Tag Archives: handmade

Newspaper Upcycled into Wallpaper

30 Jul

“Newsworthy” is this upcycled newspaper wallcovering  – made from 100 percent recycled newsprint from Weiztner Limited:

Weiztner Newspaper Wallpaper

“Using an age-old technology of upcycling old newspapers, 100% real newsprint strips are handwoven on a loom and then paperbacked to make Newsworthy suitable for the wall. A wonderful, tactile alternative to an expected grasscloth.”

Newspaper to wallpaper

My upcycling techniques are not as industrial intensive as those practiced by Weiztner.  See my textile projects here, several examples of how I transform reclaimed materials into daily use products.

Profile of a Quilter

29 Jul

The Grand Junction Sentinel has a profile of quilter Charlotte Warr Andersen of Salt Lake City. It features some interesting background about this award winning quilter and her accomplishments over the decades. Andersen has a particular focus on quilts featuring portraits of individuals, a technique she’s been perfecting for nearly 30 years.

Reading about people who found success in your craft, whether it’s quilting or anything else, is always inspiring. It helps stoke the creative fires on slower days. Looking at their work can serve as source of ideas.

My work can be seen at Etsy store, maybe you can find some inspiration there.

The Oakland Bag King

22 Jul

SFGate has an interesting story about Bobby Glasser an entrepreneur in Oakland who saved classic car seat covers from the landfill and turns them into bags. For decades King Kovers produced vinyl seat covers for cars of the 1940s and 50s. In 2007 they closed their doors and Bobby Glasser was there. He noticed nearly 100 boxes of seat covers that were going to be left behind and like a true entrepreneur he saw an opportunity. Glasser took those seat covers off the hands of the people at King, who were just going to leave them behind to be taken to the landfill, and started to make handbags.

This is a great story of seizing an opportunity to upcycle what many would look at as junk and turn it into something useful and desirable again. Take a look at my Etsy store for more examples of upcycled products.

Upcycling Old Ties

16 Jul

Father’s Day, birthdays, Christmas, or Chanukah are all days when a man may receive that go to gift. The gift the kids go for at the last minute when they can’t think of anything else. The gift the wife or girlfriend may give, because she’s tired of him dragging out that same ratty old one when they go to visit her parent. The tie. Any man who wears a tie on a regular basis has probably gotten one as a gift and most who never wear them have or will some day. So many of these ties will never be worn. They sit in the closet collecting dust until discarded or sold in a Yard Sale.The ties are being collected and sewn together into any number of new configuration. Chairs, handbags, lampshades, and skirts are being made out of ties by various people.

chair from recycled ties

purse from upcycled ties

dress from upcycled ties For some examples of other upcycled fabric head over to my Etsy store.

Cardboard Stool

15 Jul

Today’s  project comes to us from Dangerously Fun. Although they mention buying fresh cardboard from an art supply store, this is a great use for large pieces that line wooden pallets, or breakaway boxes you can pick up from your local grocery store.

This near-danger free, easy to make stool is a beautiful, functional use for cardboard.  View my Etsy for more beautiful, functional recycle/upcycle products.

Cardboard Stool

Materials

  • A. 3/8″ cardboard, 30″ x 40″
  • B. 3/8″ cardboard, 23.5″ x 48″
  • C. 3/8″ cardboard, 24″ x 72″
  • D. White Glue

Tools

  • E. Compass
  • F. Box Cutter
  • G. Straight Edge
Directions

  1. Cut and fold part A, which will form the seat. It is made of multiple 11.5″ diameter circles folded over each other to make a strong sitting surface. The narrow strip is folded around the circumferance of all of the circles to hide the edges.
  2. Cut and fold part B, which is the weight-bearing element in the stool. It is just a large sheet that is rolled into a tight cylinder. You can make folding easier and more precise by using a straight edge and a blunt instrument to score parallel lines into one side of the cardboard. The cardboard will then fold nicely along these lines.
  3. Cut and fold part C, which is mainly decorative. This piece has thin diamonds cut out of it, allowing the middle to be pressed in when it is rolled up. The result is an hour glass shape.
  4. Test fit the parts, and then start gluing things together. It will look most impressive if none of the glue is visible.
  5. Let the glue dry fully before you sit on the stool. If you have built the stool well it will be quite sturdy, but you should sit fairly still. Tilting or leaning will wear it out quickly.

Cardboard Stool

Mango Vegan Cupcakes

6 Jul

Mango Vegan Cupcakes

1 ripe mango (1 cup of puree)
1/2 cup coconut milk
3/4 cup soy milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 Tbs corn starch
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup margarine, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
4 tsp sugar
1 tbs corn starch+ 2 tbs cold water  (to thicken the filling)

Procedure:

1. Preheat oven to 35oF and line muffin pan with cupcake liners
2. Puree the mango and mix with 1/2 cup of coconut milk. Set aside 1/2 cup of this mixture for the cake and reserve the rest for making the filling.
3. Whisk the soy milk and vinegar and set aside for a few minutes.
4. Sift flour, corn starch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and mix.
5. Using an electric mixer, beat the margarine and sugar for about 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla, then the 1/2 cup of mango puree mix. It will look a little curdled but do not overmix. It will come together later.
6. Alternate beating in the soy milk mixture and dry ingredients, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl a few times. Mix until just combined.
7. Fill cupcake liners two thirds full and bake for 20-22 minutes. Let them cool completely.
8. Heat 1/2 cup of the reserved mango mixture with 4tsp of sugar (use more or less depending on the sweetness of the mango).
9.  Once it bubbles add the corn starch mixture 1 tbs at a time while stirring until the mixture thickens. You may not need to use all of it. Let it cool completely.
10. Scoop out the middle of each cupcake and fill with spoonful of the filling. Replace the tops of the cupcakes if you wish.
11. Frost with buttercream or anything else!

6 Recycled-Sweater Crafts

1 Jul

Several good ideas for sweater recycling from Country Living.  Pull those old sweaters out of the Goodwill bag and fire up the glue gun.

recycle sweater lampshadeMake over a plain pendant shade by cloaking it in wool. First, cut a large sweater in half along a side seam, removing the sleeves. Pull the resulting rectangle of material tightly around the shade so the fabric meets in the back; cut to fit and hot-glue to the shade. Next, trim the sweater lengthwise, leaving an inch of overhang at the top and bottom. Fold the overhang over the shade’s edges and secure on the inside with hot glue. For safety, use a low-wattage bulb.

torchierre shade from recycled sweater
For a small fixture with tons of texture, cut a knit swatch to wrap around your shade, adding an extra half inch to the top and bottom. Hot-glue the fabric to the shade so it meets in the back. Tuck the excess material over the top and bottom edges and hot-glue.
bowl covers from recycled sweaters

Keep decorative dishes in stitches: Pull a sweater sleeve over a bowl, lining up the finished cuff with the top rim, and hot-glue. Next, trim the wool so it reaches the bowl’s bottom edge and hot-glue in place.

bangle bracelets from recycled sweaters

Basic bracelets get dressed for the season in soft yarn (and, if you use jewelry you already own, they cost next to nothing). Just cover a plastic cuff in a strip of chunky knit, then hot-glue in place on the inside.

throw pillow from recycled sweatersTo make this sham, you’ll need an 18-inch square pillow insert and a large sweater, cut into two 19-inch squares. Sew the right sides of the wool together along the edges, leaving the bottom open. Turn right side out and insert the pillow form, then stitch the bottom closed. For the flower, cover a two-inch circle of card stock with a piece of a thin sweater; hot-glue to the circle’s back. Next, fold a 3- by 20-inch strip of another sweater in half lengthwise. Glue the edges together, then sew a running stitch down the strip lengthwise along the glued seam. Once you’ve stitched the entire length, pull the thread to gather the fabric and knot. Hot-glue the gathered edge in a circle to the back of the card stock, then hot-glue a pin-back in the center and affix to the pillow.
vases from recycled sweatersCreate a hothouse for any blossom: Slip a sweater sleeve over a jar or bottle, lining up the cuff with either the top or bottom edge, and hot-glue in place. Cut the wool long enough to cover the entire vessel, then secure with more glue.

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