Saturday, September 20, 2008


We're really trying to get out of consumerism as much as we can. So I'm taking stuff that we already have and turning it into something else. In some cases, I'm making new things out of trash! I've noticed that I have hardly any garbage now. Last week, our can (and we have the small one) was only 1/4 of the way full! Our recycling bin isn't getting full as fast, either.

Here are some of the projects I'm working on or have finished:

I've had this one for a while. An old cereal box turned into a magazine holder. Not terribly pretty, but in my computer room, nobody sees it, and my magazines are organized. I have more plans for cereal boxes in the future-- they can be transformed into gift boxes! I am so doing that for Christmas this year.

Lacy really doesn't have a lot of church clothes that are appropriate for winter. I have a bunch of fabric and a bunch of patterns, so I decided to dig through them and see what I could find. This piece of fabric was actually quite damaged and was sewn together already. I had to rip some seams and be careful in my cutting to find enough fabric that was in good condition to make this skirt. After looking through my patterns, I was dismayed to see that there were no good skirt patterns in my collection. So I decided to make my own up, after looking at some pictures online and learning a thing or two about pleats. This is what I came up with:

Lacy loves it. She wore it yesterday, and I'm sorry I didn't get a picture of her in it! She was so cute in it. She has a long sleeved white mock turtleneck that she can wear during colder months, and she can wear a t-shirt during warm months. And the beauty of making your own clothes-- it's not short! I really don't like skirts that are too short on little girls, and this one is mid-calf. She'll be able to wear it for at least a year or two! I think I'll make two or three more skirts like this in the near future. This wasn't exactly upcycling, but it was a discarded piece of fabric that was intended to be used for something else originally (I'm not the original fabric owner, so I don't know what it was for).

But this project IS upcycling. A project where I used trash.

Actually, grocery bags, which you can use again, but I suspect most people throw them away after using them. I cut them into strips, tied them together, and I had a nice ball of plastic bag yarn to work with. I found a pattern for a bag, and soon I will have my very own recycled plastic bag bag! I'll most definately be taking it to the store with me. I use about one bag for every three rows, so I'd say I've used at least 10 bags so far in this. I'll count the rows at the end and let you know as soon as it's finished!

This isn't really upcycling, but it is hand-me-downs, which is sort of along the same lines. I just had to add some pictures of my cute girls in here somehow!

Lacy wearing my dirndl. I got this when we lived in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, which is located in the alps of southern Germany. I lived there from 1982-1985 and got the dirndl when I was about 6 or 7. Lacy's only 4 so it's really too big for her, but it's still cute and will fit her for a while.

Rose wearing Lacy's old Easter dress from when she was about 18 months old. Unfortunately Rose somehow got blue marker on the dress and now I'm trying like mad to get the stain out. I'm afraid it will be a losing battle, but on the plus side, I will have some lovely fabric I can turn into something new!


Brightonwoman said...

good for you!
I'm interested to hear how knitting with plastic sounds (looks) quite unpleasant...I so like my soft yarns!!
I love using the little scraps of fabric to make puppets or beanbags--beanbags are the most brilliantly versatile toy ever. Hey, there's another idea for your shop! :)

Kathy said...

Wow you go girl!

Thom & Jenn Tobin said...

I am SOOO impresssed, and jealous! I LOVE the skirt you made for Lacy, ADORABLE!!!! And your bag, bag, LOVE it!!!!
I may have to try this new 'upcycling' out, what a great idea!

Emily said...

I showed this one to Billy and he said "so she's become a bag lady huh?" Thought you'd appreciate that.

Jeff and Jessie said...

you are amazing! My brain doesn't seem to go as far as yours does. Maybe I will send you some of my garbage to use!! :)