Posts tagged "bedding"

How can I reuse or recycle a futon?

We’ve had an email from Nicki:

How can I recycle a futon? I think I’ve got a friend who will take the frame but she doesn’t want the mattress. What can I do with that?

I suspect, like all mattresses, they won’t be too not too popular secondhand as they’re hard to clean, especially if they’ve been slept on a lot. Occasionally used ones may be more popular on Freecycle/Freegle.

When we were talking about mattress frames a few weeks ago, I mentioned an article on radical recycling of mattresses – some of those reuses would apply to futon mattress too.

The frames are easier to pass on (as Nicki has already found) – furniture charities may be willing to take them even if they don’t want the mattress for bed bug/dirtiness reasons. It also might make interesting garden furniture.

Any other suggestion for the frame or the mattress?

(Photo by SusanMcM)

How can I reuse or recycle (quilts and) pillows?

We’ve already covered old duvets before really but we’ve had an email from Gill:

I have 6-8 used but still serviceable quilts and pillows and no-one seems to want them. The local homeless shelter says they don’t take donations and I’ve contacted several charities who I thought might use them (rather than selling them for recycling) but no-one is interested as they are not ‘good as new’. Even the local PDSA won’t take them for animal bedding.

Any suggestions as I’d rather they were put to good use as quilts rather than scrap.

I’m surprised that shelters for both humans and animals won’t take them, especially if they’re machine washable. Perhaps offer them on your Freecycle/Freegle group – someone on there might be happier to receive them than charities obeying “no used stuff” policies.

On our local Freegle group, people frequently as for “anything for a new home” so they might want them. There also might be people who want them to use for other things – not for their original purpose but not for fabric reclamation/recycling either – for example, using the quilts for making insulating blinds or to make mattress/pillow protectors.

Pillows can also be upcycled – they can be “squared-off” to make cushions, used for animal bedding (nesting building dogs love having a selection of pillows to dig around in), made into draught excluders/draft dodgers or bolsters, or the stuffing reclaimed for all sorts of craft projects.

Does anyone else have any other suggestions where might take USED quilts and pillows? Or have any more recycling ideas for pillows?

Reducing, reusing and recycling links round-up

It’s been a while since I did a round-up of some of my favourite reducing, reusing and recycling links so without further ado…

Have you spotted any great reducing, reusing or recycling how-tos recently?

How can I reuse or recycle old duvets?

We’ve covered sheets & valances and feathers & down – but not intact duvets themselves.

I was thinking about duvets last week – not just because I spent much of Thursday wrapped up in one and the rest of the week wishing I was wrapped up in one, but also because I saw this insulating blind tutorial. Admittedly, it’s for a quilted throw more than a duvet but a summer weight duvet would work in a similar way.

Duvets in good, clean condition can be given to charity shops/thrift shops or shelters/refuges to be reused as duvets.

Ones in less good condition can be turned into other bedding such as mattress protectors/under-blankets or pillow protectors.

Any ideas on how to recycling?

How can I repair tears in sheets & bed linen?

When we moved into our new house last autumn, we got a new bed.

Despite our love of slumber, our last bed was awful – the cheapest double I could find when I needed a bed in a hurry back in 2002. It was small, uncomfortable and had been repaired so many times, I think by the end it was made out entirely of glue and hope, not badly laminated wood.

When we moved here, we decided to do things right – after looking at the options in all the big bed shops and online, we ended up commissioning a local furniture maker to make us a bed frame instead*. He made it out of reclaimed wood (yay recycling!) and to a chunky design of our choosing. When he came to assemble it, he gave us a little tool which we might have to use to tighten some bolts — in twenty years time. It’s the best, most solid bed I’ve ever met and we’re very happy with it.

Why am I telling this story in a post about sheets & bed linen? Well, because we decided that after getting the bed frame right, we were going to get the rest of our bed experience spot on too. Like with the bed itself, we decided to buy good quality items that would last us for years and years, instead of cheap things that would fall apart – a key part of “reducing”. I spent ages tracking down & more money than I would normally do on bed linen to get top quality 100% cotton duvet covers. And you know what? Both have ripped already.

We think one of them got ripped on our cat Carbon’s last day – sadly, I can imagine him using the duvet to claw his way onto the bed, or using his claws to drag himself around the space once he was up there. There is a straight tear in it about four inches long, and some smaller tears & L-shaped tears in other spots too. The other duvet cover? I’ve no idea how that got ripped. I just found an L-shaped tear in it – about four inches on either side – when I was washing it the other day. Whatever happened though, it needs fixing.

So what is the best way to repair these supposed-to-last-years duvet covers? Will something like iron-on mending tape work? Or would good old-fashioned sewing be better – and if so, any stitch/method recommendations? Or would patching them be a better route in the long run? Any advice on doing that neatly and smoothly?

Any other suggestions?

* In case anyone’s interested, it was Stump Furniture in Leeds. It wasn’t exactly cheap but it was the same price as the one we were looking at in a brand-name bed shop — and that brand-name bed was allegedly half the price it should have been. I doubt that shop one would have been so well made.

(Photo by uvo_design)