Saturday, October 5, 2013

Can we repurpose it?

Any of you that have been reading my blog very long are probably aware of my love for do-it-yourself-recycling. Over the course of this summer I have taken a few pictures that I decided to combine together in this post to share a few recycling and money saving ideas.
   The picture above shows a project from our last homemakers group this summer. One of the ladies that was coming requested a flower arranging class as she knew that was something that I did. I was agreeable but I didn't have a lot of vases on hand right then that I just wanted to give away and not get back and I had failed to remember to ask the ladies to bring their own and I didn't really want to go out and buy them - even though they are usually quite cheap at second hand stores. I preferred to figure out a way to use something I had. That something happened to be olive oil bottles. I had quite a few and though I have used them to store my homemade vinegar I don't seem to have a lot of used for them. Vases would be perfect.
  First I need to get the label off of them. I soaked them in hot vinegar water and then scraped with a knife, then added a little oil and rubbed with a rag. The labels came off fairly easily (not perfectly always but good enough). To make them look more finished I wrapped some twine around the lip, hot glued it in place and tied a little twine bow. The flowers my friend and I were able to gather from our gardens. We were able to make enough to give away to others too so that was fun.
Another project that I worked on this summer was underwear. Not something I discuss to often in public but I think it is a good idea to share every so often in case someone else likes to repurpose things and save a little money.
I changed these items made out of knit from this:
To this: 
 Though actually in those pictures I have the wrong matchup - I don't have anything made from the cameo material and I do have boxes made from some other repurposed knit fabric. I re-use elastic from old underwear if it is still serviceable.

Boxers are pretty easy to make, so are ladies/girls underwear:

I went from this:

 To this:

 My exciting discovery in underwear making this year was on how to trim the legs. In the past I have used elastic which looks kind of funny, sometimes doesn't feel that great and also uses something that I don't get as easily for free. Then I tried just hemming the leg hole - that was way to loose. So this time I cut a strip from the knit fabric, I sewed it on like you would bias tape except that I stretched it while sewing it. This new method works great!
 One day we were over at my parents and my mom sent Mara out to pick apples using this clever "basket" she had made from an old laundry detergent container.
 Another something that my mom saved... Deli containers complements of my sister (she would bring them home from work and Mom washed and saved them).  A couple of times while taking some short little trips with my parents this summer when we needed to eat on the road, my Mom used these to pack the meal. It didn't make things pretty nifty for eating in the car and the kids thought it was pretty fun to get their own lunch. Mom gave us a set so we have now used them on a car trip or so as well as to pack our lunches in when we go to homeschool group. We still might not have all the fancy juice boxes and processed snacks that other kids sometimes have but we have some nifty little containers for our lunch. :-)

When I was looking through pictures I noticed this one that I took today of a Bridal Bouquet that I delivered today. There are no recycled items in this picture (though we have extended the life of the bench by sanding it down and varnishing it two times) but it reminded me of some that I used today. When I deliver the bouquets for the bride and bridesmaids I need them to be in water so that they will stay fresh as long as possible. My mom and I save all sorts of bottles for this purpose - oil bottles, mayo jars, creamer containers, etc. Some we have to cut the skinny neck off of and others we use as is except with all of them we wash them carefully out. This works just fine for delivering flowers and saves my business money. I also need something to put the corsages and boutonnieres in when I deliver so Ken at his business saves all his envelope boxes and any other small boxes that come his way and I use them (as well as any others that I am able to save). Nobody has complained about my packaging and I have even had one mother of the bride carefully return all the plastic mayo jars before, and this saves my business money which in turn saves us money.

  Why buy something new when you can use something you have instead?

I am linking this up at Frugal Foto Friday


angie said...

I too like to repurpose items, such as cereal liner bags for wax paper, ziploc bags, take out containers.
Thanks for sharing your great ideas!

Rebekah from Simply Rebekah said...

This makes me wish I knew how to sew! I love the underwear you made out of old clothes. So smart!

Thank you for linking up with Frugal Photo Friday.

Jackie said...

These are great ideas. I am always so inspired when I read your posts about how you have repurposed items you have on hand.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin