Sunday, October 19, 2014

Three Upcycled Dog Toys Made From T-shirts

Have you all met my puppy, Cooper, yet?  Most of you will have met Chico, my ancient Chihuahua, if you haven't seen him in my YouTube videos then you've surely heard him snoring in the background. I love him to death but he's never been one to play much.  Although to be fair, I adopted him at ten years old!  Anyway, here's my Cooper:

He seems so little in this picture at the dog park.  And it was taken just a couple of months ago.  Last week I caught him trying to fit in the bottom cube of this cubby in the bathroom.  He used to fit so nicely in there.  Now...not so much!

At ten months old, he still has a ton of puppy left in him and he is constantly needing to be entertained.  Otherwise, well, he'll find ways to stay entertained.  And typically, he and I don't see eye to eye on appropriate entertainment methods.  So that my friends, brings me to the purpose of this post.

The number of chew toys that I've had to purchase in the last few months is enough to break the piggy bank for sure.  Coming up with some cheaper (and greener) alternatives was a must!  My Cooper loves all three of these toys and each was made with little more than a T-shirt and a pair of scissors. I know you're wondering so let me tell you...YES, there is a video tutorial. It's a long one, but I do show you how to make all three toys in one video.  And if you hang in until the "bitter end" you'll be treated to a glimpse of my cutie patootie playing with one of his T-shirt toys.

What other ideas do you have for DIY dog toys?  I am ALL EARS!!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

How to Make a Reusable Trick or Treat Bag

I love a good (and EASY) T-shirt upcycle and this one is exactly that!  If you've got ten minutes and a quarter, you too can make a fabulous trick or treat bag that is kinder and gentler on the earth.  Not to mention a major upgrade from the pillowcase that I used to use as a kid!

Whilst shopping at my local Goodwill Clearance Center, I started to run across super cute Halloween kids shirts....all throughout the year.  And I ended up with a stack of 'em.  For this project, I used just one from my stack along with a pair of scissors and a sewing machine.  If you have a little one just learning to sew, this is an excellent project!

If you'd like to see a brief video demonstration, you can check that out's less than two minutes! Or you can follow these simple steps:

1.  Cut both of the sleeves and the collar of the shirt away.
2. Turn your T-shirt inside out and use the bottom hem as a guide to sew a straight line across the bottom opening of the shirt.
3.  Turn your bag right side out and DONE!

It really is that easy.  And what a great way to balance out the waste of all those candy wrappers!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

My Trashy Autumn Wreath

I love my new Autumn wreath, it's made completely of trash!  Okay so I exaggerate, but only slightly.  I have about fifty cents (MAYBE) worth of glue  and duct tape in this project, about a dime in wire and another dime's worth of T-shirt.  Everything else was repurposed from junk laying around the house.  Can you tell?

I have a quickie video over on my YouTube Channel to show you how I made this wreath.  The main reason I wanted to share it with you though is to show you that with a little creativity/insanity (call it what you will), you don't need to spend a lot of money or buy new stuff to decorate.  This wreath was made from the following objects;

  • A pool noodle
  • A T-shirt
  • A broken wind chime
  • A grapevine that my mom "gifted" me after removing it from her kitchen window after about a decade of decorative use
  • A couple of sunflowers and spray paint - both left over from other projects
So tell me, what do you think?  Is there a trashy Autumn wreath in your future?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

My Little DIY Coaster and Hot Plate made from Denim Hems

Now that Labor Day is behind us, it's time to start thinking about fuzzy sweaters, cozy fires and warm casseroles.  Right? Well, I'm definitely not there yet.  But I did make a pretty nifty hot plate for all of those casseroles that are sure to grace the dinner table sooner or later.  I made this one out of the hems of blue jeans:

Of course the idea came to me while I was making a coaster in the same fashion for all of the tall, icy glasses of sweet tea yet to be had during these final days of summer.  Have you seen these floating around the web?  I love them and figured I needed to give them a whirl.

Of course, there is a video...a two-for-one deal as both tutorials are rolled into one video.  You can see that video here. If you'd rather save a click, here are the instructions (lots more detail, tips and tricks in the video):

1. Remove all the double stitched seams from a pair of jeans.  The coaster above used two pant leg seams and one from the seat of the jeans.
2. Spreading a bead of E-6000 along the inside of the seam start coiling the seam around and around. Add as many seams as you need to achieve the desired size.
3. When you get to the end, clamp the end with a binder clip to keep the coil end in place while the glue dries - give it about an hour or two.
4. Remove the binder clip and you have a completed coaster. And now for the hot plate...

5. Continue making coils of different sizes.
6. Arrange your circles on a piece of denim from the blue jean leg.
7. Glue (with E-600 - do NOT use hot glue for your hot plate) the circles to the piece of denim and to all adjacent liberal with the glue.
8. Let dry for 24-48 hours.
9. Serve a casserole on your fabulously upcycled hot plate.

Easy, right?  And what a great way to use all the pieces of a pair of blue jeans so that nothing goes to waste!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

A Quick and Easy Pillow Slip Cover

Show of hands...who has ever tossed a pillow because it had a stain or because it just didn't match your decor anymore?  Well, what if I told you that there was a way that you could EASILY recover those pillows and make them match any decor?  There is a way and I'm going to show you how.  Let me reiterate - these are easy to make.  If you know me, you know sewing isn't a ton of fun for me and if I have to sew more than a few straight lines I won't even attempt it.  So without further ado....

I made my slip cover out of jeans that I picked up at a thrift store.  But you could use any piece of fabric that matches your decor.  Try using thrift store finds like sheets, curtains and clothing for a unique look on your pillows.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Easy Peasy Tie Cuff Bracelet

I love easy jewelry making projects!  Today I'll show you how to make a cuff bracelet from a thrift store tie and an old button with little more than a glue gun.  Yep, that's jewelry tools are required.  Here are a few that I've made:

You'll need a few supplies that you're likely to have in your crafting arsenal already:

- Glue; both hot glue and E6000®
- Small scrap of felt
- A button, piece of broken jewelry or some other embellishment of your choosing
- A cuff bracelet blank
- Several binder clips (AKA: alligator clips)
- And....a tie, silk or otherwise

Of course there is a video tutorial for this one that you'll want to watch for all the little tips and tricks.  But in a nutshell, here's how I made these bracelets:

1. Cut your tie so the it completely covers the front of your bracelet blank with enough extra to fold over the edges.  It is best if it does not completely cover the back.
2. Use a bit of hot glue along the edges on the back to tack your tie into place.
3. Cut a piece of felt big enough to cover all of the rough edges that you just hot glued into place but small enough that it's not visible from the front of the bracelet.  Use E-6000 to glue it into place.
4.  Use your binder clips to hold the felt in place while it dries.
5.  Glue your embellishment (with E-6000) into place on the front of the bracelet and clip it into place with another binder clip.
6.  Let everything dry for an hour and remove your clips.  And, viola! Your cuff tie bracelet is done!

Monday, August 11, 2014

DIY Paper Bead Stretch Bracelet

I'm officially sick of the rain.  It's bad enough that it's chased me back inside to work on jewelry rather than playing in the garden or with power tools.  But, rather than be blue, I thought I'd whip up a little video tutorial to show you how to make your very own stretchy paper bead bracelet.

There are no jewelry tools required for this bracelet and it's as easy to make as it is to wear! All you'll need is:

  • Paper beads
  • A few store bought beads or smaller paper beads if you prefer
  • Stretch Magic beading cord
  • A dab of Krazy Glue
  • A pair of scissors 
Don't forget I have lots of paper bead making tutorials over on my YouTube channel.  So if you need some help making your paper beads, be sure to check out some of my other video tutorials.
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