Friday, December 10, 2010

Baby Sock Advent Calendar

Sorry, I realize we are halfway though the advent season but I saw this and just had to share because it may be the cutest holiday countdown idea ever and it involves repurposing!  I'm smitten.  Head over to Rhythm of the Home for details!

Vintage Suitcase Friday!

Time to link up!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Water Bottle ideas

I know it's late to be posting this but I was just looking at some last minute Halloween ideas and I found these great ways to repurpose plastic water bottles into a costume.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Vintage Suitcase Friday!

Tiniest jack-o-lantern edition!
I have not been very involved in re-doing stuff lately, but this week I took a little time to give some acorns a seasonal makeover.  I got the idea from the Family Fun site, though the acorns from the massive oak tree in our front yard are much smaller than the ones pictured there.  Since we have no shortage of acorns, I got all I needed right from the porch.  (We actually have so many that pile up near the sidewalk that it can be like walking on marbles.  Farcicle.)  Family Fun doesn't indicate how tricky it might be to cover little acorns evenly with acrylic paint.  If I were to do it again, I might use spray paint instead.  They turned out well, we love them and all the people we shared them with loved them!

I love my new kitchen tablecloth.
(fabric from Hobby Lobby)

Time to link up!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Homemade Halloween

Filth Wizardry has a wealth of ideas for your recyclables including Milk Jug Storm Trooper Helmets. Near the end of the post you will also find links for milk jug batman masks, homemade light sabers and milk jug "treat pots" for trick-or-treating.  Plan to stay a while, this blog is full of great stuff!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Halloween Ideas

Savers/Value Village had some great Halloween decorating and party ideas last year.  Fortunately, I bookmarked that section of their site because they have updated it and I had to pull up my bookmarks to find these again.  As with the back-to-school ideas I posted last month, there are lots of examples of how to turn thrift store items into seasonal ones.  "Dolls of the Living Dead" and "Sinister Ceramics" are just a few examples.   The instructions can be downloaded in PDF format.  You may want to download them before this page disappears!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Vintage Suitcase Friday!

Last week I posted about fusing plastic to make a stronger plastic you can sew.  This week I am interested in learning to crochet  Another way to reuse plastic bags is to cut them up into strips and make "plarn" (plastic yarn).  You can then make all sorts things by crocheting the plarn, including reusable shopping bags.  You can find more ideas by googling "crochet plarn".  Here's a little intro:

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Vintage Suitcase Friday!

What can you do with plastic bags?  One idea is to fuse them into a stronger plastic.  Cut off the handles and the seam at the bottom of a bag, flatten it out, fold it up to 8-ply, sandwich it between pieces of paper (they use wax paper in this video, I used parchment paper) and iron it with a medium-heat iron for about 20-30 seconds, moving the iron continuously.  The new thicker plastic can then be sewn up as you like to make something new.  In this video, they show you how to make a laptop case.  To skip the goofy parts and get to the project, start at minute 1:00.

I tried this for the first time today and haven't made anything with my fused pieces yet but will post when I do. I would love to see comments if you have tried this or links to your finished projects!

Time to link up!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

"Back-to-School" Ideas

Here are some back-to-school ideas from Savers/Value Village (not the same as St. Louis Value Village).  They are called "back-to-school" but they are really just idea for anyone who has a desk space (or a bed looking for a canopy).

Recovered desk chair, etched glass pencil cups
and record picture frames

Friday, September 17, 2010


How can you reuse plastic produce stickers?  Here's an idea from Stickerman:

The Door is a Jar

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Vintage Suitcase Friday!

Check out this photo I found with mother nature network's article about one of my favorite facebook communities, ReUse Connection.  I love it!  (I bet a cat would too!)

Photo: gellenburg/Flickr

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Vintage Suitcase Friday!

This is the place to link to any projects in which you have repurposed or upcycled something.  Thanks for linking up!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Green Fashion

I follow Eco-Artware on facebook.  They have a couple of fascinating posts this week.  One is an article from treehugger about an art camp in The Hamptons.  The kids there participated in a recycled fashion challenge and created pieces like the one below.

The other post was especially interesting to me because I had just been considering how to reuse medicine bottles a few days earlier.  For me this is a wonderful example of how exciting it is to see something old and familiar used in a new way.  Go here to see recycled pill bottles by LilacPOP.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

ReUse Connection

A splendid idea!  ReUse Connection is not live yet but according to the info they have up now, it will be in the next few months.  I predict it's going to be big!  In the meantime, you can follow them on facebook.

From the site:
"Have you ever wanted to get rid of something but didn't want to throw it away...and yet not known what to do with it?  Come visit ReUse Connection and see what people around the world do with everything from old shoes to chemicals to anything you can imagine.

Take Beth, who doesn't want her old CDs to go into the landfill. She posts "CDs" on RC, and global users tell her that they ReUse "CDs" as compact mirrors in their purses, as scarecrow substitutes in their gardens, or as paper weights after they glue them together.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Vintage Suitcase Friday!

Today I want to share a couple of my favorite repurposed storage ideas.  The first is made from 2-gallon water jugs.

Another idea to corral lots of odds and ends is from kcli and can also be found at Instructables.  

I love this idea!  Look at all those containers being reused!
Can't you just see this with smart looking labels 
and maybe a little Mod Podge action?

Finally, you really need to go see Apartment Therapy's Inspiration: Vintage Storage.  That's where I found this.

These are apple crates available from Baileys Home and Garden 
You should browse around there too! 
Lots of simple, lovely stuff.
It's not clear if they deliver to the US.

Time to link up!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Vintage Suitcase Friday! (and Plastic Bottle Caps)

Did you know that plastic bottle caps are not accepted at some recycling centers?  They are made from a type of plastic (#5) called polypropylene.  You can check Earth911 to see what type of recycling is available in your area.  It says my local Whole Foods accepts #5 plastic (and even Brita filters!) Also worth looking into is Recycle Caps with Aveda is a program in which caps are collected throughout the community, by salons, in school, etc. and then made into caps for Aveda products.

Kiwi magazine has a great idea for repurposing plastic caps.  I would love to find more ideas like this!

Go here to see the directions for making these super-fun magnets!

Time to link up!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Write On, Wipe Off Calendar

I wish I had thought of this!  Here is a super idea posted by Katia Ruby at Cut Out + Keep for making a dry-erase calendar out of a picture frame.  The frame must have a glass insert because that is what you will be writing on.  The directions suggest that you should only use dry erase markers to write on the glass.  I would suggest that you write the numbers with permanent marker so they don't rub off when you change your plans that are written with dry-erase markers.  At the end of the month, simply wipe the glass down with nail polish remover and start fresh.

See the directions at Cut Out + Keep

"Cup" Cakes

Here is a wonderful, budget-friendly idea for making a little dessert similar to "Warm Delights".  I call it a "cup" cake because we make it in a coffee cup.  Though it's not nearly as cute as a real cupcake, it sure is tasty!

All you have to do is put 4 tablespoons of cake mix and 2 tablespoons of water in a cup and mix it up.  (Earlier recipes suggest adding 1 1/2 teaspoons of mayonnaise for "instant" egg and oil which you would normally add to the cake mix but I don't find it necessary.)  If you want to get fancy, mix something in before you microwave it: chocolate syrup, caramel, fruit preserves, coconut, chocolate chips, whatever.  Microwave for 30-60 seconds.  You could put a little frosting on it when it's done   The first one I made for my son was a yellow cake and after I microwaved it I put canned cherry pie filling on top.  He loved it!  It's perfect for singles or smaller families that don't want to make a whole cake or 2 dozen cupcakes at once (or fire up the oven on a hot day.  You know what would be a really good topping?  Ice cream!)  And it's much more cost efficient than buying the real "Warm Delights".  You can often find cake mix on sale for $1.  Here is my little repurposing tip: I have found that after you use about 8 tablespoons of cake mix (2 "cup" cake servings) the rest of the mix will fit nicely in a jar that originally held spaghetti sauce and you can just spoon it out when you want it.  Let me know if you try this or what your favorite variations are!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Mila's Daydream

I love this blog I just found called Mila's Daydream. Mila's mom Adele Enersen says "This is my maternity leave hobby. While my baby is taking her nap, I try to imagine her dream and capture it."  She does a beautiful job.  Go check out the rest of the pictures.  They are very inventive and lots of fun! 

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Vintage Suitcase Friday!

Last week we had the best turn out so far for VSF.  I hope it keeps getting better and better!  I love to see your ideas and share them with my readers.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Repurposing Recyclables Part 1

I have a lot of SoBe life water bottles right now.  A lot!  I have been playing the Heads or Tails game online (hoping to win a MacBook Pro) and I keep winning buy 1 get one free coupons.  The SoBe drinks were on sale buy 1 get one free last week at CVS so I got a bunch for free (CVS paid for their "one" and the coupon took care of the other "one").
I have been playing around to see how I could repurpose thesebottles and here's what I've come up with so far.

Please pardon the grainy phone photo!  I tried cutting them and realized that they are most easily cut in a spiral.  I cut just a little of this one and left a cup on the bottom.  When I showed it to my 6-year-old he begged me for it.  It stretches like a slinky and might be fun storage for little things in a kid's room.

Here is one that I colored with permanent marker and then cut 
all the way instead of leaving a cup at the bottom.  Party!

A bugcatcher?
This was made by cutting off a top portion and inverting it into the bottom portion.  It's just one bottle, pay no attention to all those others you see!  I don't know if the opening is narrow enough to trap the bugs but in theory if you do this with a regular water bottle and put something in the bottom like juice or ripe fruit you can trap fruit flies and more.  It's based off similar ideas I have seen on The Idea Room and Instructables.  If you have any ideas for reusing SoBe bottles or any plastic bottles, I'd love to hear about them!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Vintage Suitcase Friday!

I have been thrift store shopping and dreaming and reading this week.  Needless to say, no projects have been finished but this is a vital part of the creative process, is it not?  
I have discovered some lovely books at the library, the "Pretty Little" series by Lark Books.  I have checked out Pretty Little Pincushions (again). 

I also have Pretty Little Presents and Pretty Little Purses & Pouches and still others have been placed on request.  I read these books and study their pictures with a ticklish feeling in my brain as I am inspired to create variations and new things.  I have decided that what puts the tickle in "Thrifty Tickle" is the need to create, the delight in a new idea.  Sometimes (er, quite frequently) when I come up with an idea for something whether it's updating a tired calendar or replacing the cinnamon in cinnamon rolls with basil and lemon, I laugh out loud.  I really do. 

Time to link up!  Grab a button from the sidebar and tell all your friends!  This link party is still in its infancy, let's make it great.  I can't wait to see what you've redone or repurposed!

Some Project Ideas for you

Have you seen the pamphlets at Hobby Lobby in the fabric section?  They have some interesting ideas in them.  You can download them here.  Also click here to get Hobby Lobby's weekly coupon.  You might want to bookmark the link.  The link doesn't change but the coupon does.  This week it's 40% off one regular priced item.  Last week it was 30% off Rustoleum or Krylon spray paint (no limit!)
Speaking of Krylon, their website has lots of spray paint project ideas and techniques like this one.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Thrift Store Trip

I went to the thrift store yesterday. A few months ago, it would have been news if there was a day when I hadn't been to a thrift store. I have been trying to declutter, use what I have and stay out of the stores. (I am proud to say that I started my Totally 80s theme week with the purchase of two 97 cent cans of black spray paint and the only other thing I ended up buying for my projects was a 35 cent spool of ribbon (on sale at Hancock) for The Boot!)

Look what I found on my little outing!

No date tiles and it cost four times 
more than the other one--four whole bucks!
Ready for a transformation? 

I'm thinking of making pincushions with this stuff.
 Another theme week?

And finally, it's nice when you find something for a buck
that doesn't need any work!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Turning "Trash" into Fashion

I was looking at some different repurposing ideas and came across this.  There are some interesting ones here but why do they have to call it "trashion"? *groan*

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Friday, July 30, 2010

Updated Calendar

Welcome to the final day of Theme Week: Totally 80s!  The grand finale, the pièce de résistance.
When I found this perpetual calendar for 99 cents I was thrilled!  I knew it had potential.

I also thought it was funny.  
Especially the "Call Mom & Dad" reminder.
And ducks?  Ugh.

For some reason I found the 
"Happy New Year" tile to be wildly depressing.
(It's the one in the middle.)

The ducks were easy to remove since they were screwed on.  That little heart wasn't going without a fight.  It had to be chipped off with a screwdriver and hammer.  But what to put in their place?  Luckily I have a nice assortment of frames.  I chose this one.

(also 99 cents)
I painted it white...and then black.

I used some scrapbooking paper (of course) and painted the calendar and the tiles black.  Then I used a typewriter font to write the numbers and words.  


 I attached the frame with thin velcro strips so the pictures 
or quotes can be changed out.
(I wrote the "flow" by hand.  I was going to use a script 
font but they all ended up looking to me
 like they said "flaw" or "flour"!)

Days of the week

I especially like my new holiday tiles.  They are kind of generic...

...but that means you can use them more, right?

A note on perfection:  This project didn't turn out "perfectly".  The older I get, the less perfection matters to me.  If I had insisted on all the numbers and words being glued on perfectly straight (it's bothering some of you, I know!), the project never would have gotten off the ground and I think it's a marked improvement over the original.

There's still time to link up to Vintage Suitcase Friday, my relatively new link party.  Please join me!

Today I'm linking up here:

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating  


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