Letting Go of Fabric Scraps

Fabrics & Materials

During the covid-19 pandemic, many people in my social bubble have turned not just to handcrafts but other home projects. Here are some thoughts inspired by attempts to clean up my fabric scrap bins.

Sorting Fabric Scraps

The older I get, the oftener does it happen that visual clutter bothers me. Even though I’ve managed to fit my fabric scraps neatly into bins in the past, there are too many, and the sheer amount is adding to the corona stress.

Letting go, however, is hard: besides reminders of projects made, for me there is pleasure that comes from simply the act of making, plus, afterwards, from wearing or using or giving the thing, and even later from remembering all those pleasures.

Then, of course, the fabrics are beautiful in their own combinations of colors and patterns. And an otherwise insignificant piece could be just the thing I am looking for for some future project.

I’ve found a few solutions that help me – to some extent. 🙂

1) Fold all scraps, even small ones, neatly into the same dimensions (e.g. folded-napkin-sized) so that ragged edges and smaller pieces of the same fabric are contained on the inside. It drastically reduces space needed vs. a jumbled-up collection. If they’re in a box, it’s not hard to lift each bundle out of the way when looking for something else; if on a shelf —->

2) Arrange folded fabric by color. They look really pretty that way.

3) Make the very special ones into a usable item to see every day. Sadly, not a fast solution if that’s what’s called for.

4) Frame several of the special fabrics and arrange a set of them on the wall. We did this with Husband’s high school drama t-shirts that weren’t in wearable condition anymore.

5) Divide scraps into “def keep for now” and “maybe” piles. Move “maybe” somewhere else (e.g. into the “things to donate” area). If in a given time period I haven’t missed them, it’s a sign to let go. Alas, not a fast solution either.

6) Just plunge in and throw some out. This I find the most difficult. I’ve discovered, though, that I can cheat myself into doing it if I take e.g. the ones in the worst condition (or the oldest, my least favorite colors or whatever) and throwing out “only” this one and keep the rest. The next time, I take another most undesireable or useless batch and get rid of “only” them. The problem with this approach is it requires consistency and time.

Do you have any tips to share? I’d love to hear your solutions!

A DIY Wreath from Paper Bags and Faux Flowers

Arts & Crafts, DIY

Who knew brown paper bags and faux flowers would make such a handsome wreath?

Crafty Little Gnome Adrienne Paper Bag Wreath

Adrienne at Crafty Little Gnome

This wreath is by Adrienne at Crafty Little Gnome. Very nice indeed! She used a commercial straw wreath base, but I bet you could replace that with a homemade base of some kind. And depending on the color of the flowers, the wreath can be as versatile as you want.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

An Easy Way to Store Spool and Bobbin Together

Arts & Crafts, Fabrics & Materials, Thumbs Up

How do you store sewing threads and the corresponding bobbins? Petro at Easy Peasy Creative listed two solutions she found very helpful, and I really liked one of them: joining the spool and bobbin with a rubber band.

Easy Peasy Creative Petro Thread and Bobbin1

Petro Neagu at Easy Peasy Creative

Easy Peasy Creative Petro Thread and Bobbin2

Petro Neagu at Easy Peasy Creative

What an ingenious idea. I just love it when you take a regular old anything and use it to solve a new problem. I’ll have to do this!

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Wardrobe Hack: Pants into Crop Wrap Top

Before & After, DIY, Fabrics & Materials, Inspiration

LOVE this idea by Tiffany Michey – turn a pair of pants into a short wrap top!

Tiffany Michey Pants into Crop Wrap Top Screencap

Tiffany Michey

Tiffany has the tutorial in a video (my image above is just a screencap, don’t try to play it). She also gives you a rough pattern:

Tiffany Michey Pants into Crop Wrap Top Schematic

Tiffany Michey

Reusing at its best, isn’t it? I really wish I had a pair of pants to try this with. Ohwell; the next time I visit a thrift store I’ll keep my eyes peeled. 🙂

Visit Paper Michey or YouTube for the how-to video.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Quilling Artist Sena Runa: Update

Arts & Crafts, Colors, Design & Designers

I’ve shared quilling artis Sena Runa’s work before, but that was five years ago. (Yikes! Where does time go?) It’s high time to do an update.

Since I last posted, Runa has moved to Lisbon, Portugal. She also published a book, Quilling Art, and a second one, Quilling: 20 Beautiful Designs, will be out this summer. Congrats on both!

Like before, I’m only posting three of my favorites, but Runa is so productive it really is difficult to pick only from among her recent work.

World map (selection):

Facebook Sena Runa World Map

Sena Runa: World Map

Tardis – naturally, bigger on the inside!

Etsy Sena Runa Tardis

Sena Runa: Tardis

Welsh Dragon:

Instagram Sena Runa Welsh Dragon

Sena Runa: Welsh Dragon

Which one’s your favorite? I think I prefer the Tardis. 🙂

See her Instagram and Facebook accounts or Etsy shop for more!

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Letter Tiles Make a DIY Floor Better

Arts & Crafts, Geek out!

While browsing my inspiration binders for solutions for another problem, I rediscovered this nifty floor treatment from ReadyMade magazine June/July 2010:

ReadyMade June-July 2010 p88

Robin Reimer; photo by Kritsada Panichgul. ReadyMade magazine, June-July 2010, p. 88

As a word nerd, I especially appreciate repurposing letter tiles for this project (likely from Scrabble). Right outside an exterior door may not be the best place for wood tiles, though, but I suppose thorough finishing would take care of that.

The only problem if I were doing this kind of a project might be the urge to arrange specific words here and there and getting carried away with it! LOL! 🙂 😀

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

New to Me: Happy Plant Pots by Abby Ozaltug of CeramicSense

Arts & Crafts, Design & Designers

Canadian potter Abby Ozaltug makes such happy little plant pots you cannot help but smile! Below are two of my favorites.

5AM:

Etsy CeramicSense Abby Ozaltug 5AM

Abby Ozaltug at CeramicSense on Etsy

Bella:

Etsy CeramicSense Abby Ozaltug Bella

Abby Ozaltug at CeramicSense on Etsy

Bella really reminds me of cute British sheep! 🙂

Plant pots aren’t Ozaltug’s only specialty: she also makes figurines, ornaments, wall art objects, wind chimes and various dishes for organizing your life.

Visit CeramicSense on Etsy or Instagram for more of her playful ceramics.

Found via Colossal.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Ombre Dip-Dye Effect on Storage Baskets

Arts & Crafts, Colors, DIY

Ahh, I simply love the ombre rainbow-ish effect on storage baskets by Kara Whitten at Kailo Chic!

It’s apparently made with liquid fabric dye, but I guess you could achieve a similar look with paints and a brush.

Kara Whitten at Kailo Chic

I have two larger baskets that could use a refresher, and Kara’s project has finally given me inspiration to jump into it! It’ll be different, though, for instead of a fabric embellishment, my baskets have pebble inserts. I’ll share the results when I’ve finished; it’ll soon be warm enough to paint on the back deck.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Yarn Winter Wreath from Upcycled Materials

Arts & Crafts, DIY, Fabrics & Materials

Last year I tried my hand at making decorations out of upcycled materials (like the ribbon remnant ornaments I already blogged about). Here’s the quick and dirty how-to for a small wreath.

Yarn Wreath on Vase w Spruce Branches

For the wreath form, I cut out the plastic ring at the mouth of an instant oats tube. I used a sharp knife and went as close to the plastic without cutting into it as I could. Some bits of the cardboard did remain, but they were nicely covered by the fuzzy yarn.

Yarn Wreath Basic Materials

I covered the form with white wool-blend yarn unraveled from a sweater I wasn’t using, and also made three pompoms out of the same yarn for an accent. Finally, I made a bow for the top of the wreath out of a pale pink satin ribbon I’d saved from a gift box.

Yarn Wreath Collage

Granted, the wreath isn’t very big at all – the diameter is about 5″ / 13 cm. But for a whopping $0 it’s not too shabby, wouldn’t you say? 🙂

What crafting successes have you had with recycled materials?

Online Finds: 2x Felt Winter Wreath

Arts & Crafts, DIY, Fabrics & Materials

What lovely felt wreaths these are:

Country Hill Cottage Cyna DIY Felt Wreaths

Cyna at Country Hill Cottage

I really love both versions – they combine the different shades so thoughtfully. And Cyna even provides a file for a precision cutting machine AND a pdf template for hand-cutting, plus measurements both in inches and metric.

Tutorial by Cyna at Country Hill Cottage. Lovely job, and thank you for sharing!

Next week I think I’ll post about a small wreath with pompom accent I made last year. Time to dig it and the rest of our Christmas decorations out of storage! *<:)

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.