Recycled T-Shirt Dishcloths

01-DSCN7393Recycled T-Shirt Dishcloths

This time of year, more than any other, gift shopping seems like a constant drain on an already tight budget. I am always trying to come up with low-cost or no-cost alternatives. These recycled dish rags were absolutely free.

02-DSCN7386My guys had lots of old work t-shirts that had been replaced by newer ones. There were quite a few of them. Throwing them out just seemed wrong.

Light bulb moment! I cut them up to make t-shirt yarn, and I have lots of crochet ideas that are perfect for the yarn.

03-DSCN7388T-shirt yarn is not a new idea and is very easy to make. Basically you just cut the hem off, then cut the body off just below the armpits.

05-DSCN7391The body is then a tube. I slant a cut into one edge and then cut a continuous 1/2-inch wide strip until the entire tube has been cut. You can also cut short strips from the remaining yoke of the shirt and add it to the longer body strip if you need more or don’t want anything to go to waste. Cutting one shirt takes about 15 minutes. One adult medium or large shirt is plenty to crochet a dishcloth.

06-DSCN7395Once the strip (or strips) are all cut, stretch them. The cut strips will curl naturally into a cord. This is the t-shirt yarn. Roll it up and you are ready to rock.

01-DSCN7393I used the most simple of crochet stitches and a size N hook for my dishcloths. I haven’t written out the particulars yet, but any pattern will work for this idea. You could even knit the dishcloths.

I’ve got more t-shirt ideas. Some are crochet, but not all. Can’t wait to share them.


Ornaments for the Craft Show

I always have some ornaments left from the previous year, but I also like to add something new and to replenish things that sold well in the past.

5-DSCN7317Barbed Wire Star Ornament

I found a bundle of barbed wire during my cleaning spree this summer. Actually, I found more hanging on the pasture fence next to the barn, and more inside the barn. I only used one bundle, but they sold so well, I will definitely be saving the rest of the wire for more ornaments in the future.

Barbed wire isn’t the easiest stuff to work with, but once I found the right tool…a bolt cutter…it was a piece of cake.

1-DSCN7312Necktie Angels

I made one of these last year for a tutorial.

2-DSCN7313I didn’t have all the supplies I needed to make a lot for craft shows last year, so this year while junking I collected more ties and doilies to make a whole choir.

7-DSCN7321Salt Shaker Angels

I also made these salt shaker angels last year. They sold out. I didn’t think I had anymore shakers, but during my wonderful cleaning spree I found a box that I had stashed and forgot about. It was like opening a Christmas present in July. :)

8-DSCN7323Santa Belly Rings

This idea wasn’t mine. I found it while blog surfing one day, but I can’t remember where. My apologies to the original designer.

The idea stuck in my head when I saw it, but I’m sure my technique would make the designer cringe. I used what I had, which I am sure didn’t resemble much of the original “supplies needed” list. I had a bag with an assortment of rings. There were brass rings, shower rings, plastic rings and round frames. They were all different sizes and different thicknesses. I used a pipe cleaner for the belt and made buckles from clay.

9-DSCN7327Santa’s Union Suit

Also a hit last year. The flap on the back opens so that candy or a small gift can be tucked away inside. You can find my pattern and tutorial here.


By the way, the craft show this past weekend was a success. I don’t have anymore shows planned before Christmas because of family things that may happen. They might not happen either, but because of the unknown I can’t commit to more shows this year. I am continuing to sell things locally so that I can still make what I normally do each year and to bring my inventory back down to a manageable size for storage. I guess if there’s a will there’s a way.

Ironing Board Snowmen

2-DSCN7305Ironing Board Snowmen

I just love a clean barn. I have been able to find so many treasures I had forgotten I had.

1-DSCN7283These two vintage ironing boards were my latest victims…ahem…, masterpieces. 😉

Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of pics. I found them and started working on them right away. Before and after is pretty much it.

I removed the legs and discarded them. Okay, I’m lying. I haven’t discarded the legs. You know me…,I just might find something to do with them.

This project uses only the tops. One of the tops has a break that the original ironing board owners must have fixed.

3-DSCN7308They did a pretty good job. It’s very sturdy.

I think I like that board the best. It has character and a story. Since I don’t know the story, I’ve come up with my own conclusion as to what happened to the top. I have three grown sons, so it isn’t much of a stretch for me to believe a teenage boy must have parked his butt on it. My boys rumps are constantly resting on counters, tables and dresser tops. What the heck is the problem with using a chair? Sheesh!

2-DSCN7305I dry brushed the fronts using a dark blue paint. I like blue as a background for snowmen. I’m not a confident free-hand artist, so the snowmen were created from a stencil I made using card stock. The paint was applied using a sponge.

Facial details, hatband, buttons and a rusty bow complete these frosty fellows. I think they will look cute on a porch or inside a front door or mud room.

Don’t forget, if you are in Arkansas City, Kansas on November 16th, come shop at the Beta Sigma Phi Sorority Craft Fair.


Scrap Wood Snowman

1-DSCN7273Scrap Wood Snowmen

11-DSCN7069More wood treasures from the barn.

05-DSCN7053The base of this snowman is three pieces of siding placed side by side. They are connected with braces on the back.

06-DSCN7056The hat was created with two pieces of wood. I stacked the pieces and attached them to the head.

The nose was a sliver of wood that I cut using the miter saw.

Everything was dry brushed…AND I only dry brushed the front of the boards.

1-DSCN7273Only one has a hanger in this photo, but I have since added rusty baling wire hangers to all of the snowmen.

They are ready for the craft show.

If you are in Arkansas City, Kansas on November 16th, come shop at the Beta Sigma Phi Sorority Craft Fair.


Sliced Log Ornaments and Tags

1-sliced snowman and tag-blogSliced Log Ornaments and Tags

More “using what I have” projects.

1-DSCN7285I sliced a log using our miter saw to make this jolly snowman ornament.

4-DSCN7291You know me, I couldn’t stop at making just one…

2-DSCN7288…so I made several for my upcoming craft show.

5-DSCN7293After a bit of experimenting, I decided to also make gift tags.

7-DSCN7302This time I sliced a skinnier log. The slice was made at a 45 degree angle to make a wider surface. I also like the way the sides taper at this angle. I liked them so much…

6-DSCN7294…so I made several for my upcoming craft show.

If you are in Arkansas City, Kansas on November 16th, come shop at the Beta Sigma Phi Sorority Craft Fair.