Tag Archives: upcycle

Dress to Skirt Refashion


I swear I took some ‘before’ pictures, but I can’t find them anywhere… no worries.  This is the simplest refashion ever so the after pics should be enough.

The dress I used was someone’s old bridesmaid dress made from stiff, shiny polyester with lace overlay (I love the lace).  The bottom half has a flattering almost pencil skirt shape, but the top was just formal and dated.  So all I did was cut the top off- about two inches above the narrowest part of dress.  I sewed a half inch seam around the top and voila!  New skirt!  It sits nice and high and looks great with a belt.

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And here’s my sweet baby.  We’re so glad it’s warmed up!


Homemade Gifts Part 2


I know Christmas is over, but I thought I’d share some of the other gifts I made this year anyway.

T-shirt scarves are big right now.  Just google them and you’ll find tons of different styles and tutorials.  I took a couple of ideas and made my own.  I wish I had made the strands a bit thicker for a chunkier look.  Oh well.  it’s a fabulous way to upcycle those old t-shirts we all have!


Here’s a little idea inspired by a similar game I saw in a magazine.  I just washed out used cans and covered the outside in scrapbook paper.  Wood craft sticks have Charades ideas written on both sides- the red side has adult phrases and the green side has kid phrases.  On this particular set I put Bible phrases on the bottom of the sticks.  The idea can is only to be used when you need help coming up with your own words and I put a wide variety of topics on the sticks (movies, books, animals, famous people, places, proverbs etc.) to help keep the ideas flowing.


Happy New Year’s everybody!  Upcoming posts: New Year’s Resolutions and the homemade kid’s kitchen

Homemade Gifts


Merry Christmas everybody!  It’s just a few days away….

My family has a little tradition that we’ve been doing for decades and is one of my favorites.  We draw names each year and make presents for each other.  When we were little, the gifts had to be homemade and so we either got to choose to work with our dad out in his wood shop or sew something under the direction of mom.  That rule is more lenient these days, but many of us still end up making things from scratch most of the time.

Here are a few quick and simple personalized gift ideas that I used this year!  (hopefully my niece and nephews don’t read the blog!)

I borrowed this idea from here. Gwen really wanted to help make things and this was the perfect project for her.  And I got a great deal on the shirts!  Sorry I don’t have pics of the finished products.  They turned out pretty cool!

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This next one is also from I am Momma Hear Me Roar.  I love her stuff!  I used some fabric paint on a stamp to liven up some of the more boring fabricsDSC_0026_12

…and here’s what I came up with!  My sewing leaves something to be desired. I just hope it fits. 🙂


I have a few more projects to finish, so part 2 will be posted soon!  Happy Holidays!

Airplane Birthday Party


Our oldest turned three a few weeks ago.  Crazy!  Here are a few pics from the party.

We found these Styrofoam planes at the dollar store for the kids to put together, decorate, and fly in the backyard.

My mom made yummy cupcakes!

The kids also made planes using pushup pops as the body and sticks of gum for the wings.  I don’t have a picture of one, though.

The three-year-old got a lot of fun things- including this scooter,  a pilot hat made from upcycled t-shirts, and a jacket that I embellished. I got the hat pattern from I Am Momma Hear Me Roar

The jacket is a jeans jacket we found at the thrift store that I embellished with iron-ons from a craft store.

A few days after the party we went to an Air Force Museum near where we live.  The three year old loved it.

Next festivity- Halloween!  Anybody got any great costume or party ideas?

Desk Make Over!


Good news!  My garden is starting to sprout!  That’s not what I’m blogging about today, but I had to share with someone.

Today’s blog features my latest project.  While we were packing up our house and moving all our stuff I decided that I needed a new storage and space solution for my crafty supplies.  In our old apartment, they basically resided in a set of plastic drawers and several cardboard boxes in the back of the closet.  My mother-in-law was kind enough to support my cause and donated an old roll top desk she had in storage.  The desk was in fairly good condition- just a little wobbly and the finish was not very attractive.  We got it moved without it falling apart and I finally got to work on it.
One side of the desk top had broken off from the base so we glued and nailed it back together.  Wobbly problem solved.

We sanded the rough spots on the desk, but not enough to take off all the old finish. We stained it with the darkest shade of stain we could find. Maybe I didn’t rub off enough of the stain but I like how dark it turned out.  I then put on two coats of polyurethane and let it cure for two days. Done.

I was all set to buy new hardware, but the style I liked was expensive so we bought some metallic silver spray paint that really updated the look of the old hardware.

I felt like it needed something else and I’ve been wanting to try this lace finish out.  I just taped newspaper around the panel I wanted to paint and taped some cheap lace over the panel.  Some people use a temporary spray adhesive to attach the lace to the surface but I didn’t have any on hand and I didn’t want to make yet another trip to the store.  My method seemed to work fine.  I used the silver spray paint I bought for the hardware to spray the lace pattern on the side.

I think next time I do the lace thing, I’ll get a lace with a bigger design.  Other than that, I’m quite pleased with the outcome.  Now all I have to do is child-proof the drawers and we’ll be in business!

Thrifty Finds!


I love second hand shopping.  Thrift stores…. yard sales….. even dumpster diving!  There’s always something unique to be found.  So today I thought I’d share my latest finds at my local thrift store.

The Find of the Day: A mint condition box set of the 1978 printing of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings series.

Seriously, they look like they were hardly touched!  The spines on two of the books weren’t even bent.  It does make me a little sad that whoever owned these probably didn’t enjoy them as they deserve to be enjoyed but I am glad they were generous enough to donate them to the thrift store for others to enjoy.


My thrift store is getting tricky.  Or smart.  Usually all their jewelery and small accessories are piled on a shelf and you have to search through the dredges to find the one or two cool things hidden in the mess.  And of course, nobody buys the mediocre stuff.  Well, now they’ve started sorting everything into clear plastic bags and they’ll put one or two cool things in the bag and a bunch of mediocre things and charge $3 for all of it.  Not a bad idea, actually.  Well, as luck would have it, I found a bag with no less than 4 pretty cool things and so I bought the whole bag.


I was the most excited about this:

Sure, it’s a little rough around the edges but I think it could be absolutely fabulous with a little work.  Maybe a few more feathers, some lace to line the rough ribbon edges…. and it has a pin and a hair clip on the back so it’s versatile.  Love it!

This is also a favorite:

Best part about this one?  I don’t have to change a thing.  It looks great to me!


This one, on the other hand, needs a little something….

I’m probably going to throw it in the washer with a hand wash load and if it survives I’ll decide what to do next.  Maybe nothing.

I’m excited about the possibilities:

I’ve never seen barrettes like these!  They are whimsical and classic and I love them!  The question is, do I leave them as is?  Or do I create something new around them?  Necklace? Earrings? Bigger hair clip?  What do you think?

And all the rest:

So there’s some useful stuff in there. I could use the plain barrettes to make some sweet hair clips.   Lets just say I won’t be heartbroken if this stuff happens to get lost.

Have you had any sweet thrift finds lately?

3 T-Shirt Makeovers!


These shirts were so fun to make.  My little sis. found a deal of two shirts for 5 $ at Down East Outfitters.  I had her get two pink and two cream, and I got the 2 purple shirts at kohls.  I got the tutorials for all three shirts from http://tearosehome.blogspot.com/.   Enjoy!




I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas


Yes, yes, I know everyone really wants a White Christmas,  but after 25 years of them you start to long for warmer climates.  My little family is currently preparing for a move south to go to school where the temperature is a balmy 60 degrees, so we are currently dreaming of green Christmases.

But there are other ways to make your Christmas a little “greener” and no, global warming is not the answer.

LED vs. incandescent Christmas lights

Did you know that LED Christmas lights use up to 95% less energy than traditional bulbs?  It’s true!  So why hasn’t everyone switched over yet?  There are several reasons.

First of all, the price.  LED lights are still significantly more expensive, although the prices have dropped in recent years and may continue to do so.  Besides, LED lights last longer so it might be worth investing a little more.

Second,  a lot of people don’t like the look of LED lights.  They are blindingly bright and their white is more of a frostly blue instead of the warm welcoming yellow of incandescent lights.  Well, that problem has been addressed by manufacturers as well!  There are now “warm white” LED lights available in some stores and online.  They are still blinding, but isn’t that what you want on your quest to keep up with the Griswold’s?

Other pros include:

-Mulitple strands can be strung together, which is nice when outlets are few and far between or when one uses hundreds of lights

-It has no glass cover or filament to break.

-The cool LED bulb is safer than a standard bulb that can get quite warm.

(check out the comparison and even prices here)

Homemade vs. Store Bought Presents

There are a lot of “environmentally friendly ” Christmas presents you could buy at the store and you’re more than welcome to if you happen to be able to afford it.  But why not go green and save yourself some money at the same time?

Regifting:  it’s not impolite, it’s smart!  Your Great Aunt Tess, bless her heart, gave you a cookie jar last year that you will never use.  Instead of throwing it out, fill it with cookies and give it to someone else!  (Just make sure it’s not your Great Aunt Tess).

Upcycling:  Open up your closet.  See all those clothes that just don’t fit right or are out of style?  You never wear them anymore.  That stretched out sweater could become a dress for your niece.  Or you could recut that old shirt and add some flare for your sister!  For more ideas, check out our craft and project posts here!

Be Thrifty: Thrift stores are a great place to find unique gifts.  You can also find fun and cheap ways to package goodies- decorative tins, wicker baskets, sewing/craft boxes- at a fraction of their original prices and you’re giving new life to old things!

Service Gifts: Instead of giving objects, give someone an experience or a gift card- a night out at the movies, free babysitting, tickets to an event, gift card for a massage…- this is a fun idea to do within the family as well, especially for mom- do someone else’s laundry for a week, mop the kitchen floor, breakfast in bed, free makeover, etc.  Be creative!

Recycled Decorations and Wrapping Paper

Instead of buying new decorations, buy used at a thrift store or make your own.  Paper chains can be made from magazines or old calenders and Christmas tree decorations from salt dough.  Trim your tree with a string of popcorn and cranberries.  You can pick up pine cones from the neighborhood and set up festive Christmas cards from friends to deck your halls.  Kids love making decorations.  Include the whole family!

Wrapping paper can come from anywhere.  Newspapers, magazine pages, old calenders, paper bags….I’ve even received gifts wrapped in fabric- which was also part of the gift. if you do buy wrapping paper tie it with ribbons instead of using tape so the paper can be used again.  I also like to save gift bags and tissue paper that my presents come in.

If you want to read more, check out the book, Green Christmas!