Upcycled weekend roundup

As the weekend draws to a close, I can look out my window and see clear skies overhead for the first time in two weeks!  I feel cramped, listless, and generally in need of a brisk march in some fresh air.  But the payout for all this time spent cooped-up indoors is that I’ve managed to test out a few new upcycling techniques this weekend.

First up:  Bottle tops.  If you read my previous post, you’ll know I have several thousand plastic bottle tops filling bin bags in my shed.  (Don’t mention it to my other half–he hasn’t noticed yet!) We haven’t yet found a charity that wants them in exchange for wheelchairs or money, but we are working on a couple of leads.  In the meantime, we’ll be working to upcycle some of the non-milk lids and sharing ideas for ways you can upcycle yours.  The first (and probably easiest) project is a great one for kids on a rainy day.  Inspired by pinterest posts from Mama Jenn and Vanessa’s Values we set out to make bottle top stamps.  

These are easy.  Clean your bottle tops, and attach self-adhesive foam shapes in a variety of patterns.  Then whip out your ink pad and start stamping.  Between making the stamps and using them, the kids were occupied for a couple of hours.  The stamps were cheap to make and we had plenty to go around so that the kids didn’t feel the need to argue over them.  Great activity, and I plan to bring a bag of them along to our next exhibition as favours for the kids who visit our stall.

While the kids were playing with these, I tackled my next project.  I’ve already covered a few upcycling tricks with T-shirts and now I had a couple of wool sweaters in need of an update.  Through many many years of use, they had become worn, misshapen, and yet still  almost unbearably itchy.  After lots of research, I came upon this tutorial from Country Living, as well as this one from The Inadvertent Farmer.  (I love her work!)  Following their amazing instructions, I came up with these:

In hindsight, I think the corners on the brown bag are a little pointy for my liking.  The purple bag needs a good run-over with the bobble shaver.  But overall, I think they’re pretty good for an hour’s work (maybe two) and they’ll be handy for dragging around the mountains of upcycled material I accumulate!  While felting the jumpers, an incredible amount of wool came loose from them, so I also got to try making felted dryer balls.  Because they’re soft, they make great indoor toys but they can also be used in the tumble dryer to bounce around and soften fabric.  I still have a couple of felted sweater sleeves to use up, so I’m thinking of making some slippers towards the end of the week

In the meantime, the Cambridge group is hoping for a break from the rain so we can finish work on the PET bottle flowers we’ve started.  Hope your week is sunny, and if not sunny then at least productive!

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