Posts tagged "denim"

Reusing, recycling and upcycling links – and a video

It’s been a while since I’ve featured some of the wonderful reusing, recycling and upcycling links I’ve spotted recently. So, without further ado…:

  • Drinks can pop top lampshade I love this lampshade made with drinks can pop tops – it’s like modern chainmail :)
  • Drinks can bottoms necklace The other end of the cans – a great reuse since so many crafts using the pop tops or the sides of the cans, but I’ve not seen many using the stiffer curved bottoms.
  • Fake shell-like pendants from bubble wrap Following on in the “you’d never guess what this necklace used to be” line, this tutorial shows you how to make shell-like decorations for jewellery from bubble wrap.
  • Old jeans into placemats I think I’ve seen something like this before but it’s still a great idea – denim placement from old jeans, using the pockets as cutlery/napkin holders – cute!

(Bench photo by Kindall)

Fab recycled projects: bird feeders, storage bags, pot racks & more

It’s been a few weeks since I shared some links so here are some of my favourite sightings and emails from the last month:

  • First up, it has to be Scott’s coke can and chopsticks bird feeder – as always, a fab recycled item with very fun how-to instructions. Unfortunately (for us in the UK) the full instructions will be in Make magazine – but if you’re crafty, you can kinda get the idea from the pictures/preview ;)
  • And sticking with gorgeous things in the Make/Craft universe, I love these denim storage bags – easy to make from the legs of old jeans — a perfect companion project if you’re turning some jeans into cut-offs this summer :)
  • I also love these sweet packet purses/pouches. I wonder if clear plastic bags could be fused onto the packets rather than having to use iron on vinyl…
  • As a fan of both buttons and nature, I think these buttons from twigs are great too. As the how-to explains, it’s a little tedious to cut them all with a handsaw but if you just want a few and don’t have a table saw, then it’s still a viable project.
  • And speaking of the great outdoors, I’m planting out a lot of stuff at the moment. I’ve been using sliced up plastic bottles, drinks cans and other packaging for plant markers but these labels – made from skewers and wine corks – are very cute too.
  • Roo has turned an old nightstand/chest of drawers into a unique and fun doll house – just a little handy work is needed before the fun decorating starts!
  • Shopping lists save money & food waste but our lists and pens tend to wander from our kitchen noticeboard — they wouldn’t if we had one of these. The similar pretty wood backing/bulldog clip/elastic band idea would work well with reclaimed scrap paper as well as a new roll.
  • And finally, I had an email from Jackie: “I recycled this awning frame by making it a pot rack. A little bit of chain and I hooks and s hooks bring it all together” — looks great and super practical, great work.

Recent recommended reducing, reusing and recycling links

(mmm, alliteration)

(Photo by ChasingFireflies)

Recycling old jeans into bags

Lori’s jean bagsWe had an email from Lori the other day about the bags and things she makes out of old jeans.

You can be a “jeanius” like me, too!! RECYCLE!

As lover of both recycling and puns, how could I resist? ;)

Her range includes bags and accessories just using the fabric and items more obviously a former pair of jeans/denim skirt – ready-made pockets = win!

She also has some random fun things for sale – like this cheque book sleeve made using an old M&Ms wrapper. I think this is very cute and fun but unfortunately now have an insatiable desire for sugar-coated chocolate treats. Thanks Lori, thaaaaanks. :)

Anyway, you can find Lori’s things at

How can I reuse or recycle old jeans?

A pocket on a pair of denim jeansI’ve got a pair of jeans that I’ve had for years.

They were one of those ‘best friend’ pairs of jeans that I lived in for a couple of years until they started to give away at critical areas (read: the bum and that vague, important area).

Then they got relegated to decorating pants since I wasn’t bothered about those helping me decorate see my derriere and so are now both holey and covered in paint splashes – a few years ago that would have made them the height of fashion I’m sure, but not now.

As wearable jeans, they’re not really wearable any more but the denim in the non-holed places is still good and inside out, there are only a few paint stains.

So what can do I do with them now? How can I reuse the good bits of denim?

Best Suggestions

  • Reduce: Buy the best quality jeans you can afford – they won’t wear out as quickly as cheap ones. Learn how to patch holes and tears so prolong their lives even further, or if the tears are in the legs, cut them down into shorts. 100% cotton jeans can also be dyed quite easily if you fancy a change.
  • Reuse: The denim can be repurposed for lots of crafty uses – the legs can be turned into aprons, the bum into bags (with readymade pockets!). See the links suggested below for more suggestions.
  • Recycle: Add them to the rag bin at your local household waste site – if they’re still wearable, they’ll be redistribute abroad and if they’re not, the cotton will be reclaimed for industrial use. A company in the UK also turns old jeans into sandals.
  • See the comments below for more suggestions and ideas

(Photo by nicholasc)