Category Archives: crafts (recycled materials)

Recycled Wool Coat Needle and Stitch Book

Using a salvaged wool coat, you too can make a really cute holder for storing sewing needles. I use this project as a learning tool for beginner sewers. It is a fun way to introduce students to three introductory stitches: the basic running stitch, the cast-over stitch, and the back stitch. In addition, students learn to sew on buttons.

Search second hand stores for a wool coat or blazer that is worn out or ripped. Take it apart at the seams and felt the fabric by washing in hot water.

Order a pattern from me or design your own pattern. If you want to save time and support this website, send an e-mail requesting this pattern (HesterJane@FunInTheMaking.net) The pattern is 2$ and you can pay by clicking on the donation button on the right-hand side of this website. You will also receive a smaller version of this coat intended for making Christmas ornaments.

How to:

1. Print out the coat needle book pattern. (See instructions directly above.)

2. Trace and cut out two coat shapes. Follow the blue dots for the front piece and the pink dots for the back piece. Note that the back is slightly different on the center top of the coat. *Follow the perimeter of the coat: don’t cut the dotted lines that separate the sleeves from the coat body (D to E on pattern) yet.

3. Cut down the center top of coat (front of the coat only) about 2 inches or desired distance.

4. Pin the front and back of coat together.

5. Fold down and pin the collar.

6. Fold up cuffs and pin in place.

7. Use the overcast stitch to sew up the side of the sleeve from A to G on pattern. Do the same to the other side of coat.

8. Cut your sleeves D to E. I find that it is better to cut the sleeves now when you have the front and back of the coat lined up on top of each other. This way the front and the back of your sleeves will be the same size.

9. Sew sleeve front and back together D to E. Do not sew the body of the coat from D to E because you want the coat to open up like a notebook.

10. Sew on button(S). Sew the buttons to the front of the coat only.

11. Use a backstitch to make a decorative line across the bottom edge of the coat on thefront of the coat only.

12. Use a backstitch to make a decorative line across the bottom edge of the sleeve cuffs.

13. Sew the collar down.

14. Cut out the pockets of your choice.

15. Sew on the pockets using an overcast stitch or a straight stitch. Front of coat only.

16. Use a backstitch to make a decorative line on pockets.

If you or your child is interest in taking a class on how to make these adorable coats, please follow the link “Classes” on the top of this website for more information.

Here are samples of student’s work.

This coat was made by a soon to be 4th grader. Isn’t Sara’s coat so sweet!

This cute coat was made by a soon to be 5th grader. Great job Katie!

MYO Charming Mushroom Pincushions Made With Recycled Shirts and Wood

I designed these charming mushroom pincushions out of recycled materials and pieces of branches. If you change the design a bit, you could make a forest of trees in a similar way. –Another day perhaps. These pincushions could also be adapted into cupcake pincushions. Just scrape off the bark and paint the stump with lines like a cupcake bottom.

I know that mushroom pin cushions are old news but I’ve put my own spin on the idea (using wood for the stumps). The wood bottm makes them very stable.

Incites on how to make your own:

Gather supplies as seen in picture. –jar lid, wood stump, fabric, stuffing, plate for tracing. You will also need needle and thread and glue. Sometimes I use wool roving for the stuffing. The natural oils from the wool help to keep needles from rusting.

First, use a plate to trace a circle on a salvaged knit shirt. You want fabric that will stretch like a t-shirt.

The size of the plate will depend on the size of the jar lid you are using, which will depend on the stump size. The fabric will need to be bigger than the jar lid by about two inches extra all the way around. Smaller mushroom tops will require less, so test it out.

Using a straight stitch (put the needle up then down, up, then down through the fabric) to sew all the way around your circle. Sew near the edge. I like to use a metal jar lid to help shape the mushroom to have a flatter bottom.

Pull the thread to gather the fabric. Add the jar lid and the stuffing and gather some more.

Knot the thread to hold the gather.

Glue the mushroom top to your stump. I used a branch that I chopped with a miter saw. You could use a hand saw. Put something heavy on top until the glue dries.

I made the tall mushroom out of a second-hand infant hat. I like to use it to hold threaded needles for quick access.

4th Of July Centerpiece Made From Recycled Materials

Happy 4th of July everyone!

Looking for an easy craft to decorate for this patriotic holiday? Here is a super easy craft that is red, white and blue- and “green” too. The swirls make you think of fireworks.

Save the twist ties off lettuce or other vegetables. In this instance you will want to use the ones that are red, white and/ or blue. Make tight curly cues by winding around a pencil and make larger curls freehand. Twist one end to the top of a clean saved chopstick (saved from last year’s outings). You can glue in place. Arrange your sticks in something you already have: an interesting jar could be nice.

Make A Playhouse Box Tower For Your Cat

Make something fun for your cat and have fun doing it. My husband and kids made this box tower playhouse for our then young cat. It has many levels, two observation decks and plenty of interior places to explore.

To Make:

Gather boxes. Cut holes. Tape together. I could give you step by step instructions for making this box tower but that would take away half the fun of it. Be creative with your design.

Our box tower has holes at the base for the cat to enter. The stacked boxes have holes in the top of one box and through the bottom of the box above so our cat could climb higher. Windows were added. The most important part is the observation deck. Cats like to have a place to perch up high.

Use An Old Fame To Frame A Picture Before It Is Even Taken

I found an old and ugly fame. It needed to be glued in a few spots but nothing a little Gorilla glue and some clamps couldn’t fix. I gave it a light sanding and used left-over pant from another project to give it a clean look and that’s it.

It feels good to give new life to something unwanted. It’s a pretty cool photo prop now!

By the way, the thrift store is a great place to look for costumes of any sort.