Tag Archives: repurpose

DIY: Clay Wrapped Pots

clay wrapped pots at www.makery.uk

I love me a pot, jar, “caddy”. I like coralling things together and having little places for everything; keeps me CALM; and pots are perfect for that. If it can be a pretty pot, then I’m a very happy bunny indeed…

clay wrapped pots at www.makery.uk

And these are pretty, non? My love affair with air dry clay continues and these pots are very much in keeping with the style of my torn clay bowls. In fact the process ¬†is more or less identical….

clay wrapped pots at www.makery.uk

Except for the “mold” of course. That is….these pots hold a sneaky secret!

clay wrapped pots at www.makery.uk

Boring old food cans!

clay wrapped pots at www.makery.uk

Cunningly disguised….

clay wrapped pots at www.makery.uk

…and keeping me calm ūüėČ

You don’t need a step by step tute for these, right? Good…because I fluffed the photography up so I don’t have one for you, lol. ¬†Just follow the same steps as for the torn clay bowls but instead of draping it over a bowl, wrap it around a can and trim the base with a sharp knife. Wetting the surface of the clay before you wrap helps it stick to the can and itself once wrapped.

Simple as that!

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DIY: Sweatshirt Market Tote Bag

Turn a Sweatshirt into A Tote Bag
This sweatshirt was no longer as slouchy as I would like (one too many tumbles in a too hot dryer…yep!) and was languishing unloved in my wardrobe. So I thought I’d turn it into a handy little market tote, (complete with reinforced handles) ready for my next shopping trip… here’s how….

Turn a Sweatshirt into A Tote Bag

Start by pressing and laying out flat with shoulder¬†seams lined up….

Turn a Sweatshirt into A Tote Bag

Cut off the sleeves using the seams as a guide…

Turn a Sweatshirt into A Tote Bag

Cut a big “U” shape out of the neckline…

Turn a Sweatshirt into A Tote Bag

Turn inside out, remove ribbing, sew opening closed (I curved my corners), then turn right side out again….

Turn a Sweatshirt into A Tote Bag

Now for the handles. Cut 2 x 7″ sections from the ribbing you just removed….

Turn a Sweatshirt into A Tote Bag

Fold in half lengthwise and serge (you could also zig zag or stretch stitch) all the way along the open edge. Look what it does! Cuurves into a perfect handle shape!

Turn a Sweatshirt into A Tote Bag

Feed one side of a handle through the tube…

Turn a Sweatshirt into A Tote Bag

Secure/stitch the 2 handle/strap pieces together…

Turn a Sweatshirt into A Tote Bag

Then slide the tube of ribbing over the join to hide it and distribute evenly. Repeat for both handles….

Turn a Sweatshirt into A Tote Bag

and you’re done!

The beauty of this is that it provides a little more structure and support to what would otherwise be rather stretchy handles, which has kinda what put me off the idea of T Shirt bags in the past. Plus sweatshirt fabric is sturdier to begin with. I think this bag could take a few fresh apples and bananas without breaking into a sweat (unintentional pun ūüėČ

Do you use reuseable shoppers? Handmade or shop bought? My worst habit is actually remembering to take them with me to the shop…doh!

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DIY: Recycle Old T Shirts into Yarn

T Shirt Yarn - header image

Last night, I became aware that I’d got through the day having made nothing. I’m leaning quite heavily on creative pursuits at the moment to keep me calm and sane. (Do you find¬†therapy in DIY?) So last night I was feeling a bit twitchy¬†and¬†decided to try making some T Shirt Yarn. Little did I know how addictive it would be!

Now there are more than a few tutorials on this out there. I could have just linked to any one of those but a) that would be a boring post for you! and b) there were a couple of  things that I discovered that I wanted to add into the mix, that I think helped me achieve a better result than my first attempt.



Old T Shirts (light to medium weight jersey is better)

Masking tape





Firstly lets talk about side seams. Some T’s have ’em. Some don’t….¬†This one doesn’t and will make smoother/better yarn because of it…



This one does so the yarn I make from it will have little slices of side seam in it every 12-20″, depending on the width of the Tee. We can reduce that bulk a little but it will be there nonetheless. The moral is, if this sort of thing is likely to bug you, pick a tee where the body has no side seams and is one continuous tube of fabric


Other things to avoid are too thick jersey (like sweatshirt ¬†or ponte thick) and anything with print/transfer or embroidery below the chest area as this prevents the jersey from curling effectively. ¬†So now you’ve got the right kind of Tee this is how you do it…

Step 1: Cut the hem band neatly off the tee. Keep as straight and even a cut as possible…



Step 2: Cut straight across the tee under the arms. Again keep it straight and at right angles to the side seams.



Step 3: Remove any care labels in the side seams as close to the stitching as possible without cutting the stitching itself



Step 4: Now this may prove controversial, but the full bulk of an overlocked seam in my first ball of nice jersey yarn, bugged me. So this time, I trimmed some of it off. Just the bulky edge, about a mm a way from the double row of straight stitch. Note the double row of stitching as I think this could be key. Not all overlocked seams are formed in the same way. If your overlocked seam looks in any way loose or you see only one row of straight stitch, personally I wouldn’t trim it down. It worked great on this tee and the pink one…but the yellow one (they’re all pictured at the bottom of this post) had a slightly different overlock and unravelled and pulled apart in places so I¬†ended up with several lengths instead of one continuous one…so use your best judgment and if in doubt, cut a strip off the bottom¬†& test first…



Step 5: Now fold the tee body almost in half ¬†(side seam to side seam) but leaving about 1-2″ extra of the bottom layer poking out along the top…



Step 6: Cut strips at least ¬†1″¬†wide¬†(or marginally wider) up from the folded edge. I used masking tape as a cutting guide to keep my widths even (more uses for masking tape here!). Cut straight up, through all layers, at right angles to the folded edge, and cut through the first overlocked edge but NOT the second. Stop¬†1-2″ before and leave that part uncut…



You’ll end up with one overlocked edge and a bunch of jersey loops hanging from it



Step 7: Slide the uncut edge over an ironing board. ¬†Start with a tapered, diagonal cut from the outer edge to the first slit. Then from the base of the next¬†slit cut diagonally across to the next top slit. ( Not straight across to the one opposite). You can see the first 2 cuts I made, and the next 3 are marked with dotted lines. Do this all the way along…diagonally from the bottom slit across to the top slit….



…and you’ll end up with a continuous strip like this…



Step 8: Working in approx 18″ lengths, stretch it out and it will roll in on itself to form a skinny tube like this. I found that holding the little bits of side seam, one in my left and one in my right hand, and stretching out just one¬†section at a time, avoided putting undue pressure on the seams.



Step 9: Roll it up!



I nipped to the local charity shop this morning and bought each of these t shirts for 50p each so a super thrifty and eco friendly project. (I’ve kept the leftovers for another project) If you’ve got some lurking in your wardrobe even better! ( BTW, Elliott wanted me to tell you that he helped me style this picture ūüôā He also helped me style another where he artistically arranged¬†leftover strips of each colour in the background. For those of you that don’t know, Elliot is my 6 year old son. He’s actually sat looking over my shoulder as I type this, making sure I type this, and let you know that! Give it a month and he’ll be writing my blog posts for me)


Now I just need to decide on a project. Have you made or used T Shirt yarn? Please feel free to leave any ideas in the comments below!


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