Reducing waste through upcycling, repurposing, refashioning and reloving.

Showing posts with label Thrifty Thursday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Thrifty Thursday. Show all posts

Thrifty Thursday: Shopping The Brown Elephant...


I actually went to a thrift store this morning ... my very favorite one - The Brown Elephant.  I spent a grand total of $10.25 ... and bought what you see in the picture.  The onesie will soon be converted into a top for Ms Ro.  I often buy earrings and turn them into pendants for me and a friend ... but these might get new hooks and stay earrings.  :)

Repurpose: Onesies into Swing Tops


Most of Ms Ro's clothes are hand-me-downs or consignment/thrift store buys. Because Ms K is thrifty. And because Ro grows out of everything so fast, what's the point?  One BIG issue is the shift from season to season. Example: I bought a 4-pack of beautiful long-sleeved onesies (babygrows) from a Carter's outlet ($5 for 4!) ... that Ro hardly wore because they were too big. Since most of them were in good condition, I didn't want to just pass them on! So, I combined them and turned them into summer swing tops. I want them to last a while, so just cutting off the bottom and sleeves was not enough. My goal was to make them wider too. That way, when they start getting a little short, it won't matter as much.  This is not a great tutorial I'm afraid.  My "demo" onesie ended up a mess because I got distracted mid-project.  But here's what I can show you.  

ReFab@Home: The lamp that launched a room...


I have no idea what this lamp is worth, but I found it in a barn in Michigan.  The place was crammed with dusty, rustic antiques.  We were about to leave when this incredible green thing leapt out at me.  I knew it would go with the frog prince chair ... so it had to come home with me.  I paid less than the asking price, but more than I wanted to.  Now that I've owned it for several years, I know I'd pay pretty much anything for it.  


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. 

ReFab@Home: Vintage entry ...


We bought a home in a late 1920's building on the north side of Chicago. This meant we got a few things that just go with the territory ... a huge entry way, a very long hallway, a fireplace surrounded by built-in bookshelves and insanely creaky floorboards.  And red walls - thanks to the previous owners, not the vintage. Since the entrance "hall" was so large, we actually had to make an effort to decorate it.  And by happy accident, we squeezed quite a bit of vintage into the corner, for very little outlay.  O'Keeffe painted D.H. Lawrence's faraway tree in 1929.  The photograph on the table is of my partner's grandparents, snapped in downtown Chicago in the '30s.  The old check/cheque printer was made by "Paymaster Systems" of Chicago and is ... old.  And apparently cost $112 in its day! And then we threw in a cheap sunburst mirror and old books.  We like it enough that we haven't changed it in almost 5 years.


Refab@home: New Weekly Feature!


If I could take you on a tour of my home, I'd proudly point out every thrifted, upcycled, alley-scoured and hand-me-down item.  I like stories ... so I enjoy being surrounded by things that have some history and tell a story.  BUT, I'm not about to try a blog-style home tour - I don't have the photographer chops for that.  And, a toddler has invaded my home, so there are far too many messy toddler piles everywhere.  However, I would like to share shoes, jewelry, corners and favorites ... things I love that might inspire you... and that I can actually photograph.  So, in tried-and-true blogger tradition, I'm creating a weekly feature. Thrifty Thursday posts will be dedicated to the various thrifted corners of my home and my closet.