Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Embroidery Repair on Old Jeans

These are my boyfriend's old jeans. The patches in the medium shade were a repair Guy made and then the center (knee) ripped out. So I put a piece of dark stretch denim behind it and basted it by hand to hold it in place. Now I'm doing embroidery over it. But because the iron on patches are so thick I have to use the punch method which is slow and hard on the fingers. If it had been plain worn denim I could have just used a running stitch all from the front side. Stopping for the night before my fingers get too sore.

Starting the embroidery.
This isn't just a repair project, it is an art project. I wanted to do the initial 'under patch' on my sewing machine, but it is hopelessly buried. After delaying for months, I finally decided to just do it by hand. I hope I can do a bit each day until I am done. They will have an archery theme, since he makes arrows.
And I'm sure he'd like to have his favorite jeans back. The hardest thing for me is to not make them look too girly.

Double running stitch.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Weaving on a Wooden Picture Frame

Say you don't have a lot of money but you'd like to weave something.

I decided today was the day to work on a weaving project I started a few weeks ago and then got sidetracked. The reason I'm putting it here instead of my usual craft blog is I realized how much of it is re-purposed.

First off I made the loom out of a used wooden picture frame following the directions from a library book. If you don't have an old frame laying around, they are often available for under $5 at thrift stores. Just pick a sturdy one and make sure to get some sandpaper to smooth it so it doesn't snag your yarn.

I often buy yarn at thrift stores but it is usually unused yarn left over from someone's knit or crochet project. Well, I scooped up some bags of yarn balls without being attentive, and found out it was yarn that had been unraveled from a sweater or something. It was fuzzy and had lost all it's stretch. In other words, it would be a bad idea to try to knit or crochet with it again.  But I couldn't think of any reason I couldn't weave with it, and in fact it is working out perfectly. So I'd say the yarn was about $2.00. I did buy a new roll of cotton thread for the warp. That was about $2.50. Then I needed a shuttle so I cut the handle off of a wooden spatula. The spatula was actually new, but a whole bag of them was about $ it was a dollar.

In other words, this whole project is going to cost me under $7.00 and the frame is reusable for another weaving project. Sweet.

A shuttle I made from a spatula handle.

A loom made from a wooden picture frame.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Thrift Store Finds

On a whim I went into a thrift store on the way home looking for nothing in particular. I eventually found the craft section. I picked up black and white yarn for a mime hat I'm going to weave. I dug around and also found 2 bags full of buttons for $2.50 each. So many crafts need buttons. Everything from doll and teddy bear eyes to hanging signs to crazy quilts. Some projects take quite a lot of buttons, like those dolls with the button arms and legs.

I also got some wide tooth combs and Afro picks. No, I'm not  planning on growing an Afro anytime soon, but they will be great to tamp down yarn in my weaving projects.

Anything you get from a thrift store extends its life and keeps it out of the landfill just a little bit longer.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Chainmaile From Coat Hangers

I met a man today that told me that when he was 16 he made an entire tunic and coif out of chainmaile using old wire coat hangers that a nearby business just threw away. One of his teacher's taught him to make chainmaile during detention. Another teacher invited him to show his wares in an art show featuring art made from discarded materials.  He did and someone bought his tunic and coif for $750. Impressive.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Dismantling a Washing Machine

The local big item trash day is upon us. So we dismantled the broken washing machine in order to save the metal drum inside to use as a fire ring for desert bonfires. I won't lie to you and say it was easy because there were many fasteners inside that were not obvious when we started. In the end we resorting to pounding with a hammer, using a dremel tool and whatever else it took to get it apart. We also rescued the big plastic tub just in time for me to plant tomatoes inside it. The rest of the parts will go to the trash day at the local store. I'm sure a clever person could cut out the metal and use it for art or Steampunk gear or something.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Hat and Pouch

My two current projects fit into the repurposing category.  The crocheted slouch cap is made from yarn I thrifted from a parking lot rummage sale.

And the leather pouch is made from scraps that might have been thrown out but I purchased them before the store closed and now I can use them in this cool project.  I want to use all the supplies I can before I move so I can get the items out there to be used. I don't want to pay to store or ship all the items I've been stashing away for a rainy day.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Scrap Paper

Right now I'm collecting random blank papers from around the apartment to use to make some blank books and journals. I try to use every scrap for something. Even if I wind up shredding it, the pieces can be used as stuffing for mailing, much like bubble wrap. Printer paper that has misfires gets quartered and used for scrap paper. If you have a big stack of old flyers, the local print shop can cut the whole stack and glue the ends to make notepads out of it. Remember each paper was once a tree probably, so why waste it? If you make paper, you can toss many papers into the blender to be made into new sheets of paper. It's a good use for junk mail. Thanks to email, the gobs of junk mail finding their way through mail slots aren't as bad as they used to be.

Or staple the papers together and let your kids practice their drawing on the blank side. I do believe drawing increases intelligence. Learning to transfer 3D images to drawings teaches us how to analyze the world around us.
Save the tissue from gifts to make new cards with.