Monday, May 19, 2008

This way of recycling

Thanks to Angela's mum for this week's this is... theme.

We recycle a lot. I could show you some very unattractive boxes of paper, plastic and glass waiting to be taken out to the recycle bin. I could show you a ridiculously messy bookcase full of things saved for kid craft (think paper scraps, cotton reels, cardboard tubes and fabric scraps). I could even show you the lovely black hose we plug into the washing machine to drain the water onto the garden, although this has currently been chewed by the dog and brittled (is that a word??) by the sun, and is in dire need of replacement.

But you know, sometimes recycling can be a bit ugly. And I do try to keep this blog space...well...un-ugly (surely this one is a word?...).

So here is my pretty, sanitised, 'tv-world' version of my recycling.

First, my latest recycling project - bookmarks made from vintage sheets, pillowcases and buttons. Having lots of fun making these. Lovely and tactile to touch, and the button stops them slipping down into the book (a pet hate of mine, and one which sometimes leads me to 'dog-earing' (ok, I'm sure this one must be a word...right?) my books - which in turn is a pet hate of my husband's.

Like most crafters/sewers, I guess I do a lot of fabric recycling. All the bags I make are at least 33% recycled. Some are even 100% recycled if you include fabric scraps and remnants found in Op Shops, and exclude new sewing thread. Of course, when I first started making bags, I pretty much only used recycled fabrics. Here are some of the earliest bags I made, mostly from things which were once other things...:

1. I used to be a tablecloth, 2. I used to be a cushion cover, 3. I was a pilowcase and unwanted fabric scraps, 4. I was once an ugly dress, 5. I used to be an ironing board cover, 6. I used to be a tablecloth, 7. I used to be a pillowcase, 8. I used to be Grandma's tablecloth

For a little tour of recycled things I have blogged about previously, check out:

Mixy-Matchy napkins from bed sheets, pillowcases, and vintage fabric scraps
Hippy pants made from a bed sheet
Girly smock made from a bed sheet
Apron made from a bed sheet
Christmas wreath made from fabric scraps


Anonymous said...

Yaay! You go, girl! I try to use recycled or 'rescued' fabrics in my crafts, too. It makes the whole process so much more satisfying to me.

x Helen

Rachel said...

Those bookmarks are so pretty - what a great idea!

Two Peas In a Pod said...

Gosh I love your bookmarks. What a super idea. I also love finding new fabrics to "recycle" into something new and fab.
Cheers Kyla

Jacinta said...

Love your 'recycled' bags. Old fabrics have a such a great feel about them, and you have used them beautifully. Lovely.

CurlyPops said...

I love your bags, they're gorgeous! I often trawl the op shops looking for skirts made of great fabric to turn into bags....
The bookmark idea is great too - I need one of those 'cos all my books are dog-eared!

Anonymous said...

Your book marks are lovely. The button to stop them slipping is a brilliant idea!

Jenny said...

Lovely lot of recycled goodness here. I too think your bookmarks are a great idea.

Lisa [strickerin] said...

Thanks for showing us the pretty side of recycling.

Those buttons you have put on the bookmarks are beautiful.

flossy-p said...

Well, I must say you certainly achieved the prettiest recycling I've seen so far :)

I love the handbag confessions, like they've all been through a 12 step programme... hehehehe

Kara said...

Thanks for your comments re Hope St! Your boookmarks are divine!!!!


Anonymous said...

Your bookmarks are lovely bec - what a wonderful idea. I love it too that the things you make have "history" so to speak!

Anonymous said...

FOr starters I LOVE your bookmarks!! :D THey are very cool.

Secondly .. TAG

Melanie Gray Augustin said...

A great collection of recycled goodies! I just love the bookmarks, a great idea and would make great presents.

Cathy {tinniegirl} said...

Hey Bec

Just wanted to let you know that I got your message about joining my Pay It Forward. That's great news. Send me your address to cathkirwan(at)optusnet(dot)com(dot)au so I can get your surprise off to you sometime.

I love those bookmarks. Are you going to list them in your Etsy shop?


Hot Fudge said...

Well Bec, you have certainly inspired me with your wonderful recycled bookmarks and bags - love them. It's given me the incentive to venture to the chest of drawers in the garage to dig out fabrics (both mine and my late mother's) which were once new but can certainly now rate as vintage!

Kind regards


Bird Bath said...

you are so clever...the bookmarks are very novel(teehee). You certainly have a great thrifting radar to find those lovely fabrics and then visualize & create a new recycled product from them.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful idea- and pretty too! I can't wait to make some of these!

Stacy said...

Those bookmarks are just what I need! Thanks for letting SMS post the tutorial on there, or else I would never have found you (or thought of fabric book marks, for that matter!). I have to know, where did you get the pattern for bag #4 in your picture? I absolutely love the design and the fabrics that you used were beautiful! It may have been an ugly dress, but it made a cute bag! I have tried searching your blog to find the bag with no luck.... I didn't see it on your etsy site either :-( I am always on the lookout for beautiful bag patterns! I will be back to visit again!