Posts tagged "household"

How can I reuse or recycle vertical blinds material?

Someone on my Twitter feed yesterday – I can’t remember who, sorry – asking about ways to recycle or reuse the material from vertical track blinds.

My first – instinctive – reaction was “bleugh!” because I hate the feel of those blinds ;) My second thought was “good question!”

We had lots of great ideas for re-using the slats from Venetian blinds so what about vertical blinds?

The fabric is usually synthetic and a little rigid & scratchy (hence the bleugh!) so not ideal sewing material but I’m sure those attributes could be strengths in some projects. The strips of fabric are usually about 10cm/4inches wide and as long as the window drop (so typically at least a metre or so).

On the slat blinds post, chez suggested using vertical blinds to make a shopping bag — weaving the strips together. They could also be woven together to make a protective mat – or even a picnic blanket type thing if you’re not so phobic of the fabric as me :)

Have you reused or upcycled vertical blinds in any way? What would you do with the material?

How can I reuse or recycle an ironing board cover/pad?

Kathleen has emailed to ask about an ironing board cover/pad:

There just has to be something I can do with this……it’s way too big to toss!

Ironing..? board..? what is this thing of which you speak? You mean some people don’t have perpetually creased clothes? Amazing! :D

We do have an ironing board but it gets used more for stuff like fusing plastic than it does for actual clothes — if I had a spare or old ironing board cover, I’d keep one for potentially leaky crafts like melting plastic and one for clothes.

As for repurposing it, if it’s a fabric one with a quilted/heavily padded section, could it be made into an oven mitt? I’d imagine they’d have similar heat absorbing qualities. At one time my mum had a thinner silvery one – could that be used for lining/insulating a lunch cool bag? Would that work?

Any other ideas or suggestions?

How can I repair/revamp a stained cotton rug?

I haven’t done a “repair this” for a while but this is something I’ve been wondering about for a few weeks now: how can I repair/revamp a stained rug?

It’s a circular cotton rug with off-white (even before the stains!) and pale blue strips, and even though it was pretty cheap, I love it. But it is stained and dirty now and it really needs a good clean and/or a revamp.

Since it’s cotton, it can probably handle some tough cleaning love – but it’s also about 2m/6-and-a-half feet in diameter and heavy and awkward to work with. It’s not going to fit in a sink or a washing machine – even cleaning it in a bath will be very awkward because it’s so big.

As for revamping it, since it’s cotton, I thought about the possibility of dyeing it – but again, that’ll be an awkward job, and also potentially a very, very messy one.

Any suggestions for how can I clean it? Or any advice for dyeing it or revamping it in another way?

How can I reuse or recycle a solid curtain pelmet?

Sorry that there have been fewer posts than normal recently – I’ve been taking full advantage of both of the long weekends to have time in the garden and not on my computer. Normal programming should return from now on!

Anyway, at least I’ve been busy reusing/recycling in our garden. Last week, I turned our old bathroom cupboard doors into raised bed for foot square gardening then on Monday, my not-in-law’s neighbours were throwing away a solid curtain pelmet and I made that into a herb trough/window box style planter. And both are now filled with produced-here compost – so that’s more recycling ;)

Back to the pelmet though, while I was doing the minimal work required for its transformation, I was thinking what else it could be used for. It was still in pretty decent condition so a sand down and repaint could easily continue being used for its original purpose – sitting on top of the curtains to hide the rail. It could be given away via Freecycle/Freegle if the original owners didn’t want it any more. (Pelmets are seen as a bit fussy and old fashioned by some but they are supposed to help keep rooms warmer by cutting down convection currents around the window.)

When I first saw the pelmet, I thought it was a mantlepiece – it could easily be turned into a decorative fire surround (for a small gas/electric fireplace or not used real one) by adding legs, which could be made quite easily from cheap planking. Or simply used as a floating shelf.

As for actual recycling, it was mostly wood — but wood that had been frequently painted over the years so wouldn’t be suitable for burning. If it had been less sturdy, I’d probably still have taken it to just use for the lengths of lumber – I’m all about scrap wood at the moment.

Any other ideas? How would you reuse it?

How can I reuse or recycle a room divider/screen?

At some point in the long forgotten past, I bought a room dividing screen thing. I think the idea was that we would use it to shelter off the messy desk whenever we had guests staying over in our spare room/office in our old house but to the best of my knowledge we never used it because it got in the way and none of our guests cared.

It’s a metal frame which originally had plain cream fabric panels tied onto it. I’m not sure where the fabric panels are now but they can easily be replaced. The three metal sections come apart easily. It’s about 6ft/180cm tall – I couldn’t fit it all in my camera frame without including my untidy desk, my caked-on-mud wellies and the equally filthy dog ;)

So any ideas what I can do with it?

I could, of course, reinvent it as a room divider – some pretty reclaimed/vintage fabric to make it a feature. While we still have an untidy section of our used-for-storage spare room in our new house, I’m still not sure our guests will care and it’ll just get in the way for us the rest of the time. I could use it for a similar purpose in the garden – using weather-resistant fabric or plastic for the panels instead – but again, I think it will get in the way.

Any other ideas?