Tag Archives: upcycling

The “Mummy” Wrap Necklace

The “Mummy” Wrap Necklace

Hey! Thought I’d share a little easy something I did last week.  I call it The “Mummy” Wrap Necklace- mainly because while I was making it I felt like I was wrapping each individual bead like a tiny mummy- and then my sister pointed out that it was wrapped by a “mummy”! We’re so hilarious.  Ahem.

I watched several tutorials on how to do these types of necklaces…. after I made this one, of course.  So my tutorial may be a little different than what you’ve seen, but I love the way it turned out so I’m sharing.


-a large piece of off-white cotton fabric (mine was half a yard but I only used three strips)

-assorted beads (or anything round- marbles, fake berries, malt balls, etc.)

-a snack (could also use malt balls)

Speaking of malt balls, this is a great way to make those candy leis.

First, I took my fabric and ripped three long strips about an inch and a half wide.  The strips should be wide enough to wrap around your biggest beads one and a half times.  I left my edges raw, so this length ensured that the beads wouldn’t slip out.  You can also sew the strips into a tube if that’s your style.

I started from one end and worked my way to the other, but you could also start in the middle.  Either way, make sure you have enough of an end to tie when you’re done.  Then, you just tie a single knot, wrap the fabric immediately after the knot around a bead (tightly), tie another knot and so on.

It’s really very simple.  I started out with small beads, then medium beads and put my big beads in the middle.  You can do  whatever you want.  When I got to the end of one strip I simply tied another strip on with a granny knot and continued wrapping beads.  If you wanted a tidier looking necklace you could sew several strips together.
When I finished with all the beading, I took some smaller strips and tied them on to one side for decoration.  I’ve seen flowers added to these necklaces as well.And Voila!  It looks great on Lindsey!
I also made this bracelet version.
So cute and so easy!  My favorite part?  They are virtually kid proof.
Thanks for reading!


Pants-to-Skirt Conversion


Now that the holidays are over and I have a bit of time on my hands again, I’ll hopefully get some work done on the stack of projects I have waiting for me!  This week: turning an old, out of style pair of slacks into not just one, but two,  nice new skirts!  (One for me and one for the two year old.)   The pictures aren’t the clearest, but hope you get the idea.

This idea was borrowed and altered from a post that I can’t find right now.  I’ll get you that link as soon as I can find it again!

I agree with the original writer- the crotch-part of pants is the most awkward part of turning pants into skirts.  A lot of people just pick it apart and end up sewing it straight on to the front of the skirt.  Confession:  I have done this in the past.  Yes, it was cool in high school but my “look” has changed significantly since then.

And so, at her suggestion, I severed the top of the pants from the bottom above the awkward spot.  Much better.

These pants were a little too hip-y for me, so I sewed a straight line down from the waist so they would fit me better in the hip- area.

I then cut each pant leg down one side and sewed both legs together to make one big piece.  These pants were significantly tapered (not really the style right now….)  so I flipped them around so the skirt would flare out in a nice A-line.


I hemmed the top-now-bottom of the pant legs and sewed the remaining edge of the pant legs together to make the tube that would be the skirt.

I figured out where the width of the bottom of the top of the pants matched the top of the bottom of the skirt (does that make sense?)  and I cut off the part of the pant legs that I didn’t need and then, after lining up the seams on the front and the back, I sewed and surged the top of the pants to the skirt bottom.  You can see there was still a weird little line from the crotch area, so I just sewed that straight down in the front and the back to make it flat. Done!

Skirt number two was even easier.  I just took the left over part of the pants legs, hemmed it, made a little flower out of scraps and used snaps to make a little wrap-around skirt for the two year old!














And here we are in our matching skirts.  Fun, eh?

















....and now we've had enough of the skirt


Thanks for reading!

Necklace Make-over!


Well hello all.  I’m not sure how to start this out.  I’m not the eloquent writer my sisters are.  However, I am brilliant at saving a penny or two on things I like.  For years I bought necklaces at a store that would sell their old necklaces ten for five dollars.  I would easily get tired of them and give them away, but that was fine because they didn’t cost much.  Well one day I had brilliant idea.  I would take them apart (those that I could), save the beads and make new, cooler necklaces!!  So that’s what I did.  If I had planned better I would have taken pictures of the old necklaces and my refurbished necklaces, but I didn’t.  So to start I went and found a box (an old jewelry box) to hold the beads.  I went and bought some wire.  I found necklace making books at my local library (it took me a couple of tries to get the right books).  Then I went to work.  One of the books showed how to string beads to make cool patterns.  Other books just gave me ideas.  I had a lot of fun and learned a lot!  I felt really good about my dexterity and mental acuity.  This made me want to do it more and more!  So now I have another hobby that I have no time to pursue!  Please enjoy these picture which show the fruits of my labors.










Thanks for stopping by!


Upcycle symbol

Image via Wikipedia

I hate throwing old clothing away so I’m always looking for cute and fun ways to upcycle it.  For example, I made a nightgown out of my old bedsheets that had a huge hole in them. They were my favorite sheets, high thread count and so soft, I couldn’t throw them away! Now the nightgown is my favorite.

Here are some other upcycling projects I’ve found; some I’ve tried and some I’d love to try. Enjoy!

What is your favorite way to upcycle?

Tie Dress


Thanks for all your responses to environmental issues, posted and un-posted!  I’ll be addressing a few specific issues in the coming weeks.  While I work on putting together some good information on that, I thought this week you might be interested in seeing my latest attempt at up-cycling.  I’m not the greatest seamstress, (despite my genetic heritage)  but I’m quite pleased with the outcome.  Here’s how I made my very own tie dress.

I picked up most of these tie’s from my local thrift store.  Usually their ties run anywhere from $2-$5 each, but every once in a while when they have too many they bag them up and sell 8-10 ties for $2 or $3 a bag.  I bought two bags and ended up using 12 ties for my dress.

In order to get the maximum amount of fabric per tie, I took all the ties apart by pulling out the thread that runs up the back of the tie and removing the thick tie interior.  Then I did my best to iron out the creases.  This made the ties easier to work with.

It may be a good idea to hand wash your ties before you start sewing just in case any of them decide to shrink. Or you could just dry clean the dress forever, but where’s the fun in that?

I sewed all the ties together lengthwise making sure the fat tie bottoms lined up and I ended up with this:



When I had enough ties sewed together to wrap all the way around me, I then decided how long I wanted the dress to be and I cut the top of the dress, making sure to leave enough fabric to make a hem.  I cut the top so that the back of the dress was a little lower than the front. I hemmed the top and added a zipper.  Obviously, the sewing is flawed and I’m sure yours will look better if you decide to make one yourself.

I took the thin pointed tie ends that I had cut off the top of the dress, sewed them so the tips were even, trimmed and hemmed the other side and used these strips as straps for the dress:

I sewed on the straps and Voila! A Tie Dress!

I love how the natural flare of the ties translates in to a flare in the skirt.  And if you wanted to accentuate the waistline a little more, it wouldn’t be difficult to shape the waist as you sew up the ties.

I teamed the dress up with a white sweater and a string of pearls and wore it around on Sunday.  I probably should’ve taken the iron to it again….

I think I’ll tie a ribbon or one of my extra ties around the waist for some extra flair next time!  If you make one yourself, let me know how it goes!

Thanks for reading!