BIG news

Hey you guys! I have reopened my Etsy shop!

Upcycled White Rope Basket

This time, I am combining my passion for upcycling/ recycling with my passion for making rope bowls! They go pretty well together.

Upcycled Rope Basket

 I am making some plain, and then playing with color for others. Eclectic and fun.

Upcycled Rope Basket

All of them are made from upcycled/recycled rope. A little something for everyone. I am actually amazed at how very sturdy they are!

Upcycled White Rope Basket

If you want to make your own, I do have an instructable to show you how. If you want a rope bowl, but do not want to make it, hop on over to my Etsy Shop to purchase your very own!

Recycled Plastic Bag Christmas Wreath dressed up for the Fourth of July

Recycled Plastic bag wreath dressed up for the Fourth of July

Remember this wreath I made from recycled plastic bags? Well, my Falafel wanted to turn it into a Fourth of July wreath. She took one of her ripped up fuzzy blue socks, and cut it into strips, and tied it on the wreath.

Done.

Pretty clever 10 year old, huh?

I think we should use this one for Valentine’s Day  too. Just add some hearts. I like this reuse business. Makes decorating a little easier.

Do you decorate for the Fourth?

Happy Independence Day!

Upcycling pillowcases into a bag for the bag

As I mentioned yesterday, our little girl is about to embark on a camping trip with her class. One of the requirements is she needs to be able to roll up her sleeping bag and put it in a carrying sack all on her own. Well, the one we have came in a bag three times too small for it (I have no idea why they do that), so I decided to make her a much bigger bag for the bag, upcycling  pillowcases.

Sleeping Bag Carrying Sack made from upcycling pillowcases

I first cut the bottom off a pillowcase and made it into a cycinder. Then, I took a second pillowcase and cut a large circle for the bottom. I don’t use math here (even though I probably should), but instead, cut it super large, and trimmed off what I didn’t need after it was sewn to the cylinder.

Sleeping Bag Carrying Sack made from upcycling pillowcases

I used the second pillowcase to create a simple strap.

Sleeping Bag Carrying Sack made from upcycling pillowcases

I sewed a casing for the drawstring at the top.

Sleeping Bag Carrying Sack made from upcycling pillowcases

Super simple and super quick to make. And after the pants, I needed something satisfying to whip up quickly. I made this in less than an hour from start to finish. There is plenty of room to also stuff her pillow. Which, incidentally is a throw pillow from our couch (she wanted a smaller pillow to take), that I also made a simple pillowcase for right after I made this (photos for another day).

On another note, if you have signed up to recieve our newsletters, you should have one in your inbox right now! If you haven’t, and you would like to sign up, look on the right hand side of this page, and you should see a spot to do so.

So tell me, what have YOU made today?

Recycled Mermaid Dress

Remember that Trashion show I keep mentioning (like here and here) and the tail I made for it? Well, I finally completed the last part of the mermaid outfit to go with that tail. Because after all, every mermaid needs a recycled mermaid dress, right?

Recycled mermaid dress using bubble wrap, produce netting, styrofoam wrap, and old sheets.

Recycled Mermaid Dress

Recycled mermaid dress using bubble wrap, produce netting, styrofoam wrap, and old sheets.

I had my daughter model it, even though it is not for her, and not her size, just to give you an idea. But, she COULD NOT STOP POPPING THE BUBBLE WRAP. Broken finger and all.

Recycled mermaid dress using bubble wrap, produce netting, styrofoam wrap, and old sheets.

OK let me start with the pattern. I used the trusty Molly Peasant dress by Sis Boom. I used that same pattern to make a Belle inspired dress as well as a Regency Style Jane Austen inspired dress.

Recycled mermaid dress using bubble wrap, produce netting, styrofoam wrap, and old sheets.

Now, on to those materials. I used a good deal of bubble wrap for the sleeves and the skirt. I also used the cushion wrap as an overlay, on top of an old bed sheet. This dress is a for an adorable little girl that uses a wheelchair, so I wanted the inside to be as comfortable for her as possible. The skirt also uses produce netting.

Recycled mermaid dress using bubble wrap, produce netting, styrofoam wrap, and old sheets.

That middle panel on the bodice was sewn the same way I made the collar on this dress, using scraps and water soluble stabilizer *affiliate link*.

Recycled mermaid dress using bubble wrap, produce netting, styrofoam wrap, and old sheets.

I tied more produce netting around the sleeves instead of adding elastic (like the pattern suggests).

Recycled mermaid dress using bubble wrap, produce netting, styrofoam wrap, and old sheets.

The one challenging aspect of working with plastic and bubble wrap was how the material was weakened at the seams. I had to reinforce it in a few places. Other than that, I just sewed it up like I would any other material.

Recycled mermaid dress using bubble wrap, produce netting, styrofoam wrap, and old sheets.

I had the chance to do a fitting with the lovely young lady that will be wearing this dress. I am super happy that it fits her perfectly!

Recycled mermaid dress using bubble wrap, produce netting, styrofoam wrap, and old sheets.

We are all ready for the Trashion show in April! It feels so good to cross something off my ever-growing to-do list.

Recycled Bag Mermaid Tail

I just finished this recycled bag mermaid tail which is one component of the last outfit I am making for the upcoming Trashion Show. If you recieve my newsletter, you will know that I had a special request for this outfit, and I am so excited to make it happen.

Recycled Bag Mermaid Tail! Who knew you could make something so cool out of trash?!

I went to a local feed store, and asked if they had any trash for me to use. And they did!

Recycled Bag Mermaid Tail! Who knew you could make something so cool out of trash?!

They had these strange plastic woven bags (that frayed like crazy). I have no idea what they were used for, and honestly, I don’t think I want to know. I do know that I took them apart and made a mermaid tail with them.

Recycled Bag Mermaid Tail! Who knew you could make something so cool out of trash?!

I looked up images on Pinterest, and found my inpiration here. 

Recycled Bag Mermaid Tail! Who knew you could make something so cool out of trash?!

I sewed it together, then painted it with acrylics.

Recycled Bag Mermaid Tail! Who knew you could make something so cool out of trash?!

My little mermaid with her broken finger modeled it for me.

Recycled Bag Mermaid Tail! Who knew you could make something so cool out of trash?!

Recycled Bag Mermaid Tail! Who knew you could make something so cool out of trash?!

Look at that space! Her palate expander is working already! You know, because Mermaids have those.

Recycled Bag Mermaid Tail! Who knew you could make something so cool out of trash?!

I am still working on the dress part, and will share it when I am done. But for now, I am super happy about making a pretty tail out of trash.

Tell me, what have YOU made today?

Making a recycled materials corset

Remeber the Trashion show I am going to be in? I made another outfit for it, only this time it is for the “trash” category. That means it needs to be made from things that normally would be thrown away and are not traditional fabrics. For this challenge, I got to make my first recycled materials corset.

recycled materials corset using juice pouches, weed barrier cloth, and zip ties!

Would you have guessed I made this corset using juice pouches, weed barrier cloth, and zip ties?? Well, I did!

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I used Butterick pattern 5935 Corset view A *affliliate link*. It walked me right through the process (in conjunction with the Basics of Corset Making book). And you know what? It wasn’t that difficult!

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I discovered a few things while making this very unique garment for my teen. First is, juice pouches (especially when cut open and sewed together) rip easily. Which brings me to my second discovery: I should have followed the pattern that directed me to sew bias tape all around the border to connect the lining and outer layers. I veered from the pattern and stitched the coset and lining right sides together, so I had to turn the straps (which were very narrow and stiff). I ended up ripping one small spot that I stitched to repair on the left shoulder. I am thankful it wasn’t worse.

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I did use bias tape on the bottom, and really like the effect.

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I am combining this with a skirt that I made out of packing foam. I am really excited about it!

corsetclosem

I’d say this is one of my favorite upcycles so far.

What have YOU upcycled today?

Eco-Friendly, Upcycled, and Natural Thanksgiving Table Setting

This Thanksgiving, I chose to make a very eco-friendly, upcycled, and natural table setting using things I found around my house.

Eco-Friendly, Upcycled, and Natural Thanksgiving Table Setting with napkin holder tutorial

It’s all about simplicity.

First, I made these recycled napkin rings.

To make your own, you’ll need:

Eco-Friendly, Upcycled, and Natural Thanksgiving Table Setting with napkin holder tutorial

Toilet paper tubes and empty egg cartons.

I also used watercolor paints and hot glue along with yarn, popcorn kernels, and acorns. But feel free to use what you have!

Eco-Friendly, Upcycled, and Natural Thanksgiving Table Setting with napkin holder tutorial

I started by cutting the toilet paper tubes in half and tearing up the cups (roughly in half) of the egg carton.

Then I painted them. If you have children, this is where they can help out!

Eco-Friendly, Upcycled, and Natural Thanksgiving Table Setting with napkin holder tutorial

Allow them to dry completely.  I just put them into the top flat part of the egg carton, so they didn’t get paint all over.

Next, take two halves and hot glue them together. Then keep adding a piece at a time until you have a flower.

Eco-Friendly, Upcycled, and Natural Thanksgiving Table Setting with napkin holder tutorial

Hot glue popcorn kernels and acorns inside the flower.

Set aside.

I wrapped and hot glued orange yarn (that I got for free) around the toilet paper tubes. You can use any string you have, or none at all. They do look pretty great on their own, too.

Eco-Friendly, Upcycled, and Natural Thanksgiving Table Setting with napkin holder tutorial

Glue flower to the tube.

Eco-Friendly, Upcycled, and Natural Thanksgiving Table Setting with napkin holder tutorial

Insert a cloth napkin and you’re done!

Eco-Friendly, Upcycled, and Natural Thanksgiving Table Setting with napkin holder tutorial

I also left some without flowers for the men folk.

Eco-Friendly, Upcycled, and Natural Thanksgiving Table Setting with napkin holder tutorial

For the rest of the table, I gathered rose-hips and leaves, acorns, and even a dried wooden round that was in the firewood pile. Eco-Friendly, Upcycled, and Natural Thanksgiving Table Setting with napkin holder tutorial

Whole cranberries in bowls add a sweet touch. I also whipped up a very simple tie garland using scraps of fabric that I had tied to a long piece of twine.

Eco-Friendly, Upcycled, and Natural Thanksgiving Table Setting with napkin holder tutorial

I had a few squash that I thought were really beautiful, so I added them to the mix!

Eco-Friendly, Upcycled, and Natural Thanksgiving Table Setting with napkin holder tutorial \

I chose to just have a lovely crocheted runner instead of a tablecloth. And leaves instead of place mats. I really wanted to show off the table I made (see? if you don’t have a large wooden table, you could always make one!) and showcase the food that will be there on Thanksgiving day. Two of my favorite parts!

Eco-Friendly, Upcycled, and Natural Thanksgiving Table Setting with napkin holder tutorial

Done!

Eco-Friendly, Upcycled, and Natural Thanksgiving Table Setting with napkin holder tutorial

Eco-friendly, Upcycled, Natural Thanksgiving Table with napkin holder tutorial

I hope you enjoyed my little tutorial.

How do you decorate for Thanksgiving??