Posts Tagged ‘Repurpose’
There will definitely be a theme of “the dissertation is done, so Debbie is starting to play ‘catch-up’ with projects” with my upcoming posts. It has been so nice to sew/cook/craft again. Not that I worked on the dissertation/school work ALL of the time, but I found myself feeling so guilty about doing anything else, that instead, I would just sit and do nothing or web-surf looking for new projects that I didn’t have time to do!
A while ago, Jen came across in a catalog this creative way to store stuffed animals. Did she order a couple? Oh no, she said, “I bet Mom could make those a lot cheaper!” (I think they were about $75 in this speciality catalog). I did manage to make one for Little S (who had the stuffed-animals-reaching-the-point-of-room-takeover situation going on!) and she received it for her birthday over a year ago. Both of the girls loved the project and requested I make them for the rest of the “grands” — I bought the fabric, even cut it out, but didn’t get them made until just in time for this Christmas. And, they were a hit!
This “storage solution” would also work great for a dorm room or small apartment (to store extra linens, winter jackets, etc.).
Start out with any bean bag chair pattern.. I used “D” of Simplicity Pattern #5105 (which I can guarantee was purchased during one of JoAnn’s any-pattern-for-$1.99 sales — I do NOT pay full price for patterns!).
Heavy fabric, such as duck or denim (you do not want it to be stretchy!), according to pattern requirements
22″ long zipper (closed at one end)
1/2 yard mesh fabric (like what is used for laundry bags)
Cut out the fabric pieces according to the pattern directions. Begin sewing pieces together, again, according to the pattern directions; however, instead of just a simple seam between two of the pieces, insert the zipper.
For the piece which will be opposite where the zipper has been inserted, cut out some of the heavy fabric and insert a “window” of the mesh fabric. In the “sample” Jen found in the catalog, this window was made of vinyl … so that was how I made the first bean bag — not a good idea! Little S almost immediately zipped herself (we should have known!) into the bag and couldn’t get out. Luckily, a little friend was over playing and we were alerted to her predicament! So, before making anymore, I did a bit of fabric “research” and came up with the mesh idea. If you’re making one of these for an older child or teen, or even a young adult, the “window” isn’t really necessary — mainly just allows for the furry friends to be remembered!
Continue to follow pattern directions to complete the “bean bag chair”, simply using your “modified” panels.
Since these “chairs” are likely to get heavy use (Little S drags hers all over the house so she can sit wherever the action is happening!), I double stitched all seams and top-stitched through the seam allowances which I pressed to one side.
Marshmallow Shooters & Shields
My dissertation was submitted and I had nothing better to do than sit and wait (right, and if you believe that I have an entire “to-do” list you can complete for me!). So, over Thanksgiving I decided to start working on some Christmas gifts – many of which I had purchased supplies for LAST year! This year’s “fun” gift was family sets of marshmallow shooters with shields!
Supplies (for one shooter):
12-inch length of 1/2 inch PVC pipe (sprinkler/plumping pipe)
One – 1/2 inch end cap
Two – 1/2 inch elbows
One – 1/2 inch T joint
Craft glue (I like Tacky Glue)
Cut the PVC pipe into three pieces 2” long, and two pieces 3” long. My original intent was to cut these by hand with a small saw…luckily, I ran into my neighbor at Lowe’s and when she found out what I was up to, she volunteered her husband and his nice, FAST table saw (we bartered 3 shooters in the deal!). What was I thinking??? I did cut one piece by hand, and it took me as long to make one cut as it did for T.H. to do about 20!
It is also important to get two smooth edges (one for each end, since invariably big and little people pick them up and “shoot” out of either end). Even though the table saw made pretty smooth cuts, I still used the sand paper to “finish” off the edges a bit.
Lay out as shown in the picture below.
Starting with the mouthpiece end (top right in picture), use a paint brush, Q-tip, or foam applicator, to brush a SMALL amount of craft glue around the edge of the connecting end (of course, if you put the glue on the wrong end, just flip it around – if it is smooth enough!). You may need to add a few drops of water to the glue to get it to be “brushing” consistency. Insert the PVC piece into the elbow and wipe away any excess glue. Repeat process for each PVC piece and connector. I let the shooters dry overnight before putting them away to start on the next project – the body armor.
*The PVC pipe comes in 5’ lengths – with careful measuring/cutting, I was able to get enough “little” pieces to make 5 shooters out of each length – if your pieces aren’t exactly 2” or 3” it is no big deal!
*You do not want to do the pipe cutting inside – we made a real mess on my neighbors’ patio!
*I made 18 of these shooters for less than $20, including a new bottle of Tacky Glue
*Play rules include “No aiming at heads” – Marshmallows travel at high speeds when shot!
*After the initial gift giving/opening, these shooters have been consigned to outside play only (see picture below – marshmallow stuck on INSIDE of living room window, found FIVE days after Christmas!)
*I think these would be fabulous fun for a sleepover, couples wedding shower, family reunion, etc. You would certainly “break the ice” quickly!
Supplies for One Shield:
½ yard fabric (all one color, or assorted scraps – I used flannel, mainly because that was the only pink camouflage I could find)
½ yard of 3/8” wide grosgrain ribbon
12” of 7/8” wide grosgrain ribbon
1/2 yard of Heavy-duty interfacing
Embellishments – optional (e.g., buttons, silk flowers)
Since I made enough of these to outfit an army (or at least a large squad!), I started by cutting out a number of solid color pieces for the backing. Then after cutting out an assortment of full pieces from the coordinating fabrics, I cut them into smaller pieces and did some mixing-matching – this means your finished front piece will be a bit smaller than the backing (because of the seams) – just trim to match (I’m all about making these projects fun and easy – not precise and perfect!).
All seams were about ¼” (give or take!). Sew the two small pieces together – iron the seam and sew on a piece of the 3/8” ribbon (I used a zigzag stitch for this). Sew the top piece to the bottom and repeat ironing and ribbon. If you’re going to add buttons, an initial, or any other embellishment, now is the time!
Baste the interfacing to the inside of the solid back piece (or, if you were smart and actually bought iron-on interfacing, iron that stuff on!). Flip it over and on the outside, place 7/8”
ribbon for “grips”. See picture below for placement (I forgot to take the picture of the back as I was making these, so just used an extra piece of the interfacing … do NOT sew your grips onto the interfacing – because then they would be INSIDE the finished shield!).
Stitch ribbon in place on each end (where the pins are in place).
Now, placing right sides together (after trimming the back piece to match the front piece), stitch the two pieces together, leaving a small opening so that you can stuff the pillow “shield”. Trim the seam, and then turn inside out. Stuff the shield and then top stitch to finish (and close the opening).
Once the “battle” got heated, we were laughing so hard I had tears running down my face! Too bad I forgot to make myself one!
Wishing you and yours a healthy, safe, and Happy New Year!
As my girls can attest, I do not have a lot of clutter around the house (and am getting even more “minimalist” the older I get). I collect two things (three, if you count friends!) – cookbooks/recipes and magnets/pins. Both of which are usually purchased during my travels. I enjoy looking at them, but got tired of my refrigerator looking like this (found this picture on some realtor’s website — how your refrigerator should NOT look if you are trying to sell your house!):
So, a couple of years ago I purchased some small sheets of metal at the local “big box” home improvement store and nailed them up on a bare wall out in the garage by the washer/dryer – make sure you have a magnet with you when shopping for the sheet metal … not all metal will hold a magnet (a lesson learned the hard way). Luckily on this last trip I had a work nametag in my purse!
This idea would also work if you have a laundry room with bare walls. I just had to buy another sheet and decided to share this idea to “de-clutter” something you have to look at multiple times every single day (the refrigerator), yet allows you to still keep these memory reminders somewhere where you can enjoy looking at them every single day! Hmmm…I guess when I get every single other home improvement project done around here–after I finish my dissertation–I may think about painting the interior of the garage, the walls are pretty dingy looking! Good thing I have those colorful mementos to look at to take the focus off of the dirty walls! :-)
And, if there are no magnets available at whatever “tacky” tourist trap we’re visiting, I will purchase a pin — and since I don’t wear ball caps, these get repurposed to become “tacks” on the bulletin board in my guest room!
Happy Summer Souvenir Shopping!
When we look back over the year, Threaded Together has come a long way. We went from one post in January to posting more than 3 times a week now. We talked my sister-in-law into joining us and Marissa challenged herself to bake an amazing dessert every day for 30 days. We joined the crafting community and have met some amazing people. We found fantastic projects to try and shared a few of our own. We have had lots of people stop by and see what we have to say, leave us awesome comments, and for the that we are thankful. We appreciate you!
I think that the best part of our top ten viewed posts is that all four of us had a post on the top ten list! Here are the ten most viewed posts of 2010:
And the #1 MOST VIEWED POST this year?!?!?! Amazingly enough, it is a post that was just posted on December 6! This post also had the most Facebook shares!
What does the future hold for Threaded Together? Hopefully lots more crafting, cooking, and sewing. We are so excited to share our holiday gift ideas with you over the next few months, tasty new recipes and fun projects!
I’ve had this boring mirror sitting in my garage for about four years now. I had the best intentions when I rescued it from someone’s donate pile. It’s been shuffled around with every “garage-clean-up-day” since we got married. I finally decided to do something with it.
I’m somewhat pleased with the finished product, but wish I’d done a few things differently. Here are my steps (and personal recommendations for things I would change):
Basic supplies will be:
- Paint-I used two different colors but later wish I’d used the same for the mirror and pins. Just do what suits your fancy.
- Clothespins-I bought the cheap ones but later wish I’d splurged the extra dollar and gotten the nicer ones.
- Sandpaper-Any kind will do.
- Paintbrushes-I used the cheap-y sponge brushes…I ended up just throwing them away in the end because the clothespins ate them up so much.
- Glue-I used wood glue because that’s what we already had, but you can probably use any kind.
- A mirror-Mine had a wooden frame.
(Forgive the Hamilton Beach box in the background. I had to do this project in the living room while watching a movie and playing with the baby and it was my “table”. Go multi-tasking skills, go!)
Step 1: Sand down the frame (if wooden). My frame was wooden with some sort of varnish or glossy finish. I should have taken my time with it and sanded more, but I was in a bit of a hurry and didn’t. Wish I had, though…it makes a big difference when painting.
Step 2: Paint your clothespins. This is undoubtedly the most annoying step. I’m not a big painter and painting twenty-something little things with lots of angles and sides is, to me, annoying. Plus, the rough edges totally ate up my sponge paintbrushes. At the end of the evening, I just threw them away.
Step 3: Paint your mirror. Again, this will go a lot better if you take your time and do a good job of sanding the frame. Seriously. Trust me. My mirror has about EIGHT coats of paint on it. Also, I didn’t tape the edges of the mirror. A few years ago we bought a big mirror to hang over the bed (clean thoughts, please…it’s hanging at the top of the bed as our headboard). It was marked down because of a few scratches, but it was a really nice, heavy mirror. We decided to get it anyway and paint the whole frame. We taped the edges where the wood meets the mirror but didn’t realize that the paint would bleed and run under the tape in some places. So even when we pulled the tape off, we still had to go back and scrape it off. So…this time I didn’t tape at all. I painted it and didn’t worry about the edges. When the paint was dry, I scraped it off with a straight edge (mine was actually a plastic shim) and it looked very neat and clean. Go me!
Step 4: Position your clothespins on your mirror and glue them in place. Again, I used wood glue, but I’m sure any kind of glue will work. The ticket is to use just enough and not a huge glob because it will squish out the sides. (I swear I can still hear my elementary art teacher telling us, “A little will do. A lot…will not.” I ended up pointing my pins grab-y side out so that I could put pictures in them, but I kinda wish I’d put them the other way around. I also wish I’d put more pins on it since it looks kinda skimpy. But…it’s done and no longer being shuffled around in the garage.
To continue with a post about my daughter’s birthday, I wanted to share with you the treat bags I sewed. This was not a project I had intended on completing for the party. I did not want to buy the cheap little plastic bags to put the treats in for the guests, but I also thought I would be able to find something cute to put them in! While I was searching for inspiration, I found some wonderful small canvas bags online that had drawstrings to pull them closed. Alas, I was doing this mere days before the party and would not have enough time to order them. I went to every craft/fabric/grocery store in my area and they did not have anything close to what I was now bound and determined to have for the party! So, I did what any other Martha Stewart mom would do and decided to make them myself!
I have tons of leftover fabric from previous projects/projects I never finished. Since it was a princess party I went with pink fabric for the girls and green fabric for the boys. Initially, I was going to throw the things together, sew them really quick up the side and tie a ribbon around them. After speaking with my super sewing mom, I was talked out of that! She convinced me of how easy it would be to take a few quick extra steps to make the bags look cute and better put together.
First, rip the fabric into elongated rectangles, about 10 inches by 16 or 18 inches. Fold in the edges of the two elongated sides, approximately 1/4 inch, and iron (this is to create a clean edge). Fold the rectangles in half along the short sides, with the right, or front sides, facing each other. Iron along fold. Fold down the top of each side so there is approximately a 1.5 inch “cuff” at the top of each side.
*to save time to not have to feed a drawstring through later, I tied the knot in my cording and tucked it under the flap on one side. Leaving a 1/4 inch edge, sew across one side of the cuff. Flip the bag around and repeat on the other side, tucking the cord under the flap and sewing across. Make sure you are not yet sewing the two sides of the bag together!!! OR you can just sew across each cuff and feed the cord or ribbon through later.
Last – holding the folded piece of fabric together, sew up each long edges to close the bag, stopping just at the seam on the cuff. Turn bag inside out and have some fun!
This, of course, still does not produce an amazingly well made bag, but the kids loved them, the adults thought they were great, and it only took me watching the entire movie of Moulin Rouge to finish 24 bags from start to end! Thanks for the help mom!!!
My mom passed down many crafty ideas to my sister and I but one of our favorites is the meat/veggie tray turned paint tray. It is a great way to reuse those styrofoam trays that your raw meat or vegetables come in. I just clean them up with dish soap and water and then I put them away for using as paint trays when I work on my next project.
We are linking up to the following:
Are you tired of rummaging through a tangled up mess in a drawer or box to find just the right piece of jewelry to wear with an outfit? This wooden thread spool holder served its intended purpose for several years in my sewing room/office – I’m sure that I got more than my money’s worth out of it. When I reorganized and moved my sewing thread to stacking see-thru plastic boxes, I couldn’t bring myself to throw the wooden organizer away and shoved it under the sewing table, only to be forgotten. I redecorated my master bathroom a while ago and was actually on the lookout for a method to organize my costume jewelry when I saw something in a catalog, which reminded me of the wooden thread spool holder – and it now has a new purpose. It fits perfectly in the space and holds all of the pieces that I wear on a regular basis. A small decorative plate sitting on the counter holds post earrings. Everything is handy, especially for those early morning rushes to get out the door for work. The raw wood look works with my “beach-y” decorating theme, but it could be easily spray painted any color to match your décor. If you don’t have a wooden thread spool holder stashed under your sewing table, you can pick one up at JoAnn’s for less than $10 (with a coupon!).
I was SO proud of myself for completing my first three days of 30D30B. I don’t think I have ever even managed to write in a journal for three consecutive days any time in my life. Alas, at day four, life has already gotten in the way! Instead of sitting at home and coming up with brilliant baking ideas, I spent 20 + hours at the hospital in labor and delievery. A great friend of mine gave birth to her first son who’s daddy is deployed on a ship. I was lucky enough to be chosen as coach to share this wonderful time with her and her parents. So maybe I didn’t manage to create a masterful confection, but boy…things don’t come any sweeter than Baby R! So though I had to skip a day of baking, I thought I would post something that I have been meaning to do for a while.
My brilliant mother, that’s right, you read right mom. My brilliant mother is the craft czar when it comes to re-purposing things in life. One such idea, I use to tease her about profusely and it involves a hairnet. A plain plastic hairnet. The traveling woman that she is, my mother stays in a lot of hotels. While in these hotels she collects the specialty soaps and shampoos and other what nots (like hairnets) that hotels leave in the room for your convenience. First off, always thinking of other people first, she saves up the soaps and shampoos and donates them to her local Ronald McDonald House. They are always in need of things like toiletries and other personal care items for the moms, families and children that they help at their charity locations.
Of course, I digress and I should probably get to the key point of this post. She uses the hairnets that she gets from the hotels as a sort of saran wrap. Remember the Glad plastic bowl covers they sold for a little while? It is the same idea. But WAY cheaper. The hairnets fit over all size bowls, even huge ones, and are fantastic when you are trying to cover awkward items that just won’t take saran wrap easily.
Unfortunately, I am not the traveling woman my mom is, so I have to buy my hairnets. My dollar store sells them in packages of 15 (look in the sections with the wigs and curlers) for, you guessed it! A dollar! So here is a picture of my hairnetted cookie dough from last night’s cookies. Just don’t wear them before you use them!