How to Upcycle a Pet Food Bag to a Cosmetic Bag

Dog Food Bag 3

What do you do with your empty dog food bags?  You can't really recycle them (bummer) so ours usually end up in the landfill.  I remember a post by Beth Terry (My Plastic-Free Life) once where she had suggested using them as your garbage bags (I always forget to do this). You can also sew with them.  They are made with a really sturdy water-proof material that is perfect for cosmetic bags, water bowls, and even a shopping bag.  A regular needle worked fine on the material. Supplies: 1 empty pet food bag 1 zipper sewing machine matching thread Directions: Cut 2 pieces 10.5" X 9" in size. Sew the zipper to the underside of each piece. Unzip the zipper part way before you begin sewing the rest of the bag (right sides together). Sew down the other 3 sized to close the bag. Trim the corners and edges. Flip so the right sides of the bag are now on the outside. Note: You could create this project at any size, just buy the appropriate sized zipper.  It would ... [ Read More ]

Upcycled Denim Crafts #freefromtrash

Denim Toddler Skirt

I've been looking forward to this project since before it even began.  I found one idea in the Reinvention book that I reviewed a few days ago for a portfolio or laptop/iPad case.  The original project was with 2 layers of linen and a single layer of batting in the middle to absorb shock.  I immediately knew I wanted to make this with denim. I've never worked with denim before and the thought of it scared me because of how thick it is.  I cut out my pattern and fabric, piecing it together as described in the book.  It was great until I got to the final step which required me to sew 4 layers of denim and 1 layer of batting.  It's thicker than my sewing machine will allow to slide through.  Gah!!  Anyone have any tips or tutorials for sewing denim??  Single layers are easy but when you get more than 2 layers it's impossible.  I even broke a needle in the process. And the "final" piece (not sewed on the edges) looks like: I was left with the top part of the jeans and ... [ Read More ]

Peanut Butter Piggy Bank #freefromtrash

Peanut Butter Piggy Bank

My kids LOVE peanut butter and we go through a lot of it in this house!  That leaves us with lots of empty plastic peanut butter jars.  They aren't really fond of the fresh stuff and I haven't found a brand in glass that I like. My 3 yr old has a few dollars that daddy gave her last week after their shopping trip and it's just been sitting on her dresser.  She plays with it but doesn't really understand that you should keep it safe. Directions to make:  I simply cut a slit in the lid (be careful because plastic lids can crack), remove the label, and place a label or sticker on the front.  We used our brand new Mabel's Labels from our Back to School Combo kit (more on that later) to personalize the piggy bank with her name. You could fill plastic jars like this with lots of goodies.  Can you imagine how organized my sons Lego collection could be with several of these? This post is part of the Upcycled Crafting Challenge (#freefromtrash) that I’m hosting this month. ... [ Read More ]

Compact Disc (CD) Upcycled Crafting #freefromtrash

CD Coaster #freefromtrash

I'm going to get really creative on you today! First, go to your desk and grab one of those old compact discs that you use to store your photos on. Now, turn it over and place it on your coffee table. Finally, gently set your drink glass down on top of it! Bravo - you have yourself a brand new, fashion-forward, coaster! This post is part of the Upcycled Crafting Challenge (#freefromtrash) that I’m hosting this month.  It’s part of a one month challenge to create from trash.  This challenge will hopefully open your eyes to the number of items that we still end up trashing every day that could be used by ourselves or our kids to create fun and useful items. Note: I've come down with an inner ear infection which left me pretty dizzy most of the week.  I'm sorry I couldn't come up with a craftier project for you today.  I'm saving my energy for a really fun project I've been waiting to finish for over a month.  Come back later and see what it is. ... [ Read More ]

Picture Frame from a Plastic Lid #freefromtrash

Picture Frame from a Plastic Lid #freefromtrash

This is the perfect accessory for your refrigerator or to give as a gift.  You could even make one (or ten) of these as ornaments on your Christmas tree (not sure why I'm talking about Christmas in July). Directions:  Cut picture to fit the inside of your lid and apply glue lightly to the back of the picture.  Glue a magnet to the back of the lid and allow to dry.  In less than 5 minutes you have an adorable photo frame magnet! Could it get any easier than this?  What do you do with the lids from your plastic containers?  Did you know that most recycling centers won't accept lids in their plastic recycling stream?