This project is perfect if you love to re-purpose things from Dollar Tree. I am always looking for items I can alter with my sewing and embroidery machine when I walk the Dollar Tree aisles. This one doesn't take a lot of materials and you can complete it in an afternoon.
These drawstring bags are made of a rip stop fabric which is just right for windsocks. They already have a casing sewn into them and they come with a drawstring that you can use to hang your windsock. So most of the materials are already in the bags. *Note* You just have to deconstruct them, and reassemble. You can add any kind of embellishments you want. I digitized two new designs for birth announcements since my bags were blue and pink. Click on the pictures below to visit my store and see the embroidery designs.
I added ribbon to each of my windsocks which helped maintain a heavier structure and added weight so they really catch the wind.
After making these two, I wanted to show you a variation, so I digitized another design perfect for your garden. Click on the picture below to visit my store and see this design.
This design has outline text and a simple applique flower in the center. I used some scrap floral fabric for the applique. Ribbon was added to the top and bottom of the embroidery design with a zig zag stitch. It is amazing how beautiful a project comes together using just a few elements.
Here it is adding a pop of color to my garden space. The drawstring that comes in the bag was used to hang the windsock. This bag had two fabrics instead of one plain color. The stripes you see on the streamers were one side of the original bag.
I have a complete project video below that you can watch. It will take you from disassembly, making your cuts, embroidery, sewing everything together and hanging options. I know you are going to love it. The best part is you can make as many windsocks you want for all holidays and occasions. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
My latest project for my home has recycling, gardening, sewing and embroidery all together. I really hate to throw away any kind of container and when I recently had problems with my washing machine, the leftover parts gave me all kinds of crafting ideas.
Here is the original tub from our front loading washing machine. It is the back end of the tub. The front end has two large pieces of concrete that act as counter weights so the tub will spin correctly. My washer sounded like an airplane taking off when it would spin. In fact it was so loud, we had to close doors to hear anything. We tried to first change the four shocks on the tub which was the "Hopefully Easier Fix". After taking everything apart and rummaging around in VERY tight spaces to change those shocks, it helped but we realized it didn't completely solve our issue. We ordered the rear tub part and found that our bearing had blown out when we disconnected everything. The tell tale oil dripping out confirmed we had found the problem. We did have to move the washer in and out of our home twice and that is how I can assure you that if the repairman gives you a price, you may want to bite the bullet and pay the man. Unless you have a handy husband and two grown sons to help disassemble it. Or you are extremely cheap with your money and are too stubborn like us to at least give it a shot. I can say that instead of purchasing a new washer that might have cost upwards of $1500, we spent $127.00 on the parts. So not too bad.
The silver lining to all of this besides being able to run my laundry with all doors open is I had a very heavy duty container complete with drainage holes. I knew a planter would be a great project.
First I painted the tub with spray paint. It is amazing how a little color can transform any object.
I had already started a flat of zinnias and marigolds from seed several weeks ago, so plants were ready to go in. It's almost like I planned this. No I wouldn't wish that repair on anyone.
I love garden flags so I knew I needed to come up with some kind of hanger. I had several PVC pipes and a T connector from other projects. When I tried them in the bearing hole, it was light bulbs and excitement as I began to figure out my flag options.
Using a spray paint that resembles metal helped hide the PVC pipe and gave the stand a sturdy look.
I digitized a sunflower design and added some fun text to stitch on my fabric which by the way is Duck Canvas. Canvas is a great choice for outdoor projects. It isn't UV rated, but should last for the season. This embroidery design is available in my store in a large 9.5x14 size here or a 5x7 size here.
I sewed the flag and added buttons with elastic to the back so it would be very flexible on the stand. Then I planted everything and added rocks from around my yard. This was such a fun project and I filmed a You Tube video showing the entire process including how I sewed the flag. You can watch that below. Maybe it will inspire you to recycle containers for planting or sewing a garden flag. Or repair your washing machine????
I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
Upcycle A Cheeseball Container
My family just shake their heads at me when I wash out plastic containers. They don't even ask any more if I want to save unique packaging. Sometimes I don't have a problem discarding them but when we finished off a container of Cheeseballs recently, the tub was so big and sturdy, I had to come up with something I could re-purpose it for. So it sat on my studio table for a couple of days while I pondered. The hardest part was singling out where I could most use it. Right now as the seasons have changed, my yard is getting bare and I always feed the birds. That was my light bulb moment.
If you are interested in the brand cheeseballs, the picture above might look familiar. I could have just used the container to store my bird seed as is. If you have one in your pantry, don't throw it out. These have a wide opening perfect to reach into. I think you could come up with a multitude of uses in your house.
I digitized a really simple embroidery design for the project and used an old pair of blue jeans that I cut apart. So my project was Upcycled and Recycled! The design can be found here in my store. Cutting the jeans apart meant I did have to piece all of the fabric together and there were seams. I don't mind that but you might want to use a large piece of fabric instead. I think a canvas drop cloth would be excellent also.
I wanted my cover to fit snugly around the container, have a handle, a pocket and an open bottom. Since it would be made of fabric, I didn't want it to get too dirty as I carried it around my yard refilling my bird feeders. In the picture above, I sewed the cover so it comes just above the bottom edge. That way it still sits on plastic. I am not worried about the cover slipping off because I made sure the elastic is good and tight. Using the denim also helps stabilize the fabric and it is really sturdy. You could of course add a bottom very easily or sew a few strips of belting to enclose the cover.
The pocket is very spacious and covers most of the front. My thought was I might need to carry some tools to clean out old birdseed or maybe a funnel. I added tucks on the bottom and elastic to it can hold larger items very easily. This is where I embroidered the cute design also.
When I cut the jeans apart, I kept all of the seams and used them for the handle. I just braided them together and sewed them flat to either side of the cover. Then I trimmed them straight across so they would look neat.
The top and bottom include a casing so elastic could be pulled through. This makes the cover stay snug against the cover. It is very forgiving also since the cover has a lot of different dips and valleys. I will tell you that depending on the type fabric you use, this may differ. My denim was very thick and I did use a large needle for sewing leather. I had some areas that also required some hand stitches just to secure. This was usually where I double folded the casings and seams met together.
So now I have an excellent "upcycled tool" that will be useful to carry around my yard while I refill my feeders. I can also be assured when I store any leftover seed, the critters that might be looking for the buffet won't have such an easy time. If I store seed in the bag it usually comes in, I will more than likely find evidence that my shed has had "visitors"
I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work
Sheeps Until Christmas Sewing Project
I love to re purpose something. If you have read my blog posts, you will see that I do have a hard time throwing anything away. I keep a stash of items stored in my craft room and it does tend to grow out of hand so I am continuously working on projects. My newest project has upcycling, sewing, quilting and embroidery all wrapped up. I purchased some flannel sheets last year from Wal*Mart in the buffalo check pattern. When you buy those sheets they will usually come enclosed in a boxy fabric zippered bag. Don't throw these out! You can use them for so many projects.
Here you see the outside bag with an added handle, cute embroidery and a pocket. The sheep is an applique design with chalkboard fabric. You can officially write in how many "Sheeps" until Christmas Morning on his body. The Text also lets you know that Santa Claus is watching "EWE" I took the original bag apart and drafted a pattern from it so I could make a lining. The lining was quilted so once I installed it , the structure of the bag would be more stable and stand up. I also used cutaway stabilizer in the pocket so it would help the bag stand up better.
When I was planning the project, my thought for a final use would be a pajama bag for kids. Holiday pajamas are really popular and instead of them winding up on the floor, a bag like this would be a great place for them to be stored. It could sit on the bed and also allow for interaction with counting those precious days away. The pocket can hold chalk and erasers. This would make such a cute bag to carry to grandma's house. The set of sheets that I purchased was a Queen size. I do have a generic drawing of the pattern with measurements I drafted so you can try this also. Just know that each set of sheets may come with a different size bag so measure your project accordingly. Look for the pattern download below.
Both Embroidery patterns are available in my store here. They come bundled together so you can embellish any project you want for the holidays!
I also did a You tube video showing my process. It is the complete bag from start to finish so grab a cup of coffee and enjoy watching below. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
Autumn Leaf Embroidery Design
It is that time of year. Driving around my neighborhood you can see the leaves starting to turn. It is refreshing to feel those first cool breezes. If you are like me, the urge to do some Fall rearranging in your closet may be beckoning you. Let me suggest a quick upcycling project that you might love. This simple little leaf stitches out quickly. How about adding it to a collar on a shirt?
Or to that light jacket that may be showing some wear?
Maybe you have a shirt that has a small stain on it or you just don't wear it because it is kind of plain?
Have I gotten your creative ideas going? Embroidery is a great way to make that piece of clothing look new. You can create a whole new outfit with several pieces by coordinating embroidery also. Do you have some accessories that could be embellished? Bags, Belts and hats? This simple design can also be changed by altering the colors. Maybe use several of them and try greens, yellows, browns, oranges. Group them together. Just go crazy!
Check out my store here to see this design and many others. I hope you have been inspired by this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
Used Needles Embroidery Design
I love a recycling project and this one is pretty cool. I don't know what it is about hanging on to bent pins and needles, but it seems like a common thing in a craft room. I guess it might happen because we get in a rush while working or we don't really want to put those sharp little items in our trash. That is very dangerous to think about. When you empty your bin, you run the risk of poking yourself.
I have actually had this little project on my sewing desk for a couple of years and it occurred to me that I use it on a weekly basis so I wanted to share it with you. It created a place for me to put those pins and needles from all of my machines. Since I have orders for commercial work, I do have to change out my multi needle machine needles frequently. When that happens, I pop them into the bottle and don't think about them again until it is full.
The next time I visit my doctor's office or know I will be shopping in a store that has one of these SHARPS containers in the restroom, I just carry my bottle with me. Then I can dispose of the items in the proper receptacle.
This project comes together fast and I know it would be awesome as a stocking stuffer or gift for someone that loves to sew. We are always looking for cute things to hold our tools. This design is in my store here. You can also watch a video showing how everything is sewn and finished below. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
Turn A Chair Into A Planter
Everything has a purpose and if we are creative sometimes, more than one. It is that wonderful time of year when everything is starting to bloom, the sun is showing up and I am outside enjoying my yard. This year as I am looking over my outdoor furniture, it is clear I have several items that have deteriorated and need re working. The chair pictured is wood and I don't feel safe using it for the intended purpose, but I do believe it would make a great planter. I also have an area in mind for it in my landscape to help divert my puppies from running through. You know what I mean if you have dogs. They have an entire yard to play in, but my flower beds are much more appealing.
I found a pot that was a good size and traced the circle of it on the chair. Then I cut the shape a few inches to the inside of that diameter in the boards. These are slats that slipped in to the chair frame so I had to be careful they would not slip out and still be able to hold the weight of the pot and dirt. You can see I braced the slats on the front with a new 1x4 piece of wood. Then on the back side I took the slats out and using the pot to fit placement, put two pieces of 1x4 stacked in order to have a level frame. This also helped stabilize everything because the chair was wobbly.
Here is my chair spray painted. I didn't go over it with two coats because I thought the weathered look would be just right. Especially since it is missing a slat in the back.
As I said before I don't like to throw things away if I can figure out another purpose, so the leftover pieces I cut out became a sign. Here they are laid out.
I used the 1x4 and a few screws to tie all of the pieces together. The wood is very soft and even thought I was careful I had a little splitting but since it is the back, you won't see it once hung on the chair. I spray painted the sign the same color as the pot. Then I used some acrylic paint to create the text and some clear spray sealer so it can stand up to the elements.
Here it is placed in my landscape. This area is near my front door and my dogs tend to use it as a cut through. I haven't had any luck keeping a plant alive so this will help keep the area filled. The red color will also help attract hummingbirds. I have a feeder right next to the chair.
Here you can see around the chair several other hardscape elements.
Once everything was placed, I added dirt, flowers and some stones to pull everything together.
Here is the chair from a different view. I think it adds a wonderful pop of color to my front yard. The cost was minimal because I had all of the building supplies. The entire project took a couple of hours because I had to let the paint dry. My only real expense was for the dirt and flowers. The best part is I didn't throw away something that still had life in it and instead created outdoor art.
I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you create. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
Build a Dice Tower
Do you have someone in your life who loves Tabletop gaming? If so, they may be very interested in having a dice tower.
My sons love to play Dungeons and Dragons. I am telling on my age a little when I say I remember D&D from my childhood. It has stood the test of time and is just as popular today.
My husband and I wanted to make something for our boys that would be useful and help them enjoy their campaigns. We made a trip to Hobby Lobby and walked around until we found some unfinished wooden items we thought would work.
This little fairy door started it off. Doesn't it look like a castle door? The addition of paint and other embellishments made it look like the entry point for players.
This tray served as a great base for rolling the dice into.
This wooden tissue holder was the perfect size. When you stand it up on one end, the base slides off. This made the entire back open and available to add the interior baffels. On the other side where the tissue hole was, we cut open a space for the dice to exit and then added a piece of balsa wood to make it look neat.
Spray paint made everything one color and felt helps muffle the dice sounds. A dragon added to the tower with a few stones really sets a great gaming mood.
We made a couple of characters out of the extra wooden pieces.
We used Modge podge and some printed pictures to fill in the sides. This makes it seem like you are looking through the tower.
We did a short youtube video with some more pictures of our process. You can view it below. Altogether we spent around $50.00 on the supplies. We did have some of the paint and glue already. A Dremel tool was really all we used to do the wood cuts. The items were very soft wood.
I hope you enjoyed this post, share what you learn and are generous with what you make. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
Upcycle A Clock With Machine Embroidery
Recently I was shopping in one of my favorite discount stores and I found this clock. When I got it home, I was very disappointed that even after putting batteries in it, the timepiece did not function. Maybe that is why it was in the "deep" clearance section. Well, instead of trying to take it back to the store, I thought about doing an upcycle project with it.
Look how cute it turned out and it was relatively easy. I think the hardest part might be taking the timepiece out. That will depend on how it is assembled. I was not concerned if I bent the clock arms, but if you are going to try and keep your project as a usable clock, you will need to take it slowly when disassembling as all of those pieces are very easy to damage.
I used a purchased digitized sewing machine design from "Designs By Sick" along with some standard text in my embroidery software. You could really get creative with this project. I can think of so many ways to customize with names or themes for kids bedrooms and nurseries. You could also make yours for different occupations. I think your hairdresser or veterinarian would absolutely love to get one of these. My local thrift stores always have clocks that have been donated. Once you get them home and take apart all of the pieces, you could have unique gifts in a very short time. An added bonus is you are helping the environment by keeping a clock out of a landfill.
Mine has a special place on my wall right above my sewing machine. I have a download below to show how easily you could make your own Upcycled Clock. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you have learned and are generous with what you make. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
Trash to Treasure Dolls cont.
Much like my previous post on "Undermade Dolls" this project was so enjoyable. The little doll was found in a second hand store and came without clothes and feet. In the picture below you can see how she looked right after I purchased her with the price tag still on her belly. Great care was taken to clean her up by washing and conditioning her hair. The factory face paint was carefully taken off also and a new face painted on and sealed. Her feet/shoes were hand colored and molded and clothes were sewn especially for her. A portion of the factory hair was pink and because of the location it was strategically trimmed to remove most of it. Once braided, the pink is barely noticeable. Several inches were also taken off as the ends were damaged and prone to tangling.
Here she is all ready to go in her bedtime story PJs. Can you say Hey Diddle Diddle?
The change is unbelievable when you look at them side by side. I am working toward finding a very special home that she will go to be played with and cherished. One less used toy in a landfill. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you have learned and are generous with what you make. Someone will appreciate your hard work!
Playing with dolls. What more can I say? If you let yourself relax and not think about what you should be doing like housework or other chores, you can really get back to your childhood by grabbing some dolls. In recent years I have begun collecting all of my favorites that I had when I was a child and keeping them in a glass cabinet so I could enjoy looking at them. That was until I found Tree Change Dolls. What a lovely site. If you have not heard of this movement to make dolls over in a simpler way, then please start there. I have to admit that it looked like so much fun, I went to our local thrift shop and purchased a couple of dolls who had been scrapped in a large Tupperware box along with many "naked" babies. I brought them home, gave them a good wash and hair condition first. Then I took their faces completely off. It is intimidating at first to see that blank slate and know you have to fill it up or that poor little doll will be far worse off than when you brought them home. I have some before and after pictures below and a little slideshow of the progress. At any rate, this project was by far one of the most special I have done in many years. I hope to keep doing it in the future and sending the dolls to new homes for special little or big people.
This little Brunette started out a tangle of wild hair and no feet. She is washed conditioned and re painted
This little Blonde was in quite a mess also. She has also been washed, conditioned and re painted
Such a sweet little doll!
The change is so dramatic. It is hard to believe they are the same.
The progress of each doll can be seen in the above slideshow. Again if you haven't seen the site I mentioned earlier, please make it a point to visit. It will make you smile! I hope you have enjoyed this post, pass on what you learn and are generous with what you make. Someone will appreciate your hard work.
Lagniappe Peddler believes that the process of working with our hands can be one of the best forms of healing the hurts in our lives and welcomes all who visit this safe little corner of the world.
What is a Lagniappe Peddler?
ˌlanˈyap,ˈlanˌyap - something given as a bonus or extra gift
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