Reducing waste through upcycling, repurposing, refashioning and reloving.

Showing posts with label Accessories. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Accessories. Show all posts

Upcycle: Mod Podge Wedges...


Holy transformation bat-girl! Don't know about you... but I think Taryn took these from "gosh, no thanks" to "ummmm, where can I get a pair?!!"  I know some people who have treasure troves of upholstery samples .... what a great way to use them! Full tutorial at Design, Dining and Diapers.  

Repurpose: Negative necklace...


Whew. Ok. "Negative" week has literally tuckered me out. But I did it. Actually stuck to the theme ... launched my first giveaway (go enter!) and published two tutorials. Unlike the earrings (for which I was able to draw inspiration) this necklace came about through trial and error. I'm not saying there's nothing else out there like it. But if there is, I haven't seen it.  So without further ado, here's how to make one:

Giveaway: Positively negative bling! {closes 6/21}


{giveaway open 'til Thurs, 6/21 - midnight EST}

Hi nice doodlers... want some free stuff? I posted a tutorial for the negative earrings and another for the necklace. Now I'm ready to wrap them and ship them off to a happy home somewhere!  

Repurpose: Negative earrings...


Since I am a little sentimental (!), I've kept things like old (love) letters and negatives. There's some rationalizing I could do about the former. But negatives? Am I really going to print those pics again?  While I do like that I'm old enough to actually have negatives lying around, I'm definitely very much in love with my digital camera! Perhaps I appreciate it more because I do remember the way things used to be? Because I once spent time/energy/money developing pictures in a darkroom so I have some perspective on that artistic process and appreciate it. But I also know what it's like to waste a lot of money getting film developed, only to be very disappointed with the pictures. Soooo, I was staring at a pile of negatives last week, wondering what I could do with them.  Did a little searching around the intergoogle... and here's the result!  (tutorial after the jump). 

Repurpose: Credit crunch and snip ...


Suze Orman says chop up your credit cards ... or freeze them or something.  But neither credit cards nor gift cards are recyclable (take that, Suze!). Some retailers do sell a bioplastic gift card that degrades in about 40 days (read more here) but for the most part, we pop the PVC suckers in the trash. I get particularly annoyed with online-only retailers like Amazon. They ship out actual plastic cards (I get one every time I cash out my credit card points - irony of ironies) ... even though the only valuable thing on the card is its "code". Then what? I think we should actively craft with them.That's what. So here are some ideas.  

Repurpose: Ball Chain = Twisted Necklace ...


A cheap, humble raw material.  A great little DIY necklace. Care of Dismount Creative

Upcycle: Plastic food container = artsy bracelet


#6 plastic is nasty, because it's Polystyrene (styrofoam). Most recycling programs won't accept it and it's potentially toxic! Find out more about the numbers you see on plastic products we use here.

If your supermarket IS really still using #6 containers to package food, you should complain. There are many other options available. And if you do find yourself with one of these horrible things in your hands, save it! Because you can make fused beads (think shrinky dinks)!  This great tutorial from Rust and Sunshine requires very little skill and calls for doodling with permanent markers. CLICK HERE for complete instructions.


DIY: Hermes Clutch (with free printable)



The clever marketing folks at Hermes are offering another free printable... this time, a DIY JigĂ© clutch. Visit this page, let it load up, and click on the "I want it, I'll have it" thumbnail. Choose from six different patterns, download ... and what?  They want you to print, cut, glue, and enjoy!  Because this is a pretty promotional idea ...and a waste of paper.  And the link will go away.  


But, if you save the PDF to your desktop before you "print" you'll have it for future use.  And if you print this off onto fabric transfer paper, you could actually make a little fabric clutch. I love love the bird!  (Via OhTheLovelyThings)

Upcycle: Old pillow case = new tote bag


Simple no-sew makeover from CremeDeLaCraft.  


Repurpose: Old bread box = charging station


Saw the  top left version on Apt Therapy (via BHG) and went in search of others .... I know one corner of my kitchen is a mess of cords so this project will happen as soon as I can find an old breadbox 

Upcycle: Anthro-morphed leaf earrings...

I love Anthropologie - the store designs and overall aesthetic of the buyers.  I don't love the non-sale prices.  And I don't love the political leanings of the man atop the brand (which includes Free People and Urban Outfitters). I own clearance items purchased with gift cards.  More than anything, I get a kick out of "athro-hacking" or "anthro-morphing", if you will.  If I can be inspired by (i.e. steal) their ideas and make it myself (or anthro-morph something thrifted), I will.


So here's my most recent morph, based on lots of leaf earrings I saw in store a couple of weeks ago.  I liked the idea of white (I don't wear gold) ... and I loved the beads down the center of the leaf.  Here's my version ... instructions below.

ReFab@Home: Sentimental about towels (!)

I'm turning the lense on two of my repurposes today.  In case you can't tell, I'm unabashedly sentimental about "stuff".  If it means something to me, I try hard to find a way to keep it around. But I don't hoard (much) - I've moved enough times in my life to be very very scared of my potential inner hoarder.  And, I really like my stuff to have a purpose - not hide in a drawer.  


Towel #1:  One of my oldest friends gave me a hand-painted tea towel / pot-holder gift set about 12 years ago. I love the colors and its Cape Town origins. Ultimately I didn't use it much in the kitchen because all that bright white wouldn't stand a chance. But I hung on to it. When I got a new sewing machine a couple of years ago, I wanted a simple cover and found the tea-towel idea via Martha.  My towel wasn't quite big enough, so I cut it in half and added a strip of bright cotton across the top.  I cut the painted cherries out of the pot holder and appliqued them to the plain side of the cover.  And voila.


Towel #2: When my gran moved from her little flat into a nursing home, my mom selected a few of her things to store for me.  Including a set of 2 thin, oddly sized towels from the 50s.  The fact that my grandmother still had these towels in the 90s tells me something about my genetic predisposition!  I loved the orange detail on them but could never figure out how to use them (odd size).  Then, on a whim some time last year, I chopped one up and turned it into a smock/apron.  Because when I cook, I seem to need to wash and dry my hands 15 times.  I added bright orange ribbon, some hand-sewn detail on the pockets... and now it hangs in the kitchen, actually getting its delicate 1950's hands dirty. 

Repurpose: Messenger bag from Cargo pants!



Two awesome tutorials to step you through upcycling those ratty old cargo pants.  The version above is from Noodlehead.  The version below is from Bludor


Upcycle: Neon spring ... really?


When I think neon, I think the image above. A bright, fun upcycle of beer bottles, but it also makes the 80's teen in me cringe... a lot.  Is it really necessary to bring neon back? It's a fairly intimidating trend ... I'm really not ready for another go round with giant neon hoop earrings, shocking socks, hot pink belts and day-glo lipstick. Yes - lipstick. Wow.

Repurpose: Humble Thimbles ...


If you're a tiny, imagined being like Arrietty (or any other "Borrower" or "Little"), you trade in thimbles. Really - where would you be without them??  I stumbled upon this pic on Flickr recently and was entranced.  So I went hunting for Thimbalina re-do's for you.     

Recycle: Shredding and Weaving ...



I recently featured Mielie, a South African company creating amazing woven art, objects and acessories using old t-shirts and knit-fabric overruns.  The post got a huge response, so here are a few more fun ways to repurpose old t-shirts!  First, the hip chevron mat from The House that Lars Built.

Guest ReFab: Postage Stamp Earrings... {Foxglove Accessories}


Foxglove Accessories is the brainchild of photographer and artist Betsy Treacy Siber. If you're a regular at Renegade (Chicago), you've seen her beautiful work ... that's where I first encountered her a couple of years ago.  Talk about giving things a second life! Vintage postage stamps become true works of art in Betsy's hands.  I am constantly struck by her attention to detail and the GREAT color combinations in her work. All her items are lovingly handmade in her Chicago studio using found materials. Her fabulous postage collection features jewelry made with vintage postage stamps from around the world (keep reading to find out how to save 15% on her jewelry!) 

Today I get to publish a mini interview with Betsy and a tutorial for her layered teardrop earrings. Yup - she's sharing some of her secrets so you can make them yourself!  First, a little Q 'n A: 

Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?  Did you always know you'd have a creative career?
A: I have known since 2nd grade that I would have a creative career. I don't think anything in particular really sparked it, but it was definitely encouraged and nurtured by my family (many kids are not so lucky). I went to school for photography, which I find incredibly useful for documenting my work and our life, but I now enjoy other mediums as a creative outlet. At the moment, I see the most potential in metals and sculpture.

Q: Why postage stamps?
A: My dad collects coins and at some point a fellow collector handed off a box of stamps to him. He didn't have much use for them, and I thought they would be a nice addition to collages (I was in high school at the time). Fast forward 8 or 9 years to 2006. I was moving and organizing my crafting supplies, including my old stamp box. I often employ the "use it or lose it" method with cleaning (I collect, not hoard), and I decided that if these stamps were going to be useful they needed a project, like right now. That afternoon I made my first pair of teardrop earrings, using the quick and dirty packing tape method mentioned in the tutorial. I loved the way they turned out and ended up basing the entire business on it. Using stamps makes every piece unique, so I find it easy to create the same type of earrings 100 times in a row. I really do take a moment to admire each stamp I'm using!

 Betsy has a great offer for my readers!  
Get 15% off everything at Foxglove Accessories and Foxglove @ Etsy 
through March 31, 2012. Scroll down for the coupon code!  
(excludes custom items)

Repurpose: Tin-can whimsy ...

I'm still thinking about smoothing rough edges ... in this case sharp, metal edges.  Considering the quantities of soda/beer consumed across the planet, it's safe to say we're drowning in the cans.  And the idea of re-using them is appealing, especially for jewelry! But what about all those sharp edges? Apparently, there are ways to smooth them, make them safe.... bring out a softer side.  Here goes ...


Great, detailed how-to for these sweet metal flowers ... not designed to be worn so no worries about those edges, except in the making.

Repurpose: Smoothing rough edges ...


Perhaps re-purposing etc appeals so much to me because it exposes the hidden potential in ordinary things. You take something mundane and make it a centerpiece. You bring something rough and utilitarian indoors ... smooth the rough edges just a little and give it a second chance.  I guess I'm an optimist - I definitely believe in second chances!

I think this pendant lamp from Poppytalk sums it up.  An old wire wastebasket has its shining moment!  It provides a soft glow, thanks to a little scrap-fabric weaving.  Read on for a few more ideas on the theme...

DIY: Mielie Peeps ...t-shirt weaving tutorial


"Mielie" is, officially, the Afrikaans word for corn/maize.  But it's also the word all South Africans use for corn (and its by-products), no matter what language they happen to speak. Now, "Mielie" is a small business after my own heart. Employing over 50 artists the mission is "to design and produce innovative, export-quality hand-crafted products using reclaimed materials - with the aim of creating employment and restoring dignity and financial independence to South Africans".  The Mielie Peeps work out of their homes, sell across the planet, share a community garden and create the most amazing things using strips of t-shirt fabric!!







The items pictured here are the tip of the Mielie-berg.  I cannot begin to capture the variety and creativity of these folks.  Wanna learn to weave like a Mielie Peep?  Follow the links to the two free tutorials... after the jump.