Posts tagged "clothes and fabric"

How can I make a gift bag reusing and recycling stuff?

We all know wrapping paper is bad, m’okay? and that reusable gift bags are a far better alternative if you go in for that type of presentation and reusable gifts bags made out of recycled stuff from around the home are better yet – but how do you make them?

I wanted to make a gift bag in a hurry the other day out of some old brown paper. A quick search pointed me towards a number of tutorials which used existing boxes as templates – either intact boxes or as nets – but I wondered if anyone else had any other designs?

Another idea I had was to make a quick pouch out of a pretty fabric – or even just fold the fabric furoshiki style.

Any other suggestions?

How can I make Christmas stockings recycling/upcycling stuff?

stockingsWe’ve had an email from Beth, telling us about her great Christmas stocking substitute:

My lucky little boys get too many presents to fit into an actual stocking. In the past, I’ve got them plastic bags from the Christmas shop but when I was thinking about what to do for them this year, I remembered the novelty glittery T-shirts I had to wear for work last year. I turned them inside out, sewed along the bottom and righted them again, instant festive swag bags!

A great idea, Beth. I’ve also seen pillowcases used in the same way – felt letters and decorations tacked on so they can be removed and used as pillowcases again – and there are plenty of patterns out there for making keepsake stockings out of scraps (although they’re more like keepsake decorations instead of present-filled ones).

Another idea – although for adults more than kids – is to give a nice reusable shopping bag as part of the gift instead of using a gift bag: if it’s not too overtly Christmassy, they’ll be able to use it all year around. There are plenty of ways to reuse/recycle/upcycle things into shopping bags – including out of tshirts and vest tops.

Any other specific stocking/swag bag suggestions though?

(Photo by arttg)

How can I make wrist warmers reusing or recycling old things?

wristwarmersA few weeks ago, I made passing reference to arm/wrist warmers but I thought I’d mention them again because it’s amazing what a difference they make.

There are hundreds of different knitting and crochet patterns for fingerless gloves – from the very simple (a square folded over with a thumb hole left in the seam) to ones with cabling-a-go-go and separate half fingers to provide more coverage – and they don’t take long to knit/crochet up — but what are the options for non-knitters/crocheters?

Last week, Leethal posted a how-to make them out of old socks and you can also make them from the sleeves of old jumpers/sweaters/long-sleeved tops.

Any other suggestions? Any advice on refashioning them out of existing clothes – what to look for/avoid in the starting items?

(Picture by deb roby)

Interesting Reducing, Reusing and Recycling links


How can I reuse or recycle a fleece jacket?

fleece-jacketWe’ve had an email from “BustyBee” (hehe, great nickname) asking:

What are the reuses for an old fleece jacket? My DH has some that are too small but I don’t want to just throw them away.

If it’s just a case of them being too small then it’s probably best to pass them on to someone who can still use them as jackets – a charity/thrift/op shop or shelter would probably welcome them with open arms at the moment given it’s becoming more wintery by the minute.

If they’re too old or tatty for such a donation, you could salvage the bits of fabric that are still in good condition to use for various crafts and the like – I’d imagine cut into strips or small pieces, it would make bouncy stuffing or larger pieces could be sewn together to make a snuggly, patchwork quilt. Any other suggestions?

What about non-craft uses? I have a half a memory of people using old (synthetic) fleeces as an insulator for frost-sensitive plants in the garden or related to that, I guess they could be refashioned into a kneeling pad for leaning on when out pulling weeds and the like. Other ideas?