Stuff a pouf with scraps…

While researching creative uses for my bins of scrap fabric, I found a pattern on for a pouf. I chose an outdoor cotton duck fabric and pretty much followed the instructions verbatim except that I opted for minimal hand stitching to finish the top and bottom octagons. To fill the pouf, I used two large storage bins of scrap fabric and fiber fill from three old pillows. It was very satisfying to use so much “waste” to create something so useful, lasting, and attractive. To be totally honest, I am not in love with the octagonal shape. If I make any more poufs, they will be cubes. I found two wool blankets at a thrift store that I felted just for this purpose. Since I am all out of fabric scraps for filling, I can purchase bags of rejected thrift store clothing for $0.10/lb.

Large t-shirt = Mini Maxi-dress

Stella asked me to make her an upcycled dress rather than more tutus.  Style upgrade. I altered an XL men’s t-shirt into a long sleeved maxi-dress with raw edges and an added panel at the chest to fill the plunging V-neck.

Day 3 – Infinity t-shirt scarf (Taken with instagram)

This is the easiest thing to make.  Take an old t-shirt (XL or bigger) and cut it off below the sleeves. Voila, infinity scarf. Goodwill is a great resource for new or gently used t-shirts.

Day 2 – Melted crayons into hearts and created a necklace.

A few years ago, my daughter and I sorted through all of her crayons and put aside all of the broken ones to remelt into new blended crayons. This is an easy and fun craft to do with young kids. The crayons melt in a few minutes in a 250 degree oven.  This time around, I sorted the crayons by color instead of mixing them into blends. I had the idea of making them all into necklaces, so I placed a cut straw into the still moist wax after taking it out of the oven. Once the wax was completely set, the hole was easy to pop out.  A braided cord finished the necklace.  I’m partial to the black crayon because it is minimal and less obviously a crayon. 

In celebration of Earth Day and Easter, my daughter and I made a basket of (yes, again) fused plastic.  1/2" strips are woven in and out of a slitted, 5-sided box base.  Extra strips are used to fill the basket like grass. One more strip becomes the handle.  I folded a few leftover squares into a hopping frog, a crane, and a butterfly.  Did I ever mention how much I love origami?

I’m still fascinated by all the creative possibilities for fused plastic.  I have collected more plastic bags than I could ever use.  And I have found that not all bags fuse well.  Simple grocery bags are best.  But thicker, more graphic, plastic bags from retail stores provide more color and design possibilities.  Don’t mix plastics, or the fusing will be very wrinkled or bubbled as various thicknesses of plastic melt differently.  And some inks for graphics can hinder the fusing process as well.  In case you missed this link in a previous post, here is a “how to” for fusing plastic yourself.

This project is a simple folded box based upon a design from Fozzils.  I’ve also tried making the spoon, but my fused plastic is too flimsy, no matter how many layers of bags fuse together.  Obviously the high quality, food grade, polypropylene used to make Fozzils is superior in stiffness to high density polyethylene (HDPE) from which most shopping bags are made.  My box is still useful as an drawer organizer or even a tabletop decoration.