I love to share my own crafting ideas with the world, but when my brain is overloaded (which is often the case these days), I feel the need to reach out to other sources for inspiration. So, rather than posting a tutorial this week, I decided to post a review of some of my favorites – those that I have found most inspiring and also easy to follow.
1. The Button Shirt to Toddler Dress Recon: This tut, from Cheytown on craftster.org, tops the list as my all-time favorite. The tutorial is simple to follow, with loads of photos, and it’s well-diagrammed. Once I tried this project, I became obsessed and made them for all my friends who had small daughters or granddaughters. I even made a somewhat “grown-up” version for my then-teenager. The materials are close at hand in most any household, or not too far away, in your local thrift shop.
2. The Woven Rag Rug: This eco DIY from CraftPassion.com looks fantastic, though I have to admit I have not yet tried it as such, although I did a smaller scale project that followed a similar method – a dollhouse rug made from t-shirt strips (making the t-shirt strips follows in tut #3). This cushy-looking rug is made completely from old bed sheets and uses a big piece of cardboard as a loom. Again, if you don’t have old bedsheets to cut up, a quick poke around the thrift shop will turn up all the raw material you need. Cardboard, a tapestry needle, and scissors are the only tools required.
3. How to Make Fabric Yarns: Our own EcoKaren Lee posted this wonderful method on her blog in 2010. This is another tut that sent me over the top – I purchased all the colorful t-shirts I could find for a dollar or less, plus raided my husband’s and daughter’s dresser drawers for usable toss-aways, and made balls and balls of the stuff. I did some weaving – not my most successful effort, I admit, but a fun learning experience. I found many uses for the yarn later on, including cat toys and gift-wrapping ribbon. Then I sent most of the leftover yarn to my friend Sue, an avid knitter, and I am waiting to see what awesomeness she creates.
4. Custom Bulletin Board on the Cheap: A few months ago I was looking for a bulletin board for my office and was shocked to see how much one would have to spend for a simple (and boring) brown cork board. So I started looking for ideas and found this easy and inexpensive DIY method on shortstopblog.com for making a lightweight and attractive bulletin board – so simple to customize! All you need are a piece of foam insulation board, some colorful fabric, duct tape, and some wall anchors or heavy-duty sticky-back velcro for hanging the finished board on the wall. The author of the tut used new fabric and some foam insulation board she had on hand and spent under $20. I used fabric I had on hand and purchased a small piece of foam board at the hardware store. Between foam board, duct tape, and velcro I spent about $15 and still have duct tape and velcro to use for other projects. The fabric I used was, you guessed it, recycled. A win-win craft project, don’t you think?
5. Phone Charging Pocket: Betula’Loo posted a cute and practical DIY gift idea for your techie friends. This project is so simple and straightforward that you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of it already. Supplies consist of some small fabric scraps and interfacing and a needle and thread or sewing machine. I have not yet tired this project, but I already know what I’ll be making for my office friends and their iPhones this holiday.
Not up for DIY at the moment? I know a few EcoEtsy sellers who will be happy to sort you out. Here are a few purchasing options for
— LindaEve, Central NJ (the new hurricane belt)
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