Posts tagged "jeans"

How can I reuse, recycle or revamp a rucksack/back pack?

We’ve kinda covered this already but Janette has such a specific question that I thought it was worth looking at it again:

I have a backpack I would like to recycle and reuse. I have the straps and the part that goes against our back but would like to change the rest of it with reused fabric. Only the zipper doesn’t work right now but would like to change the whole outside pocket to add style. I have some random fabrics including jean material from old jeans. Could [use] the jean material for durability?

Does anyone have any simple but fashionable patterns that fit what I have? It would be fun to do a quilted backpack (but I don’t have any quilted fabric yet). I don’t want to do a purse backpack just a normal one that can hold books and such. I’m trying to avoid buying anything so buying a zipper is out of the question. I have some other craft supplies but not extra zippers.

Because I’m a bit lazy, I’d probably try to do the least possible sewing and start with something already roughly the right shape or with pockets. Very simply, I’ve seen the bottom of old jeans turned into backpacks (like in this video tutorial) but depending on the size of the jeans, it may be more of a mini backpack (like in the video), which isn’t the sort of thing Janette wants. (Mine would be big enough to hold a few books, and even a folder if I didn’t make a closing flap at the top. Finally an advantage to having a bigger bum!) If you only have small jeans available, you could make them bigger by cutting up the fly, and using a different fabric for the back of the pack, and opening up the legs (as if you were making a skirt from jeans) to make it longer.

Another video makes a backpack from an old suit jacket – a lot of the jacket is cut away so you wouldn’t necessarily know it was from a jacket, but the useful pockets do remain. I’ve also seen skirts made into backpacks (although I can’t find any links now) and there are lots of tutorials on how to make a drawstring backpack from an old t-shirt out there.

I don’t think any of those ideas will completely satisfy Janette’s requirements but they’ve certainly given me some ideas for non-zip closures: how about a velcro-ed flap like the suit jacket one? or buckles on straps (like old army packs), buttoned down flaps or a drawstring, possibly under a flap? I usually shy away from wikihow posts but there seems to be a decent tutorial on making a pack with the latter on there.

Anyone got any advice, suggestions or tutorials for Janette?

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.

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?

Recent recommended reducing, reusing and recycling links

(mmm, alliteration)

(Photo by ChasingFireflies)