Author Archives: jane

Thrift Store Coffee Table Turned Princess And The Pea Inspired Bench: Making Mattresses

After finding and altering a coffee table into a bench, I set to work making it cozy. It needed to be a comfortable sitting and/or reading spot. That meant a pillow of sorts but then I got a clever idea: to add a pile of mattresses like in the story “The Princess and the Pea.” How fun! My girls liked the idea too. The idea was to have the mattresses look home-made like a pile of Grandma’s quilts. I wanted them to have lots of playful variation, yet still look nice together. And, of course, I wanted it to be made with lots of recycled materials.

Princess on Princess and the Pea inspired bench

This “princess” has discovered something under her mattress.

Making the mattresses:
1. Make a pattern by laying a piece of salvaged packing paper on the top of the bench. Run the edge of a crayon around the edge of the bench: marking on the paper the outline of the bench shape. If your bench is rectangular in shape then your job is easier: just measure your bench.
2. Add about ¼ inch all the way around to allow for the loft of the mattress and another ¼ inch for the seam allowance.
3. The mattresses are made like basic pillows.
4. To fill mattresses, I encourage you to use recycled materials.
-an old comforter: layer the pieces to achieve desired loft
-stuffing from salvaged pillows
-recycled fiber stuffing (I’ve only seen this sold in bulk). or even dryer lint. (try asking at industrial drying places for large amounts)
-down from salvaged comforters or jackets

Girl on Princess and the Pea inspired bench

The top blue mattress (picture above) has been given a quilted look by tying it off at regular intervals with super soft alpaca yarn (left over from knitting project).

Princess and the Pea mattress: blue quilted

This mattress was made from scrap fabric from another project. It is filled with two layers of an old comforter of ours that had become faded and torn. It is made like a basic pillow then I hand quilted it using embroidery floss.

Princess and the Pea mattress: striped shower curtain

This mattress was made from a cotton thrift store shower curtain (not the liner). I used the curtain’s own hem to edge it.

Princess and the Pea mattress: orange plaid

This mattress was made from a second hand tablecloth with a bleach stain on it. No problem, I was able to use the un-stained piece. It was made like a basic pillow then I machine sewed all around the edge. It is filled with recycled fiber stuffing.

Princess and the Pea mattress: striped curtain

This mattress was made from left-over fabric from the curtains I made for that room. Although this fabric was not recycled, the stuffing is. Inside is two layers of an old but clean comforter.

So far I’ve made 6 mattresses for our bench. This pile of mattresses will continue to grow as I come across other fabric to recycle.

Cat sleeping on Princess and the Pea bench

Find out more about the bench and tips on how to alter it:
Thrift Store Coffee Table Turned Princess And The Pea Inspired Bench: Altering Bench

Eco- gift Wrapping; Ribbon Made From Shirts


giftwrap using MYO shirt ribbon

I do a lot of projects with salvaged clothing. I like finding ways to reuse second-hand clothing (or my own cast-offs) especially if they are flawed in some way and therefore not even good enough to bring to thrift stores.
As a byproduct of another craft project, I had a strip of shirt and thought that it looked like ribbed ribbon. The next time I was wrapping up a gift, I gave it a try.
How to:
Find a suitable shirt.
Using a rotary cutter and a metal ruler cut across the grain in order to achieve a ribbed ribbon look.
Cut strips of fabric an inch or so wide, your preference, but try to keep it even.
I cut one inch strips from the bottom of an old shirt. Next time I’m going to cut a narrower ribbon of a complementary color and place it on top of my other ribbon for a different look.

Give Away: Vintage Arnel’s Mushroom Cookie Jar

Arnel's mushroom cookie jar
This super cool mushroom cookie jar (think 1970′s) is looking for a good home. I found it at a local second-hand store and cleaned it up. I have a feeling it has been in someone’s kitchen for a long time. It has a few minor chips around the opening but otherwise is in great condition. The bottom of the jar says Arnel’s; it‘s a collector’s item.
It would be great to store cookies obviously but would also be nice to store craft supplies in your craft room.
Doesn’t it just make you smile?
To win this cookie Jar all you have to do is comment on this post. I’m thinking that I should limit one comment per day per person.
I’ll randomly pick a winner on August 26th. I’ll e-mail the winner!

Important: You must be willing to pay the shipping cost. I’ll carefully pack it up and send it right out to you. Expect a clean but reused box and packing materials (no surprise there).
It should be noted that I don’t take any money for my part.

vintage Arnel's mushroom cookie jar

How To Make Your Own Coffee Pot Character: Fisherman Perc

fisherman sculpture

Fisherman Perc

fisherman sculpture close-up
How To:
To make a fun Coffee Pot Character you need to start with an aluminum coffee pot. I found this vintage aluminum percolator coffee pot at a local thrift store.

Fisherman Perc (a pleasant old man who enjoys the quit solitude of a day spent fishing).was made with:
Salvaged bolts for eyes. Drill a hole big enough to insert the bolt. It isn’t difficult to drill through aluminum.
Black valve knob (thing-a ma-gig) was glued on to make a mustache.
Can tabs were glued on to make the ears.
A mini aluminum pie pan with an old canning lid became the hat.
An aluminum angel food cake pan / bunt pan (the center piece) made a perfect neck/ stand.
Extras: Vintage reading glasses, fishing lures, can of “worms,” and small mint tin.

fisherman sculpture parts

Pieces needed in the assembly of Fisherman Perc.

Make Cut-off Shorts And Extend The Life Of Your Favorite Pants

flowered cut off shorts
Recycling 101; take your pants with the worn out knees and make them into shorts. This practice of re-using pants to make shorts is especially nice for kid’s cloths due to the tendency for children to prematurely wear holes in the knees.
How to:
Cut at the desired length (add extra if you want to leave a cuff).
Sew a hem, add a cuff or just leave it raw so it will fray.

These shorts were made from a pair of pants that my daughter loved. They had developed holes in the knees so I cut them into shorts and rolled up a cuff and hemmed the new edge. In addition, I cut out the flower detail that was at the bottom of the pants and re-sewed it on the shorts. It looks like I bought them this way.