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Genue Inc.
March 8, 2019

Recycle and Repurpose Your Sewing Stash! DIY Ideas

It’s so satisfying to repurpose old junk into something practical and new! We’re addicted to recycling this month, and we’re pushing an upcycling revolution. There are countless reasons to recycle: to add new life to something old and broken, or to add less pollution to our environment by saving something from the landfill—they’re all valid reasons as to why we should all try to make use of things we already own. That’s why this month, we’ve rounded up three clever DIY projects that make use of things can be found in your craft room. Read on to get upcycling!

recycled teapot pincushion by sadie seasongoods

Teapot Pincushion via Sadie Seasongoods

Skill level: Intermediate
Cost: $25 – $50 (depending on whether you already have an old teapot and scrap fabric on hand)
Amount of time: 20-30 minutes

 

If you’re a sewer with small children or pets, this ingenious idea by Sadie Seasongoods will protect your sharp sewing pins from unwanted fingers or paws! All you need is an old teapot with a lid, some scrap cardboard, scrap fabric (preferably cotton—you can even use an old bedsheet!), fiberfill stuffing, a rubberband, super glue, and some scissors. Start by tracing the shape of your teapot’s lid on some cardboard. This will act as the base of your hidden pincushion! Then, take your fabric of choice and lay it out on a flat surface, right-side down.

 

Next, take a small handful of fiberfill stuffing, and place it over the section of fabric you want to be your pincushion, carefully balancing the piece of cut cardboard on top. Then, gather up the fabric with the stuffing and cardboard inside, and pull the excess fabric around it as tightly as you can—according to Sadie, you should be left with a little ghost-shaped bundle! Gather everything up and tie it together with a rubberband, then cut off the excess fabric. The final step is to glue the tiny pincushion into the lid of the teapot with super glue. It’s both practical and cute—a darling way to hide a few small sewing tools and pins from cluttering up your sewing area!

 

 

recycled fabric selvage shoes by Firetrail Designs

Fabric Selvage Shoes by Firetrail Designs

Skill level: Easy
Cost: $40-$55 (depending on if you already own a pair of canvas shoes or not)
Amount of time: 3-5 hours (including drying time)

 

If you’re a sewer, then you’ll know first hand how quickly fabric scraps can add up—but don’t you feel guilty just throwing away your scraps in the trash? Firetrail Designs has come up with an ingenious way to make sure all parts of your fabric get used, by recycling old selvages into funky shoes! Cut the selvages off of your favorite fabrics, and acquire a pair of plain canvas shoes. Experiment with the placement of your selvage stripes before using Mod Podge to glue each piece down. Once you’ve got a game plan down, grab a paintbrush and begin painting a coat of Mod Podge around the bottom of the layer of the shoe. Stick one of your selvages down and press it so that it sticks, then paint another thin layer of Mod Podge over it. Continue overlapping your selvages across the side of the shoe, painting a layer of Mod Podge over each new piece. You may find yourself cutting your selvages shorter for curved areas of the shoe, like the toe. Once you’ve covered the entire shoe, repeat this collage-like process on the other. When you’re satisfied with how they look, coat each shoe with another coat of Mod Podge for extra protection, and viola! The final product is a funky statement piece that will show off your crafty side, along with being environmentally-conscious!

 

recycled button bowl via Hometalk

Button Bowl via Hometalk

Skill level: Easy
Cost: $25 – $35
Amount of time: 4-5 hours (including drying time)

 

Our last DIY is a perfect one to try if you’re cleaning out your craft drawer or sewing stash: doesn’t everyone have way too many buttons laying about? Whether they were inherited from grandma, leftovers from past projects, or collected off of old dress shirts, Rob & Courtney M from Hometalk have come up with this adorable idea to repurpose those old buttons into a decorative bowl! What you’ll need is a large amount of buttons (at least 100), Elmer’s glue, Mod Podge, a balloon, and a paintbrush. Begin by blowing up the balloon. It may seem kind of crazy, but this is what we’ll use to get the round shape of our bowl! Prop the balloon on something so that it stands upright—Rob & Courtney balanced it on a roll of painter’s tape. Next, use a paintbrush and paint a layer of Elmer’s glue around the top of the balloon. Clean your brush and add a layer of Mod Podge over the Elmer’s glue. Then it’s time for the fun part—placing the buttons! Arrange your buttons on top of the glue all over the top of the balloon. Be sure to make each button touch each other in your design. Once finished, add two more coats of Mod Podge, and then leave everything to dry. When it’s ready, flip the balloon over and pop the balloon with a needle. All that’s left to do is carefully peel the balloon away from your bowl, and you’re left with a nifty, one-of-a-kind decoration

 

What was your favorite project on this list? Let us know what you’ll be making this month in a comment below!

 

If you’re still feeling crafty, why not check out some of our other DIY round-ups: projects to bring the patterns of nature into your home, clever crafty party décor and favors, and DIYs for everything glittery!

 

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Hannah Grace

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Hannah Grace Smith is a freelance artist and writer. She is a recent graduate of Mount Ida College, where she received her BA in fashion design. Her whimsical designs for women and children have a surreal-but-cute style.

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