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Things to make and do by renewing and recycling items such as denim jeans.


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THINGS TO MAKE AND DO

A variety of things to make and do, recycling,
renewing, useful gifts etc.

If anyone has come up with ideas for
re-using denim, please send them in!

In response to this I received the following
suggestions for using old denim –


  • Old denim pockets solved.  Arrange several denim pockets
    onto a large piece of strong material and sew in place leaving tops
    open. Attached to a wall or door this is great for childrens’ 
    rooms.

Audrey Littlewood

  • A great idea for putting
    your old jeans to better use, is to cut them apart and make squares or
    other shapes and make a quilt out of your jeans. You can use the
    pockets, loops and even the zippered or buttoned fronts. Find some super
    material for your edging and backing, to personalize your quilt.

Contributed by
Mike Zeilder

  • Today, some friends and I took are old jeans and made
    purses, we just took scissors and started cutting.  Be Creative!  We also made
    shirts. To do this, we used the leg to make a long strip to wear around the top, then we
    used string to use as straps!  Again be Creative!  It’s a lot of fun!

Anonymous contributor.

Lovely to hear from a 15 year old on this one.  
She makes purses from her old jeans.  Here is her explanation as to how –

  • “Cut the bottom off your jeans and sew the side
    that you cut so the bottom part of the jeans becomes the top part, then you have the
    beginning of your bag.  Cut the belt strap or just a long piece for the strap of your
    purse.  You can also cut out a back pocket and then sew that on to your purse so you
    have a pocket on the outside but you could sew it on the inside.”

Thanks to Desiree for this one.

Making bags seems to be the most popular suggestion for using old
denim as these are now a real fashion item (or so I am told)!.

  • as trim on cuffs and bottom of sweatshirts
     

  • cut off pockets and reuse on sweatshirts

    Anita Segner sent these hints
    in – thankyou.

cat face shaped bag


Rugs from Bale Twine

I have horses and I knit. I went to feed my
horses and then to throw out the twine. I gave it a good look and thought it
reminded me of YARN… Well let me tell you. It makes WONDERFUL outdoor
rugs! 

Dora Renee’ Wilkerson


 

Lacy bowls from crocheted doilies

Crocheted doilies can be turned into lacy bowls which
can be used for sweets, pot pourri etc. by simply stiffening them with a sugar and water
solution.

Recipe for solution

Place 4 fl.oz/115 ml sugar in a large bowl and stir in
2 fl. oz/60ml of boiling water.  Stir for 3 minutes or until almost opaque.

This recipe is enough to convert one 9 in./230 mm doily
– a fresh solution should be mixed for each bowl.

Method

Dip a dry doily into the solution, gently squeezing it
with your fingertips to ensure even distribution.  Repeat several times until it is
thoroughly soaked and then squeeze out the excess moisture.

Choose a suitable bowl or dish as a mould and place
upside down on a towel.  Stretch the wet doily over the bowl and mould carefully into
shape and pin the edges to the towel with rustproof pins. Leave until dry (at least six
hours).

Unpin edges and loosen the doily from the bowl by
wedging your fingers between the mould and the doily working gently around the perimeter.

The doily can be restored to its original shape by
holding under warm running water and squeeze until it is no longer sticky, then wash in a
mild detergent.


Remnants of fabric can be used for many things
including jar lid covers, napkins, gift bags for bottles – the list is endless. Here are a
few simple ones which even the children can do –

Jar lid covers –  Give a jar that
“homemade” look

Trace the jar lid on the wrong side of a piece of
suitable fabric, add 2″/50mm all round and cut out (with pinking shears if possible).

Fix some trimming (lace, binding or ribbon) around the
edge with latex glue or stitching.

Secure the cover on the lid with a rubber band and
finish with a ribbon bow.


Napkins

Cut large remnants of material into squares of 10in/250mm using
pinking shears.  These will withstand several washes before the edges fray – ideal
for taking on picnics or for themed evenings.

For a longer lasting finish, edges can be hemmed.


Gift Bags

carrier bag full of wrapping materials

Method

Cut a piece of fabric at least 2ins/50mm longer and wider than the
bottle or gift you wish it to contain.

Fold over 1/2″ of material at the top edge and hem down.

Fold material in half lengthwise with the wrong side facing outwards
and sew down the long edge and along the bottom either by machine or running stitch.

Turn inside out (so that the right side is now showing) and press.

Insert gift into bag and tie around top with ribbon or trimming.

The ribbon can be threaded through the top hem if you so wish.

These bags can be decorated by sticking on felt shapes, sequins or
sewing on buttons, letters etc. and can be used for many different purposes e.g.
childrens’ toys, shoes, etc.


Fish Tank Garden

Turn an old fish tank into an indoor garden.

Fill tank with water to check for any leaks, if there are any seal
with mastic sealant or transparent waterproof tape.

Wash tank with warm soapy water, rinse several times and polish with
a soft dry cloth.

To prevent damaging any surface on which the finished garden is to
stand stick felt or polystyrene under the bottom of the tank.

Spread a layer of gravel to a depth of 1″/25mm (if the original
fish gravel is being reused ensure it is washed well to remove any bacteria or chemicals),
then add a further 1″/25mm of charcoal chips which will provide nutrients.

Fill tank with sterilised potting soil to within about 5″/125mm
of the top.

Plant with some healthy herbs, bulbs or other flowering plants and
water well so that the soil is moist but not soggy. 

Place finished garden next to a sunny window.

Keep soil moist but do not over water as there is no way for the
excess to drain away.


 

For numerous suggestions on what to
do with those unwanted CDs – some serious others seriously whacky – click
here.