Posts tagged "crafts"

How can I make “chickens from plastic bags”?

(I hope everyone had a lovely long weekend btw – and for those who didn’t get yesterday as a holiday, sorry for rubbing it in that we all did!)

Linzi email us with a rather specific question:

I would love to know how to make those chickens made from plastic bags? I desperately want to to know how to make, I teach art and crafts and I know my students would love to make them.

I double-checked what she meant by “chickens from plastic bags” and she means these guys, which are apparently made by communities in deprived parts of South Africa.

My Google-fu is failing me to find either a how-to for those, or indeed any alternative chicken decorations that could be made from plastic bags. I’ve made some little tin chickens from old drinks cans and I’ve seen lots of chickens for dangling made from, essentially, a circle of fabric/crochet – but I can’t find the tutorials for those either now… One thing I did find was the cockerel made from plastic bottles which we featured a couple of years ago – but again, I can’t find any how-tos…

Anyone got any links bookmarked or are better at searching than me?

Awesome reducing, reusing & recycling links

Here’s this week’s awesome reducing, reusing & recycling links round-up:

Upcycling advice: how to punch out discs?

We’ve had an email from Kenny that I’m sure some of you will be able to help with:

I teach art in Glasgow and I’m trying to find some way of punching disc of various diameters (eg.10mm 15mm 22mm 30mm) out of recycled plastic, fabric, paper etc. to make jewellery. Any suggestions?

The ring-binder size metal ones, like one in the picture, work fine for small circles, but only small discs about 5mm in diameter. I tried using fancier shaped/bigger hole punches with thin plastic but because the ones I had were designed for thick paper/card, the plastic kept gumming them up. Alison Bailey Smith has more luck than me with that sort of thing though and recommends a particular brand of hole punch – X Cut.

Are there any alternatives to using punches? What are the options for bigger circles? Anything quicker/more accurate than just cutting them out with scissors?

Punching holes in fabric other than felt (and the like) may cause a fraying problem, which might ruin/reduce the lifespan of the garment. Any ways around that or other advice?

How can I make knitting stitch markers using recycled old stuff?

stitch_markersMost of our “how can I make…” posts recently have been big things, or house things, or both so here is something different for a change.

How can I make stitch markers for knitting/crochet reusing or recycling old junk and whatnot? I end up using whatever is to hand and vaguely stitch marker shaped – bent out of shape paperclips or bits of paper with holes torn in them usually. The paperclips often snag on the wool and the torn paper is … less than satisfactory and usually results in me abandoning markers altogether.

Now I know you can buy super cheap plastic ones for just a couple of quid but I’m trying to avoid being a super cheap plastic kind of girl these days so I’d rather make my own – if I make my own recycling old stuff, not only am I reducing waste, I’m also more likely to take care of them/not lose them because I’ve put time and effort into them, rather than just paying a few pence for them.

I’ve seen other handmade ones using light metal rings with decorative beads attached, which are a good starting point – aside from the made-for-purpose jump rings etc, old washers from a random old fixings box or drink can ring pulls might work for the hoop — although both would probably need a bit of work (painting?) to make sure there isn’t any sharp bits or rusty spots which might ruin the yarn. Any other suggestions?

However, I prefer split stitch markers – the clip-type ones used for crochet – which I suspect will be a bit harder to make. I could just bend a piece of reclaimed wire into shape but where’s the fun in that? ;) Any better suggestions?

Interesting Reusing & Recycling links