Well another Halloween has come and gone. Time to take down the cobwebs, ghosts and jack-o-lanterns and replace them with gourds, turkeys and pumpkin pie. Are you someone who decorates for every season? I should be. There are always so many great decorating ideas made from upcycled materials for every holiday.
But I am not a holiday decorator. We don't even put up a Christmas Tree can you believe it? It's not that we don't share in the holiday spirit it is just that there are only two of us, if you are only counting humans. And we are usually with extended family elsewhere during the holidays. But every year I still think maybe I will decorate. It does feel so much more festive when you do.
Sadly I must report that the first holiday of the season has passed at my house without so much as a pumpkin in place. What about you? Did you dress up? Act Silly? Scare little chlidren? Hand out candy? Plant "tombstones" in your yard? Are you the house that is soooo halloweenie that kids come from blocks away to trick or treat?
When I was a kid way back in the 70's there was a house with a big giant jack-o-lantern that would talk to you and then jelly beans would come out of its mouth. Now I have never been a big fan of jellybeans but we still had to walk several blocks every year just to see the talking pumpkin. I have no idea what I wore when I was trick or treating but I can remember most of my halloween costumes that I wore in the school parade. Due to my fathers creative input my costumes were always very imaginative but not very easy to walk in. I was a jack in the box, a gingerbread cookie, a mouse in a piece of cheese and a mermaid on a rock. I would love to have a photo or two but alas they are just in my memory.
Anyway in keeping with my heritage and my love of upcycling, I decided to see what kind of costume I could make using things that I already had around the house.
Here is what I came up with:
For the main part of the costume I used some scrap fabric and some old out of fashion dresses. Here is a pile of some of the "junk" I used.
I didn't have a pattern so I used my dress form to drape the pieces together.
The petticoat is made from a t-shirt and an old bed canopy.
The tutorial is here.
I am happy to report that the only things that I had to buy were some snaps and, well of course, the flamingo!
I am most proud of the collar and the faux fur. Both were made from upcycled plastic grocery bags. The collar is made from fused plastic bags and the faux fur is many many many short pieces tied onto one long piece of plastic bag.
The apron was solid black with a logo embroidered on it. I covered the embroidery with some fabric from a pair of silk pants. Yep bright yellow light weight baggie silk pants. Just try to imagine when those were stylish.
I already had the socks. Doesn't everyone? :-)
The crown was made from some cardboard again covered with fabric from a pair of pants and then glued to a headband that was also covered in the fabric.
If only I would have had this costume last year for my crazy Alice in Wonderland Tea Party.
I was in such a rush to complete this project that I didn't get very many pictures of the progression. I spent many more hours making it than I did wearing it, but the whole process of seeing it come together was fun.
Hope you all had a wonderful and spooky Halloween.
Update on 11-25-12
While I was home at Thanksgiving I riffled through my parents photos and found some of my childhood costumes. Please forgive the quality it was the 70's after all. :-)
It is good to be back up and running after living for several days without my computer, but of course it has put me behind on a lot of things. Anyway, this weeks project is more about function than form as you can clearly see from the photo. :-)
It all started with the challenge of making my Halloween costume from items that I already have laying around the house. I am still working on the actual costume to be revealed next week provided I actually finish it. But here are the ever so important under parts.
For the crinoline slip skirt I started with a men's tee shirt that I had already cut the sleeves off of, for who knows what crazy project.
Step 1- Cut off the top of the T-shirt just under the neck line.
Step 2 - Turn the t-shirt inside out and mark the front seam line from top to bottom on either of the existing side seams.
Step 3 - Sew and trim seam.
Step 4 - Fold down the top for the waistband allowing for drawcord width and seam.
Step 5 - Stitch and insert drawcord.
Step 6 - Cut gather and sew the netting pieces for the bottom of the skirt. I just happened to have a netting bed canopy that I was planning to sell in my Ebay store until I discovered that it had several rips in it.
So I decided to cut it up instead. I have to be honest this stuff is not very enjoyable to work with. It is quite unruly and gets caught on everything.
It took several pieces but eventually I did make it all the way around the bottom.
You might not believe me but I really hadn't paid any attention to the screen print until I took this picture. But now it make me giggle :-)
For the bustle I used a grocery bag stuffed fairly tightly with other plastic bags and tied at the handles.
Then I just taped the handles to make the loop smaller and hold it in the right place.
And tied it onto the back of the "Bad Ass" petticoat.
Thanks for stopping by.
Good Morning Everyone.
Do you feel fall creeping in? The crisper morning air? The suns reluctance to make its way over the horizon? The leaves falling to the ground? Well I certainly do and with this weather I always feel a little reminiscent. I have a project in the works that hopefully will be ready to share in next weeks post but this morning I am looking back at some past projects that never made it into a blog post.
Project 1 - Painted Shoes
Project 2 - Magazine Scraps and Bottle Caps Card - I don't remember what this picture was advertising (cookies maybe) but I just loved the look on this little girls face and the vintage feel of the photo.
Projects 3 and 4 - Upcycled Newspaper Gift Bags and TP Roll / Magazine Page Holiday Gift Party Favors. My sister and I made these for a Christmas Craft Show a few years back. To make the bags we glued layers of newspaper together to achieve a nice heavy weight paper and then painted them with some leftover house paint before adding the design.
Project 5 - Handmade journals with fused plastic covers.
Project 6 - Sweater Makeover - This sweater had a stain on the sleeve. So........
I did this with it.
Well that's it for now. I hope everyone has a great week. And as always.
I went a little crazy on Sunday. Yep more than usual. I saw an ecoetsy post on how to make functional business cards you know something that people would actually pick up and not loose or throw away immediately. One of the ideas was a tutorial on how to make a wearable business card into a ring.
Well I thought this was just the cleverest cutest funest idea and I couldn't wait to try it. The only problem is I don't really have a use for them right now.
However my sister sells her lovely HFR Designs fused plastic upcycled purses and bags at crafts shows so I thought that I would make a few for her and see how she liked them.
Since both of us enjoy upcycling and her products are made from fused plastic I made my ring bands from fused plastic instead of fabric. I have a whole bunch of buttons and then I thought of using corks and bottle tops and I just couldn't stop.
Just writing about it makes me want to stop and make some more. I am wearing one right now as I type just because it make me happy and guess what else? Well my plan and my hope for this blog in the year 2012 is that I will be able to post once a week on Fridays. I have never been that consistent and of course it is only Thursday January 19 and I have decided that I just can't wait until tomorrow to share my little creations so here they are:
The Cork Collection
The Button Collection
The Bottle Cap Collection
The Gum Wrapper Collection
Guess which one is my favorite?
I can't believe that it has been almost a month since my last post. Oh dear how the time flies. Sadly this post is not about another project that I have completed. I am still working ever so painfully slowly on Upcycling 20 T-shirts. I have one project that I do hope to have completed by the end of the week but of course no promises.
I have been meaning to post about my new plastic grocery bag purse for awhile now, a birthday present from my sister. I had been using another one of her creations that I wrote about here. But I have completely moved in to the new bag and I think there is no going back. I am just not one of those women who bothers with matching her purse to her shoes. I am also pretty hard on them (ie: I carry a lot of heavy stuff and don't like moving it from one purse to another)
There are a lot of things I like about this new bag but the best thing is how sturdy it is and the fact that the bag itself is so light weight. I have picked up a few purses in department stores and felt like they where already too heavy when the were empty (Not good for a woman who needs to put 10 pounds of.... well of course it is all very necessary stuff, in her purse.)
Anyway my new purse is part purse / part brief case and I couldn't be happier.
Oh and it kept 60 or so grocery bags out of the land fill. :)
I love the fun red lining and all the pockets.
And if you are wondering why I can't get more done on my own projects, here is my latest excuse.
I was working on my halloween costume.
Happy November 1st.
I had a nice visit with my sister the other day and thought I would share some more of her creations.
I didn't realize this before but did you know that many of the recycling programs, like this one do not accept plastic bags? So it is great to find other uses for them don't you think?
Like this pretty and stylish Black Purse.
Or this cute blue lunch bag.
Here is a nice bright spring-time yellow purse.
And last but not least a couple of elegant clutches.
On the gardening front:
It is supposed to be pretty nice weather this week so I am hoping to start my composting project.
And look my first (and only) little seedling has sprouted!
The poor little thing has already been knocked over by the dogs and pawed at by the cats. Only the very hearty survive in this house.
I also have my own little upcycled purse project going on. I hope to share it soon.
I hope you have a delightful day.
If you are into upcycling then you will want to know how to fuse plastic bags together. Etsy has this great tutorial. I was very excited when I found it and learned how to make plastic bags into a more durable "fabric."
I love this technique because the sky is the limit. Here are a few of the items that I have made from fused plastic.
And you may have already seen it but it is worth repeating. Here is the purse that my sister made for me from fused plastic garbage bags. (Don't worry they never had smelly garbage in them but they were upcycled from donation bags from the local thrift store.)
Plastic Bag Purse
If you believe that your purse is a status symbol please don't read this post.
Don't get me wrong I like nice things. I am subject to the keeping up with the Jones mentality sometimes but I do try to ask myself what the actual cost of somethings is before I dive in an buy it. For me it is much more complicated than just the price tag. The cost is also how many hours of work did it take me to earn that much? What else could I purchase with this same amount of money? Do I need it or do I just want it? Will it help me in the direction of my dreams or is it just a distraction a bobble that I will loose interest in and stuff in the back of a closet in a week or a month?
Which brings me back to purses. I have a couple of purses in basic colors and I still can't be bothered most days to worry about matching a purse to my outfit. I don't like moving all my junk back and forth. I guess I am just lazy that way. I don't want to have to repack when I leave the house just because I am wearing a brown outfit instead of black. I guess you could say that purses really aren't that important to me. So I am fascinated by the amount of money that you can spend on a purse! I have friends that proudly show me their Lamb and Coach purses (more than once I might add.) They tell me what a great deal they got and I am still amazed at the price tag. I am sort of speechless I try to nod my head and seem impressed? I guess that is what they want me to do right? Ironically these are the same friends that can never quite make ends meet. Which makes me even less able to understand their purses.
Anyway as I said before I have a couple of purses, three to be exact. I have a black velvet evening clutch. I am pretty sure that it was a gift. I use it only on very dresses occasions. I have a brown purse that I bought 2nd hand and I have my main purse which is black and made from fused garbage bags. My sister made it for me for Christmas a year or two ago. I have been impressed with how sturdy it is (I carry a lot of junk.) To be honest it has become more than just a purse to me. It is also a symbol of creativity, frugality and choice. It serves it's purpose of holding my stuff, I think it is stylish, it has kept a few plastic bags out of a landfill somewhere and it didn't cost a kazillion dollars.
But it does make me feel a little bit on the fringes if you know what I mean. Are there others out there that think a purse is mostly just for carrying stuff and not for showing off? I could be wrong but I don't think my Coach and Lamb purse friends would be all that impressed if I said "Oh yes your purse is really nice but check out mine. It's made out of garbage bags!!" I think they would be more likely to look at me as if I were crazy. Too each his own I guess and to quote Natasha Beddingfield "We're all mad in our own way."
Here's is the purse in case you are curious.