recycle

TASSEL trashy glittery Dec2014

I’ve been looking at a LOT of Pinterest images in the last few days – there are some very pretty things out there!

Specifically I’ve been hunting for things to hang around the house instead of on a Christmas tree since we probably won’t have a live one this year.

I LOVE the smell of pine trees – it reminds me of childhood Christmases and really brings the season into the house like nothing else. I might put a few sprigs around to do the job, but our house is way too crowded with stuff to manage an actual tree. In fact, I’m not sure we have wall space enough to trace a tree on the wall or hang anything at all. Really, I should declutter. After Christmas maybe…

Christmas tree 2008- Jane Schouten - atlitwIngrid Jansen tree 2012 via atlitw

I’ve seen some wonderful alternatives to Christmas trees. The two above come via the photostream of Jane Schouten (of All the Luck In the World). Thanks Jane for letting me share these images!

The first was made by Jane in 2008, a tree-shaped hanging of  (useless but pretty) objects  to use Jane’s description.

I certainly have a lot of useless but pretty, even useless and quirky, or weird, or where-did-this-come-from objects collected over the years. If I had enough wall space I could have a pretty fabulous tree and feel vindicated for collecting (um hoarding) them all this time.

The second tree, made from salvaged recycled timber is by Ingrid Jansen of woodwoolstool. This particular one was made in 2012, but Ingrid has some similar assemblages in different colour themes available from her Etsy shop – along with some other gorgeous things to drool over…

There are hundreds of non-traditional Christmas trees out there in Pinterest, Instagram and Flickr, but I haven’t yet found my tree – the one that’s taking shape in the back of my mind…

In the meantime I am busying myself with making the ornaments and hanging thingies that will eventually be my tree. One such hanging thingie – a tassel really – is featured at the top of the page. It’s made from that shiny plasticized packaging that crackers and biscuits, crisps and chips come in. That stuff is FABULOUS to make sparkly glittery things from. I tried to describe my process over on my occasional blog habertrashery, but I’m not sure I was very clear. So I’m posting here as well with a few pics:

  1. Get your shiny plastic packaging, open it up and cut the stiff seams off – these can be used for making another hanging thing later.
    Christmas2014-bag seam hangy 1 low res
  2. Roll up your piece of packaging longways and then snip it up into strips – about half a centimetre or quarter of an inch wide.Trashy glittery tassel - cutting Making2-Dec2014 copy
  3. Unfold the strips and lay them together in parallel. Using some thread – sparkly is always good – tie the strips securely together about half way along the bunch. Looks like a big glitzy spider or a scrappy bow tie.Making-3 -trashy glittery tassel Dec2014 copy
  4. Fold all the strips down so they are hanging down vertically and use some more thread to tie them together near the first knot – the top of the tassel. Now it looks like a proper tassel – or a shiny person in a big sparkly dress. I’m now finished – TA DA – but you could add some wings by using a wide ribbon instead of thread for that last knot and make an angel.TASSEL trashy glittery Dec2014
  5. With the leftover stiff seams of the packaging I tied bows together for another hanging thing. Trashy glittery hangy thing Dec2014
  6. And finally all those left over scraps of packaging and sparkly thread was cut up into DIY glitter for future emergency glitter projects!  Trashy glitter Dec2014 low res

That was a lot of fun to do – but I have a lot more hanging stuff to make before I have my tree finished.

Back soon!

 

 

 

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November: Month of books at Whipup.net

At Home with Handmade Books: 28 Extraordinary Bookbinding Projects Made from Ordinary and Repurposed Materials (Make Good: Crafts + Life) By Erin Zamrzla, Published by Roost Books (April 12, 2011). Browse inside.

Erin Zamrzla is a bookbinder and paper artist – her love for her craft is obvious – and her skills and style are showcased in her first book – published through Shambhala in their Roost range of books under the Make Good series – which is ful to the brim of fabulous books – not a dud amongst them: This whole series is simply designed and stylishly photographed – with very easy to follow instructions.

From flutter books and idea files to various methods of Japanese binding and using lots of interesting and unusual materials along the way – including sponges, socks, fabric as well as old books, papers and cards. I love the sweetly themed books – like the secret journal which has a lavender sachet cover so you can keep your journal tucked away with your linens. I love the peek-a-book made for a child and filled with small doors revealing cut out images. A recipe book features an easy wipe cover, and a cleaning book cleverly uses a sponge as the cover. With images at the front and instructions as the back – this book serves as part inspiration and part practical manual.

The Repurposed Library: 33 Craft Projects That Give Old Books New Life By Lisa Occhipinti, Published by STC Craft/A Melanie Falick Book (May 1, 2011).

A very clever book by artist Lisa Occhipinti, beautifully photographed and presented by Melanie Falick Books – they always have stunning photography – this book could easily double as a coffee table / conversation book.

The three images above are some of my favourite projects from the book – but all the projects are clever – with a neat play on words and very creative uses for old books – both the covers and the pages are recycled in various and interesting ways. A sewing book cover is turned into a sewing box, a book with a title “five minute biographies” becomes a mirror, “and tell of time” becomes a clock. Books are turned into book shelves and birdhouses and ornaments. While the pages from old books are folded and collaged in different ways – they become a wreath, a “Novel firescreen”, and a “Literary Lampshade”. The “Pagework quilt” (pictured above) might be my favourite project from the book – I love the faded colours, the use of imagery – and they are actually sewn together. Lots to discover and delight within the pages of this book.

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Laura and Annie write to each other via their blog across the Atlantic ocean. Laura lives in Bristol, England and Annie lives in DC. I love their blog name Nimble Fingers and Steady Eyebrows – The phrase comes from Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities and it describes Madame Defarge, who knitted “with nimble fingers and steady eyebrows and said nothing”.

Recycled Shirt Cushion Cover: This is a great way to recycle an unwanted or thrifted shirt. The shirt buttons form the cushion fastening, so all that’s required is some simple sewing and as much (or as little) appliqué decoration as you like. Our final cushion was 18in x 18in (46 cm x 46cm) but you could vary the size depending on the size of your shirt and/or cushion filler.

You will need:
- an unwanted shirt (ours was a man’s cotton suit shirt)
- a cushion filler
- assorted scraps of fabric
- buttons and embellishments as required
- sewing thread

Tools
- sewing machine (optional), scissors, ruler & pencil
- paper (or print out the pattern with the house templates)
- hand sewing needle, pins, iron (optional)

Step 1 – Preparation: Cut the templates for the pattern on the front of the cushion. Remember that there is an extra 0.5cm (1/4 inch) boarder around the pieces for tucking under to leave a neat edge. You can check if they fit on the shirt and the cushion by placing them roughly before you begin sewing.

Step 2 – Cutting the fabric: Pin the templates (see below) to the scraps of fabric of your choice (we used fabric in shades of blue and green to match our shirt, but you can use whatever you choose). Cut the shapes out.

Step 3 – Sewing the windows to the houses: Pin the rectangles you cut out for the windows onto the rectangles you cut for the houses. Sew on the fabric for windows using slip stitch (to be neat and to give it a more hand made look, I like to go around the piece with slip stitch one way and then back around the other way – this creates little crosses) and sew on the buttons for door handles.

Step 4 – Placing the Shapes on the Cushion: Lay the shapes out onto the back of the shirt near the bottom and arrange as you like (remember don’t worry if they overlap as 0.5cm will be folded under. Fold under the edges of each piece by 0.5cm (1/4 inch) pinning to keep them in place. Make sure that once you have pinned the pieces on you are happy with the look of the design. This is how it will look once you have sewn it all together. Sometimes it helps to press your pieces with an iron – this keeps the folds neat and secure.

Step 5 – Securing the Houses: Hand sew the shapes in place using slip stitch and using the crossing technique if you wish. Then add the buttons for door handles. Be sure to only sew through one layer of fabric.

Step 6 – Centre the cushion: Place your cushion filler centered over the finished design and draw roughly around it, leaving a few centimeters seam allowance. Cut out the cushion shape from the back of the shirt. Pin it to the front of the shirt with the right sides facing, ensuring that the shirt buttons run straight down the middle of the shape. Cut out so that both pieces are identical in size and shape.

Step 7 – Sewing the Cushion: Using a sewing machine (or by hand, if you prefer), sew all the way around the cushion shape. Trim any excess fabric from the edges and corners, being sure not to trim too close to the stitches. If you are very keen you can even iron out the inside seam before Undoing the buttons and turning right-side out. Insert your cushion filler and button up at the back. Your cushion is complete!


Annie Sewing


Laura Sewing

Templates:

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I am so happy to welcome to Whipup, Cheri from I Am Momma Hear Me Roar.

Over at my blog I love to sew, paint, organize, photograph, decorate, and upcycle. I especially love boy projects because I have two little guys, but I also enjoy making something for myself here and there.

I have a simple tutorial to help you turn broken jewelry into a new hip jewelry. I had a necklace that had three strands with some orange beads on it and it broke. It was cheap to begin with, so I wasn’t surprised, but I couldn’t part with it. So, I turned it into this.

Here’s what I did. I cut strips of fabric and washed them so they would fray a bit. (I used some creme-colored canvas I had lying around.) I had to trim the frayed strips up a bit afterwards, but the dryer helped give them that frayed edge I wanted. (Tip: I like to wash my fabric strips in a laundry bag so I don’t have to sort through the whole load of laundry to find them and so they don’t get tangled with the other laundry.)

I took my broken necklace and cut it into three separated strands.

I glued the three strips of fabric together at the top, set a chain on top of each strand, and then I braided them together as shown.

The beads pop out here and there giving the necklace a fun pop of color. When the necklace seemed to be the right length I cut the strips and hot glued them together at the end. I cut off any stray strings of fray that had come out.

Lastly I glued a long narrow strip to each end so the necklace could be tied on. I love the idea of mixing different metals and fabrics to create unique jewelry.

And there you have it. Thanks for having me Kathreen. All of you are welcome at my place anytime. -Cheri

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Maggie shows us how to make a toddler dinner table booster seat cushion out of a vinyl tablecloth.

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