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Using what you have

Last post 10-28-2009 2:44 PM by zohnerfarms. 15 replies.
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  • 09-14-2009 2:59 PM

    • Pat
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 03-06-2007
    • Colorado
    • Posts 14,460

    Using what you have

    The article "Crafting Without Spending Money" on this week's Dollar Stretcher reminded me of the quilt I made from clothing outgrown by my daughter and then baby son (he's 29 now!). I used some of my maternity clothes in it, too, an old blanket for batting and a sheet that I already had for backing. The only thing it cost was some thread.

    I used to buy hand made sweaters from garage sales and thrift stores then recycle the yarn the way she did. Doing things like that makes me feel very frugal and domestic! Smile

    Are there other ways you've recycled things to make things that were "free?"

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  • 09-14-2009 3:22 PM In reply to

    Re: Using what you have

    Yep - in the kitchen. My son left some of his old furniture for us to store and use. One piece was an old shell of a TV stand that was 37 inches high, 18 inches wide and 15 inches deep. We stood up on its side and had the microwave sitting on it. However there was a lot of unused space. DH did some measuring and put in some shelves, added wheels and painted it. It now holds 2 crock pots, 1 dehydrator, a microwave and several plastic trays. The shelves were made from scraps we had on hand. Everything is accessible and can be rolled out for easy cleaning.
    Officially Recognized Stretchpert in Stages of Life
  • 09-14-2009 4:18 PM In reply to

    Re: Using what you have

    I use dh's old flannel shirts and cut up those fleece throws that everyone gives as gifts to make hammocks and hanging cubes for our ratty cages :-)  They sell anywhere from $8.00-$12.00 on-line, depending on size and intracacy.  I bought some grommet pliers to put in the corners for hanging, plus they give a more professional look.  I have so much material now that I've accidentally coordinated some of it, so much so that I'm making a matched set for a friend's cage for Christmas for pennies on the dollar what it would cost to buy.

     These would be great for ferret owners, too, and most caged pets...Liz

  • 09-14-2009 5:36 PM In reply to

    • Edey
    • Top 25 Contributor
      Female
    • Joined on 09-10-2007
    • Los Angeles County, CA
    • Posts 3,869

    Re: Using what you have

     I've made rice bags out of orphaned socks. 

    Shoelaces for drawstring bags. 

    Miniature binder clips for holding sewing projects, where pins can't be used easily. 

    A large sewing needle became an awl with a handle made from polymer clay. Did the same thing with an old mascara brush; this was a perfect brush for small jobs cleaning out holes. 

    Edey

    Edey's Vintage and Current Needlework Blog

    Life is like a quilt - it is made beautiful from all the little pieces stitched together.

    Use a HandCranked tool, it doesn't need to be plugged in or charged up!

    Treadle sewing machines. Get a workout and save electricity all at the same time. Plus it can go anywhere, even outdoors!

    READ THE ARCHIVES! It'll do you good.
  • 09-15-2009 9:24 AM In reply to

    Re: Using what you have

    I salvage buttons, zippers, buckles, straps etc from all old clothes (destined for rags) & school bags and re-use them on other projects.   I've also been known to cut away the good bits from a stained garment and save them for applique or small sewing projects.

    I've also bought clothes from the thrift shop just to get the fabric and the trims! 

    I am fortunate to be able to get hold of "industrial waste" from local companies near my home to be used for various craft projects,

    • A huge burlap bag from a local peanut processor became the material for a few mini Santa sacks that I used for decorating!  The excess burlap was used to cover a shoebox for storing odds and ends 
    • Newsprint roll ends from the local newspaper - I get what seems like MILES of paper on one roll end which is used for gift wrapping, DD's drawing paper, homemade sewing patterns etc.  I have a roll end that I bought about 18 months ago, has been used regularly since then and I'm guessing that it will still be here for another six months or more before I reach the end
    • Off cuts of card stock, silver paper (some of it is adhesive) from local printers and label makers
    • Broken tiles from a nearby warehouse for DD's mosaic projects (I also save broken dishes for that purpose)
    • Shredded paper from offices to be used for gift baskets

    My husband nearly died laughing last week when I salvaged bits of mirror I found in the street.  There was a rounded mirror on a pole near my home - the kind that is designed to help drivers see traffic at "blind corners"  Someone vandalized the mirror - so I gathered up the bits!  I get free craft material and the street was a little tidier and safer as a result of my effort


    Philippians 4:19

    And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus
  • 09-15-2009 11:46 AM In reply to

    • Edey
    • Top 25 Contributor
      Female
    • Joined on 09-10-2007
    • Los Angeles County, CA
    • Posts 3,869

    Re: Using what you have

     Those bits of mirror could be set into a table top with spackle or mortar to have a pretty mosaic table top.  Edey

    Edey's Vintage and Current Needlework Blog

    Life is like a quilt - it is made beautiful from all the little pieces stitched together.

    Use a HandCranked tool, it doesn't need to be plugged in or charged up!

    Treadle sewing machines. Get a workout and save electricity all at the same time. Plus it can go anywhere, even outdoors!

    READ THE ARCHIVES! It'll do you good.
  • 09-15-2009 11:52 AM In reply to

    Re: Using what you have

    We went to Mendocino for our honeymoon and I gathered lots of little shells from our trip.  I hot glued them to a magnet in an "artsy" pile.  They are by far my favorite on the fridge, everytime I use one I'm reminded of our trip. 

    I just got done redoing our bathroom.  I had a really cute picture of the kids and hubby at the beach that I wanted to frame, our bathroom has a lighthouse theme and I thought it would look cute.  I took an old wooden frame that we were no longer using and painted it with glue and then covered it with sand.  I then hot glued shells along the perimeter.  I used spray varnish to seal it all and to prevent the sand from falling off.  It turned out super cute.

    Heather in CA
    http://storingupmytreasures.blogspot.com/
  • 09-15-2009 12:18 PM In reply to

    • gayla50
    • Top 10 Contributor
      Female
    • Joined on 09-24-2007
    • Western North Carolina
    • Posts 8,491

    Re: Using what you have

    I have jars of button . zippers and I have a box of rags . 

    I made quilts out of the kids  clothes  and I just finished a blue jean  quilt one pair from each kid I been making it for 32 years ...

     

    Gayla

    Officially Recognized Stretchpert in Frugal Food and Cooking and in Slow Cooker Foods



    Purpose is what gives life a meaning
  • 09-18-2009 5:22 AM In reply to

    Re: Using what you have

    having small kids I re-use lots of food packages for crafts, toilet paper tubes, cereal boxes, oatmeal cartons, etc. I have also bought cheap clothes at thrift stores just for the fabric. I have taken ribbon, zippers and buttons and re-used them on something else.

  • 10-20-2009 1:04 PM In reply to

    Re: Using what you have

     Hi

     I haven't done this a lot, but something I recently came across got me thinking. First of all, with clothes, I'm going to try dyeing to see if I can't breathe life into some of my old favorites that have faded over time. The other thing I want to try is to make rag rugs out of strips of fabric. Those old worn out items may be recycled into new forms. I'm going to keep my eye out for patterns and other ways to use fabric for things around my home. Hopefully it won't look too cheesy.

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