book: handmade home {win a copy}

by kath_red on 10/08/2009

in Books

Handmade Home: Simple Ways to Repurpose Old Materials into New Family Treasures by Amanda Blake Soule. Published by Trumpeter (August 11, 2009).

I feel like Amanda Soule should be my best friend or wonderful neighbor or my long lost sister, because her words make me feel like I know her. I love her style, her lifestyle and her parenting style and I appreciate her creativity and her imagery – what she chooses to share of her life with the world on her daily blog and through her books is a very generous and special thing.

Amanda Soule

I have watched and followed and communicated with Amanda over the years, our blogs both starting up at around the same time – on opposite sides of the world – both with children but very different lifestyles, I all the time wondering if I would ever have the courage to follow her path of homeschooling and as she has added a couple more children to the family I grow ever more proud and in awe of her ability to continue on her amazing creative path while at the same time inspiring families around the world to be a little more creative in their lives. Thank you Amanda.

Amanda’s latest book, the handmade home, is just as special as her first book, the creative family. Such a fantastic journey of creative endeavor, learning to recycle, to use what you have, to let the children’s energy and talents shine through, to appreciate the little things, to observe and and to listen and to get making.

Along with Amanda’s philosophy on family and togetherness, comes some cute and thoughtful projects for the whole family to get into. From the family art table runner, rag rug, papier mache bowls to nappies, sanitary napkins, and baby slings to books, to wall panel organisers and treasure bags. Most of these projects are suitable for beginners and for children to make. So grab this book and get creating with your whole family.

Trumpeter are generously giving Whipup readers the opportunity to win a signed copy of Handmade home. We have two copies to give away – so please leave a comment here to be in the running to win [open for 48 hours]. Answer this question: What have your made for the home from recycled materials that has proved invaluable in your life?

Comments are now closed and winners will be contacted in the next couple of days – thank you all so much for entering – stay tuned for another fantastic giveaway in the next few days.

Congratulations to Katie and Amelia – winners have been contacted. thank you all for entering.

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1 Nancy August 10, 2009 at 8:16 pm

i would have to say my son’s quilt. he was so happy when i gave it to him on his 3rd birthday.

2 sooz August 10, 2009 at 8:17 pm

I too love Amanda’s blog and life – she is indeed an inspiration. In terms of making recycled things for the home, I am currently feeling very dependent on the quilt I made for Wil from recycled cot sheets and monks robes from our time in Thailand. We are recently relocated and the bedding we had for Wil was way too hot for the new climate. I added a new panel to make the cot size quilt big enough for his bed here and now he’s sleeping through the night again. Thank goodness I thought to bring with me the scraps from the original recylced quilt!

3 MJ August 10, 2009 at 8:19 pm

My Mom passed away in February. I made an apron from 1 of her favorite dresses.


4 Teri August 10, 2009 at 8:21 pm

Do clothes count? Love Amanda Soule.

5 Michelle August 10, 2009 at 8:22 pm

The curtains I made for my daughters’ room were repurposed from a great fabric shower curtain I found at the thrift store for *cheap*. Brand name, great quality thick fabric, and pink and green to match the paint on their walls. All I had to do was add two 8″ bands of cotton fabric I had on hand on either side, cut up the middle, hem and stick on a curtain rod. Helped my little one sleep two extra hours because it cut down on the light in their room. That was invaluable to me!

6 Jess August 10, 2009 at 8:26 pm

Almost everything in my home is “recycled” as in, not purchased new. My favorite thing though, is the rocking chair I repaired using recycled materials. It belonged to my mother when I was young, and was in desperate need of a new seat and cushion. I was able to make the cushion from egg crate foam that was a mattress pad in its former life, and some beautiful blue felt that I found at the goodwill.

7 Barbara August 10, 2009 at 8:26 pm

I love to reuse things! I had an old canvas with a painting done for an art class; nothing special, but I didn’t want to throw it out. So, I recovered it with a remant from the fabric that I used to sew my curtains, added criss-cross ribbons, and viola’ I have a bulletin board that coordinates perfectly!

8 eeloh August 10, 2009 at 8:27 pm

HI Sooz!! Enjoy Noosa!
A tiny skirt I hardly ever wore when I was 20 is now, 18 years later, part of the tote I take everywhere, the first one I made that has started me on bagmaking and other sewing adventures. I held onto that garment because I loved the fabric – to me, it conjures up New Zealand, it’s got that ferny sort of motif. It’s lovely to finally have it out of my stash and into my life (sounds like a Billy Ocean song, dunnit?)
I got Amanda’s first book and one day hope to make her wall of noise/sound – the pot pans and the noisemaking objects hanging from a big stick in the front yard for us to bang on.

9 Beth August 10, 2009 at 8:29 pm

I took a silk cloth that a wine bottle came wrapped in and a ribbon that was the tie from a pair of my pajama pants and made my kid a cape that she’s used for 2 years now (and she’s only three).

I’ve also taken a box or three, some lightbulb packaging as well, and made the Kid a robot costume.

The other day she wore them together and was the perfect super robot.

10 karen August 10, 2009 at 8:31 pm

honestly, nothing… :( that’s why i need this book!

11 kaitlyn August 10, 2009 at 8:36 pm

my herb planters in the window made from old coffee cans- i can’t live without my herbs!

this book looks amazing.

12 annie August 10, 2009 at 8:37 pm

rag rugs. they’re awesome for everyone, the dog included (she loves sleeping on them)

13 Adriana August 10, 2009 at 8:37 pm

Where to start… Skirts made from dresses, quilts from bits and pieces of old shirts, skirts, bedsheets, etc. Tote bags from heavier fabric like curtains. Amanda’s blog is such a great source of inspiration!

14 Melissa W August 10, 2009 at 8:38 pm

I’d have to say the toys that I make each day for the kids out of the recycling box. A toilet paper roll bird here, a milk carton truck there, they all take little time to make but occupy my kids for hours. And surprisingly, those quickly whipped up toys often last much longer than their intial use, and become part of their play for weeks on end.

15 Keri August 10, 2009 at 8:41 pm

I made a knit blanket for my daughter from one of her dad’s old t-shirts that we picked up on vacation several years ago in Asheville. I love that it tied her in some secret way to the life we had before.

16 bec August 10, 2009 at 8:42 pm

My kitchen bench was found by the side of the road near an old factory, part of old office furniture I think. Without it there would be no bench space or Tupperware pantry! Invaluable!

17 Blythe August 10, 2009 at 8:48 pm

A dish soap dispenser made from an old Rose’s lime juice bottle and an olive oil pour spout. Delightful and so useful.

18 Katie August 10, 2009 at 8:49 pm

I made myself a lovely necklace out of a skirt I purchased from a flea-market. The skirt never quite fitted but I hung on to it as I loved the fabric. I made a tube-shaped casing out of the fabric, placed large wooden beads in it, made each bead secure by wrapping black thread around the casing and there you have it, a fabulous necklace. I get so many comments on it and I LOVE wearing it as it looks great and I made it.

19 laura August 10, 2009 at 8:49 pm

I just found Soulemama this year – and I adore her and her book the Creative Family. I can’t wait to get this new one.

I repurpose any fabric I can – but my favorite item is the giraffe I made for my daughter out of old curtains. It was the first pattern I designed by myself, and the curtains had a gorgeous texture.

20 Sarah August 10, 2009 at 8:52 pm

The braided wool rug. My husband actually did the bulk of it. It is now the center of our family area. There is a card game going on there right now.

21 Julie August 10, 2009 at 8:56 pm

We recently repurposed an old magazine rack, now painted with fun colors, to hold our weekly stash of library books. Makes them very easy for the kids to grab and then return.

22 abbyglassenberg August 10, 2009 at 8:58 pm

We took some old badges and pins and a piece of a tote bag strap and made a military-style sash as part of a costume for our daughter, Roxanne. She was Haman, the evil villain, for the Jewish holiday of Purim. Paired with a white button down shirt, black pants, an old black hat with a felt “H” sewn on, she was transformed. Always the villain, that one!

23 Emily Barklage August 10, 2009 at 8:59 pm

Wow, I think I have some work to do! This is inspiring to make something out of recycled materials.

24 Cindy August 10, 2009 at 9:01 pm

I made the cutest purse for my daughter, I took the leg off a pair of worn out blue jeans that my husband no longer wore. I bought a really cute red and white polka-dot blouse at a yard sale for .50 cents, I knew that it would never fit me, but I love the fabric, I used that to line the purse and to applique a little flower on the front. It was my first attempt at a purse and my daughter was so excited when she saw it, she takes it everywhere.

25 Bex August 10, 2009 at 9:01 pm

It is not beautiful or elegant, but the first thing that comes to mind is the basket of kitchen rags cut from my husband’s old undershirts. I love using them where I used to use paper towels.

26 pamela August 10, 2009 at 9:03 pm

i love making bags from every material!
this book looks amazing…

27 Mary G August 10, 2009 at 9:04 pm

My sisters and I made a quilt for our grandmother using a scraps of material from everyone in the family’s clothes. What a hodge-podge it turned out to be — just like our family!

28 kelley August 10, 2009 at 9:06 pm

It’s not what I’ve made but what my eldest daughter has made, she’s recreated game boards from egg cartons, made dolls from the colored papers that flowers are wrapped in, used cardboard and colored cellophane to make a pet cheetah. I love how endlessly creative this child is, and how she looks at everything that fascinates her and tells me, “I can make that!”

29 Karen August 10, 2009 at 9:06 pm

Hand knitted rugs. They are the ultimate comfort things for our family.

30 ailikate August 10, 2009 at 9:06 pm

I agree completely about feeling like you know Amanda Soule, her website is such a lovely window into her world and I love getting to visit.

As for what I have re-purposed in my house that has proved invaluable, the cleaning rags in the bathroom made from old tee-shirts. Not the most glamorous, or the most beautiful, but I hated using up so many paper towels every week, and I didn’t like the ick factor of using the same cloths on the bathroom floor that I used in the kitchen. So I took some shirts and used a sharpie to write a big, black “B” on each rag and labeled a yogurt container to hold them. It seems like such a small thing, but it makes my life a little bit easier, and for that I am grateful.

31 Thouraya Battye August 10, 2009 at 9:09 pm

I recycled some black acrylic wool that I had made into some random shapes (I have NO IDEA what I was thinking) and made it into a small black cardigan for my daughter Amelie. I stuffed up the collar and made it moss stitch instead of rib but I had too many stitches and couldn’t count back so I left it. Because of the collar I didn’t think it would get much use but she has LIVED in it all winter. It is my husband favourite cardigan and as he is Mr Mum she has it on most days. It also had a special Marlon Brando button on the top but this was lost on an outing to the city.

32 jenny s August 10, 2009 at 9:13 pm

Have to brag a little about my headboard made from a silkscreen that was being retired from circulation at a local studio! It adds a great texture to our bedroom.

33 Regina August 10, 2009 at 9:16 pm

My sewing/craft table is made from table legs that belonged to the dining room table from childhood, and the butler door from our first house that became obsolete when we removed that wall. It’s huge and SUPER functional!

34 Maggie August 10, 2009 at 9:20 pm

I am a recycler from way back – give a hoot, don’t pollute – it made a huge impression on me! We have purchased one piece of new furniture in our home, everything else including accessories is something we’ve either found at garage sales or repurposed! I love this website and don’t want the book, I would rather get it from my public library, but really wanted to let you know what a great website this is…thanks so much..

35 Montagur August 10, 2009 at 9:25 pm

Gosh – I have so many pieces of furniture that I picked up at thrift stores or off the sidewalk!

36 Laure August 10, 2009 at 9:27 pm

Just about every piece of furniture in my house is second hand. I love to use old textiles for my sewing.

37 Melissa Crowe August 10, 2009 at 9:29 pm

Oh, I love to make something from nothing! I turn blue jeans into pot holders, old pillowcases into shopping bags and cloth napkins, and tin cans into pencil cups!

38 emily August 10, 2009 at 9:31 pm

i make grocery bags out of old tshirts. love it!

39 Jennifer August 10, 2009 at 9:35 pm

It’s not much, but I recycle small white paper bags with handles. Our local bakery uses them as to-go bags. I take them and put them in prominent places in our home to use as paper recycling bags. We recycle every scrap of paper, so the bags fill up quickly.

40 molly August 10, 2009 at 9:35 pm

I can’t claim to have made it but my grandma made a hooked wool rug from old clothes and I just love it so much. She made many rugs over the course of her life and has inspired me to start hooking as well. I’m in the process of my first large size rug right now!

41 Gretel August 10, 2009 at 9:35 pm

I would have to say a little coin purse that I keep tiny jewellery in (great for travelling too!). I made it from vintage linens and embroidery..I love it, and am so happy that the beautiful handiwork completed in past days continues on.

42 Miss Ifi August 10, 2009 at 9:36 pm

When I went to Art School and my friends and I used to have a studio we had this couch that one of my friends had brought, it was very old and it was beginning to rip at places. We all loved it, we had critiques of our work on it, we had good laughs also some good cries, the end of the year arrive and someone else took it for her home, eventually the couch died.. it was just too old to continue, luckily my friend cut some pieces of the fabric and gave us each a piece. My piece I turned it into a small embroidered piece of art for my home, now every time that I look at it I remember those years. Perhaps it is not functional but it holds a really special place in my heart.

43 Bexy August 10, 2009 at 9:38 pm

invaluable? I don’t know. But pretty? Certainly!
It was my birthday on Thursday and I received so many beautiful cards, I couldn’t bear to just throw them out!
So they were recrafted into a pretty string of flags to brighten up an otherwise dull grey wall.

44 Kelly Williams August 10, 2009 at 9:38 pm

I love her blog and totally want that book! As far as stuff in my home that I’ve made from recycled materials…there’s not much, but thats because I’m just getting started. I’m loving my new glasses that are recycled jars though :)

45 tina August 10, 2009 at 9:40 pm

I’ve made bags out of old shirts. As well as refashioned old shirts into new ones.

46 Aimee August 10, 2009 at 9:46 pm

I make all my kids shorts out of old t-shirts! I am told they are rather comfy too!

47 Karen M August 10, 2009 at 9:51 pm

I would LOVE to win this book! We are renovating our house and just bought 4 beautiful mahogany closet doors from a local reuse/recycle business. Our poor slate roof needed fixing so all of the old, broken slate is now used as a border in our garden and looks great!

48 julie k August 10, 2009 at 10:00 pm

I love making clothes for my daughter out of my favorite recycled clothing. There can be lots memories attached to a piece of clothing. It’s nice to see those memories live on and watch new ones be made, too.

49 Jeanie August 10, 2009 at 10:00 pm

It all started 37 yrs ago when I was in high school, my grandmother passed away and grandpa asked if I wanted any of her old dresses. I cut them off at the waist and made skirts..short skirts! I loved those skirts.. I made a purse from my blue jeans and my super cool pink corduroy pants…I am still recycling fabrics for my daughter and granddaughter. sun dresses from pillowcases and wool skirts into pillows..

50 Karen Gulson August 10, 2009 at 10:05 pm

My collection of thrifted wool jumpers have experienced new life as felted gnomes and animals for my children to play with.

51 amelia August 10, 2009 at 10:05 pm

we’ve made musical instruments from all kinds of recycled containers and packaging. My 2 boys love them.

52 Melissa August 10, 2009 at 10:08 pm

Recently my daughters and I made dolls for a charity from repurposed clothing and scraps of fabric. Although they won’t be located in our home I feel that they will take part of our home with them to the children that need far more than my own.

53 Jamie August 10, 2009 at 10:27 pm

I make a lot of clothes for me and my daughters from old fabrics (aka. old clothes, curtains, sheets, sweaters etc) from a thrift store outlet that sells by the pound. Cheap and awesome! One of a kind, for sure!

54 franticallysimple August 10, 2009 at 10:28 pm

I keep making myself shirts form my husband’s cast-offs. Love them!

55 ElvisCraftstello August 10, 2009 at 10:30 pm

Mine is a little inside out, I recyled something from my home into an everday must-have. I used the leather from my recoverd loveseat cushions to make myself a badly needed backpack. Also, it also is almost worn out now, and will probable next show up in soles for felted wool slippers.

56 Cami August 10, 2009 at 10:30 pm

I make a lot of my son’s clothes out of our old clothes. I love seeing him in one of my old t-shirts that meant something to me.

57 Little Diva August 10, 2009 at 10:38 pm

I don’t know if this counts but the kids craft box I’ve put together is full of recycled items and it’s fantastic to watch them use their little imaginations to create something new!! Christine xo

58 Ellen August 10, 2009 at 10:42 pm

I’m constantly amazed at the things people leave on the side of the road. I found a trunk that I dressed up with a piece of foam and covered in fabric to make a seat with lots of storage. It has moved three times with me and I love it.

59 tricia August 10, 2009 at 10:43 pm

A quilt I made from our old clothing, the “comfort quilt”:)

60 beth K August 10, 2009 at 10:43 pm

My wool coat that I made from some wool that my MIL had stashed years ago I find invaluable. Plus it brings back memories of a wonderful woman who is very missed.

61 Christine August 10, 2009 at 10:54 pm

I’ve used pretty print curtains as: a tablecloth, a Christmas tree skirt, “wrapping paper.”

62 Laura Allen August 10, 2009 at 10:55 pm

I love Amanda’s blog and would love a copy of her second book. Our best reuse is a tall dresser that my husband had as a child. We removed a drawer and cut down the height and now its our daughter’s changing table.I love that it is being “passed down” through the generations!

63 missweb August 10, 2009 at 11:04 pm

Toys and treasures for my daughter from recycled clothes.

64 Elizabeth August 10, 2009 at 11:05 pm

I’d love to win a signed copy of this! Probably my most indispensable “use what you have” home items are my reusable shopping totes made out of bandanas.

65 melody August 10, 2009 at 11:09 pm

Repurposing clothing into clothing for other kids or other things.

Hoping the random # generator smiles upon me.

66 AmBurg August 10, 2009 at 11:14 pm

I’ve made a few things – a rag rug out of old sheets, repurposed a skirt into another skirt that fits so much better and can be worn on a variety of occasions, and taken other repurposed fabric and used it in a quilt. I love the idea, so I’d love to win this book.

67 Casie August 10, 2009 at 11:14 pm

I salvaged a grey laminate office desk, painted it white, and now I have a place in which to sew, draw, blog and generally be creative. To have my own space is invaluable.

68 Audie August 10, 2009 at 11:20 pm

I made matching aprons for my daughter and her favorite stuffed animal out of old fabric that my mom had for years.

69 Zoe August 10, 2009 at 11:21 pm

I’ve used cut up old curtains to use as rags. Rags! We used them all the time when I was a kid–we never used paper towels. As a new mom of twins, I don’t have time to sew a quilt from cherished old clothes (maybe someday!), but I can easily cut up old fabrics for rags and save some trees.

70 Robyn August 10, 2009 at 11:25 pm

I am learning to crochet using hand-me-down remnants from my mother. Who can live without dishclothes?

71 supa (Mary Beth) August 10, 2009 at 11:42 pm

My favorite handmade thing is our Mail Center: a dowel and a handsewn wall pocket made from curtain remnants and scraps became a holding station for letters, notepapers, envelopes and stamps. It helps the kids write to relatives and it keeps all those little bits corralled.

72 Elizabeth August 10, 2009 at 11:46 pm

Well, I have one idea I want to carry through with, but haven’t. It’s a pricey recycling thing. I want to cut up my wedding dress and make a quilt using some of the pieces.

73 Sarah August 10, 2009 at 11:46 pm

About a year ago, my grandfather’s sister, Madeline, passed away. I was the lucky girl who inherited all her fabric. I’ve used bits and bobs in countless places and they all make me feel the span of love and family. I can rest my head on a bit of her legacy stitched into a couch pillow, or wrap up in a bit of her love pieced into a quilt. It’s wonderful!

74 Mary August 10, 2009 at 11:46 pm

I have done lots of things but the one I use the most are the cloth napkins I made from 2 recycled vintage sheets. We used these everyday and have save many a tree by reducing our use of paper towels. Plus they are prettier….

75 Leah August 10, 2009 at 11:47 pm

Recycling old tshirts into nappy wipes really made cloth nappies more achievable for us. They’re not glamourous, but very easy to use, make (jersey doesn’t rquire hemming!) and soft on the baby’s bottom. Perfect!

76 Faye August 10, 2009 at 11:56 pm

We’ve used these chairs that we’ve found and reupholstered using old, but beautiful curtains for the longest time. They’re the perfect height and the most loved chairs by my cats as well! I think they’re in need of reupholstering again soon…..

77 jojo August 10, 2009 at 11:56 pm

I made a shopping tote from a favourite pillowcase, when we moved to the the house we changed colour schemes and it just didn’t fit but now i get to use it every week when I do the weekly grocery shop.

78 Panya August 11, 2009 at 12:01 am

When I didn’t need an old found armoire for clothes storage any longer, I removed the doors and drawer and turned it into entertainment centre. After we bought a new [used] entertainment centre, I moved it to the garage to use as shelving. I love that I’ve been able to use it for so many different things, so useful.

79 Julie August 11, 2009 at 12:04 am

I take the cereal boxes when the cereal is gone, open them up and let my daughter finger paint or watercolor on the inside. Great thick paper, then I can recycle them when she’s done.

80 Triskele August 11, 2009 at 12:19 am

This winter the most useful things I’ve made for our home are three door snakes. I made them from recycled op shop wool blankets which I cut to the required width, rolled up into a snake and bound with a blanket stitch across the length. Its freezing in Melbourne this week and they are doing a great job at keeping the warm in and the cold out!

81 Paige August 11, 2009 at 12:21 am

I haven’t purchased a package of paper napkins in years because we only use cloth napkins. I’ve always got a load of laundry going, so tossing in the dirty napkins is never an inconvenience, and they’re so much nicer to use!

82 alisa August 11, 2009 at 12:53 am

quilts for my boys and “junk” collages with recycled items

83 Maria August 11, 2009 at 12:55 am

I’ve turned most of my daughter’s onesies and tees into refashioned tops for her. She looks awesome in them and can wear them for a lot longer than the original time frame that is printed on the label. We also recycle our egg cartons (paint holders, hair band organizers, etc…) and many of our cardboard boxes (puppet theaters, stuffed animal cages for “zoo day”). It’s awesome.

84 Courtney August 11, 2009 at 12:55 am

I just incorporated a piece of fabric into a quilt — and realized that it had already been a dress for my daughter and a napkin. We use and reuse fabric around here, making nothing into something again and again.

85 CK August 11, 2009 at 12:58 am

Oh my! Thank you for this wonderful give-away.
I like to re-use and recycle fabric from clothing, sheets and the like and have saved a lot of money this way. Amanda’s blog is a daily read and inspiration. It would be fantastic to win her signed book. Sigh…..

86 Sarah August 11, 2009 at 1:11 am

I made some grocery bags out of thrifted t-shirts that we use every week and some play money out of old denim. I think those 2 things get used a lot!

87 Lindsey August 11, 2009 at 1:11 am

I’ve made more pairs of pants out of old t-shirts. I love Amanda Soule.

88 Sarah August 11, 2009 at 1:14 am

I made some grocery bags out of old t-shirts that we use every week!

89 *emy August 11, 2009 at 1:18 am

I have made a “princess tent” out of an old flowery comforter, that has become my saving grace on rainy days!

I am way jazzed about this book!

90 Liz August 11, 2009 at 1:19 am

I’m quite the beginner when it comes to sewing, and most of my projects have been clothes or gifts (not for the home). But I made an apron that I *love* from old curtains. :-D

91 Steph August 11, 2009 at 1:25 am

A wall hanging caddy thing with recycled fabric is the only thing to date but we are finally buying our first home soon and I KNOW I will be making a rag rug and duvet covers from bed sheets to make it really cosy and mark it as our own home.

92 Michelle August 11, 2009 at 1:36 am

I think my useful thing right now, given it is still winter here in Canberra, is my recycled hot water bottle cover, made from a vintage pillowcase and some very old buttons.

93 Jesse August 11, 2009 at 2:02 am

When we bought a new mattress we kept the old futon base, and so far have used it to make 2 planting boxes and a dog bed. There are still some bits of wood left! The futon itself is going to become bass traps in the music studio.

94 Victoria M August 11, 2009 at 2:25 am

I made a plastic grocery bag dispenser from an old pillowcase. Much more practical and prettier than having them hanging off a hook like we used to :-)

95 se7en August 11, 2009 at 2:27 am

Every craft we do is recycled in some manner of fashion because I just can’t stand taking se7en kids shopping!!! Of course this could backfire and they all become shopaholics in rebellion – but so far we are very content to recycle our bits and pieces round and round!

96 Salihan August 11, 2009 at 2:41 am

I re-used old curtains by turning them into wheat bags for the whole family. I also made one for each of my husband’s family and they loved their handmade birthday gifts! We use our wheat bags all the time for aches and pains and for a quick way to warm up the bed in winter.

97 Kimberly August 11, 2009 at 3:12 am

I have just begun my journey with “re-purposing.” I have used vintage items for years and use many things that belonged to my great-grandmother and my grandmother, sometimes reworking them.

I, too, love the way Amanda writes, she makes you feel like you could sit and have tea and visit. She shares her experiences so generously. Her first book, The Creative Family, has provided me with so much inspiration. I’m so excited that her new book is available.

Thank you for the giveaway.

98 rachelle August 11, 2009 at 3:14 am

Im all about repurposing things around the house. I love making my #10 cans into cute storage containers (crayons, puzzles, etc), ketchup squeeze bottles become what the kids call “fun shape pancake maker”, sour cream containers plus a straw become bubble makers. To me these things are invaluable because they help keep my hectic life organized and the kids entertained. This book looks fantastic, and if I don’t win it Im just going to have to head to the store to buy it.

99 Pebbledsah August 11, 2009 at 3:24 am

Tote bags…they get used every day. Thanks for the giveaway!

100 Rachel M August 11, 2009 at 3:40 am

I use Douwe Egberts coffee jars to keep all my buttons and ribbons tidy in my craft room. I also use them in the kitchen to store dried fruit and pulses. I can hand on heart say I have never thrown one away, they are just so useful and very pretty.

101 Jenmeister August 11, 2009 at 3:44 am

I have been busy making bags from recycled materials… Old/ripped doona covers can easily be sewn into great shopping bags, and the orange netting that oranges sometimes come in can be turned into small bags for keeping lunch items together, or to put veggies in at the supermarket.

102 Patricia August 11, 2009 at 3:48 am

I made a quilt made for my hubby. For this project I used his and my old shirts, one of them he wore at our engagement party. Even one of my grandfathers shirts went into this quilt.

103 Mary August 11, 2009 at 4:00 am

I have used old curtains to make new, lined patchwork curtains for my daughter’s bedroom, upholstery offcuts to make cushion covers, and oddments to make rag dolls. I have a stash of recycled fabric waiting for inspiration – I would love a copy of this book!

104 Dawn in NL August 11, 2009 at 4:05 am

Bathroom mats knitted with strips torn from 100% cotton curtains which had faded in the sun. Varigated yarn! They are so soft under our feet in the morning. I love them.

105 Anna August 11, 2009 at 4:17 am

my ex-boyfriend had some fantastic curtains, well the material was fantastic but they looked terrible hanging up! so the have been re-purposed into bibs, library bags and cushion covers. much nicer and he replaced them with some more practical and stylish ones.

106 Kerry August 11, 2009 at 4:27 am

My children and I make Christmas decorations every year from bits and pieces we have lying around – peg doll fairies, hand drawn Christmassy smelling sachets, glittery stars made from an old cereal packet with my daughter when she was tiny. Whenever I open the decorations box I’m overwhelmed with happy memories. We may not have the trendiest looking tree but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

107 sherah August 11, 2009 at 4:33 am

I like to take old t-shirts and “re-style” them. I need to repurpose some of our stuff into shopping bags because we will soon be moving to Germany, where we are going to need them.

108 meri August 11, 2009 at 4:34 am

Besides changing cloths, I make little or big bags from cloths. Recently I made napkin-bags from sraps – fabric and lace.
I would like so much to win Amanda’s book! :)

109 Agnieszka August 11, 2009 at 4:53 am

A lot :) Bags from clothes, knitting slippers from old sweaters, pillows fom courtains etc. Actually almost everything I’m making is from some old stuff :) And I love Amanda’s book!

110 jill August 11, 2009 at 4:54 am

i love colorful totes , that match my wardrobe or as a gift. and i make them from thrifted curtains and bedsheets.

111 emily August 11, 2009 at 5:08 am

We’ve recycled/reused birthday/christmas packaging into 3d sculptures…I see them every day on our ways and it makes me happy to know we used packaging that normally gets tossed into art. :)

112 Carolyn August 11, 2009 at 5:19 am

I made art smocks for the kids out of old shower curtains and we use them almost daily. I have also made little sheets for the kids’ beds from old shower curtain and flannelette fabric. They just cover half the bed and are great for night-time accidents. I just have to take that sheet off and not worry about changing the whole sheet set in the middle of the night. Also, some of the kids’ paintings become wrapping paper for parties and old green and red fabric has become our Xmas wrapping “paper”.

113 thebigmango August 11, 2009 at 5:30 am

Probably the least glamourous but most used item I have ever made was a wheat bag from an old pair of trousers. I use it almost everyday to soothe my muscle aches.

114 Valerie August 11, 2009 at 5:40 am

It was a blink of an eye ago that I lined my newborn’s dresser drawers with gift wrap from his baby shower. He’s 29 now and we go thrifting together because he ‘gets it!’ We’ve rescued countless items from resale shops, garage sales, and the curb (!) We love talking about the history of our treasures, and are always looking to add to our collections.

115 Elisha August 11, 2009 at 5:47 am

old denim skirt and scraps of material to make a heaty wheat bag that i use every night!! Also the cot is recycled, we are stripping back and old one to reduce the consumerisum that often gos with babies!!

116 Victoria August 11, 2009 at 5:49 am

What a fantastic prize! Thank you for the opportunity to win such a great book…!

I love to second hand, recycled, reclaimed, preloved, what ever you want to call it, I love it & happily furnish my home with it. We have in the past made a drinks cabinet out of an old stand alone Kriesler radio, kitchen storage from cd racks lain on their sides, planters out of almost any object you can imagine…

But my favourite item is a recent addition to our house – work benches from a printer here in town that went out of business. They were old & grimey but very strong & sturdy, now they have my handpainted art on their surfaces, are still old & still strong… they are the center piece of my craft area & I love working on them – not a major repurpose as far as function is concerned, but I am so glad that I was able to save a couple of old & unwanted benches & utilise them for a creative & crafty purpose, and they certainly have proved invaluable!

With the added work space they’ve provided I have been able to branch out with my crafts & have several things ‘on the go’ at once, instead of having to pack up one thing to go on to another as I had to before. The feeling of space in my work area has translated into a feeling of freedom in my mind, and as any crafter knows, craft is increadibly theraputic – and cheaper than therapy!

*fingers crossed!!*

117 Bonnie August 11, 2009 at 6:52 am

Handmade things made for the family and for the home ALWAYS prove to be invaluable, but the best thing would be a red and white star blanket made for my little one, it is well worn but whenever we are feeling like a snuggle on a cold day this is perfect for keeping us wrapped up and warm.

Soulemama is so inspirational thanks for the chance to win a copy of her book!

118 Signe August 11, 2009 at 6:57 am

Thank you for this opportunity!
The most invaluable thing I have made is a super quick and simple, but very bright and cheerful quilt. I have 2 small children, and I made the wuilt from the pillowcases that have come with the various children’s duvet covers we’ve been given and have bought over the last couple of years.
I don’t know if this just a european/nordic/danish thing, but it always seemed odd to me to include a pillowcase when there’s such a strong emphasis on the importance of children not sleeping with a pillow…
Anyway, the quilt is made of the pillowcases and the centre is an old pure wool plaid/blanket, so it is very warm and soft.
The quilt travels just about everywhere with us and is used to nap under, picnic on, to keep out rain, to rest my tired head on and best og all, it makes me smile.

119 kelly August 11, 2009 at 7:01 am

We have quite a bit of recycled and up-cycled furniture. Perhaps my greatest achievement so far was reupholstering some chairs from the arts and crafts period as well as a small round stool from my grandmother’s house to go with them. I always loved that stool, even though it was a hideous blue and brown velvet floral. It was the perfect height for me to perch on as a kid. Now it’s a cheerful red, waiting for some little kid to perch on it as I did. My next project is a yellow vinyl spinning chair that was from my dad’s first (and only) bachelor pad.

This book looks fantastic – thanks for the chance to win!

120 Charlotte August 11, 2009 at 7:06 am

I repurposed a chair that I found on the side of the road in pieces and sanded, finished it and its now one of my favorite pieces around my house. I try to take things that would go to waste and find a way to incorporate them into our house in a useful way.

121 Alison August 11, 2009 at 7:16 am

This sounds a little insane, but I made a hammock for my iguana from an old couch slipcover. He loves it. However, I have a lot of old blankets that I’d love to recycle into something functional!

122 suzy August 11, 2009 at 7:18 am

I used a lot of my husband’s old work shirts to make summer-weight sleep sacks for my sons (how to here, if anyone is interested). It saved money, made something unique for my baby, and meant he got to sleep in beautifully soft pre-washed fabric.

123 erinmalia August 11, 2009 at 7:21 am

I used some leftover bandanas to make a tablecloth and I love it! It’s functional and bright and happy.

124 chelle August 11, 2009 at 7:24 am

Just before I got married, I made a jean quilt out of my husband’s old Levis … in the winter we still sleep underneath it 9 years later :)

125 Michelle August 11, 2009 at 7:25 am

Invaluable? Not so sure it’s that big of deal, but I recycled some materials and made new pillows for our livingroom. Can you believe how much throw pillows cost?! Jeesh. Maybe the money we saved was invaluable. :)

126 catherine August 11, 2009 at 7:32 am

years ago I made a skirt from one of my grandma’s old dresses – still going strong and just lovely to wear on a warm summers day

127 ellen August 11, 2009 at 7:32 am

My yoga mat bag started life as a pair of my son’s wide leg jeans. It makes a great sturdy bag and reminds me of his teenage years. The drawstring is rope leftover from my clothesline in my last house, with wood beads on the ends from my macrame days in the 70’s (why yes, I do hang on to things!)

128 christine August 11, 2009 at 7:46 am

Pajamas for my infant son from my favorite thrift store pajamas. Not surprisingly, after all those years of love, they didn’t hold up long, but they were almost as cute as him!

129 Alyssa August 11, 2009 at 8:05 am

baby woolly pants from thrifted sweaters! so easy and so perfect for cold winter days…

130 Agneta Ekholm August 11, 2009 at 8:09 am

I made a weekend bag out of old jeans, and this bag has been with me on many shorter trips. The jeans in it are from friends and family, and some of the patches makes me remember them … especially those that my kids wore before they outgrew them!

131 sarahjane August 11, 2009 at 8:12 am

The last 2 summers my son and I have made pajama shorts out of old t-shirts (much like the project in Amanda’s first book). He loves picking out the shirts and “helping” as best as a two year-old is able. We embroider little sizes on the inner waistband. Every night he picks the color pajama pants he wants to wear, asks to see the number on the waist band, and jumps in bed! I’ve yet to buy a pair of summer pajamas!

132 Nanna August 11, 2009 at 8:19 am

I would love to have this book. It is always fun to learn new crafts!

133 Melissa H. August 11, 2009 at 8:22 am

I know this isn’t sewing/craft related, but my husband and I have made a rain water barrel and compost barrel out of previously used materials. The compost is looking great and the rain barrel is full, so we can easily water our plants. :)

134 Jen August 11, 2009 at 8:31 am

I would absolutely love to win a copy! I follow Amanda’s blog and it definitely inspires me to be more creative! I love saving toilet paper rolls or empty glass jars for the kids to make crafts out of!

135 craftytammie August 11, 2009 at 8:42 am

My favorite repurpose? I have a wood box with a hinged lid that my Papa made, he kept his shoe shine kit in it! We don’t have much use for shiny shoes :) so I reused it in our mudroom to hold his great grandkids gloves, sunglasses, crayon books for church, etc.. They sit on it to put on shoes too! I love that he made it himself. My family knows to give me anything they don’t want!

136 Christine C. August 11, 2009 at 8:44 am

I made a chicken coop this year from scratch and raised my chickens from tiny chicks. We are able to enjoy the fruits of my labor everyday with their fresh eggs and funny company! Whether it’s wood work, sewing, crocheting or sprucing up thrift store finds, I am always crafting for our family…the chickens just stole the show this year!

137 amy August 11, 2009 at 8:47 am

Hmm, not recycled per se, but I make my own cleaning solution with citrus oil, white vinegar, and water. I love that it’s safe for the kids (although I don’t let them near the pure citrus oil) and the citrus smells amazing. Plus it’s cheap!

I’d love a copy of the book! :-)

138 bex August 11, 2009 at 8:49 am

I cut a doorway out of an upturned box, for the cat that lives in my sharehouse. We all made her all manner of crafted things, using our special skills and lots of effort, but she only likes the box. Now every moody member of the household has their own private room to retreat to when the need arises.

139 Katie R August 11, 2009 at 8:53 am

My kitchen table and chairs were cast offs that I cleaned, sanded, polished, and recovered. :) Her new book looks great!

140 Tina August 11, 2009 at 9:02 am

I cut the worn lower legs off a pair of corduroy pants to make them into shorts. Then I used the good parts of the cut off corduroy to make a beanbag for my camera (I added a zipper and filled it with rice) – a very useful alternative to a bulky tripod.

141 Anabella August 11, 2009 at 9:02 am

I do wish I still had a young child at home… Amanda’s ideas of stuff to do with kids are so great! I am really looking forward to this book, as I am finally able to carve out a little more time out of the day to make some things for home! Getting a signed copy would be great!

142 Anabella August 11, 2009 at 9:05 am

Ooops. Submitted too early… On the recycling front, I recently made some holders fro my jewelry making tools out of cardboard cores from some photography paper, and they are sturdier than most plastic holders out in the market. I love them! Though I suppose my curent weaving project, a rag carpet made out of old jeans is probably more in keeping with Amanda’s way of thinking!

143 Kara August 11, 2009 at 9:06 am

Almost every piece of furniture in our house started out life with another purpose – our old kitchen table is my sewing desk, my grandmother’s hope chest is our coffee table, etc. I’d rather have a mismatched room and keep furniture around for it’s whole useful life than have a perfect set of Ikea!

144 Michelle August 11, 2009 at 9:09 am

I have made a reusable shopping bag from a shirt my husband used to wear to work. That bag is helping us when we shop. I also plan to make a floor mat from other work shirts because they are sturdy cottons. I have been using old sheets and shower curtains to make purses. I have been able to turn two little skirts into purses based on a tutorial on Whip Up! I would love a book with more ideas.

145 Katie August 11, 2009 at 9:13 am

I made soakers from recycled sweaters for my son. I made a throw from recycled quilt scraps. I made toys from wood scraps.

146 Julie Gravelle August 11, 2009 at 9:14 am

I make dolls and pillows from some of my son’s outgrown clothes. Saw this book in the bookstore already it is amazing.

147 Donna August 11, 2009 at 9:20 am

I always try to incorporate thrifted materials or recycled materials into all my quilts. I just finished a quilt top for myself using strings of scraps and it was awesome to use up bits and bobs of fabric . can’t wait for it to be done. .it’ll be cuddly and soft and the first quilt I’ve made for myself!

148 Amy August 11, 2009 at 9:26 am

all wrapping paper, boxes, and gift bags get reused in our home. I used to donate all of our textiles, but lately have saved them for their fabric.

149 Kolleen August 11, 2009 at 9:27 am

We try to reuse everything, from favorite, outgrown tshirts (great pillows)to old undies (great dustrags). My favorite is really the most simple: all my notions are in old boxes and tins–my thread in a candy box, my buttons in an almond roca tin (actually first reused by my grandmother). The boxes look great and stack well–so much so that I don’t really mind that my sewing room is also the dining room!

150 Susanna August 11, 2009 at 9:29 am

I made a duvet cover from flannel sheets that has made our bed cozy in the winter. Also I save glass jars and use them EVERYWHERE. They are so useful!

151 Katie W August 11, 2009 at 9:49 am

I made my laptop case out of my husbands corduroys he wore in college. It makes me happy every morning when I pull out my laptop from my briefcase and think of him.

152 Jen August 11, 2009 at 9:52 am

We recycle everything around here. My favorites this year are two revamped skirts from my own closet and a batch of toy snakes made from old kids’ clothes. One snake is among my 17 month old son’s favorite toys. He loves to “snake” it around and say “sssss”.

153 ~Heather August 11, 2009 at 9:58 am

I use old, torn (and very soft) sheets to make patterns (much more resilient than paper! ~H

154 molly August 11, 2009 at 9:59 am

The most recent thing has been mesh bags for my breast pump parts. Upcycled from a laundry bag. use them every day at work….

155 Tracey August 11, 2009 at 10:06 am

i made a slip cover for my sewing machine out of a pillowcase, but that was insanely simple to do, so i don’t really think about it, lol. but i am quite proud of the button down shirt turned button up pillowcase that i made for my ds’s iPod pillow. the cord attaching his ipod to the pillow fits through a button hole, and the pocket is the perfect place to store his ipod.

156 Marcijo August 11, 2009 at 10:12 am

I can’t think of anything, I keep all sorts of things with plans to use them but I never quite get to it.

157 Amanda R August 11, 2009 at 10:21 am

I made a nativity scene out of recycled materials. I get many compliments on it every year. This year, I am making them to give as gifts.

158 Allison August 11, 2009 at 10:23 am

I am making a quilt for my daughter’s new big-girl bed out of recycled clothes and bedsheets, that’s something I’m really excited about!

159 Angela August 11, 2009 at 10:32 am

We made a changing table/dresser out of a storage shelf thingy that was in our home when we moved in. It was a great use of good wood and the changing table (of course) is a much used item. We love it and it felt so good not to throw away all that storage space!

160 Kate August 11, 2009 at 10:38 am

My daughter and I made several of those fused plastic grocery bags…they have been life savers…we even did some fun ones with tissue paper flowers inside and made placemats for the kids dinner spots!

Also I have about 3 tshirt quilts that are drug all over our home back yard and front, they are constantly getting used.

161 Rebecca August 11, 2009 at 10:42 am

An ottoman stuffed with old t-shirts and jeans from Amy Butlers gumdrop pattern :)

162 Lanette August 11, 2009 at 10:49 am

I am repurposing a sweater my grandmother knit for me years ago. I have made one sleeve into a bag dispenser. The other sleeve and torso portion of the sweater are in the process of turning into pillows. I will treasure this keepsake from my sweet Mormor.

163 marie b August 11, 2009 at 10:57 am

it’s funny, it just occured to me last night before even reading this, that the only brand new “nice” furniture in our home that we’ve bought as a married couple (7 years) is our couches (which we just bought a year ago) and our mattress. Everything else I scavage from roadsides, thrift stores & family members and are given a new life through sanding, leftover paint and whatever else is neccessary that I have on hand. My fave being my dinky little dining room table that was passed between a few families w/in my family, mostly residing with us as kids. When it found it’s way back to my parents again they were going to toss it. I spent a solid 2 days sanding, staining and painting and it’s now prettier than ever (yeah, toot-too :) We don’t have kids to feed at the table, but I still cherish it, never-the-less.

164 Amanda August 11, 2009 at 11:16 am

I made my clothes pin bag from an old shirt. Wow, did it turn out bad– the first time I sewed it all together and there was no way to open it. When I tried to fix it I sewed it all together backwards. I finally fixed it and made it usable, but I laugh every time I hang laundry out.

165 Lynn August 11, 2009 at 11:18 am

I fixed up an old basket that is in the shape of a rooster from my Oma. It now sits in the kitchen filled with candy. My niece and nephew always ask for a piece when they are over, and always thank Oma when they are done.

166 Aimee August 11, 2009 at 11:33 am

I have just begun my crafting life the last little while, but I made my daughter some pants from my old shirts and was so amazed I could actually repurpose something! It made me realize I could sew clothes…now I’ve made her a few other things and love all this learning!

167 Jaime August 11, 2009 at 11:39 am

What an amazing book. I can’t wait to peak inside and get some fresh ideas!

168 Cami August 11, 2009 at 11:51 am

We used salvaged materials to make a tree fort for my boys. They have enjoyed it over the years and have now outgrown it. It was a great place for picnics, sleepovers and time alone!

169 Kami August 11, 2009 at 11:54 am

Many things get repurposed around here, most recently I have been cleaning out my own closet and using the fabrics from clothes that no longer fit or are not a style I like any more and using them to make new clothes for my kiddos.

170 Julie August 11, 2009 at 12:01 pm

I made floor cushions out of denim and a large comfy mat out of old quilts for our play room. Now I have a great place to sit and watch my kids play.

171 megan August 11, 2009 at 12:04 pm

We have a lot of furniture in our house that is second-hand including our kitchen table, daughter’s art easel, her bed, her small table and chairs, our desk, etc. My newest old addition is a 100 year old claw-foot tub that is our new favorite spot in the house. It works for cranky toddlers (and mamas), hot days, stressful days, and messy days.
Thanks for the giveaway!

172 Jacqueline August 11, 2009 at 12:05 pm

The things I use the most are cleaning cloths I’ve made from old sheets or t-shirts (so we don’t waste as many paper towels). The cutest thing I’ve made is a cat hand-puppet from old felted sweaters.

173 Shannon August 11, 2009 at 12:10 pm

I love her blog and the book sounds incredible!

174 rachel johnson August 11, 2009 at 12:17 pm

well… It is not very creative, but they are always useful: rags made from old t-shirts. You can use them for everything and they are so plentiful you never have to worry about ruining them.

The book looks lovely! xoxo

175 carissa August 11, 2009 at 12:23 pm

i love reading amanda’s blog. most of my recycling has been in my closet. i’m looking forward to making more upcycled/recycled things for my baby coming in october!

176 Laura PJ August 11, 2009 at 12:31 pm

My son’s room is furnished entirely with recycled/ rescued materials!

177 jennie August 11, 2009 at 12:39 pm

I have a favorite tote bag that I made from an old vinyl tablecloth, I get compliments every day.

178 Pikku Possu August 11, 2009 at 12:44 pm

What have your made for the home from recycled materials that has proved invaluable in your life?

I made a new cover for my sewing machine using an old table cloth and it has been more than perfect. Looks still like new and keeps my machine safe from all the dust and dirt (and there are plenty of both in my household :D)

179 Megan August 11, 2009 at 12:44 pm

I’m just starting to try and use recycled materials, but I did make a nice embroidered pillow out of a pair of torn up jeans. I’d love to have that book to get some good ideas!

180 Joan G August 11, 2009 at 12:46 pm

I sew from all recycled fabric I find at thrift stores and online. This is invaluable in selecting and sewing vintage patterns. I also use my finds to decorate my home. I am currently making dish towels with kitchen themed fabric I found in a thrift stores. It is either from the 50’s or the 60’s. I spent .99 cents on a full yard of this cool fabric. I saved money. I recycled. I am enjoying the creative process. I love living purposefully and creatively.

181 Sherri I August 11, 2009 at 1:33 pm

I made my husband a denim rag quilt using my boy’s old jeans that he just loves!

182 Sara C August 11, 2009 at 1:37 pm

Recycling clothes to make toddler clothes. Always recycling paper for art projects. Thanks for the giveaway.

183 martini m. August 11, 2009 at 1:54 pm

i recycled some of my dad’s old shirts to short summer dresses that are amazingly comfortable to wear, especially on very hot days. also, my flatmates & me got hold of a really old couch & are about to put some lovely coverings on it. since the couch is bright red & doesn’t fit to the optic of the living room at all, the coverings are really something to need. although the optic yet doesn’t fit in, the couch as already changed or live. it is so comfy that finally the living room became a place worth of its name: a place to live and be with others. i am really glad we got this old used couch, choose some fabrics together & are now about sewing the covering & the pillows. it is not easy for students to get a nice home together with a very low budget. recyceling things is a very lovely way to do so, people should do so way more often instead of only buying new things. you appreciate things more, if you worked hard for/ on them. & doing so together with others makes it even feeling better (:

have a nice day!

184 Nancy August 11, 2009 at 2:24 pm

This curtain, to contain the nice, chilly, air-conditioned air in our family room:

185 Bridget August 11, 2009 at 2:26 pm

I use fabric scraps and old t-shirts to make little stuffie toys for my kids.

186 Sophie August 11, 2009 at 2:33 pm

I have an old wooden child’s chair that sort of “came with the house” that I painted and now use as a prop when I’m taking pictures of fat quarter sets for my fabric shop. Thanks for the chance to win this book, looks like a great read!

187 Miliana August 11, 2009 at 2:39 pm

I have been a reader of whip up for about four years now and have always been in awe of its contents and have drawn much inspiration from it during those years.

However, only recently did I begin to scavenger the links listed of other craft blogs, which is when I discovered Soule Mama’s blog and was struck with amazement! Her lifestyle and craft is really touching. Each post feels like it is full of such love and care.

Browsing through her blog makes me want to create beautiful things for the people I love and see that the small things in life are actually the big things in life.

I’m currently completing my final year in Design Art at my university and for the past two years, we have been very much encouraged to implicate notions of sustainability into our designs, which means not only thinking about how our projects will be used but what happens to them afterwards and how can they be reused. I could think of nothing better than craft to be the perfect example of sustainable design and have been incorporating this fact into my projects not only for this reason but also because it is a love that has been with me since childhood.

When I was younger I got into sewing by hand and used the leftover bottom pyjama fabrics my father brought home from a job at a textile factory to make an elaborate ruffle dress pyjama for myself, which I do not have anymore but it is always vivid in my memory. Also, in the fifth grade our teacher was the only teacher to teach her classes the flute, which was easy to acquire but not the flute holders. I took it upon myself to use the sleeve of an old shirt to make my own flute holder and that was the beginning of my small “business” of flute holder making for the whole class.

Four years ago I discovered the immense world of craft online only as a source of interest and hobby and through whipup and soulemama I have rediscovered that it can be/is a way of life.

188 Elizabeth August 11, 2009 at 2:41 pm

Like Amanda we are a homeschooling family. We spend a lot of time recycling whatever we possibly can. Last year it was really hard to stick to a schedule for our text book work, so this year I’m making it a priority to finish the book work before we start on the extra fun projects. To help with this I made two bulletin boards. They are just foam board from the dollar tree cover with recycled flannel so that felt will stick to it. So far they have been invaluable, as we’ve schooled over the summer instead of taking a summer break, they have gotten lots of use. Another thing we’ve done is made marble magnets out of pictures we cut out of magazines. They say things like “you rock” and “discovery” and stuff like that; they are motivating and a fun project to accomplish in about half an hour.

189 Lisa August 11, 2009 at 2:53 pm

I haven’t done much for the home but would love to make curtains for my daughter’s rooms with some old sheets I just love. I have been making her dresses out of recycled t-shirts which is amazing!

190 Sara August 11, 2009 at 3:02 pm

I would so love to win this drawing! I think I must check “Creative Family” out of the library at least once a month. Thanks so much! I try to use salvage/re-purposed materials for most of my sewing. My favorite project, though, was to make our chicken coop out of our neighbor’s re-model leftovers.

191 gisele August 11, 2009 at 3:09 pm

Small benches I made from scrap wood. I painted them white and I keep them by the windows in my sunroom with my plants.

192 Rachel R. August 11, 2009 at 3:16 pm

Aprons! For Christmas last year I made aprons out of thrifted table linens. All of the ladies in our house – little ladies included – get good use out of these. They are worn for crafts, cooking, and cleaning (both pretend and actual).

193 Andrea August 11, 2009 at 3:18 pm

I am just reading Amanda Soule’s first book and it is such an inspiration. I made reusable sandwich bags out of baby teething cookie packaging and we just love them – easy to clean and it saves money and the environment – yay!

194 Ingrid August 11, 2009 at 3:28 pm

I sewed some napkins from of some bright-patterned cotton pillowcases a few months ago. I made them primarily because I couldn’t bear to throw the cases away, but I’ve found that we use the napkins daily now!

195 kat August 11, 2009 at 3:41 pm

In looking about my house, I realize that there are only three items purchased “as new” – all of our furniture was purchased second hand or was handed down from my grandmother. Her old rocker needed a lot of help and my husband had it reupholstered and fixed up before my first son was born. Both my children have been nursed, sung to, and read to in that rocker – and we’re all still enjoying it every day. Other than the large items in my home, we reuse most containers with lids, either to store food or art supplies. Lots of our storage solutions have come about through old wooden wine crates. And my fabric stash has loads of old curtains and thrifted fabrics waiting for new lives . . .
I read soulemama every day. It’s a great way to start the day. I would be honored to win a copy of her new book. Thanks for the chance!

196 Stacy Thoma August 11, 2009 at 3:56 pm

I would say the t-shirt quilt I made for my husband with all of his old high school band shirts. He loves it!

197 Helen August 11, 2009 at 4:00 pm

A quilt i made for my son from many pairs of old jeans, and fabric from a thrift store.

198 Susan Falzon August 11, 2009 at 4:02 pm

One of the few projects I did for myself was a bag made from an old pair of jeans. I use it to tote around knitting projects I am working on.

199 Melissa August 11, 2009 at 4:24 pm

We’ve recently remodeled our home, and have tried to use as many repurposed materials as possible. My favorite project was the bathroom vanity we made from an antique dresser and mirror we purchased from a flea market. It turned out fabulously and is truely one-of-a-kind!

200 sherri s. August 11, 2009 at 4:36 pm

Curtains from sheets; napkins from sheets; rag rugs…lots of fun! Thanks for the giveaway.

201 Amy August 11, 2009 at 4:48 pm

Floor cushions for our new drafty home for the little ones to sit on, jump on, and throw at one another, made from old crib sheets and other bits of fabric collected through the year.

202 Marleen August 11, 2009 at 5:01 pm

Recycling is something that came natural to my grandma, so i use her little book ‘to the mother and daughter’ a lot. It’s written in 1920, by a monk, and full of usefull household-tips.
I like Soulemama a lot, i keep my fingers crossed.

203 mary e. August 11, 2009 at 5:05 pm

A quilt from my daughters’ dresses (in the making). It’s not just thrift that motivates me. I can’t let go of these little flowered things…

204 Jeanette August 11, 2009 at 5:08 pm

I made a fabulous blanket from repurposed felted jumpers. Just cut rectangles out of the felted material and then zigzag the seams together – turned out perfect.

205 robin August 11, 2009 at 5:17 pm

I don’t have anything I’ve repurposed that I love – lol. But I’ve repurposed lots of things just for daily use. Love repurposing!
Thanks for the giveaway!
cokelush at gmail

206 Anne August 11, 2009 at 5:18 pm

Oh would I love this book – I recently made a sleeping bag out of a gently used but loved comforter. I turned out great – hardest part was finding a really long zipper!!

207 Nicole August 11, 2009 at 5:48 pm

I’m currently sanding, priming, re-painting, and then mod podging an old dresser from my husbands childhood. I’m going to use it for the craft nook I’m making myself. We had saved the dresser because we knew we’d find a use for it at some point and 1 year later I have!

208 christina August 11, 2009 at 6:19 pm

reusing old clothes fabric and making quilts and other mish mash.

209 Amanda August 11, 2009 at 6:24 pm

I have made cat toys that have been really fun for the cat! Would love to win :)

210 Molly August 11, 2009 at 6:39 pm

I made a blanket from recycled sweaters that is much-loved in our home. I feel like I have to re-fold it every morning because someone used it the night before and it’s in a heap on the couch. :)

211 UK lass in US August 11, 2009 at 6:58 pm

I don’t know that they’d be considered invaluable, but they had value in that they saved me money:
bermuda shorts made out of jeans
wall art made out of greeting cards and web images
picture mats made out of cardboard
weaving looms made out of picture frames
paper weights made out of rope
toys made out of scraps and old clothes
model hot air balloons out of newspaper (papier mache)etc.
The list goes on. I try to keep all sorts of scraps and things as they are always coming in useful, whether for kid crafts or for things around the house.

212 Caroline August 11, 2009 at 8:00 pm

Kids clothes and toys out of scraps and ‘trash’, for my nieces and nephews. Thanks for this opportunity!

213 Lavina Dee August 11, 2009 at 8:10 pm

I make a lot of things out of recycled materials or thrifted fabric but the two things that immediatly come to mind are my “mama pads” that I made out of flannel receiving blankets and my Son’s superhero cape that I made out of a bride’s maid dress.

214 amy August 11, 2009 at 8:11 pm

I took one of my boys’ old flannel shirts and made a skirt for my daughter–she just loved it! I took one of my hubby’s gray striped button down shirts and made it into a shirt for me. It looks so great with my black pants and pink hi-tops! And I’m getting ready to take one of my daughter’s old skirts and use it in some quilt blocks! I have so much trouble getting rid of things because I may find a re-purpose for it!! My hubby loves that about me! :)

215 Kerstin August 11, 2009 at 8:18 pm

I save all the scraps from my handmade projects. I even unravel old sweaters from high school. I made a beautiful long sleeved baby dress from a heather plum cotton JCrew sweater for my niece’s first birthday. Everyone loved it! I was happy to have used the yarn from a sweater that I adored, but that no longer fit.

216 Catherine August 11, 2009 at 8:31 pm

I made reusable shopping bags out of my Nana’s old curtains that I use constantly. I also love the pillowcases and cushion covers I have made for my children out of different repurposed fabrics. They seem to love them more than the bought ones too.

217 lucie August 11, 2009 at 8:49 pm

mainly knitted toys I made for my daughter , thanks for the giveaway

218 Raheli August 11, 2009 at 8:52 pm

Hi — I have been looking forward to this book release & would love to win it. I think the most invaluable thing we have repurposed are old tea towels & heavy handkerchiefs that we now use as napkins. But we only bought them & used them [but we used them all the time]
Also, found planters & exotic cans have been turned into a mail/organizing center.

219 Erin August 11, 2009 at 9:48 pm

I would love a copy of this book! I have been drooling over it!

I made curtains for my kitchen from an old sheet I was no longer going to use…and now no one can see me doing my dishes in my grubby pj’s!

220 Jenny August 11, 2009 at 9:49 pm

Just this week we used the old shell of a radiogram to hide the ugly of a new white heater.

221 Sophie August 11, 2009 at 9:53 pm

Love, Love, Love this!!!

222 Kristy August 11, 2009 at 10:03 pm

I have to say that almost everything I make comes from recycled materials from backpacks made from sheets and purses made from curtains to old tin cans to store my silverware. I love Amanda’s blog, she is such an inspiration.

223 michelle August 11, 2009 at 10:09 pm

i took apart my daughter’s crib bedding to make a # line banner for her room. this is my fav repurposing project!

224 Catherine G. August 11, 2009 at 10:18 pm

I made pillow covers from dishtowels – they are perfect in the living room and exactly what we needed!

225 Alisa August 11, 2009 at 10:49 pm

I LOVE sewing from recycled fabrics. Sheets into bags and skirts, dad’s pants into little boy pants, t-shirts into cording for handmade piping. My favorite is a large, beautifully embroidered duvet cover with a huge hole in it that I picked up at a seconds shop for only 5 bucks. I cut it up and made it into really fantastic throw pillows for my couch.

226 Cristy August 11, 2009 at 11:46 pm

Old printed shhets into bibs, jars into craft storage, cards into collage materials, and clothing into softies, but I really ought to (and would love to) do more…

227 Rosie August 12, 2009 at 12:24 am

Gorgeous book…and so relevant for today.

228 bless August 12, 2009 at 12:29 am

jewelry holders from old pill boxes–keeps the earring pairs together.

229 Cheryl August 12, 2009 at 2:49 am

Gosh, you have got me a thinkin. Pretty much everything I have is recycled. I’ve had one of those “Super” bugs, 2 major back surgeries and foot surgery on 7/10, all in less than 2 years, so I’ve been unable to work for that time. I inserted a couple of boards thru the sides of my walker and use that to hold books and magazines. I desperately needed shelving in a small spare room for my fabric and notions so I got some wooden crates from the local grocery store. I stacked them on their sides and with a little additional work, viola!!… I now have some cute, sturdy shelves. I also needed a table of some kind in that room. At the local Second Hand store, I ran across (4)long wood flower boxes made by kids in a shop class, they were very well made and extremely cheap. I was able to procure a top for Zero dollars. So the four flower boxes stood on end and serve as sturdy legs on each corner for the top. I used fabric that I had, to drape it to the floor and covered that with clear sturdy vinyl and I now have a work area in there too. The place I live in is very tiny, and has zero storage, so this has made a huge difference in being able to access my fabrics, and to be able to sew and craft again now that I am finally starting to slowly feel well enough to do it again.

I’m always trying to think of ways to make stuff I need, so this book sounds like it would be right up my alley and extremely helpful. I’m currently learning to crochet t-shirt and rag rugs. I’m just loving it and I know there is so much more out there just waiting to be learned. I’m grateful for this opportunity to perhaps win a copy of this wonderful book. Thanks so much for listening.

230 Anna August 12, 2009 at 4:34 am

I’ve made loads of storage cans from Pringles cans covered with teabags and given them away to friends and others that seemed to like them.

231 Nicole August 12, 2009 at 4:51 am

After my Nan passed away about 2 years ago I received some of her sewing bits and pieces, as well as her beautiful singer machine. In amongst the fabrics was a little pair of overalls that she hadn’t finished sewing… I’ve turned them into a pair of 3/4 pants for my daughter. It was lovely to finish something that she started – especially as she was one of my first and very special sewing teachers.

232 Kim August 12, 2009 at 5:40 am

My husband is in the military and so we move quite a bit. It’s a challenge to keep our moving house a home for us and our kids. One of our first stops in every community are the local thrift stores. We search for things to make into new for yet another apartment. We moved into a new apartment in Germany about a month ago and still don’t have our things so the current invaluable items are “new” curtains sewn from old linens and duvet covers. Affordable and we get some privacy!

What have your made for the home from recycled materials that has proved invaluable in your life?

233 Amanda Faulkner August 12, 2009 at 6:32 am

My son has autism and we have made SO many things to help him! One of his favorite is in the toy room our walls. I made a texture wall and we made a “quilt” of different fabrics to put up. We also have made communication tools (cards, magnets). One of his obsessions is Mario and video games. I’ve crafted his whole room to be Mario world. And I’m working on Mario felt ornaments for his Christmas tree – complete with the star power tree topper! :)

234 MzTallulah August 12, 2009 at 6:54 am

I’m still setting up home and in a country with not much thrift-store tradition, so I don’t have much that’s made from used materials; but I’ve been buying and felting sweaters from a second-hand clothes store and hope to make something (possibly cushion covers) from them soon!

235 selvi August 12, 2009 at 6:57 am

Simple and mundane, little clean-up cloths that I’ve used and used and used. I need a new set.

236 Abby August 12, 2009 at 7:21 am

I heart re purposing!! My fave re purposed items are our family picnic blanket complete with rock pockets made out of preloved baby linens and work shirts for my boys made from there dads preloved and work stained shirts. Thanx for the opportunity to win this fantastic book.

237 Tina August 12, 2009 at 7:36 am

I made a bathmat out of recycled T-shirt! Not very original, but it’s the closest I can get right now and I really really want a copy of the book… :D

238 Holly August 12, 2009 at 7:46 am

A quilt for my son’s “big boy” room that has a tiny piece of the fabric I used for his baby quilt, so I don’t have to let go just yet!

239 Laura August 12, 2009 at 8:00 am

I am pleased with the wonderful old bedlinen that I found at a Brocante in France, which has been re-purposed into a laundry bag…cushion…patches for a vintage eiderdown… Tres chic!

240 Emanuela Artioli August 12, 2009 at 8:17 am

Hallo from Italy!

one of the things we made from old bed linen and blankets that are mainly white and belonged to my great grand mother, is to transform them into table runners or towels that we decorated to put inside cupboards in order to keep the shelves clean and neat. It is very nice to look at them either because they are pretty and because they are special memories of the family. Me, my mum and my grandmother have been working on them all together…. isn,t that an invaluable treasure?

Emanuela Artioli

241 Merle August 12, 2009 at 8:21 am

I have recycled t-shirts into a dog bed, and remade old clothes into new clothes. Though not enough time to do all that I wish to do. Thinking about doing something with a jumper I shrunk but a bit lost for ideas. It looks like an inspiring book with interesting ideas, a lovely opportunity for 2 lucky people. Thanks

242 sarah August 12, 2009 at 8:26 am

my daughter’s quilt i made her when she was 3! she will be 11 on friday and she still loves it.

243 Typhany August 12, 2009 at 8:39 am

I recycle many of old clothes into clothes for my 2 year old daughter.

244 Grace Wong August 12, 2009 at 10:04 am

Wow, the handmade home book looks really interesting! I love recycling my old stuff!

245 Grace Wong August 12, 2009 at 10:07 am

Sorry, I didn’t answer the question. I once made a small magazine bowl from the free Ikea catalogue.

246 Jane Weston August 12, 2009 at 10:30 am

Last year I made a peg apron from an old cotton shirt and the remnants of some curtains. I love my apron it really makes the job of pegging out the laundry a breeze ;o)

247 Anne August 12, 2009 at 11:19 am

I love making cloth diapers out of old sheets, towels, and clothes. My babies love how soft on their bum the worn in material feels, I love saving a bit of money and feeling like I am doing my part for the environment. Thanks for this wonderful giveaway!

248 Ashley August 12, 2009 at 1:36 pm

All the the repurposed projects in this house are toys: doll clothes, doll furniture upholstery, rag dolls, plushies, blankets for dolls etc. And this things are certainly invaluable to my kids, especially my daughter who is my “child who most appreciates my handmaking”!

249 jen August 12, 2009 at 1:38 pm

I love making clothes for my babes out of my hubby’s old clothes. I hope I win a copy, I can’t wait to read it!

250 bFlat August 12, 2009 at 1:57 pm

I love my salad dressing bottle made from an old olive oil container. Nothing store bought could compare to what I upcycled.

251 stacy August 12, 2009 at 1:58 pm

Toys and treasures for my daughter from recycled clothes

252 Katie F August 12, 2009 at 2:17 pm

We recycle old t-shirts. We make quilts, pillows, curtains … it’s a great way to recycle and bring back memories at the same time!
Great giveaway!

253 Louisa August 12, 2009 at 2:22 pm

I would have to say I love recycling my favorite clothes into clothes for my little babe!

254 Jeni August 12, 2009 at 3:20 pm

I actually took the tulle left over from my arch from my wedding and incorporated it into a tutu for my daughter (who then thought the dog could use it, but that is another story!!) I would love to do something with my daughter’s baby clothes before we end up getting rid of them.

255 Starr August 12, 2009 at 4:42 pm

I have three kids and so my favorite things to do are to upcycle mine and my husband’s old shirts as well as outfits the kids have outgrown and turn them into new outfits. I even use these shirts etc to create embellishments on my kids outfits to add a little color to them. I also use the scraps to make patchwork blankies that all the kids love!

256 Jacqueline August 12, 2009 at 5:53 pm

Love your site!! I have been following Amanda too, for so long now. Congratulations Amanda on the new book! We reuse/recycle almost everything. My latest obsession is upcycling sweaters/felted sweaters into bags, new sweaters, stuffies. I’m also restyling mine and my husband’s old tees into dresses and pjs for the kiddlies. Nothing is thrown away…drives my husband mad…but I love the recreation process!! Can’t help it!!

257 Kelly August 12, 2009 at 6:41 pm

I’ll be honest, I haven’t repurposed many things in the past, but I’m looking to change things and there are many great ideas here in the comments. I’m always reusing containers and repurposing them for new uses.

258 corinne August 12, 2009 at 6:54 pm

Yippee! Thanks for a chance to win this beautiful book! My favorite thing I’ve made from recycled materials is all of our holiday cards – each year I make a collage from repurposed magazine pictures. They also include photos of my kids’ heads…so hopefully one day they’ll be treasured by them as well. Thanks for the lovely giveaway! xo corinne

259 Abbington August 12, 2009 at 7:24 pm

I made a quilt out of old flannel pyjamas, shirts, sheets, other clothes belonging to all the members of my family, and I love snuggling into it as it reminds me of them!

260 Michelle West August 12, 2009 at 11:04 pm

We love making things out of other bits. One of my favorites is knitting with yarn that didn’t quite work for the first project. We save all sorts of things to repurpose, like my husband’s funny underpants. We love to shop in our own house to see what we have on hand already. i think it may be Depression era thinking, but it’s sort of fun.

261 MommyKnitsJen August 12, 2009 at 11:14 pm

I made bibs from old hand towels. They are bigger and more absorbant then any store bought bib and they have lasted through all 4 of my kids. I think that I will even pack up a few of the better looking ones for when my kids have kids.

262 Liz August 12, 2009 at 11:33 pm

Recycled newspaper bricks to fuel our wood fire and keep us warm. My hubby loves to recycle and create. Currently he is using old coca-cola cans to create an air heater which will warm our house in the winter.

263 Helena August 12, 2009 at 11:36 pm

Bags!! You can never have too many bags, especially if you have a little girl who likes to borrow your bags…I make them from all sorts of things, sheets,towels a couple of curtains. Yes, definitely bags! Thanks for the giveaway xx

264 lizzie August 13, 2009 at 12:17 am

I made sofa arm covers from old recycled fabric (it has zebras on it!)- get another year or two out of the sofa, because it doesn’t look as grubby!

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