How To: Fuse Plastic Bags + Make a Sunglasses Case!

Reuse and recycle: Make fabric from old plastic bags

As Earth Day approaches (mark your calendars! April 22nd!), I’ve been thinking about ways to reduce and reuse the things I don’t need in my life anymore. I’m pretty good about recycling what I can – cardboard, papers, and bottles go in the curbside recycling, and compost I take to the local natural foods store. Plastic bags go to grocery stores with those plastic bag bins up front, along with other random thinner plastics like cereal bags, plastic wrap, and bread bags. Continue Reading

How to Make Authentic Oilcloth

Learn how to make oilcloth fabric

Why do they call it oil cloth? What is currently being sold in stores as oilcloth is actually made from cotton fabric covered with a petroleum-based coating. However, genuine oilcloth (the real thing grandma had on her kitchen table) is made from cotton, canvas, or linen fabric coated in linseed oil. The fabric can be dyed or printed before the linseed treatment, and the oil gives it a water-resistant surface. Genuine oilcloth (also known as oilskin) is biodegradable in a landfill. Continue Reading

The Three Easiest Ways to Make a Simple Market Tote Bag

Three Ways to Make an Upcycled Market Bag

I’m a sucker for a farmer’s market or swap meet, and I’ve become very aware of bringing my own bags since California passed a law requiring you to pay for plastic bags at grocery stores. To use the materials I already had, I found three super simple ways to make an upcycled market bag: use stuff I already have! This transforms standard items into something practical using minimal cuts and sewing.  

I’ll share how to turn a regular t-shirt, bedroom pillowcase and bath towel into useful bags for farmer’s markets, groceries or just about anything else. Continue Reading

SHOPPING GUIDE: 10 Stylish Totes, Purses, and Satchels To Keep You Organized This Year

SHOPPING GUIDE: 10 Stylish Totes, Purses, and Satchels To Keep You Organized This Year

At the beginning of every year, I feel the need to organize every backpack, satchel, and purse that is in my line of sight. (I do this throughout the year, but am ultra-motivated after the new year.) If you’re in search of a new bag to organize everything from makeup to tools and everything in between, read on! Bonus: The style is strong with these.      

 SHOPPING GUIDE: 10 Stylish Totes, Purses, and Satchels To Keep You Organized This Year

Deluxe Leather Toolbag Klein Tools – $241



SHOPPING GUIDE: 10 Stylish Totes, Purses, and Satchels To Keep You Organized This Year

Polka Dot Canvas Tote Target – $30  

SHOPPING GUIDE: 10 Stylish Totes, Purses, and Satchels To Keep You Organized This Year

Honest Everything Tote  The Honest Co. Continue Reading

DIY Budget Flooring: Brown Paper Bags

Years ago, I saw a technique on a television show in which a homeowner used ripped paper bags as a floor covering. I remember looking for examples on-line but couldn’t find any, until now. Gwynne and Michael used such a technique to cover

 a drafty pine-plank floor in a back room of their 1793 “honeymoon” Cape. 

They opted to use contractor’s paper, which is heavier than paper bags to create ‘stones’ that they glued into place using a 50/50 mixture of water and Elmer’s white glue.   Continue Reading

Ten Alternative Uses for Used Tea Bags.

tea bag

Once you’ve given your tea bag a dunk, you could head right to the compost bin. OR, you can give it a second chance with one these alternative options for steeped tea bags.

  • Soothe Tired or Injured Eyes
  • Flavor Your Meat
  • Make “Less Sinful” Drinks
  • Around-The-House Cleaner
  • Remove Warts
  • Deodorize Your Place
  •  Give Oral Relief
  • Sunburn And Acne Solution
  • Fertilize Your Plants
  • Show Your Artistic Side


Check ’em out here.


How to Turn Plastic Bags into a Table Lamp

Urban Threads actually turned plastic Target bags into a lamp. I still can’t quite believe it even after reading the tute! 

First they fuse the bags. To do that, you’ll need the following:

  • parchment paper
  • a scissor
  • an iron 
  • leftover plastic bags

To make the lamp’s structure, you’ll need this stuff:

  • 6 thin square dowels, about 1/4″ thick
  • a small wood saw
  • wood glue
  • binder clips
  • X-acto knife, ruler and pencil
  • You’ll need some sort of light source.
Continue Reading

Teenage Mutant Sewing Turtles

created on: 06/21/08

Five Day Turbo Sewing Camp for teens just finished yesterday.  I say Turbo because they learned how to use the machine in two hours and spent four days (two hours each) sewing, jamming the machines, designing and giggling.  It was hard to keep them supplied with fabric.  Even though it was too short to teach them the perfect sewing skills, they got the feel of the machines and discovered they could create some sweet stuff on the sewing machine.    Continue Reading