. (Click here to read about last year’s nominations!)

GIVEAWAY: The person with the MOST nominations will be invited to send me a formerly-loved garment that I’ll make into some fun treasures and return. (Click here and here to read about last year’s winner!) Thank YOU for being MY good neighbors the past two years, and I hope to hear from you soon! ♥

Thread Shelf

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BowlWhen I did my spring cleaning this year, I found a few forgotten treasures in the closet. One was a “miniatures” shelf that we used in our last house.

When I saw this post, I knew just what to do with it!  Even though Mandy re-purposed a cutlery tray instead, the idea worked perfectly.

All the leftover spools are still on their kabobs in a bowl.  (I have a LOT of hand-me-down spools of thread . . . lucky me!)

I love the fun shots of color in my sewing room! ♥

Shelf

New FREE Book You’ll Want to Grab This Weekend!

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Do you follow Awesome Sauce and Asshattery? If you haven’t discovered it yet, please pay Sheri a visit soon! Her creative projects and fun-loving writing style are guaranteed to inspire you and make you smile. Sheri has also written TWO books now! I previously reviewed the first one, Life on the Zig Zag, which is now available in a Kindle version. And Sheri is offering the second book in her “Confessions of a Refashionista” series called Bewitched Bedsheets FREE from Friday, August 30 through Sunday, September 1! It’s on Kindle, too . . . but remember that you can read Kindle books on any PC or tablet with the free Kindle App. I can’t wait! Click HERE for complete details and worldwide links, and thank you from all of us, Sheri! ♥

Bewitched Bedsheets

Sweater Cuff Gift Card Pouches

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I have a super-lightweight coral cardigan that I made even more summery by cutting and hemming the sleeves to 3/4 length. You may have some cuffs lying around from your altering/refashioning projects, too! To turn them into pouches, simply stitch the ends, sew on buttons and cording loops, and fold them over . . . perfect for presenting a gift card or jewelry gift to someone special! ♥

Pockets

The Green Crafts Lifestyle (and their special promotion starting this Friday . . . and a new call for submissions!)

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Book CoverIn June, I wrote in this post about our crafty upcycling friend Mahe (aka MZ) that included a call for submissions for her new upcycled craft book. The Green Crafts Lifestyle is now out, and it’s amazing! It includes sections on paper, plastic, wood, metal, and fabric and has projects from 20 artists around the world, including four of my bloggy friends:

Along with 35 projects detailed on nearly 200 pages of photographs and step-by-step directions, you’ll find author bios and photos with links to their blogs, websites, and other online contacts.

Now for the promotion! To provide all crafters with a chance to learn from these techniques, Mahe’s Altered Upcycling business will provide unlimited FREE Kindle copies of The Green Crafts Lifestyle this Friday, August 16 through Sunday, August 18! Kindle doesn’t restrict you to its device; you can read the book on any PC machine or tablet with the free Kindle App. Simply click HERE for your free copy.

AND . . . drum roll . . . MZ is looking for MORE submissions from MORE of you! In her words: “We need talented artists, crafters, and upcyclists to provide projects and tutorials based on upcycling and green crafting. Altered Upcycling will take submissions for Part 2 of “The Green Crafts Lifestyle” series, and the project submission deadline is August 31, 2013. Please make sure you send tutorials that upcycle wood, plastic, paper, glass, or fabric. The tutorials must be in MS Word format with the pictures embedded in the doc file. I will also need a photo of you as well as an artist bio and links to your blogs, Etsy shops, etc. Please email tutorials to thecraftycan@gmail.com. Let’s save the world one craft project at a time!”

Thank you, Mahe! ♥  P.S. If you haven’t entered my “Catch-up Giveaway,” please click HERE!  

What can you make with a vintage dress?

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Collage_DressI’m taking a month off from blogging to finish a big writing assignment and go on a little trip. (Will I have the willpower not to click on my WordPress reader with my morning coffee??? We’ll see . . .)  But first, I want to share my latest “What Can You Make With A . . . “ project. I got this dress from my friend Liz who bought it at a rummage sale for ONE DOLLAR! (Click here to meet her.) The color and fabric were perfect for some shabby chic projects, like . . .

  • a pillow with fabric rosettes,
  • a lace hair bow with a fabric rosette,
  • an evening bag with zipper flower a-la-mode,
  • a half apron (with a bit of toile from my stash),
  • and a lace-decoupaged flower pot.

Here are the creative bloggers and authors who inspired me. See you in August! ♥

Fabric Rosettes: Sweet C’s Designs  and Diary of a MadMama (except I stitched instead of glued)

Zipper Flowers: A Creative Princess and Awesomesauce and Asshattery

Apron: Page 51 of One-Yard Wonders by Rebecca Yaker and Patricia Hoskins (“Granny’s Clothespin Apron” designed by Elorie Bechtel)

Lace-Decoupaged Pot: Urban Comfort

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Upcycled Porch Side Table

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PatioWe had a small porch side table whose top recently met its demise. See the little suction cups in the first photo above? They don’t work! So, when the table tipped, the resin top fell out and broke into several unrepairable pieces. But . . . no loss! It wasn’t a family heirloom or cherished purchase, just a handy place to keep a cup of coffee and book while sitting on the porch. And now I like it even better! Last summer I acquired a wire serving tray by disassembling a floor fan whose motor burned out. I’ve used it a few times, but it mostly sits in the pantry WAITING to be used, and the metal was a perfect match for the table stand. So, I:

  • removed those ineffective suction cups,
  • super-glued the tray onto the stand,
  • and tied the tray onto the stand through the suction cup holes with thin leather strips for extra support.

Now, come on over for a visit on my porch ANYtime! ♥

And, in the spirit of upcycling, please read the following call for submissions from our friend Mahe whom you’ve met here and here and here. She has an exciting plan to get your projects and name out to like-minded crafters and artists around the world!

Dear friends of Pillows A-La-Mode,

My name is Mahe Zehra, but I mostly go by MZ. I am a mathematician by training but an artist by nature, so in addition to my day job at a software company, I have a small green crafting company of my own called Altered Upcycling.

I chose this name because I think it explains my art style. I apply mixed media and altered art techniques to materials that are recyclable. I make art from paper scraps, soda cans, and plastic packaging. I have written several books and videos available on Amazon.com.

My latest venture involves putting together a book that brings upcycling projects to and from crafters and artists from all over the world! The book will contain 35-50 tutorials, each accompanied by the submitter’s photo, a short bio, and any other links you want to promote.

This book will be a great advertising opportunity, as I will be marketing it to my 5000-strong Facebook audience and my crafting mailing list as well as on my blog. In addition, I will run ad campaigns and offer free downloads on Amazon. Globally, the book will make its way to 10,000-20,000 readers!

I would LOVE for you to be included in this book! All I need is a craft project that focuses on upcycling. The tutorial should have pictures or a video and clear, step-by-step instructions.

Please sent your submission along with your photo, short bio, and links by Monday, July 22 to thecraftycan@gmail.com.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

MZ

The Upcyling Queen Returns!

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Adventures.Mixed.Media.CoverIn the past, I’ve shared reviews of two of Mahe Zehra Husain’s fabulous upcycling books, The Ultimate Guide to Upcycling and Make a Card Awesome. So, when she asked if she could send a preview copy of her newest publication, I was more than happy to agree! This one is called Adventures in Mixed Media: A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Beautiful Pieces of Art. It includes chapters on:

  • Materials (Paper, Coloring Mediums, Found Items, and Art Stores)
  • Techniques (Making Mixed Media Art Paper and Making Mixed Media Collage Paper)
  • Projects (A House Journal, Altered Art Organizer, Paintbrush Book, Mixed Media Canvas, The Earth Without Art, Idea Journal, Mixed Media Memories, Art Around your Neck, . . . And Now ‘Round your Wrist, Birds, My Imaginary Flight, and Believe)

I love the way Mahe describes how she organizes her craft room to store “found” items, and the sections on “7 Unusual Sources of Paper” and “Let’s Go On a Treasure Hunt” had my creative juices flowing! Mahe includes YouTube videos for each of her techniques, as well as complete written directions and photographs of all papers and projects. You’ll love Mahe’s friendly, conversational writing style, too! You can get your copy by clicking here at Amazon.com or any time from my Shop Love! page above.

Oh, and remember that Mahe’s first book is ALWAYS available for FREE at her web site, Altered Upcycling. Thank you for all you do to care for Earth as you create, Mahe! ♥

The REMissionary

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BagI am the VERY excited winner of the recent one-year blog anniversary giveaway by Linda (aka LubbyGirl) of the REmissionary! From a pair of jeans, Linda created this cute bag with two pockets on the front, a big pocket on the back, a zippered pocket and a snap pocket inside, and a tab and button closure . . . and I love the way she attaches the strap to the front on one side and the back on the other to make it lay perfectly flat against your body when you hang it over your shoulder. Linda doesn’t have an online shop yet, but I hope she opens one someday with her fun creations like this and this and this. She has also inspired me to start saving old jeans that family members no longer love so I can do some projects of my own. Besides collecting jeans, I’ve been collecting links from my blogging friends! If you have a jeans refashion/upcycle project that I don’t have on my list yet, would you be kind enough to put a link in the comments so I can add it? Thank you! And thank you to Linda for the lovely gift! ♥

What can you make with a Dr. Seuss T-shirt?

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ShirtMarch 2 is Dr. Seuss’s birthday! When I taught first grade, we always celebrated by wearing Dr. Seuss T-shirts, cooking green eggs and ham in the classroom, and reading all the kids’ favorite DS books. But now that I’ve moved on to a different career, I decided to use this well-loved T-shirt for my next “What can you make with a . . .” refashion.

  • First, I used the bottom of the shirt for the no-sew spaghetti t-shirt scarf that I shared last month.
  • Next, I used the “Sam’s Ham” graphic and back for a pillow (which is now on its way to some sweet little guys in Florida along with a copy of the matching book). I love that the T-shirt had a Dr. Seuss label that I could stitch into the side seam of the pillow!
  • The fabric from the shoulders became a travel neck pillow with “Ahh . . .” embroidered for a-la-mode. (You’ll find a fabulous tutorial at The Cottage Home!)
  • The rest of the scraps were stitched together into a rectangle and paired with a colorful remnant to make a little mat to put under a centerpiece or plant.
  • Oh, and did you know that a t-shirt neckband makes a perfect no-sew headband for around the house or working out???  Happy birthday, Dr. Seuss! ♥

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FREEBIE ALERT: The Upcycling Queen Strikes Again!

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Book CoverIn my “Meet an Upcycling Queen” post last month, I introduced Mahe of Altered Upcycling. Many of you picked up the free ebook she offers from her blog and loved it! Now Mahe has another free offer starting TOMORROW, February 23 and running through Wednesday, February 27—a card-making ebook available here on Amazon.com.  (If you don’t have a Kindle, you can download “Kindle for PC” from Amazon.com here, also for free.)  Mahe was kind enough to send me a preview copy, and I found:

  • cards featuring paint chips along with items many of us already have around the house,
  • cards for lots of different holidays, seasons, and occasions,
  • step-by-step directions and photographs,
  • links to youtube video demonstrations,
  • and much, much more!

Please take a moment to help yourself to this lovely gift which is regularly $2.99 but ours for free for the next five days. Thank you, Mahe! ♥

What can you make with a red sweater?

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Bunting

Red SweaterI got this bright red, gently-used sweater along with a couple of other items for free at a consignment store with a Groupon gift certificate! It was too wide and too short and stretched out here and there, so I immediately knew it was going to become my next What can you make with a . . . project.

First, I made the heart mini-pillows I shared in this post. Then I made the big sweater pillow I shared in this post. After that, I made a business card/gift card/credit card/reward card case with  floral pockets and a vintage earring button closure (click here for a great tutorial from The Crafty Cupboard) and three flower brooches with vintage earring centers. The neck and hem ribbing I hadn’t used up as ruffles on the big pillow will be package wraps (picture a small box wrapped in kraft paper with these pretty red buttoned bands stretched around them). Finally, I cut all the little bits into triangles and made bunting by stitching them onto the fun button-design ribbon I recently bought from Lizzie Rose Jewelry.

Another fun haul! ♥

Everything

Red Animal Print Sweater Pillow

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I recently received a bag of vintage sweaters for pillow making, and I just fell in love with this fun print. I used everything from the armholes down, leaving the zipper in the middle for a-la-mode, stitched, and stuffed. It still has the side-seam pockets, too! I think I’ll give it as a birthday or Christmas present and tuck a gift card in the pocket. Then the recipient can use the pockets for . . . hmmm . . . the TV remote? Earphones? Tissues for a sad movie? Or . . . M&M’s??? (OK, I’m still thinking about chocolate after that last post!) ♥

Red Animal Print Pillow

Vicky Myers Design

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In the spirit of Valentine week’s focus on pink and red . . . how cute is this??? It’s a little girl’s bag upcycled from a little girl’s smocked dress that will make a perfect gift for a little girl in my family! You can see creations like this one at my blogging friend Vicky’s Etsy shop called Vicky Myers Creations, including drawstring bags, corsage bags, messenger bags, shoulder bags, bucket bags, and knitting needle cases. As Vicky describes her business, “I love making new items out of recycled materials, upcycling fabric remnants and old clothes into new bags. Using many textures, colours, and patterns, I create unique handmade bags. Each bag has a label describing where the fabric has been sourced.” Please check out Vicky’s blog, her shop, and her FB page from this post or anytime from my Shop Love! page above. Thank you for my adorable purchase, Vicky! ♥

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Red Sweater Heart Pillow

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Scene FramedRemember the little hearts I sewed on my recent travels—upcycled from a sleeve of a cozy old red sweater?

I used two of them for little-girl barrettes with pink button a-la-mode and all but four for my heart-to-heart garland.

Then I looked at the sweater again and decided that the body had to become a BIG red Valentine pillow, like this:

  • Fold the sweater in half lengthwise and, starting at the fold, cut a large half-valentine from the front and back. Unfold.
  • Pin and stitch strips of the sweater’s hem and sleeve binding across the pillow front for a-la-mode.
  • Pin and stitch the pillow front to the pillow back, right sides together, leaving about three inches unsewn.
  • Trim the seam, then turn the pillow rightside-out, stuff, and handstitch the opening.

It’s the softest pillow ever! ♥

P.S. The drawing in my office is a print of I’m Into Art by Elizabeth “Grandma” Layton of Wellsville, Kansas.  You can read a biographical sketch of Mrs. Layton’s life and see close-ups of her drawings here.  She’s one AMAZING lady!

Meet An Upcycling Queen!

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Free BookDo your New Year’s resolutions include using more of what you already have in your crafting, gift-making, and home decor?  Then you’ll want to meet Mahe at The Altered Upcycling Blog and Altered Upcycling. Mahe explains that she has a Master’s degree in Operations Research, works at a software house, and is an avid altered artist who is constantly looking for ways to make the world greener one small craft project at a time.  And, if you sign up on her blog or web site, you’ll receive her FREE pdf book called The Ultimate Guide to Upcycling  for one-of-a-kind jewelry, cards, gift bags, wall art, and more.  Mahe sends out free ideas and how-to videos in her email newsletter as well, such as how to make a beautiful card from a dinner napkin, old dictionary page, leftover ribbon, and glue!  Mahe writes in a friendly, conversational style as if she’s sitting right beside you, includes what worked and DIDN’T work for her, and supports her ideas with step-by-step directions, photographs, and alternatives.  You can get your copy by clicking on the link in this post or any time from my Shop Love! page above.  Thank you, Mahe! ♥

Confessions of a Refashionista

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PackageMy blogging friend Sheri of Awesome Sauce and Asshattery was kind enough to send me a complimentary copy of her new book Confessions of a Refashionista: Life on the Zig Zag.  Sheri autographs the books AND includes an item to refashion to get you started! My gift was a beautiful thrifted scarf, which Sheri suggested making into a scarfigan (page 6), crisscross vest (page 63), infinity scarf (page 64), or even a new neckline or sleeves for a shirt (pages 44 and 58). How cool is THAT??? You can read all about her book (and see fun photos of Sheri!) in this post  . . . but here are some of my favorite parts:

  • You can learn to refashion/redesign/embellish shirts, pants, shrugs, skirts, and flip-flops and make amazing accessories like ruffled flowers, scarves, wristlets, and bangle bracelets.
  • You can learn to make a dress form from duct tape, sleeves from socks and aprons, a boho blouse from a vintage nightgown, a skirt from a tablecloth, and an amazing tunic from a BEDSHEET!
  • Do you have neckties . . . doilies . . . dishtowels . . . lace? You’ll use them in amazing new ways!
  • You’ll even learn to make an instant, no-sew skirt from a man’s shirt!

You can read a review of Sheri’s book at Designers Against AIDS (where Sheri donates a portion of each sale) and purchase Sheri’s book at Sew Much Fun or Dawanda. Oh, and Sheri has another store, too: Mensch T’s. And remember that you can find Sheri’s book anytime in my Shop Love! page above. THANK YOU, Sheri! ♥

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J-O-Y to the World!

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J-O-Y

Welcome to the “JOYFUL” edition of Collectively Creative, hosted by Kelly of Cobwebs, Cupcakes & Crayons! My project is easy and fun . . . similar to the Instagram collage letters I made this summer. . . . and I love how it turned out!

(1) Purchase some wooden letters at a craft store. Mine are 12 inches tall and were on sale for around $2 each.

(2) Optional: Paint the letters and let them thoroughly dry. I spray painted these with the green paint left over from my antique milk bottle project.

(3) Get out Christmas cards you received and saved from last year and cut out pictures and words to fit the shapes of the letters, overlapping them as in a collage. Attach these bits with Mod Podge. Or, if you don’t have cards available, use images and words from holiday magazines.

(4) When each surface is covered to your satisfaction, coat the entire letter with Mod Podge and let it thoroughly dry.

(5) Display your letters on a shelf or drill small holes or attach hanging hardware to the backs and hang them on the wall. Mine are now over the stairs along with my peppermint wreath where they’ll greet our Christmas Day guests at the front door. ♥

P.S. Before I link to our other Collectively Creative posts, I’d like to give a shout out to some other amazing bloggers who have shared their J-O-Y this season. Thank you to ALL of you for your inspiration!

Daisey Jane

Alana Jones-Mann

My Latest Project

Diary of a Mad Crafter

Our Next Great Adventure

Made in a Day (and here!)

The Joyful Edition Logo 2012COLLECTIVELY CREATIVE:

Art Jars

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A couple of years ago I saw a kids’ art jar online and thought it would be the perfect gift for a special little girl’s birthday.  It was so colorful and intriguing . . . but when we dumped everything out, I found LOTS of pretty raffia filling and WAY too few actual art supplies.  Live and learn, right? So, when my dad was preparing for a recent move and asked if I’d like to have some empty plastic snack containers, I immediately thought, “ART JARS!”  I began collecting artsy/crafty items from the dollar bins at Michaels and Target, plus hitting the dollar stores, and soon had a huge bag of fun things to include.  These will be under some Christmas trees soon! ♥

Art Jars

What can you make with an embroidered jacket?

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Awhile back I wrote a post about my blogging friend Laura of As Time Goes . . . Buy and how she inspired me to do the Good Neighbor Award project and refashion for my one year blog anniversary. Laura has been traveling, and I’ve been sewing, but she’s home, and I’m finished . . . so today is the reveal! Laura, your coat is now on my “What Can You Make With A . . .” page, and your package is in the mail! I was able to make:

  • A pillow . . . of course! :)
  • A fabric flower with beads from a vintage earring in the center
  • A coffee cup cozy
  • A tissue cozy (Thank you, Little Bit Funky!)
  • Two jacket-sleeve notecard pouches
  • A Chanel pouch makeover
  • An embroidery-hoop wall hanging with Laura’s blog name
  • A framed fabric-under-glass for writing notes, menus, or welcome messages for guests
  • A garment dust jacket for one of Laura’s lovely outfits (Thank you, Schlosser Designs!)
  • A tote bag with a jacket pocket on each side and a braided leather belt handle
  • And, last but not least, all the leftover bits made into mini-bunting!  ♥

Inspiration!

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As you know, I’ve been having tons of fun with my “What Can You Make With A . . .” series (see page in header), so I MUST share who inspired me to offer a “makeover” for my one year blog anniversary prize! Following one of my posts, I had the following comment conversation with my blogging friend Laura of As Time Goes . . . Buy:

Laura:  Okay, that’s it. I can’t take it anymore. Either you are going to have to adopt me or I am sending you all my old clothes so you can turn them in to cool new things. Of course you’ll have to send the new things back to me. :)

Me: Actually, now I want to do that!!! Because you have such a beautiful wardrobe, I can only imagine what fun I’d have! :) Send me an item you no longer wear . . . and I’ll work my magic and mail it back to you, and we can both blog about it. Okay??? :)

Laura: Seriously?! That is so cool! Now I will be up all night thinking about what I can send…but I have a thought. I’ll email you tomorrow. I’m soooo excited!! :D

Me: Yay!!! Can’t wait! :)

So, I thought if Laura would think this was fun, maybe someone else would, too. Thank you, Laura! And check out the A-M-A-Z-I-N-G jacket Laura sent (and click on the photo to see the beautiful embroidery!) . . . all the way from Australia to Kansas, USA! I’ll be posting on it sometime in November . . . stay tuned! ♥

What can you make with a sundress?

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For my one year blog anniversary, I invited you to nominate people you’ve met through the blogging world whom you would like to have as next-door neighbors . . . and to tell why. It was SO heartwarming to read the lovely comments that came in from all around the world! The blogger with the MOST nominations was then invited to send me a once-loved garment to remake into some fun treasures (a-la “What can you make with a flannel shirt?,” “What can you make with a lace tank?,” and “What can you make with a polo shirt?“) and return. The winner was Kelly of  Cobwebs, Cupcakes & Crayons!  Kelly said, “After the shock wore off I ran to my closet to decide what I was going to send.  I chose a little sundress that has a lot of happy memories attached to it, but now that I’m a mama seems a little, well…SHORT.  I know that I will never wear it again, so I am very excited to send it off!”  So . . .today is the big reveal! In addition, this project will have a permanent home on the “What Can You Make With A . . .” page on my header.

  • I couldn’t resist using the bottom of the sundress with its lacy underskirt for another dress . . . this time for Kelly’s adorable daughter Annabelle! A bright pink T-shirt from Target made the perfect top. (Click here and here for more little girl’s T-shirt dress ideas.)
  • The zippered back of the sundress was perfect for the back of a pillow cover, and I added the pretty label and butterfly that I snipped from the inside neckline. The pillow front is a combination of dress fabric, T-shirt fabric, a vintage hanky, pale pink lace, and lime-green embroidery.
  • The bodice of the sundress is now a jewelry pouch! The ribbons form the casings, and the dress straps are the strings. The lining of the pouch is made from the dress lining for a soft, shiny finish.
  • With seven circles of fabric, three stacked buttons, and a bit more of the lace from the bottom of the sundress, I made a fabric flower to pin onto a jacket, hat, or headband.
  • A small rectangle of dress fabric and T-shirt fabric along with a bit of green dotted fabric and some buttons and ribbon were just the right ingredients for a Christmas mini-pillow ornament.
  • While pondering Kelly’s blog name, I thought of embroidering three C’s onto a bit of fabric and framing it. Suddenly I thought, “Hmm . . . if the Scrabble letter C is worth 3 points, I could use that instead.” I ran to look it up, and . . . it is! I KNOW Kelly didn’t choose “Cobwebs, Cupcakes & Crayons” based on this fact . . . but I was excited! :) After several experiments, I ended up with a collage of dress fabric, T-shirt fabric, lace, scrapbook paper, and a paper Scrabble tile in a hot pink frame. (The back of the frame is also magnetized for a frig or file cabinet.)
  • Finally, I was down to a small pile of random scraps. Not ready to give up quite yet, I decoupaged them onto a plastic bangle bracelet. :)

Done! Kelly . . . your package is in the mail!  ♥

Fork Easel

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I was rummaging for a frame yesterday and found my long-lost fork easel! I didn’t make it . . . I bought it at a craft show. But I think I could make one now that I know A Ponytail Kind of Day! She has a post here about her fork easels. Plus, if you go to her Category Cloud and click on “silverplate,” you’ll see knives, forks, and spoons made into candleholders, bracelets, necklace pendants, money clips, vases, key chains, and napkin rings! I’ll try it if you will! ♥

P.S. Click here for a tutorial for a rock and wire photo display option . . . another fun upcycle! P.P.S. And now I just discovered this AMAZING silverware starburst mirror! You must check it out! P. P. P. S UPDATE: Spoon rings now on A Ponytail Kind of Day! :)

One-Minute Jewelry Display

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Do you have toy dinosaurs in  your toy box? I do! Now one of them is holding my bangle bracelets! He’s so cute . . . and a surprise pop of fun in the room. P.S. Check out these dino ring holders on My So Called Crafty Life, too! ♥

One Year Award and Giveaway!

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UPDATE on 9-22-12: Click HERE to read the heartwarming results of this post!

One week from today is the anniversary of my first WordPress blog post! Since I’ve discovered how many people around the world I’d love to have for next-door neighbors, I’d like to celebrate with a new award and giveaway!

AWARD: Please nominate a WordPress blogger (or lots of them!) for the “Good Neighbor Award” in an email to me at k[underscore]scraper@hotmail[dot]com (to keep it a surprise!), including a link to the blog and why you’d like this blogger to live next door. To cook/sew/craft/shop/write together? To learn to do something new? To be inspired? To visit over a cup of tea? Nominees will receive the award button on September 22.

GIVEAWAY: The person with the MOST nominations will be invited to send me a formerly-loved garment that I’ll make into some fun treasures (a-la “What can you make with a flannel shirt?” or “What can you make with a lace tank?” or “What can you make with a polo shirt?“) and return. THANK YOU for reaching out in friendship this past year, and I hope to hear from you soon! ♥

Whatever happened to that kite???

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Awhile back I posted photos of some vintage treasures from my dad, including an old kite he’d found in his garage. After being assured that no one had ever been able to get the kite to actually fly, I agreed to take it home to upcycle. When I took it back out to “study,” I noticed that it had two long, skinny pockets, which made me think of the plastic bag holders I’ve seen some other creative bloggers make. (Like you, I really DO try to remember my reusable tote bags for shopping, but  . . . ) So, I folded it in half vertically and zigzagged along all the seams, which resulted in three more bag-stuffing spaces. With a piece of pretty rick-rack threaded through the kite string loop for hanging, it’s all ready to go!  P.S. I love these upcycled can trash bag containers from Neaten Your Nest, too (and check out Erin’s beautiful new business logo while you’re there!). If you’ve posted a tutorial for bag storage, please send me a note in a comment and I’ll add your link here. Thank you! ♥

Mint Tin Tic-Tac-Toe

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I’m at it again . . . trying to figure out fun ways to repurpose empty mint tins! I’ve already had a chance to try out my mint tin sewing kit, so this time I decided to make one into a game.

(1) Decorate the top with a tic-tac-toe symbol using paint, scrapbook paper, tape, ribbon, or fabric with embroidery (my choice!).

(2) Find five each of two different colors of buttons.

(3) Glue magnets on the buttons.

(4) You’re ready to play . . . perfect for home, the car, or restless little ones at a restaurant or waiting room.

Click the photo for a larger view, here for the super-cute version at Art + Baja that gave me the idea,  here for a tic-tac-toe game made of felt, and here for another wonderful mint tin craft by Look What Mommy Made!  ♥

Vintage Earring Magnets

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Have you checked out the crafting ideas on the Country Living web site? I want to try them ALL! But I started with an easy one . . . frig magnets made from vintage jewels. I don’t have the brooches they suggest, but I have LOTS of clip-on earrings. Simply remove the backings and glue on a magnet . . . easy peasy and SO pretty!  P.S. You can also click the blue dot on the CL home page to vote for the Reader’s Choice 2012 Blue Ribbon Blogger Award. It was really fun to check out all the finalists! ♥

Upcycled Wire Tray

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Nothing is more relaxing than breakfast on the porch on a late summer morning. Of course, this requires a serving tray, such as this wire beauty I got for $24.99 at the local home goods store free from the garage! Yes, we have a floor fan in which the motor burned up after years of service, and I haven’t been able to throw it away.  I knew the front came off, so that’s the first piece I salvaged. I can use it to serve a meal, display fun items, or as a seasonal centerpiece with the addition of a liner cushion I made from a remnant and quilt batting.  Now, what to do with the rest of the fan . . .  P.S. If you haven’t made these cinnamon roll-ups yet, you must try them! Click here for the recipe! ♥

Diaper Clutch

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Remember the placemat pouches I made earlier this year? Today I turned one of them into a gift for a new mom by:

(1) making a super thin, soft, washable changing pad from a $1.99 child’s paint apron from Michaels (with enough fabric left over for one more pad and some other projects, too!)
(2) adding a small package of wipes and a diaper, and
(3) composing this poem (click to enlarge) to pin to the clutch.

Super fun, super easy . . . and I think she’ll like it! ♥

Necktie Flower Pillows

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When I made the tablecloth + napkin curtains for the bedroom, they replaced two valences which are now pillows! To make the necktie flower a-la-mode:

  • Cut off the fat part of the tie.
  • Unstitch the rest of the tie and remove any interfacing and lining.
  • Fold and press the tie in half (the long way!) and baste the open sides together, pulling gently to gather it as you go.
  • Curl the gathered tie around until it forms a flower shape and tack it together underneath.
  • Stitch a pretty button or earring to the center, then stitch the flower where you want it and finish making your pillow.

I’d like to thank  . . . in training for the inspiration and for suggesting that I try using neckties for flowers! ♥

 

 

 

 

 

Spool Kabobs

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Sometimes the pillow stuffing I buy has wooden chopstick-like instruments packed inside to help poke the fluffy stuff into tight corners. I’ve been collecting them in my desk drawer knowing that someday a light bulb would go on and I’d think of a creative way to use them. It did! :) I wrapped embroidery floss around each grooved end to create a “stop,” slipped my thread over the sticks, and stood them up in a parfait bowl to display on a shelf. Now, instead of hiding away in a tote bag, the colorful spools are an easily-accessible part of my sewing room decor. I love it! ♥

More Necktie Wristlets

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I just finished six new necktie wristlets . . . so easy and fun! The only thing I changed from the original tutorial was to sew the decorative button on the front flap and use a snap closure rather a button/buttonhole.  Now I can’t wait to give them to some special girls in the family! ♥

Flower Pillows

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I’ve missed making pillows, so after church and lunch out with Dave on Sunday I spent a happy afternoon at my sewing machine. And, since my creative blogging friends suggested using some of my road trip flowers as pillow adornment, I did just that . . . adding in one sweater flower as well. All of the fabrics are remnants or upcycled curtains, and all of the pillows are 14 x 14 inches. I can’t wait to start giving them to my family and friends! ♥

Surprise Pillow

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This was a quick and easy T-shirt-to-pillow upcycle, but it was extra fun because the person who gave up the T-shirt (my mother-in-law!) thought that one of her favorite items of clothing was heading for the rag bag due to some spots and tears (luckily not on the parts I wanted to use!) and was SO surprised (and happy!) to see it return in its new form. This pretty design, a combination of applique and embroidery, appeared on the front of the T-shirt. A smaller version appeared on one sleeve, which I cut off and stitched to the corner. Oh, and at the last minute I decided to a-la-mode it a bit with some different sizes and shapes of pastel buttons in the centers of the flowers. Now Vida has a little garden blooming on her sofa! ♥

More Placemat Tote Bags

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I posted one of these placemat tote bags awhile back (click here for tutorial), and now I’ve finished the last two. It was fun choosing lining fabrics, and I think they make a great set! I may even do something decorating-wise with them . . . we’ll see! ♥