Thursday, December 30, 2010


Oh, hello there, thanks for being patient! Its been a while since I've posted but now the ol' Christmas shenanigans are over for another year, there is more time for craft. Plus, I got a Janome overlocker for Christmas...yey!

For a friends baby boy, I have made some beach balls, made entirely from fabric scraps. The idea is not my own, in fact the pattern can be downloaded for free from

They started off like this:

Op-shopped fabric, old jeans, hand-me-down quilting fabric, and Kunin eco-fi felt

and ended up like this

Easy to do, although can be a bit tricky getting the balls into the right shape. I filled mine with soft toy filling, and dried lavender.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tie romper suit

A quick gift for a friends newborn boy. Long sleeve romper suit, bought in Savers but still new with the tag on $5! Tie, op-shop. This tie would be terrible worn on a man, but on this little romper suit, it looks cute! I cut the thin bit off the tie, a little knot, and machine stitched onto the romper.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Chai Christmas Stars!

These are my final handmade Christmas gifts of the year. My friend posted a link on my facebook page for an awesome recipe for Chai Shortbread. I've made many batches of these biscuits because they are just gorgeous.

For two Christmas gifts, I am using a star cookie cutter to create chai shortbread stars. The tins I purchased second hand from Salvos, the Christmas fabric is op-shopped, ribbon and pretty paper for the ingredients cards are from my craft kit.

Wrap stars into fabric, place into tin, and tie at the top with a printed ingredients recipe list, and here they are:

Monday, December 6, 2010

Tissue pouch

I've (almost) made my final Christmas gift for the year. I found a tutorial on allwrappedup.blogspot for a fabric tissue pouch, and thought this would be a great gift for my aunt that travels overseas a lot.

The blue check material was given to me with a stash of fabric from my Mum, and the bias binding strip used for the opening of the tissue pouch.. as usual, from the op-shop.

Lavender filled doves

We put up our tree at the weekend, and it looked quite bare. Rather than buy new Christmas tree decorations, I decided to make my own. Fabric birds tend to be quite popular at the moment, so I chose to make some fabric doves!

The Christmas fabric which I also used for my Christmas cards this year, is a thrifted material purchased in August from an op shop.

The pink reverse of the bird is silk material leftover from a clothing refashion.

I drew the bird freehand onto newspaper, and cut it out to use as a template. You know the ribbon that you find stitched to the inside your skirts, or strapless tops under the armpits to help hang them onto a clothes hanger? Well I always cut them off because I find them annoying. I save them though, and used some of these for the ribbon to hang the doves from the tree!

I stuffed my little birds with soft toy poly fill I had in my craft kit, but also some dried lavender, to make them smell nice. Pinking shears were used around the outside of the machine stitched bird.

The owl circle tags you also see on the tree are made by Michelle at Paper Tree Design. I purchased a pack earlier in the year..really cute arent they? Also made from recycled materials.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Eco-fi Kunin felt

For a fairy chalk mat I made last week, I used eco-fi for the first time on the chalk pocket. Otherwise known as Kunin, this felt is made entirely from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles. It is quite hard to find in Australia, but I ordered some online through The Thread Studio based in Perth, WA.

My previous chalk mats have not consisted of felt at all, but I thought I'd give it a try this time around seeing as a have a new recycled material to try out.

Earth shades eco-fi roll

The eco-fi is the brownish felt square you see in between the pink fairy fabric. It is a study fabric, which is great to keep chalks in place.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

More coasters

Very lucky yesterday, I picked up two sets of cork coasters from my local op shop $2 for the lot!

Of course I had intentions for them, recovering with old childrens books in the same way I did the Bambi coasters.

The two books chosen this time - a damaged Beatrix Potter book from the op shop, which had been coloured in by a kiddy at some point. And a vintage Red Riding Hood book, written in Spanish, given to me by my friend moving overseas, she had already cut it up to use pictures in a craft project of her own.

Choosing images from the books, tracing around coasters, and cutting, gluing, glazing...

And here they are

Two Christmas gifts complete, tied with ribbons from my craft box. They are being sent to the UK tomorrow!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Bambi Coasters

This is not a recycled sewing project, but more of a recycled craft project....

Anyone following my other blog will notice a Bambi childrens book I was given for free by a lady in an op shop, because it had pen scribble marks inside.

A few months back I remembered a craft project in Frankie magazine, recovering old cork coasters with vintage childrens books. So that is what I did with this Bambi book, and some coasters I had in my kitchen drawer that really needed a spruce up.

Scissors, PVA glue, mod podge, and sandpaper were used to create my new coasters

Gotta love Bambi! I am going to make some more of these for gifts for Christmas if I can find some second-hand coasters in op-shops before then.

A farewell card

Today is a sad day. Our closest and dearest friends are moving to the other side of the world; permanently. We of course wish them all the very best, but we are also sad we won't get to see that much of them anymore.

I wanted to make a farewell card for them, so found appropriate things that I have in my recycled remnants kit to make up a card.

Firstly, a blank recycled card, and a piece of fabric left over from a clothing refashion. Quite suitable I thought, it reminds me of the Qantas flight attendant uniform; a distinctly Australian print. Something to remind them of Australia!

Next, a little book I purchased on my last Op Shop Tour, a 'friendship' book for 50c. Filled with lovely little phrases and pictures all relating to the meaning of friendship.

With my pinking shears, I cut a squarish shape of the picture and phrase in the book I liked best, along with a background piece of Australiana fabric, and machine stitched into place:

All the very best to our special friends.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Pattern purchase

I saw these fabulous fabric ring stackers and thought they would be a great gift idea for a friend with a new baby. I have just purchased the pattern from etsy seller pattern play. This will be my next sewing project, using a mix of my thrifted material stash to make it. Not sure when I'll make a start yet though.. busy weekend ahead!!

Has anyone else seen any interesting tutorials or patterns worth trying out on thrifted or recycled materials?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Rice sack to laundry bag

When I buy rice for the household, I buy in rice sacks like this one:

We've used these bags for various things. My husband uses one to keep loose change in throughout the year, and in December, takes it down to the bank to exchange for notes for Christmas!

I've started using one rice sack as a laundry bag, keeping undies/laundry in when we go away for the weekend, or putting smalls in the wash. So I thought about making it look a bit prettier, and thats what I've done today.

Using fabric from my thrifted material stash, I used a pretty floral one:

And an elephant motif from a faded childrens t-shirt I purchased in an op shop for 50c.

A funny story behind the t-shirt, my son and I were out walking yesterday, and he completely soaked himself with his water bottle. I had no change of clothes, so I bought the only kids t-shirt that would fit him in my local op shop! And this is it, a girls elephant t-shirt! I changed him when we got home but for half an hour he looked pretty funny in pink and frilly sleeves! I'm glad I found a second use for it.

I simply stitched together two rectangle shapes to cover the rice bag writing, unpicked the sack open to sew into place, and stitched it back together again. Here is the end result, from rice sack, to pretty laundry bag:

The back of the bag I've left plain:

Monday, November 15, 2010

More chalk mats

So I bought the fairy fabric from an op shop in Parkdale, and here is the first chalk mat I have made out of it:

A friend of mine ordered two chalk mats from me, as Christmas gifts for her friends children (girls), one of which is going overseas - a great idea for kids on planes!. I've made the other chalk mat out of some pretty quilting fabric my Mum gave to me last year. She originally bought it for quilting many years ago.

Just big enough to fit into your handbag!