Category Archives: reuse stuffing, from pillows etc.

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.

Make Your Own Christmas Dove Ornaments

lovely beaded Christmas dove ornament

Have a pleasant afternoon making lovely dove ornaments with your family. When provided with the supplies, even kids have fabulous results. I have a shoe box full of salvaged beads from unwanted necklaces etc. and this is a perfect time to make use of those little treasures.

This dove ornament was designed and made by my nine year old daughter. All I did was supply her with a pattern, scrap felt, and a box or salvaged beads. The gold beads came off a retired Christmas sweater and some of the others came from unwanted necklaces.

How To:

Print out and use the dove stencil provided in the make your own dove card post (see link below).

Trace and cut out two doves (one for the front and one for the back). It doesn’t take much fabric/felt to make so check your supply for scraps. Use felt or fabric that doesn’t fray very easily.

Sew on any embellishments (beads) before sewing the dove halves together. (This is a good idea but not absolutly necessary.)

Start sewing around the dove near the edge. When you are nearly done sewing all the way around, add a bit of stuffing. Then sew the hole closed.

Optional, add a string of beads to dangle below.

You will also need a bit of ribbon or a metal hook for hanging up.

If you like doves, you may also like this post on MYO dove cards.

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

Princess and the Pea inspired bench group picture

I was looking for a bench for my daughter’s room when I came upon this coffee table at a local thrift store. When I saw it I liked its clean lines and decided that it could also be used as a bench.
Located near a sunny window, this bench has become a prized spot in our house.
It has even inspired imaginative play. How could it not?

Altered Princess and the Pea bench
This bench is for my reader and writer: hence the vintage typewriter, books, and writing journal.

How to convert this rickety old coffee table into a nice sturdy bench:

altered bench before
1. Some of the pieces had shifted out of place over time so they needed to be tapped back in place and glued.

glue the bench
2.  The legs were wobbly so the wing nuts were tightened but not before the washers were replaced by larger ones. The smaller ones were getting squeezed into the wood and therefore not doing their job anymore.

alter bench washers
3. To create a lip, you’ll need to cut the long edge off of what will become the back side of the bench. This lip will help keep the pillows in place when the bench is complete but is not needed if your table/bench doesn’t allow for it.  Measure and clamp a guide board onto your table. This will allow you to cut a nice straight line.

alter bench cutting guide
4. Run the skill saw along the edge of the board; cutting a strip off one of the long sides.

alter bench cutting
5. Turn the strip up on end (becomes the lip) and glue into place.  Also add a few screws from the bottom. This allows the table (now bench) to go up against the wall and also adds a bit of a design element.

altered bench back
6. Paint if you like or touch up with stain.

Find out more about the mattresses and tips on how to make them:
Thrift Store Coffee Table Turned Princess And The Pea Inspired Bench: Making Mattresses

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