Reducing waste through upcycling, repurposing, refashioning and reloving.

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

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.

DIY: Paper-bead bookmark


Christmas 2005 was the holiday of the "book stuff".  I churned out book clocks (something I'll post about one day) and what I called "book-Its" by the dozen, both as gifts and to make a little extra cash.  Turns out those book-Its started to show a little wear towards the end of 2011 and a few friends have asked for another one... because it's their "go to" bookmark.  Since I'm making them anyway, here's a little how to.  They could not be simpler to make!  So here goes ... (Hit "Read More" for the full tutorial)

Upcycle: Put some spring in your boots!


I've decided that Elsie Larson is the inspiration behind "The New Girl" ... every time I visit her lovely blog (A Beautiful Mess) I think of Jess.  Go take a look .... tell me I'm wrong.  And while you're there, learn how to put a spring in your step!


DIY: Melt for these upcycled plastic bags...


If you feel good when you spend $99c on a re-usable tote made from recycled plastic bottles ... you'll feel GREAT when you make these!  Especially if you're currently hiding a shameful, embarrassing number of plastic bags somewhere in your home.  Check out this tutorial from Dana at Made then go melt a Target bag or 6.  Below is a different take on the tutorial - personalized lunch totes care of Made by Lex:






Upcycle: Repurposed neck ties & zippers






Blue Velvet Chair is my new blog crush!  Thanks to Mike (the host), I spent a long time gawking at the many, amazing repurposed ties (pictured above) being created by Alisa of Ties and Whimsy. Doesn't every girl want to wear a man's tie?  I think so.  Especially when they look like this!  I had a *very* hard time choosing a few to feature in this post ... amazing stuff.

Wanna try it yourself?   Rachel, of Maybe Matilda, has a ton of awesome tutorials on offer.  But this pleated neck-tie how-to will serve as a great springboard if you want to emulate Alisa.  Here's to creative refashioning, feminine repurposing and whimsy!


Lots of tutorials out there for making zipper flowers ... I really like this one from Maya Road Company: