Friday, December 16, 2011


Last minute Christmas gifts, boats for boys room decorations, based roughly on this idea

My son helped me collect driftwood sticks from the beach for each boat's sail mast, which I coated in clear water-based non toxic nail polish. The anchor fabric you may remember seeing before, and calico for the boat base - its all op shopped. The rope for the tie at the top of each boat is actually a strap from an used gift bag.

Felt for letters, initials of the boys the gifts are made for, are made from eco-fi kunin felt.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Award and Bird Coasters

Sorry for my absence.

Firstly, I need to thank Torqua Craft for awarding Recycled Sewing with a Liebster Blog award..

'Liebster' means "favorite" or "dearest" in German. This award, which originated in Germany, recognizes up and coming bloggers.

I need to award this to other bloggers, please bear with me, it is something I will come back to..

On the craft front, I re-purposed some old op shop coasters with pages from a thrifted art bird book. I don't actually want to use them for coasters, I'd like to put them up on the wall for a decorative feature....

Secondly, I really think I've mastered my children's chalk mat design. Here is my latest, which took me about half the time than it did the first time I made one. Made using second hand and vintage fabric..

Thursday, November 17, 2011

High postage fail

In an attempt to make as many handmade gifts as possible this Christmas, my first creation is a wheat and lavender heat pack for my Mum.

Based on this pattern, I've used denim and fabric scraps to make the cover, which closes with velcro. Inside I have used calico material for the lavender and wheat pillow. All fabric used, including calico, is from my op shop stash. I used thrifted lace and a recycled birthday card to write a message.

Heat packs are microwaved for approximately 2 minutes, they small divine and feel great on the back of shoulders.

Unfortunately, what I probably should have considered, is sending such a weight to the UK; $40! Ouch.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

I Spy Bags with Op Shop Treasures

A friend told me she'd made her son an I spy bag. Intrigued, I searched online to find some examples; little material sacks with a clear window, which are filled with little plastic balls. Within the sack are tiny little toys and treasures which children have to find.

Here is an example from Montessori Moments.....

Here is my eco-version. I use rice, instead of plastic balls, which I've seen here

I popped down to the op shop to see what treasures I could find - that was the fun part! This is what I found.......

A snake, Buzz Lightyear and Jesse from Toystory, a green and white fighter jet, a yellow and blue angel, little wooden owl, an orange rabbit and a fireman.

Each little treasure I either found in my local op shop's 'free box' which is mostly filled with McDonald's Happy Meal toys! I found some additional pieces on the shelves at 10c each.

I used two pieces of thrifted material from my stash, and the clear vinyl piece is a cut off from the Resource Rescue Centre - eco friendly craft supplies

In the making...

I attach a printed photograph of the treasures to find in the I Spy Bag which is tied to the side.

I gave the I Spy Bag to my son, the first thing he says

"Look at the rice" followed by ..".. and the toys, I need to take them out"... hmm not a great start! We'll re-attempt the game another day :)

And look! I found a little treasure for myself, an owl bottle opener for 10c, cute no?

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Zipper brooches with leaves

The zipper brooches have progressed. You'll laugh at this one readers, I found a broken faux-leather wallet by the side of the road, yep, in hard rubbish!

I thought about fixing it up, but really, it wasn't worth the effort, so instead, I've started cutting little leaf shapes, and using a seam ripper (the sharp bit) I score leaf veins into the vinyl.

Vinyl wallet before cutting into leaves
Seam ripper for scoring leaf veins into vinyl leaves

I'm starting to sell my brooches on Recycled Market, a brand new site that launched yesterday.

Do you make recycled goods too? If so, registration and listing your products on Recycled Market, is free.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Zipper Brooches

I managed to score a whole bag of metal tooth zippers for just $2, so I've been busy making these little zipper flower brooches...

This one is my favourite so far...

Friday, September 30, 2011

Crayon Holders

A crayon roll, useful for kiddies when at cafe's! A gift for a 3yr old girl, made using a tutorial found here fairy fabric purchased at the op shop, eco-fi (made from recycled plastic bottles) felt, and craft ribbon from my 'stash.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Childrens book party sweetie pouches

I made these for my son's third birthday party; sweetie pouches to give to his friends to say thank you for coming!

The children's books I used for this project, I have blogged about before, as I have used them for my coasters. An op shop gave me a bag of damaged books (mostly ripped or scribbled on) that I can use for craft projects, that would otherwise be thrown in the bin.

I ripped out book pages, used a small plate as a template to draw around, and cut two circles per pouch.
Machine stitched two circles together, leaving an opening to fill with treats - in this case, chocolate covered sultana's, then machine stitched the hole at the top to seal.

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Featured on WeUpcycle

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

DIY Photo Magnets

How to make your own photo fridge magnets.

What you will need:

1 x sheet of A4 recycled paper
Access to colour printer
Clear vinyl (I picked some up at Resource Rescue)
Mod Podge
Strong glue
An old fridge magnet, or you can purchase new magnet strips from a craft shop

* Print off small thumbnail sized images onto an A4 sheet of recycled paper, and cut out each photo.

* Using mod podge and a paintbrush, glue mini photos face down onto vinyl, try not to make glue too gloopy as it may make the ink run.

* Leave out to dry (I dried outside on a chair).

* In the meantime, cut old magnet into little squares and rectangles.

* Once dry, I put vinyl sections in-between two heavy books overnight to flat out the curve and make images flat.

* Cut each image out of the vinyl

* Using a strong glue, attach each magnet square to the back of each vinyl covered image.

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

To market

I have been given an opportunity to sell some of my products at a market. A friend has kindly offered to stock some of my handmade goods on her stall, starting this weekend at a children's market.

As a result, I have been sewing up a storm, making giraffe rattles using vintage and second hand fabric, and chalk mats, again made with recycled fabric, all except the oil cloth chalk board material.


Chalk mats

Owl chalk pocket

Aeroplane chalk pocket

My son's chalk mat, used at the weekend

I find it hard to think of an appropriate price to sell my handmade products for? Readers, if you sell your products on market stalls, how do you calculate an appropriate retail price?

Labels on my products have been made using cardboard from a tissue box, with a hole punched on the corner. My details are on the back of each card, and the price, when I decide it, will be on the front..