Category Archives: repurposed

repurposed

Everlasting Strawberries

Last year for Christmas I made my niece a felt breakfast set.  If I remember correctly it had bacon and eggs, strawberries, oranges and apple slices in it.   She apparently likes it a lot and my sister mentioned to me that she wanted to steal the strawberries to hang in her kitchen.   As soon as I heard her say that I rushed into my craft room in search of something to make sophisticated strawberries. In my stash I found a square of red wool fabric that was too small and a little too delicate to make something like booties out of.  But…it was perfect for strawberries that would be displayed (and still strong enough to take a munching from her little guy if he got his hands on them).

After finishing the strawberries off I needed something to put them in.   I had a bunch of wool roving I picked up when I was trying to learn wool felting.  Well, I’ve learned that felting is a lot harder than it looks and needs a lot of patience to make anything more than balls in the washing machine.   Patience is not something I really have in abundance when it comes to creating.  When I want it done I want it done NOW, lol. 

SoI took my wool roving and braided it into a nice long coil and threw it in the washing machine.  It came out as a nice felted braided cord that I could now just coil into a bowl shape and sew together.  An upholstery needle and some strong thread and an episode of NCIS and the strawberries now have a cute little home to live in.   

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Monster Cash

I’m not really a gift card lover but when you’re sending things across the country and have no idea what people want or need sometimes a gift card just works better.  I guess…my darling Husband keeps telling me anyway.  In an effort to send something a little different than a gift card in an envelope I went in search of some unique card holders to make.   Then I found these and fell in love! 

White Waxflower's Anthropology inspired gift card holder

This is one of the little guys I made.  I remembered right before I wrapped the last of them to snap a picture of one.  I think he’s my favourite because my 4 year old picked out his eyes.

He’s made from various scraps I had with vintage buttons I picked up in a huge jar of buttons eons ago.

Buttercup Purse

I love this purse!

When I saw the pattern for Made By Rae’s Buttercup Purse I just knew I needed to make it!  I had a never worn Man’s black dress shirt that I found at the local thrift shop and had to buy because the fabric felt so nice and I thought it would be perfect for my little sister for Christmas.  Instead of permanently attaching the flower I thought it would be fun to make her a bunch of different flowers that she could pin to the bag to change up the look.  And  I made the pins so the pin  could be slid out and the flower coudl be put on a headband or a hair clip instead.

So… she can make her purse cute with the white lace flower or she can change it up and make it look like this…

or thisor thisor my personal favourite…I hope she enjoys it as much as I  liked playing with it!  Okay, she better like it or she needs to mail it back, tee hee.  Guess what I’m making myself in the new year?

Mr. Owl 1.0

Being the unorganized person that I am I remembered Cecily needed a backpack for Preschool, oh, 14 hours before she needed it. So at 9 pm after spending an hour scouring the house for something I could plausibly pass off as a backpack I relented and decided to just sew one for her. Yup, at 9PM I STARTED sewing a backpack that was needed for the following morning at 10AM.
Now, I could have just designed and drafted something simple but being not the brightest bulb in the box I thought an owl would be cute.
Some things I learned while making Mr. Owl are
1… there really is a difference between heat n bond lite and and regular heat and bond. If you try to sew through regular heat and bond not only will you end up with huge needle holes that look horrendous but it also gums up your needle and the bobbin cover.
2…if you heat up heat and bond for one second too long it won’t adhere properly and you’re pretty much screwed if you don’t notice before you iron it onto your finsihed product.
3…when you draw up a pattern when you’re exhausted it’s probably a good idea to write down what you used for your seam allowance so you actually use that seam allowance when sewing it. Ya…things don’t line up without the right seam allowance, lol.
4…when cutting your pattern don’t forget to mark where the MIDDLE of everything is so you can line those marks up later. Eyeballing will lead to yout straps being put on lopsided and just looking silly.
5…don’t try and draft and sew a finished pattern 13 hours before you need the thing. This is especially important when you’re already exhausted and h ave a kid who wakes up every 2 hours.
Fortunately, the only one who seems to have noticed all these little shortcomings in Mr. Owl is me. Cecily loves him and is perfectly happy to walk proudly into preschool with her lopsided, peeling faced owl backpack. I think his matching friend Little Owl makes him even cooler in the eyes of a four year old.
Maybe after Christmas I’ll get going on Owl 2.0 and get him a little closer to perfect. By then I may have also learned how to turn my patterns into a PDF to share with everyone because what’s the fun of creating things if you don’t get to give them away, right?

I think he’s the perfect friend for running around with…wouldn’t you agree?

Teacher’s Gifts 2010

One night while searching the internet for new and unusual teacher gift ideas I happened upon this wonderful blog

and thought this idea was wonderful!

While it’s too late  to make one for this year I thought I’d share how I made mine.

First I went to the local thrift store and picked up 2 frames. You could go to a “real” store but why when you can reuse something that will look just as good? If they’re ugly, like mine were, you can easily give them a quick sanding and paint them. And it appears at No Frills last week Delissio pizzas were on sale!

While waiting for the paint to dry I went and typed up the words to the quote. I used fabric because it was what I had around the house but it would be MUCH easier if you had paper. Tomorrow I’ll tell you an easy way to print onto fabric using an inkjet printer. It is pretty neat. And that would be Cecily’s finger…she was determined to get into a photo one way or another.

the picture would look great just as it is but I wanted a matting so I took freezer paper cut to the size of the frame, ironed it to the back of a piece of fabric and measured in an inch from each side. Then very carefully I used my Xacto knife to cut around the inner lines to get this…

A fabric Mat! Now I put double sided tape along the inside edges of the matting and very carefully put it on the main picture.

Of course, in my haste to get these done before 1 AM I forgot to get a picture before I stuck the sticks on. I tried double sided tape for the sticks but it didn’t work. Eventually I settled on using my favourite fabric glue. It’s latex based and adheres most things together almost instantly. I’m sure almost any glue that adheres fabric and porous solid objects would work.

This is the glue I used…

sorry about the very squishy picture…

Now, because this frame wasn’t a shadowbox frame and I now needed it to be I needed to make some spacers to take up the space between the glass and the picture. I decided .5 of an inch would work and cut strips of foam core board that wide. To figure out how long they needed to be I first measured how long the two side pieces needed to be, inserted them and then measured how long the other 2 pieces needed to be to fit between the first two pieces. (clear as mud? It’ll make sense when you do it, promise) After figuring out the lengths I put double sided tape on one side.

and stuck them to the wrong side of a piece of fabric (Make sure you iron the fabric first) and using my rotary cutter cut along the edge of the foamcore so I ended up with this…

Now, clean the glass from your frame till it’s streak and fingerprint free and insert it into your frame. Insert your foam spacers on top of the glass and then insert your super cool quote and the backing cardboard (I’m sure it has a name but I have no idea what it would be).

If you saved the little staples or nails that held the backing in you can use those again to hold in the picture or you can use staples or small nails to hold it in. And as a finishing professional touch I glued brown craft paper to the back of the frame before I screwed the hanger back on. (sorry, no pics of the back I was too giddy that I was almost done)

When you’re all done you’ll end up with this. Pretty cute, huh? I hope the girls’ teachers liked them. I think I’ll head back to the thrift store and pick up another frame to make one for the living room!

Bean Bag Book Ends

My oldest, Lily, has books piled everywhere in her room. On the floors, on her bed, in her closet, on the dresser and 4 shelves on her wall. I asked myself why and when I couldn’t come up with answer I asked her. Apparently books are only meant to stand upright on shelves and not horizontal so she left the shelves empty.

In order to remedy this messy situation I let her pick out some fabric from “the stash” aka the piles and piles of fabric I have everywhere and I wipped up these

All they are is a rectangle of fabric sewn along 3 sides, filled with rice and slip stitched closed. They do a great job holding up her books and have the added benefit of being perfect for throwing at her sisters when they decide to intrude on her sanctuary (and are much softer than the books she was previously using)

Only the Cute Survive!

A while back I sent The Man to buy Ruby some new clothes with a gift card Grandma sent for her birthday. He came back with some really cute, completely not matching stuff. This t-shirt was one of them.

I thought it was adorable but she really didn’t have any bottoms to go with it and really loathe trying to find two matching pieces to go together in the morning before my 4th cup of coffee. So I had it sitting in the sewing room trying to find something to pair with it. Then I found this fabric.

The browns and burgundies in the plaid matched the paw prints . It had been sitting in a bin waiting to be made into something and there was just enough to make a little skirt. Perfect! Like it was meant to be.

20 minutes later I had this…

I used to hate t-shirt dresses but this one has made me a convert. Ruby calls it her “Diego” dress, lol. Now to get some warm weather to wear it!