Sunday, June 29, 2008

A Purse from Juice Boxes

A purse from juice boxes?? I couldn't believe it either when I saw it. I also saw a green grocery bag made out of juice boxes for sale. They wanted almost $40 for it but then I found these directions to make bags and purses and figure we can adapt them to make any size.

Juice Pouch Lunch Bag

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Brown Paper Mailers

The question is, what do you do with all those paper bags you acquired before you started using green bags? I can't take credit for this idea, someone sent me some crocheted squares for a charity project I was working on in a mailer like this. I recycle most of the mailers and boxes I receive things in (some can't be "saved") simply be blacking out addresses, tearing off lables and writing the new addresses on the back. Often, I still don't have enough so I decided to make some out of brown paper shopping bags.

First cut down one side and cut off the bottom and spread out.
They're going to be folded in half so decide how big you want your mailer to be. I'm going to be using them to mail out my green bags. It would kind of be wrong to use new mailers to mail these out, don't you think?
Fold them in half, then using a wide zigzag stitch on your sewing machine, sew down the two sides, leaving one side open.
Put your items in the mailer and sew up the last side (be sure you don't sew the items your mailing... LOL). Address and mail!!

Cassette Tape Crocheting

I haven't done it yet but I've seen the patterns for crocheting with cassette tapes. One of my readers asked what you could make using the tape so I did a search and found these, but use your imagination I'm sure there's a lot more that can be made with it.

Cassette Tape Evening Bag

Cassette Tape Barbie Halter Dress

IPod Cozy

And to use the empty cases (LOL)
Cassette Tape Wallet

Monday, June 23, 2008

Another Contest!!

Contest is closed, th winners are:
1. Poolesd
2. Deb in Kansas
3. Kim Lincoln

Please email me at debsstuff55 at yahoo dot com with your address so I can send you your bag.

OK, I'm going to do it again. I have three more green grocery bags to give away! All you have to do is leave a comment, then come back here next Weds. (July 2nd) to see if you've won. I have only heard from one of the winners from the last contest and really want to give these away so check back to see if you've won.
Now all you have to do is comment but I would love to hear what you've done recently to go green.
In case you didn't read the comments from the last contest here is a sampling of quotes about using fabric grocery bags from my readers:
"my mom and I use (9) reusable bags for our groceries and use at other stores too"
" I have read a lot recently on the damage plastic bags do to our planet in the long term and was completely disgusted. I had no idea it was as horrid as it is."
"I love using cloth bags instead of plastic. I bought a bunch until I could make some of my own."
"I love using bags over paper and plastic and save all my plastic just for making bags too."
"I am making an attempt at not getting any more plastic or paper bags when I go shopping. I either ask for no bag or take my reusable one's from Trader Joe's.'

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Recycled Kids Crafts

I haven't had young children in the house for a long time now, but I remember way back when, when mine were young using stuff we had around the house for craft projects. We didn't call it recycling back then but we did call it saving money. I had one cabinet set aside for things like toilet paper and paper towel rolls, egg cartons, paper (especially colored paper) from junk mail that only had printing on one side and on and on. The craft projects we made from them would keep the kids busy for hours. So set aside a place to collect these things and let your kids use their imagination! To get you started, I've included some links for kid's recycled crafts:

Crafts-Recycling and Reusing Materials

Family Corner Recycled Kids Crafts

Recycling Crafts

Recycled Kids Crafts

oh where, oh where are my contest winners?

It's been five days now and none of my winners have contacted me! Again, they are:


If you are one of the winners please contact me. You can either leave a comment with your email (it won't be published) or email me at debsstuff55 at yahoo dot com.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Green Grocery Bags Given Away #1 - 25

I'm going to keep track of all the bags I make and who they went to, watch this space as the list grows.

1. I kept it
2. Gave to my daughter
3. Co-worker
4. Online friend
5. A lady who gave me some yarn through freecycle
6. My favorite eBay seller (a friend)
7. My ex-husband (yes, you read that right)
8. Another co-worker
9. Ok, so I kept another one
10. And yet another co-worker
11. The manager of my favorite thrift store
12. The owner of the repair shop I use
13. My mechanic
14. A lady waiting for her car at the repair shop
15. I gave my daughter another one
16. Another co-worker
17. A nice lady I know
18. Yet another co-worker
19. Pastor of a client's church
20. Youth Minister of same client's church
21. Business manager of same church
22. My supervisor
23. Another co-worker
24 - 26. Three ladies at a card game

Making Cloth Diapers

It's been a long time since I had babies in diapers (my youngest just turned 21), even my grand babies have been out of diapers for some time now, so diapers haven't been on my agenda for awhile. One of my readers however said this in a comment
"I want my children to have a great planet, not have to try to clean up after us. I tried to get some cloth diapers for my son, and so wish I had done my research before I had my children and went with cloth BEFORE now I do not have the finances to even buy material to make him some, and what I do have would not work for diapers."
I used cloth diapers for all three of my babies but it would never have occurred to me to sew my own. That got me thinking, the first thing I thought was "couldn't you buy some flannel sheets at a thrift shop to use" so I did some research and the answer is yes of course you can. You can also use any other flannel from old pajamas to Dad's flannel shirts. The fabric doesn't have to be new or white. You can use old towels and washcloths for the soaker pads, fleece works too and I could go on. You just need to see whats available and try it out. Below are some links to help you get started.
About cost and choices
Materials and Pattern for Prefolds
Links for Free Patterns and More
Tips for Making and Washing

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Finding Craft Supplies

If you follow my other blog: Deb's Crafts: Handicrafts for Charity, you know that I donate a lot of handmade stuff to various charities. One of the reasons I do it, is there's no limits, my family and friends may only need a limited amount of, say hats, but I can make as many as I want for various charities. I often do my research and development for my patterns this way, changing (and hopefully making them better) each a little bit until I come up with a whole new pattern.
I have to say that I am not a rich woman, in fact many would use the words "dead end" and "low paid" in conjunction with the word job to describe what I do. However, I love what I do, I take care of the elderly and get a lot of satisfaction from it.
So the question is, how can I afford the yarn, fabric and other supplies for my projects? I guess most of it would be considered recycled. I buy it at thrift stores, yard sales and resale shops. The one I like the best is Leftovers, Etc. that I mentioned before. I am careful about odors and such but I can get some great deals and it makes it possible to make a lot more than I could if I bought it new.
When you go "shopping" for supplies this way keep an open mind about what can be used. Other than the obvious fabric and skeins of yarn, look for curtains, sheets and even tablecloths in good shape that can be used for fabric. Knitted or crocheted afghans, sweaters, etc. can be unraveled and used again. Even worn chenille bedspreads and the like can be used for cute stuffed animals. Vinyl tablecloths can be used for the backing for changing pads and other things. Over sized adults clothing can be cut down. Old blue jeans have many uses. You just need to look around and use your imagination.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Green Bags (Contest)- Winners!!

The contest is closed. Wow, I had 60 entries! That's awesome, I'll definitely make more green bags and have another contest soon. I'm making some for family and friends right now. I just bought another 4 yards of fabric ($1 at the thrift shop) to make more, as if I didn't have enough fabric! So watch the blog for the next contest!
The Winners are:
Please leave a comment with your email addy and address (It will not be made public, don't worry, I'll be the only one seeing it) and I will email you when I mail your bag. If you came here through YahooGroups or Ravelry you can contact me there.
First off, you have to visit the Green Bag Lady, she's been giving away green bags for grocery shopping but is getting overwhelmed and needs help! She has posted a link to her pattern on the sidebar of her blog. If you can sew, they take hardly anytime at all, I've made two already in less than an hour. I gave the first one to my daughter and this one is for me. I already have a bag I bought but I can always use another one. So this will be an effort to save the earth or at least keep a few animals from choking on plastic bags.
I have three more of these bags cut out from this (recycled, not sure what it was but I bought the pieces at a thrift shop) fabric that I want to give away. So who should I give them to? I don't have the money or the time to do what the Green Bag Lady does but I can help. I will give away three grocery bags to three of my readers. I guess we're going to call this a contest. Just leave a comment and I will chose three to win the bags. If this goes well I may do it more often depending on when I have time to make more bags. This contest will close on my next day off which should be next Tuesday, June 17. Please check back to see if you won.

Making and Using "Plarn"

Plarn is yarn made from plastic shopping bags. You know the ones, they collect under your sink and in the cabinet and you swear your going to use them for something someday. You can use them for wastebaskets or carry your craft projects around in them but there's really only so many you can use. (Unless your moving and can't find enough boxes, don't laugh I did that once)
Anyway here are some links for making plarn and crocheting with it.
I usually cut mine 1 inch, but otherwise here's how to make it

Making Plarn
Plarn makes great shopping bags that you can take with you to the grocery store. The problem with this is you don't get more bags to make plarn with!
Round Plastic Bag Tote
How about handbags?
Plastic Hobo Handbag
A tote?
Green Tote for Earth Day

Monday, June 9, 2008

Crochet Scrubbie from T-shirt Yarn

These are really easy to make and really work on cleaning those pots and pans!
With a large crochet hook (I used an N but you may have to use a different size depending on how thick your "yarn" is) Ch 6 and join, ch3 and work 15 dc into loop join and end. Work end in.
That's it, told you it was easy!

Recycling Old T-Shirts for "Yarn"

I liked the idea of recycling old T-shirts but I didn't like the way it was done. Too many loose ends. So with a little experimentation I came up with this. You need old T-shirts that don't have a side seam. I went to my local thrift shop. They sell bags of old ratty T-shirts for a whole dollar for rags etc.. About half of the bag I bought were seamless. I put the rest away for future projects. The first step is to cut off the bottom hem and right under the arms so you have a tube of fabric.
Going from one side with your rotary cutter, cut about 1 inch strips leaving the last inch or so uncut.
The result will look somewhat like a hula skirt! (Without the cat of course, her name is Smokey if anyone cares)
I found that slipping the T-shirt over something like an ironing board and straightening and smoothing the uncut section makes it easier to see what your doing. Starting at the bottom cut one end off the first section at the uncut part. Then angle upward from the end of one cut section to the beginning of the next section, keep doing this all the way to the top. This gives you one continuous strip. Starting at one end hold sections of the strip and pull on them. This makes most T-shirt fabric curl. Some heavier material may not but that's OK too. Now wind it into a ball! There you have your brand new recycled T-shirt "yarn".
For scrubbie pattern click here