Posts tagged "repurposing"

This week’s reducing, reusing & recycling link round-up

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?

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)

Recycled into Jewellery – a mini-round-up of upcycled accessories

It’s been a little while since I showed off some awesome recycled crafts but I really should get back on with that because, wow, some of them are ace.

Here’s a selection of creations by three wonderful women, who are, coincidentally, all currently based in the north-west of England – sometimes I’m think I’m living on the wrong side of the Pennines… :)

0909-abscraft 0909-abscraft-fascinator

First up, Recycle This’s favourite wire-woman Alison Bailey Smith has been making pins, brooches and fascinators by recycling assorted plastic packaging and the like (above) – I particularly like the way she’s used bottle lids and the lids as centre pieces.

0909-swirlyNext, Ann Ellis sent over these necklaces/bracelets (above) she makes out by upcycling plastic bottles, bags and cans – gorgeous stuff and again, like Alison’s things, not something you’d immediately guess what it was made from.

Finally, Lynsey from SwirlyArts has been making brooches out of old buttons (right) – and badges out of old maps and other vintage papers.

Great stuff!

Transforming old clothes into new clothes and other items

A skirt turned into a child’s dressAmy Quarry dropped us an email this week with a link to her blog post on ten ways to repurposing old clothes, reusing as much of the original structure/shape as possible to save time.

Half the list take big clothes and turn them into little clothes: for example, with some pleating around the top and some arm holes chopped in the sides, an adult size skirt can quickly become a child’s dress (right). Or shrinking a woman’s blouse widthwise to make a baby/child’s dress. All very cute.

For those of us without small people (and/or willing cats) to dress, she includes ideas such as making a mini-skirt into a bag and sundresses into aprons (below).

A sundress turned into an apronI love these ideas because I’ve got quite a few items of clothing that I love but either which don’t fit any more or don’t suit me as they are any more – but could easily be repurposed like this. Time to unleash the sewing machine!

(Pictures with permission from Amy’s blog)