Friday, November 27, 2009

recycled castle

When I finished up this castle my son grabbed it and ran off to decorate it himself. He had been begging me for a week to make him a castle. So when I finally gathered all the supplies together today, he was bummed that the cardboard was too hard for him to cut. Once it was assembled he was thrilled.
(Sorry, my son and his friend won't let me have the castle to take a decent picture!)

smallish cardboard box - I used 11"x14"
4 cardboard tubes - we don't use many paper towels in our house, so I used some wax paper and such. I had to cut them all to the same length.
exacto blade
pen or pencil

With box closed, draw the top notches, windows and drawbridge door.
Using the exacto blade cut out the windows and the top of the drawbridge door. (Do not cut bottom of door - so the door will open out.)
Cut off the upper flaps of the box.
Remove all the tape on the body of the box. Leave the tape on the bottom. Glued boxes work the best.
With scissors, cut lengthwise along notches.
With exacto, score bottom edge of notch.
Fold notches in.
Take one of the removed lengthwise upper flap and cut two corners off along the same length.
Glue it along folded notches with notch underneath and cut corners at corners of the box. You can tape it in place to secure while glue dries.
Cut off remaining exposed folded notches.
Starting at the bottom of the cardboard tube, cut a lengthwise slit the height of the castle.
Cut a parallel line 1/4 turn away.
Cut notches on top, folding over or removing.
Repeat with other 3 tubes.
Slide the cut edges of the tubes over each corner of the castle.
Decorate as desired.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sweater Boots - Upcycled

I made these for my models to wear. They got more attention than the clothes. I got several offers to sell them is some wonderful boutiques. I considered becoming a cobbler but just don't have the time to source materials.
I hope you enjoy this simple easy way to upcycle your favorite scuffed shoes to become one of the hottest items this fall.
scuffed up old shoes (helps to have a clear division between top and bottom)
old sweater
hot glue gun with glue
ribbons or other trim (optional)
buttons or other accessory (optional)
cut the sleeves off the sweater at the shoulder seam.
Embellish the cuff or body of sleeve as desired. I like to use buttons.
slide sleeve over shoe with armhole at heal and cap at toe to check angle of boot top. Should be about 40-45 degrees from floor.
pull toe forward or heal down until get desired angle.
Trim excess.
heat glue gun
glue toe between shoe and sleeve about 1" along bottom edge. Carefully press down. be sure to avoid hot glue on your fingers.
Glue 1" at heal. press down.
glue slowly 1-2" at a time until whole shoe is connected.
run a bead of glue around raw edge a couple of inches at a time. press ribbon over glue to hide raw edge.
If sweater was felted this step is optional.
Sometimes the ridge of the shoe is large enough to tuck the raw edge away, also making this step optional.

repeat with other shoe.

Friday, November 6, 2009

clothes swap

I attended a clothes swap organized by my sister. She has them a couple of times a year. It was a great way to swap out the clothes you don't wear with different ones. This was the first one I managed to attend. It was fabulous. It was like a trunk sale, without having to pay for anything! I even got some really great shoes and a pair of boots. I have never been able to find boots that fit me. So I was pretty ecstatic.
The low down on a clothes swap. Each gal brings her treasured clothes that she doesn't wear anymore. Then sorts the clothes in stations by type, pant, skirt, dress, fancy, tops, sweaters... THEN DIG IN. We had an area to keep selected clothes (and the ones worn to the party since we were all running around in our undies). This is very important. I did overhear someone say she had to find a pant that fit because hers went home with someone else. Leftovers are donated.
The organizers also made a party of it and provided food and mimosas! You can do potluck also.
I was so impressed by how much fun being frugal and sustainable can be.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

salvaging jeans

Have you ever splurged on something and it shrunk in the wash?
I have this pair of $200 jeans (I got them at a going out of business sale for 30% off) They are organic and made in the USA. So I splurged. They shrank. Been sitting on my shelf for almost a year, making me sad. Never worn.
Then a friend cleaned out her space and gave me a bunch of vintage remnants. SCORE! One from around the sixties inspired me. I thought it would look really retro cool on these jeans. So I spliced them in. OOOhhh bad idea. I now had $200 clown pants... So I sadly set them aside.
After a few days I decided to paint them. I put a wash of navy blue fabric paint to tone it down. I am pretty happy with the finished product. I think I brought it back to retro cool.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

fall leaf stockpile

I spent a lovely afternoon with my son gathering fall leaves. It was a little late, many leaves were rotten already, but we had fun sifting through them. His favorite were the bright red maple leaves. He said they looked like starfish.
We then pressed them in a book for later use.
Thinking leaf printing, collages or decoupage. Will be fun to have this many stockpiled for the winter crafts.
My son wanted this post to be named "I collected 600 leaves"