Sunday, July 20, 2008

Blue Jeans Bags

Several of the contest entries talk about turning jeans into handbags or totes. Rather than pick and choose I'm going to post all of them so you can decide how you would like to do yours:
Karen O. says: "I cut the legs off just below the butt. I left enough of the legs to turn the edges under twice to keep the edges from fraying and sewed them shut. From the legs I cut off, I made two long handles so I could sling the bag over my shoulder. I used a length of cotton rope as a "belt" to tie the bag shut."
Turtle says: "Took an old pair of jeans (smile, they were too big for me!) and cut them so that the top area with pockets etc would be the inside sides of the bag. Then with some funky heavy duty fabric i made the outer lining and used the jeans to also make the strap. I used a heavy cardboard for the bottom with more of each fabric to cover it."
Deborah M says: "I cut the pockets out leaving 1 inch of fabric from the jeans still attached to the pockets around 3 sides. The part of the jeans that is on the inside of the pocket is cut out very close to the seams of the pocket. Then I take a long, wide strip from the pant leg to make the handle and base of the purse. I fold the strip in half and with fabric glue I glue the strap to the excess fabric of the pocket starting at the top of one side of a pocket all the way around leaving a good amount for the handle and then around to where I started...I attach the beginning and the end and then I do the other side making sure the pockets are even with each other and there you have it...a denim pocket purse."
ronsmysharona says: "Of course we use the old 60's trick of turning our favorite pair of worn out jeans into purses, but what to do with the legs? They make GREAT all-purpose bags for camping gear. My partner calls them 'ditty bags' and uses them for just about anything he wants to keep together but still portable. Just cut pant legs the length you want, sew the bottom, and put a drawstring casing around the top, put in drawstring and you're done! If you lost or tore your tent bag, cut the pant leg a little longer and it makes a great tent bag."

Saturday, July 19, 2008

More Projects from Button Shirts

I found this great article on recycling button shirts. What makes it really great of course, is that she highlights my knitting bag. So take a minute and pop on over and check it out.


Monday, July 14, 2008

Making Family Heirlooms

I absolutely love this idea sent in by one of my readers in my latest contest. My wedding gown was lost years ago when my basement was flooded but If I still had it I'd consider doing this.

Katie says:
"About 10 yrs ago I took my wedding gown and made squares out of it and made 3 sml quilts for my 3 kids. They came out very nice. I thought it was better to use it than keep it in my closet. It made some nice keepsakes for my kids."

Thursday, July 10, 2008

25 Reasons

Here's a link that will show you twenty five reasons to use reuseable shopping bags.

25 Reasons

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Win my Knitting (Crocheting) Bag

I love having the contests, I especially like reading all the entries. Since I'm going to be home for awhile with my broken wrist I wanted to have another one but I am unable to sew or crochet anything. I was going to keep this knitting bag I made out of a shirt (instructions here) but decided to offer it as a prize. (yarn and needles not included)
All you need to do is leave a comment on this post telling me about how you made or would like to make something out of something else. Like I made a knitting bag out of a shirt. The contest will end July 31st.
I have not heard from my last contest winner, Margaret if you are reading this, please email your address to debsstuff55 at yahoo dot com.

Monday, July 7, 2008

How Green Was My Week

Well, to start with, I've saved a lot of gas by not going to work since I broke my wrist but I don't think that counts. Before that happened I wasn't doing that well with driving slower, my speed kept creeping up on me when I was driving longer distances. I had a really busy week workwise and I think it affected my driving.

I replaced another lightbulb with a compact flourescent, I should just break down and buy enough to replace them all, but I've just been replacing them as they burn out. These are the bulbs the apartment came with and I hate throwing them away while they're still good.

I did make the tutorial on turning a shirt into a bag. I'm hoping that will get others thinking about how they can recycle instead of throw away. Actually, I'm hoping this whole blog can inspire many more people and get them going green too, that may be my biggest contribution this week.

Denim Kitchen Accessories

One of the projects I was going to work on soon, before I broke my wrist, was to make potholders out of old blue jeans. In the picture above are the jeans I am going to be recycling. As you can see I've already cut out some squares. I was going to do another tutorial and the whole bit, so for now your going to have to settle for some links. I've searched out not only potholders but other kitchen accessories so you can have your own denim kitchen.

I Love Freecycle!

If you don't Freecycle you should! Freecycle is all about giving and getting free stuff that might otherwise end up in the landfills. The pictures above show some of the yarn and fabric I received from fellow freecyclers. I have also given away my sons old bunk beds and a microwave through Freecycle. The movement is nationwide but run locally. To find a group near you click this link.

Using Grape Boxes for Holding Yarn

Yes, I said grape boxes. You know the kind, plastic, with lots of holes to keep the grapes fresh. They're a great way to keep the yarn balls your working with from rolling across the floor. They also keep my cats from unwinding the balls in wonderful patterns all over my living room. Any plastic container with holes that's large enough will work but I find the 2 lb. grape size is just right for a lot of my projects. The large flat ones strawberries come in are great when your working with two or three small skeins. I really like using them when i'm making something that I have to hold several strands together, it works great, the yarn feeds out through the holes in the box with no fuss

Repurposing Yarn from Old Sweaters

I originally posted this on my other blog last year but thought it bore repeating here.
In the picture above is what remains of two sweaters I've been unraveling (aka frogging) for yarn. The hat is one I made out of the yarn from the dark sweater. It's hard to see the colors but that sweater had large blocks of 4 different dark colors, using three of these held together I made the hat on a knitting loom.I am a devotee of recycling and thrift shops and am always looking to save money. It takes some time to unravel a sweater but it takes time to earn the money for yarn too. Where I live we have a thrift shop where you can buy a brown shopping bag full for $3. I can fit 6 or more sweaters in the bag and I get a lot of yarn from these sweaters.This link will take you to a site that explains how to do it better than I could. Read it before you go out to buy because not all sweaters are suitable. Then go looking, you can find some awesome yarns if you keep an eye out for the right sweaters!!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

More Plarn Patterns

I spent a lot of time today looking for patterns other than totes and handbags using plarn. I didn't find much. I guess I'm going to have to start experimenting as soon as my arm heals up. i did find these though:

This dishcloth has a plarn scrubbie in the middle
Sunshine Dishcloth with Scrubbie

and a nice little mat
Plastic Bag Doormat Rug

An accessory bag for your solar dryer
Clothes Pin Bag

And a small bag for gifts
Plarn Gift Bag

Using Brown Paper Shopping Bags

OK so you forgot your reusable bags the last time you went to the store and opted for paper rather than plastic. Now what are you going to do with them? Here's a few ideas:

I've got to try this one, I think my cats would love it!
Make your own Kitty Condo

Some Christmas crafts
Christmas Tote Bag Craft
Recycled Brown Paper Bag Christmas Place Mat

And Gift Wrap and Bags
Wrapping Paper
Gift Bags

Making Your Own Recycled Paper

Even if I can't do any crafting with a broken arm, I can still do some research and bring you some great ideas to inspire you to reduce, reuse, recycle. It's kind of hard for me to type with only one hand but I'm getting better at it already.

I have always wanted to try to make my own paper but have never gotten around to it. The links I found use all kinds of things to make paper out of. The more I read the more I want to try it!

Here's the links:


From old newspaper

From scrap paper

From old jeans

Wrapping paper from jeans

From straw

From plants

From the garden

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Ideas from My Readers

You remember that barbeque I mentioned in my last post? Well, it was also my grandson's birthday. Which has very little to do with what happened. as I was getting ready to leave, I fell on my daughters back steps and broke my wrist. So, no more crafting for me for awhile. What I am going to do here, though is go through the comments and copy and paste some of the good ideas my readers have mentioned.

On using plarn, Kathie says: "have made mats to clean your feet on, scrubby pads for washing dishes, market bags, and more."

On driving Cay says"If I have several stops to make, I try to make a circle and that takes me out and brings me home again." and Kelly says "I went out and picked myself up a new backpack and put air in my bike tires. Now if it is just a quick trip in town (I live in a fairly small one) I take my bike and leave the car at home. I've also slowed down the same way you have."

Linda's idea for using plastic bottles " I was given a large terra cotta pot for flowers recently. They get heavy once you fill them with soil so, I plan on taking some plastic bottles I found and filling up half the large pot with them. Then I'll fill up the rest of the pot with soil. This is a good way to reuse those plastic bottles and will make it easier on the back when moving that pot around."

Quiltmac says "My personal "green" thing is using vinegar instead of chemical weed killer. It's wonderful especially on a hot sunny day, cooks those weeds!!!"

Jen's green thing "I stopped buying bottled water in bottles, now buying it in the Gallon size and using a sports thermos for my water all day. Not only am I going green, but I'm saving a little bit of money too."

Sonya has a good idea too "I like to stuff the toys I knit with plastic bags. It gives them a great crinkly sound. I does make them surface washable only."

On other ideas for brown paper bags from Libby "I use the paperbags for draining grease off of thing that I have deep fried, THe brown bags can also be cut up for wrapping paper or put down for a weed barrier"

Do you have an idea you would like to share? Just leave a comment!

Green Grocery Bags Given Away #27-50

27. KnittingRose from contest #1
28. Deb in Kansas from second contest
29. Kim Lincoln in second contest

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Contest Winners and New Contest

The contest is now closed, my grandson, who turns 8 tomorrow, picked the winner and the winner is:


There is one slight problem though, while at the birthday party today, I feel down my DD's back steps and broke my wrist. It might be a little while till I can make the bag. lol But you will get it. So margaret, please contact me at tha email below.

OK this one is going to be a quickie because I'll be back home Saturday and that's when it's going to end. Only one bag will be up for grabs this time, I haven't had much of a chance to sew, they've been keeping me busy at work. Tell me why you either don't use your own bags when you go shopping or about the last time you had to use paper or plastic if you do usually use them.

The winners to the last contest were:

1. Poolesd
2. Deb in Kansas
3. Kim Lincoln

The winners for the first contest who have not contacted me yet are:


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