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Re-Make & Re-Use: Up-cyled Cloth Grocery Bags - Stronger, Cuter

Friday, 17 February 2012 9:00

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This clever idea of how to strengthen and 'makeover' existing cloth grocery bags came to us from a member of our own creative sample-sewing team: Julia Chapman. Julia developed this idea during the recent holiday season and made a few as gifts for friends. She now has folks clamoring for more, and she generously shared the idea with us so we could share it with you. The idea is to double up bags, resulting in a new bag strong enough to carry very heavy loads. Pretty accent panels and handy pockets (wallet and keys on the inside, shopping list on the outside) are icing on the functional and fashionable cakes. I bought new bags, but you could certainly up-cycle your existing bags to give them a needed boost of capacity and cuteness.

Before & After: Ladder Back Chair - Silent Cinema Seat Cushion

Tuesday, 07 June 2011 9:00

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Day two. We now have a lovely new chair thanks to yesterday's Faux Antique Refinishing project. As a part of that process, we took off the old seat. Today, it's out with the old and in with the new as we build a new cushion and cover for the salvaged wooden seat platform. If you've never tried this before, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised how easy it is. Suddenly, many chairs in your house will need recovering!

Before & After: Ladder Back Chair - Faux Antique Finish

Monday, 06 June 2011 9:00

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One of the fastest, easiest and most rewarding 'furniture renewal' projects is the simple side chair. You get a stunning makeover with very little effort. We've split the steps into two days: today for refinishing and tomorrow for the new cushion. My husband, Bob and I did this project together, and he gets all the credit for these great step-by-step instructions. "Thanks, Bob!" Depending on drying time in between your coats of paint, this is a great weekend project. When we started, we were a bit uncertain how it would all turn out since we didn't have much experience with glaze and sponge painting. However, we discovered sponging paint is very forgiving and quite fun. The different color blends, layers, and textures you can create are limitless; it's a true blank canvas for whatever you envision.

Honor Earth Day by Reusing Old Clothing

Friday, 22 April 2011 9:00

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Spring is the best time to empty our closets of clothing we'll never (or shouldn't) wear again. Some of it can be donated or even sold, but what about the pieces that are flawed or frayed? Don't be too quick to toss these items into the trash. Instead salvage usable fabric, buttons, and zippers. Even thrift stores cut the buttons off of unusable clothing and sell them. Read on for some reuse ideas and how we took four men's shirts with various resale deal-breaker flaws and made an simply sweet baby quilt.

Re-make & Re-use: Napkins to Go from Dad's Old Shirts

Tuesday, 18 May 2010 9:00

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This very unique Re-make & Re-use project comes to us from Julia Chapman, a new member of our Sew4Home seamstress team. She developed the idea for a benefit in which all the items for sale had to be an ‘upcycle' product of one kind or another. We love cloth napkins here at S4H, but had never seen any made from old shirts, let alone with their own handy carrying case. There are racks and racks of men's short sleeve shirts at thrift and second hand stores... and probably in your own closets. Colors and patterns that might be too wild to wear would be perfect as napkins.

Valentines: Wrap It

Friday, 22 January 2010 9:00

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I have to give credit for these cute wraps to my mother. She was the original recycler. She saved every little scrap of fabric, every button, every too-short piece of ribbon, old wooden spools, and she even cut out and saved her favorite parts of old greeting cards. You never know when they might come in handy. So, thanks for instilling the habit, Mom. Here's what I did with MY stash of bits and pieces.

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Vintage Rescue: The Denim Jacket Pillow

Friday, 18 December 2009 9:00

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Every once in awhile, I'll open my closet and see something that causes me to shake my head and wonder, "What on earth was I thinking, and why do I still have this?!" What seemed like a great idea at the time, would now be fashion suicide should I actually slip it on and leave the house. Sometimes the item goes straight into the Goodwill bag, but there are also times when my Vintage Rescue lightbulb goes on. I see beyond the jacket's silly majorette neckline and wild, stacked cuffs and envision what could be a cool home decor project. My denim jacket lives again as a whimsical throw pillow.

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Vintage Rescue: Button Front Pillow

Wednesday, 23 September 2009 10:00

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The button jar. Most every house has one. It may not be a jar; it could a box or a lid or a cup or even a sock. A lot of us spent hours at Grandma's house playing with these beautiful chips of color. Although they do look pretty in pile, they really deserve to see the light of day. Give them new life as awesome accents and embellishments on your home decor projects.

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Vintage Rescue: Chenille Bedspread

Thursday, 13 August 2009 9:00

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We're excited to debut our new Sew4Home series: Vintage Rescue, a category of inspiring ways to recycle, re-use or redesign something old to create a great new look and perhaps salvage something meaningful. For our first article, I thought I'd start with a personal story. It involves my always-a-challenge-to-buy-for sister's impending birthday, cleaning the attic to move, and a much-loved and almost-lost rosebud chenille bedspread.

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