Wednesday, December 12, 2012

One pair of jeans upcycled to all this...


This year I've been making some Christmas gifts from an old pair of jeans.  I've managed to use up almost the entire pair of jeans. Here's what I made...

First I made a Lesa Bag - which took up most of the fabric of the jeans. I used part of an old dressing gown for the bag lining.

Then I made a pair of pot holders from the back pockets, using this tutorial.

Then a personalised pencil case from the remaining large leg parts:

A key-chain pouch from the last flat part of fabric:

Then finally I stitched the scraps together, braided the seams to form a handle, 

and again used part of that old dressing gown for the lining, and made another small bag:


Now all I have left is some left over seams,
Which I save for hanging loops of key-chain loops like this:

And the very last tiny scraps which I admit I threw out (gasp!!) I know - I probably should have kept them for stuffing something..or other.....

Not bad for just one old pair of jeans!
Here's another look at the final result:

I'm pretty pleased with that! 
What do you think? What have you made from old jeans?

To see lots more ideas for upcycling old jeans, look in the Clothes Upcycling linky where there are hundreds of ideas for upcycling old clothes - and more being added all the time!


Happy Upcycling!


Thursday, December 6, 2012

More gifts from jeans - Denim pot holders



I managed to get yet another gift out of the pair of jeans I have been upcycling!

So far I've made a Lesa Bag, a pencil case, and now I've made a pair of Pot Holders:

I made a pair of these for myself earlier this year - so used my own tutorial which you can find here.

The pockets are perfect for slipping your hands in to grip the hot pots!


And I chose to use some tartan fabric for the quilted side, since the recipient is Scottish!

I hope she likes them!


Not a lot of those jeans left now!


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Upcycled denim jeans to pencil case


I made another birthday gift this week for one of my daughter's friends.
I still had some denim left over from the jeans I used to make her swim coach a Lesa Bag

So I used this to make a pencil case:

With the birthday girl's name on the front..
And cute little doggies on the inside!


Hope she likes it!

Friday, November 30, 2012

An upcycled handmade gift - The Lesa Bag


This week I've been trying to get Christmas presents organised and made.  Here's another I finished - a new Lesa bag for my younger daughter's swim coach.

I made this one out of a pair of jeans and the lining from a dressing gown!

I made myself one of these bags out of an old pair of jeans - and I use it all the time, it's my current favourite bag.
The selection of pockets inside and out are just perfect, and the denim makes it nice and sturdy!

A pair of adult jeans is the perfect size to cut this bag out from.  The  back section had to be cut across the seam of a leg piece, but I think it looks ok, don't you?



The pattern for the Lesa Bag can be found here.
It's chock full of photos and easy instructions for each step.




So, that's another Christmas gift made and checked off my list.

And I still have some of the denim left over from these jeans - which I'm going to use for 2 or 3 more small gifts!!

Are you upcycling for any gifts this Christmas - or decorations perhaps?

Do come back tomorrow and each day throughout December for my upcycled advent calendar. Each day you can click on the 'door' and see some upcycled Christmas inspiration!


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tartan gift bags


A simple handmade gift bag can make all the difference.

Our daughter's swim coach is heading back to her native Scotland for a long Christmas break, so a few of the parents have pooled together to get her a present.


Which all wrapped up in some nice Scottish tartan should be well received!

The wine bottle bag is just a simple piece of fabric folded in half, stitched down the side and bottom and the top hemmed - with a ribbon to tie around the bottle neck.
The drawstring bag for the chocolates I made using 


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Getting ready for Christmas

My girls have just one week of their school year left then they're finished for the long summer/ Christmas holidays here in Cairns, Australia.
So - it's definitely time to get stuck into my Christmas crafting.
I thought I'd take a look at the Christmas Linky Party which already has over 300 ideas linked up.  
Here's a few inspiring ideas I found:

For the littlies - how about this cute 


Or how about this great 


Here's a lovely simple one: a 


For more ideas and inspiration - or to link up your own projects

And let's get Christmas crafting!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Full Solar Eclipse Cairns


Here in Cairns we just experienced a full solar eclipse!  
Very impressive and exciting!
The last one we had in Cairns was in 710AD and the next one here won't be until 2237!
So it's kind of special that we are here for this!
(this photo above was just taken with my small digital camera at full totality!)

We bought special viewing glasses which enabled us to watch the progress of the moon across the sun. Through the sunnies the sun appeared like an orange ball, and you could clearly see the curve of the edge of the moon as it slowly covered the sun.

Then as it reached total eclipse everything went dark for around 2 minutes - just like a moonlit night!

And as this post goes live, we're still in our back garden with the special sunnies on watching the moon slowly work its way off the sun again on the other side.

Last year, our eldest daughter studied the phases of the moon at school - she remarked that it's like watching the phases of the moon speeded up!

How cool!

Have you ever seen a total solar eclipse?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Christmas yoyo wreath tutorial



I have a simple tutorial for you for a Christmas decoration made using just fabric scraps:

All you need is some fabric scraps in some festive colours.  I used some green from an old t-shirt and red scraps left over from a dress I made.

First you need to cut some circles.  One thing I love about making yo-yos is that your circles don't have to be perfect - and your fabric doesn't even have to be ironed!!  My circles were around 10cm (4") in diameter.

Then take a needle and thread, and stitch a long running stitch around the edge of the circle folding the outside edge of the fabric in a little as you stitch.

Once you've stitched all the way around, pull the thread and your circle will draw up into a small pouch.
Cut up the leftover scraps of fabric after cutting your circle and stuff them into the pouch before drawing it completely closed with the thread and stitching it closed.

Repeat this until you have 10 puffy yo-yos. 

Once you have 10 puffy yo-yos, take a larger needle and thick thread or wool.  Thread all the yo-yos onto the thread or wool in the order you want them, then loop the thread back on itself and secure to form your circular wreath.


Tie a loop of ribbon or coloured cord around the wreath to hang it with.
And add any embellishments you want. I stitched on a ribbon bow I had in my stash!


Then find the best place to hang your finished wreath!



For the downloadable PDF version of this tutorial, click here.

For lots more ideas of things to make for Christmas that are eco and budget friendly, check out my pageL