Make Zero Waste Reusable Cotton Pads from Recycled Towels!

Zero Waste Reusable Cotton Pads tutorial by thisblogisnotoforyou.comZero Waste Reusable Cotton Pads tutorial by thisblogisnotoforyou.comZero Waste Reusable Cotton Pads tutorial by thisblogisnotoforyou.comZero Waste Reusable Cotton Pads tutorial by thisblogisnotoforyou.com

Reducing waste with ecoconscious DIYs

I can’t tell you how excited I am about this little Sunday morning project! I’ve been trying to incorporate more and more Zero Waste strategies in our daily routine and be more conscious about waste reduction in my shopping decisions. Talking to my friend the other day, I told her that I’d heard about washable cotton pads and whether that wasn’t a bit too out-there to try. She laughed and said she just bought some on Amazon the other day and loved them. I loved the simplicity of the idea but was shocked how much money a bunch of terrycloth cotton pads cost online.

This is why I made my own recycling an old white towel. This was so simple and easy, it’s absolutely mind-blowing. I never thought of this before seeing the ready-made ones in shops. And you know what? You can make your own, too! Here’s how simple it is:

Materials: old towel or wash cloth, organza bag, scissors, overlocker & thread (or zigzag stitch)
Duration: 5 Minutes
Costs: Zero
Benefits: no waste, no more costs, recycling old materials

Zero Waste Reusable Cotton Pads tutorial by thisblogisnotoforyou.com

Instructions

As you can see, you need just very few materials for this project. By the way, if you do not have an overlocker, you can also use a simple zigzag stitch on your machine to keep the fabric from fraying. It’s a bit slower, but works just as well.

First, I cut off the woven edges of my towel. This is really optional. If you’re feeling a bit lazy and don’t mind looks too much, you can keep them and save yourself some overlocking time of those edges. The fastest way to do the overlocking is by cutting long strips of your towel and overlock these before cutting them into smaller rectangles. Finish all four sides and you’re done! It’s that easy.

Zero Waste Reusable Cotton Pads tutorial by thisblogisnotoforyou.comZero Waste Reusable Cotton Pads tutorial by thisblogisnotoforyou.comZero Waste Reusable Cotton Pads tutorial by thisblogisnotoforyou.com

You will need a little organza or cotton bag to put the used pads in. Just let them sit in the bag and throw it in with your next wash. The bag also keeps the pads together in the washing machine. I found a cute wooden tray (IKEA) to put my new cotton pads in and it looks really pretty in the bathroom now! You could also just use a little box or porcelain plate to keep them together and keep them clean. Just as your towels, you can wash these with up to 95¬įC. If you use them dry on your clean skin, you can also use them to exfoliate.

This was just a whole 35‚ā¨ cheaper than my friend’s alternative from Amazon and she got just 7 pads in total. I made about 50 and will give some away as my mum and sister are also keen to try this. Nice, right?

Zero Waste Reusable Cotton Pads tutorial by thisblogisnotoforyou.comZero Waste Reusable Cotton Pads tutorial by thisblogisnotoforyou.comZero Waste Reusable Cotton Pads tutorial by thisblogisnotoforyou.com

What do you think? Do you feel like this could be something you might want to try? Do you have other suggestions for zero waste DIYs? Please let me know!

xx

Charlie


Happy sewing!

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Make It Your Own: Updating a T-Shirt with Stencils

Stencil Refashion by Thisblogisnotforyou.com

Hello there! Today I want to share a really fun & quick project to personalise or update your t-shirts! This is really easy to do and the perfect project if you feel like a creative project but don’t have a lot of time on your hands. It only took me a couple of minutes plus the time it needs to dry. I love those little projects that you can squeeze in after work.

The lovely folks over at Stencil Revolution offered to send some stencils for me to try. What I love about their company is that it’s a small, family-owned operation that developed out of what originally was a street art forum. I love supporting upcoming creative businesses and I really had a great experience with them. They offer a large variety of designs and sizes (for decorating walls etc), I stuck to smaller sizes as they seemed a better fit for decorating shirts, fabrics and tote bags.

These stencils are not very expensive but are very long lasting. It’s a hard plastic sheet that you can wipe and wash and reuse many times. I had specific project ideas in mind when ordering the three larger stencils. But I picked the arrow stencils knowing this would be a motif I will probably use over and over again! Obviously, you can use these for walls, furniture, bags etc., too. I just love a t-shirt refashion and I buy plain white & black t-shirts every once in a while for exactly these kind of projects.

Stencil Refashion by Thisblogisnotforyou.comStencil Refashion by Thisblogisnotforyou.com

So, how does it work?

First of all, here’s what you need:

Рstencil templates 
– fabric paint (I used black and light blue/turquoise)
– small dry sponge
– old plate or plastic container to pour the paint in
– masking tape
– a piece of cardboard (big enough to place under the area you are using colour on)
– iron & iron board

Stencil Refashion by Thisblogisnotforyou.com

  1. Prepare the shirt/fabric and template.
    If necessary, you might want to iron the shirt to make sure there are no creases. Clean the template if you used it before, to make sure it’s dry and there no residue colour. Use some masking tape to tape the template into place. It’s very important that it doesn’t move once you start with the colour.
    If using this on a shirt, place a piece of cardboard between both fabric layers. Otherwise, the colour might come through and leave stains on the back. A hard, smooth surface also makes it easier to get a neat result.
  2. Pour fabric paint onto your dish and dab your dry sponge in it. Dab it a couple times more onto the plate to have some of the paint come off. Using too much paint might need to colour bleeding. If you want to get crisp edges, make sure you use less paint and apply it in several layers.
  3. Dab the paint onto the fabric. Try not to use stroking motions as this might lead to blotches and colour bleeding as it gets under the template. This will also give the paint more of a sprayed “graffiti” look.
    If you want an ombre effect as I did with my project, start with the lighter colour. I used the light blue for the first layer, let it dry a bit and then dabbed over it with black again. For the colours to blend softly you really want to use as little paint on the sponge as possible. Work in layers until you get the opacity that you like.
  4. Let it dry. I usually remove the template afterwards. If you remove it while the paint is still wet it might smudge and blur.
  5. Once it’s dry remove the template and iron your fabric from the wrong side to set the colour.
    That’s it, you’re done!

Stencil Refashion by Thisblogisnotforyou.comStencil Refashion by Thisblogisnotforyou.com

I’m planning more projects with these stencils. They would also make a great project to do with kids. That Bill Murray will go on a tote bag for sure!

I’m looking for some nice gold or rose gold textile paint. Do you have any recommendations?

xx

Charlie

Please note: As always, all opinions are my own. All my product reviews are completely honest. I was gifted this product, but not asked to review it or given compensation for doing it.

Happy crafting!

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TUTORIAL: Make washable, eco-friendly chew toys for your dog!

DIY Dog Toys by thisblogisnotforyou.com

DIY Dog Toys by thisblogisnotforyou.comDIY Dog Toys by thisblogisnotforyou.comDIY Dog Toys by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Hi there! Thanks for stopping by! In this post I’m going to show you how to make some¬†really cool chew toys for your dog!

There’s a very detailed step-by-step tutorial when you scroll down, explaining the basic technique I am using for making these sturdy fabric toys. But before we start, a few notes on durability and use.

First of all,¬†recycling stuff while making eco-friendly and washable toys for your dog is amazing, right? You can throw these toys into the washing machine when they get grubby! They are soft and won’t hurt your pup’s teeth and you do not have to worry about little plastic bits breaking off which your dog could choke on. They are really sturdy if you tie the knots really tight. Our puppy is quite a heavy chewer and hasn’t managed to destroy any of these yet after using them for almost three weeks.

But there’s a note of caution, nonetheless.

As with any other chew toys, never leave your dog unattended or at least check on him every now and then when they’re playing with toys. Every toy might break at some point. No toy is indestructible. Check your dog’s toys every night and throw away any toys that are broken or hazardous in any other way.¬†

We also use these toys to teach. If your dog manages to destroy any toy in minutes, don’t leave him alone to get on with it. Use toys to teach him “leave it” and “take it”, “be gentle” or do some fun retrieving exercises. Your toys will last much longer! If your dog tends to be bored by this kind of toy: We never leave more than three toys out and rotate them on a regular basis, so the dog doesn’t start ignoring them. They’ll stay much more interesting this way!

Alright, here we go then!
DIY Dog Toys by thisblogisnotforyou.comDIY Dog Toys by thisblogisnotforyou.com

MAKE YOUR OWN!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • some leftover cotton jersey fabric (less than half a yard/metre is more than enough!)
  • scissors

Yep, that’s really all you need. If possible, use two different colours of fabric as this makes it easier not to get confused tying the knots when you try this the first time!

You do not necessarily need to use jersey fabric. Any other natural fibre would be OK for your dog, as well. But the stretch of the jersey makes the toy much more durable, as the knots are a lot tighter!

DIY Dog Toys by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Cutting the fabric:

There’s no rule about how wide or long the fabric strips need to be. It depends on how big a chew toy you want to make. I found the narrower the strips are, the sturdier the toy seems to be. Large strips of fabric might come loose after a while. I cut narrower strips and worked two as one while making the knots.

I cut 50-70 cm long strips about 3 cm wide for making the toys shown in this post.

How many do you need to cut? If you are using two different colours and you want them to run diagonally, you need to work with four bands (So eight in total, four of each colour, if you want to work two as one as I did). If you want the colours to run vertically, use six bands (four of one colour and two of the other – which makes 12 strips of fabric in total!).

The start:

The technique is roughly the same no matter how many bands you’re using. The beginning is exactly the same for both:

DIY Dog Toys by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Gather all the strips together at one end and tie a really tight knot like so:DIY Dog Toys by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Tighten the knot by pulling hard on every single end. You will see the knot tighten and the fabric roll up as shown below.DIY Dog Toys by thisblogisnotforyou.comDIY Dog Toys by thisblogisnotforyou.comIn this example I am making a toy using two colours and four bands, each one consisting of two strips of fabric of the same colour:DIY Dog Toys by thisblogisnotforyou.com

You can use a hook or safety pin, as well, but I find this method easier: Place the ends between our knees (sitting or kneeling) and hold it that way. Both of your hands are now free to work.

DIY Dog Toys by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Knotting using four bands:

Sort out the strips according to colour. You should have four bands. Place them like shown below. You should be looking at the knot you tied. (In this picture there’s already one row of knots tied, so yours will look slightly different).¬†DIY Dog Toys by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Start by placing the first band (it doesn’t matter which one you start with!) over the next one on the left. Then take the ends of that left one and, again, place them over the one next to it on the left.¬†DIY Dog Toys by thisblogisnotforyou.comRepeat.¬†DIY Dog Toys by thisblogisnotforyou.comWork your way around until you reach that first band again. Take the end of that fourth band and pull them through the loop you created when you crossed the first two. It should look like this:DIY Dog Toys by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Now you pull that knot tight. You will need to pull on all four ends and repeat that pulling several times until the knot is really tight and even.

Knotting using six or more bands:

Here’s the same technique using more than four bands. You can use any amount of bands, but the more you use, the bigger the toy gets. (Note: At some point there’ll be a gap in the middle of the toy which you might fill with something while braiding around it. If not, the braid might be quite loose.)

I used six bands for the next one. Start as described above. Sort out all the different colours before starting.

DIY Dog Toys by thisblogisnotforyou.comDIY Dog Toys by thisblogisnotforyou.comDIY Dog Toys by thisblogisnotforyou.comDIY Dog Toys by thisblogisnotforyou.com

As you can see, we’re doing the exact same thing here. We just don’t stop at the fourth but continue until we’ve finished the whole round again until we pull the last one though the loop.DIY Dog Toys by thisblogisnotforyou.comDIY Dog Toys by thisblogisnotforyou.comDIY Dog Toys by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Pulling this one tight is a bit trickier. I recommend starting to pull at one end and then working your way clockwise for two or more rounds until everything is tight and neat.DIY Dog Toys by thisblogisnotforyou.comDIY Dog Toys by thisblogisnotforyou.comDIY Dog Toys by thisblogisnotforyou.comHow to finish the toy:

And that’s almost it! Work for as many rounds as you like. A smaller toy will need around 15-20 repeats until it’s long enough. It will look like this:DIY Dog Toys by thisblogisnotforyou.com

DIY Dog Toys by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Tie another knot, just as you did at the beginning. Pull at every single end to get it really tight.DIY Dog Toys by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Then cut off all excess fabric… and you’re done!DIY Dog Toys by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Ps.: Don’t throw away these scraps! We’ll use them as stuffing for another toy that I’ll be sharing with you soon!DIY Dog Toys by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Now off to present it to your doggie!

DIY Dog Toys by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Getting creative:

Once you got the hang of the basic technique (which is after finishing your first toy!), you can start playing around with it. You can divide the strips mid-toy into several smaller ones, add some knots or even weave two toys together into a cross. You can knot the ends together to create a doughnut-shape or learn to tie diamond knots at the ends to create this bone-shaped toy:

DIY Dog Toys by thisblogisnotforyou.comDIY Dog Toys by thisblogisnotforyou.com

For the one above, I used strips about 150 cm long. I wove two really long toys together in the middle and tied the ends together, as well. I did not cut the ends but braided them together in threes. Now it looks like a fun octopus toy. Your dog will love the different shapes and textures, guaranteed!

Here’s another one I created freehand. When I reached the middle of the toy (roughly after about 9-10 knots) I divided the strips into two big ones which I tied off using a basic knot. I then used the same technique (working only single strips) for a few repeats, tied another knot and then braided all four bands (8 ¬†strips) normally until reaching the end. Our puppy loves this one!

DIY Dog Toys by thisblogisnotforyou.comDIY Dog Toys by thisblogisnotforyou.com

If you have any questions about making a specific toy shown above, let me know in the comments! Hope you have as much fun making these as I did!

xx

Charlie


Have fun!
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Wedding Accessories: DIY Floral Hair Comb

DIY Floral Bridal Hair Comb by thisblogisnotforyou.comOur wedding was almost 100% DIY, and so was my hair and make-up and some of the accessories. I did not want to wear a veil, but wanted some sort of bridal hair accessory matching our theme and my dress.

So today, I’m sharing a super quick and easy wedding DIY and will show you how I made a floral hair comb in just a few minutes. You can make one for yourself or your bidesmaids or one just to wear to the next¬†summer garden party.

I did my hair myself, so I needed an accessory that was easy to put in/take out/adjust. The hair do is based on the¬†“Double Gibson” – I found a really nice tutorial on The Freckled Fox blog. I had planned to take more time to practise the hair do properly, but as it goes with wedding preparations, there was never enough time to do anything properly, so I had to wing it on the big day.DIY wedding dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com
DIY Floral Bridal Hair Comb by thisblogisnotforyou.comAll you really need for this is a hair comb (you get them really cheap at almost every drug store), some artificial (or real) flowers and some fine gold wire.

I bought artificial hydrangea, same as my bouquet flowers. It’s a bit tricky to find hydrangea that doesn’t look too tacky, but I noticed that it’s not that obvious once it’s in your hair. Here you can see the different colours I got, but I only used the ivory/green ones in the end.

DIY Floral Bridal Hair Comb by thisblogisnotforyou.comTake the wire and wrap it around the comb once or twice starting at one side to secure it in place. Separate the smaller bouquet from the plastic stems of your artificial flower. You can use the tiny holes at the bottom to pull through the wire. If you are using real flowers, leave the stems a bit longer so the wire can get a proper hold on them. I wouldn’t recommend using real hydrangea blooms because they need to stay hydrated and wilt very quickly.

I wrapped the wire around the comb once after each tooth and added a bouquet consisting of three blossoms after every¬†second tooth.DIY Floral Bridal Hair Comb by thisblogisnotforyou.comHere’s a pic of the front and back. You cannot see either comb or wire once it’s in your hair. Feel free to add as many blossoms as you like and mix them up if you want to. I had to play around a bit until I got it right for my taste. Using a wire makes it easier to adjust things as you go and you won’t burn real flower as you would with a glue gun.

With artificial flowers you could obviously also use a glue gun, especially if the blossoms don’t come in small bouquet.
DIY Floral Bridal Hair Comb by thisblogisnotforyou.comDIY Floral Bridal Hair Comb by thisblogisnotforyou.com
DIY Floral Bridal Hair Comb by thisblogisnotforyou.comDIY Floral Bridal Hair Comb by thisblogisnotforyou.com

So quick and easy, but very effective. It would also make a nice accessory for your summer hair dos. What do you think? 

xx

Charlie


Happy sewing!
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DIY Star Wars: The Force Awakens Christmas Sweater!

DIY Star Wars Tshirt by thisblogisnotforyou.comDIY Star Wars Tshirt by thisblogisnotforyou.comHappy Holidays everyone!

A quick word about the sweater I used for this project. It’s, what a surprise, handmade! This is the reason why I got the Agnes pattern in the first place! I wanted to have a simple shirt pattern that could easily be turned into a sweater.

I added about 2cm to the sleeve and bodice pattern pieces and also squared down the bodice for a looser fit. The close fit of the original pattern would’ve been unsuitable for the lettering. I always find it somewhat weird to have bold lettering right across the bust if the shirt’s a tad too tight. I used a slightly heavier jersey knit fabric in taupe which I bought in a little sewing caf√© in Germany¬†last winter.DIY Star Wars Tshirt by thisblogisnotforyou.comDIY Star Wars Tshirt by thisblogisnotforyou.comDIY Star Wars Tshirt by thisblogisnotforyou.com

PERSONALISE A SHIRT USING IRON-ON FOIL

This is a super easy way to personalise or embellish any kind of garment. If you have templates for letters or shapes, it’s even easier. (It took me a while to draw all those letters and get them in perfect shape).

All you need is a shirt and some iron-on foil that you can order online.
DIY Star Wars Tshirt by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Some tips:

– Use a shirt with a smooth surface (jersey or cotton works best)
– You need to be able to iron your garment on a very hot temperature setting (I wouldn’t recommend using silk or polyester!)
РRead the instructions that comes with the iron-on foil carefully
– Keep in mind that all shapes and letters have to be mirrored!

I ordered silver and matt black foil online¬†which came in different sizes. The A4 size had the best cost-benefit ratio¬†and also I wasn’t sure how much I needed. In the end, I used less than half of a sheet of each colour. I have plenty left for other projects.

For this project I was inspired by this jcrew kids tshirt which unfortunately doesn’t come in adult size!

source: jcrew.com
source: jcrew.com

DIY Star Wars Tshirt by thisblogisnotforyou.comStart of by sketching out the shape or letters you want to create. Alternatively, you can use Word or Photoshop to create a layout you can print off and cut out.DIY Star Wars Tshirt by thisblogisnotforyou.comI used the sketch to check if the size was right and to mark the position on the shirt.DIY Star Wars Tshirt by thisblogisnotforyou.comBecause I couldn’t find a good font and sketched my own, I copied them onto squared paper to make sure they were even and all the exact same size. I positioned them on the shirt and used chalk for markings.DIY Star Wars Tshirt by thisblogisnotforyou.comWhen transferring the template onto the foil, make sure everything is mirrored. Draw the shape onto the matt side of the foil, you can use pen or pencil. If you don’t want to mirror your letters, you can try to draw them onto the “right” side, but since it has a protective film it might be a bit tricky and the ink of your pen might come off and ruin your iron.DIY Star Wars Tshirt by thisblogisnotforyou.comCut out the letters,¬†place the onto your shirt and press the iron onto them one by one to prevent them from slipping out of positon. Don’t remove the protective film until all the letters are firmly applied and have cooled off.¬†DIY Star Wars Tshirt by thisblogisnotforyou.comDIY Star Wars Tshirt by thisblogisnotforyou.comYou can now remove the plastic film and use the extra sheet of protective paper that comes with the foil to set the glue a second time. Never iron without the paper after that otherwise the foils sticks to your iron and the whole this is ruined. You can wash the shirt at 60¬į and iron it from the wrong side if necessary.¬†DIY Star Wars Tshirt by thisblogisnotforyou.comDIY Star Wars Tshirt by thisblogisnotforyou.comDIY Star Wars Tshirt by thisblogisnotforyou.comDIY Star Wars Tshirt by thisblogisnotforyou.comDIY Star Wars Tshirt by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Will I make it again? Yessss! I love this shirt, especially because it’s not so obviously Star Wars themed as many of the Christmas sweaters you can buy online. It’s actually quite glamourous and someone not familiar with the Star Wars franchise might not even notice. The foil was super easy to use and I love the result. You can use it to transform an old shirt or jumper or to personalise presents.

Merry Christmas and may the force be with you in the New Year!

xx

Charlie


Happy sewing!
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