Category Archives: recycled craft

Mr. Weasley is a very wise man.

Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can't see where it keeps its brain.
Never trust….

A quote from Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets, as spoken by Arthur Weasley

7″ embroidered

This is it. The design that inspired the entire idea for The Summer of Stitching on FiS! I’ve had this in my mind to do forever, just years, and it’s finally a real thing!

My idea behind this was to do a wizardy version of a embroidered saying that might hang on the wall at The Burrow. I’ve loved this quote since the very first time I read The Chamber of Secrets. How incredulous Mr. Weasley is when he realizes that Ginny has (as he sees it) ignored his good advise!

You’ll find credits for the fonts used (even the griffin is a font!) in the pattern itself.

It’s been a while since I created a new Harry Potter pattern, and I have to say, it was not only fun, but brought back a lot of good memories from when I was designing HP almost every day.

Find more of my fandom patterns right here on Sewhooked!

For Harry Potter patterns, click here!

Summer of Stitching 2014, A Design Invitational on

Be sure to stop by Fandom In Stitches every Wednesday into September for a new theme and a new batch of fun patterns to stitch!

This month, ALL photos of projects made from Sewhooked patterns, including Paper Piecing Vintage, shared with the Sewhooked flickr group will be entered to win a copy of Jack Leaves The Light On!



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Souvenir Bag Bookmarks

souvenir bag bookmarks

Just a craft quicky for today!

My daughter came back from her super-fabulous trip to France with a stack of tiny bags from souvenir shops from buying postcards and small souvenirs. Instead of tossing the bags, or leaving them in a drawer to collect dust, we decided to turn them into bookmarks for bonus souvenirs!

We used a glue stick to attach different pieces of the bags together (fronts, backs, etc.) and I trimmed them to the size we wanted with the rotary cutter I keep for cutting paper (great for blades too dull for fabric!).

Then, I used my Scotch Thermal  Laminator and 5mm pouches to laminate the bookmarks. With 5″ x 7″ pouches, we were able to get laminate two at at time. I cut each one out using my rotary cutter. Super simple!

Have you made patterns or projects from Sewhooked? Add them to the Sewhooked flickr group for a chance to be featured on my blog!


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Go Lobos!

License Plate Cover Goes to the Spa
Sul Ross license plate cover after 9 years of faithful service.

Let me tell you a little story about a car. It was the first new car that was my very own, purchased in 2002. It was a cute little silver Saturn SL2 and I loved it. It was a faithful car that did everything I asked it to do. One of the first things I did for my car was to buy a license plate cover from my Alma Mater, Sul Ross State University.

Well, my faithful little car was wrecked a couple of weeks ago, but not after 9 years of to-ing and fro-ing.  The car, fortunately, was the only casualty in the accident. The car was totaled earlier this week and claimed by the insurance as salvage.

When cleaning out my little car and saying goodbye for the last time, I remembered my license plate cover from Sul Ross. While sobbing in the front seat (yes, really, I was very sad!), my darlin’ husband removed the plate cover for me.

It has seen better days. Almost a decade of Texas weather had taken its toll. There was a crack on one side from when my kids were younger and, for whatever reason, thought the bottom of the plate cover was a handle. Yeah.

My first thought was to get a new cover, but looking at it, I realized that I held a piece of my first little car in my hands. It wore my Alma Mater’s name proudly for all those years, so why shouldn’t a new car, too?

So…this is what I did.

License Plate Cover Goes to the Spa
After scrubbing the cover with soap and water and allowing it to dry, I enrolled the help of a paper clip and my handy E6000 and glued together and reinforced the crack.

License Plate Cover Goes to the Spa
See, that’s not so bad!

License Plate Cover Goes to the Spa
Next, I covered all the chrome bits with painter’s tape.

License Plate Cover Goes to the Spa
Sheesh, that is seriously faded!

License Plate Cover Goes to the Spa
Now, for some primer.

License Plate Cover Goes to the Spa
White paint followed…ready for some color!

License Plate Cover Goes to the Spa
I used my favorite metallic Lumiere paint from Jacquard and gently (very gently!) painted the letters with a sponge brush.

License Plate Cover Goes to the Spa

And now a clear coat of Polycrylic and it’s almost there…

License Plate Cover Goes to the Spa
Ta-da! Almost as good as new!

Now, I just need a car to put it on…



Favorite Dish Towel Rescue Mission

Favorite Dish Towel Rescue Mission
Dish Towel Rescue Mission…commence!

Favorite Dish Towel Rescue Mission

This is one of my favorite dish towels. It’s horrible, frayed and falling apart. It’s stained from family pizza night and wiping up messes after my kids.

But it’s absorbent and rugged and I love it the waffle-y-ness of it.

Maybe I’ve loved this one a bit too much.

Finally, I decided to rescue this dish towel. The mission: patch the gnarly hole and make my dish towel fabulous again. Alright, okay, maybe not fabulous, but at least functional and not-so-scary.

Favorite Dish Towel Rescue Mission
The first step was to find a scrap of fabric that would be wide enough to patch the hole, while being long enough to go across and around the towel plus a couple of inches for overlapping (see below). I also pulled out a couple of different threads to decide what color I’d like to use.

Favorite Dish Towel Rescue Mission

Hem along the length of the fabric trip, top and bottom.

Favorite Dish Towel Rescue Mission

Lay the towel across the fabric strip, making sure the scary bit will be covered.

Favorite Dish Towel Rescue Mission
Fold fabric strip over, smoothing and pinning so the pieces are even.

Favorite Dish Towel Rescue Mission
Fold over end and pin in place.

Favorite Dish Towel Rescue Mission
I wanted a distinct stitch, so I chose an extra wide one on my sewing machine, D50. This particular stitch goes back and forth three times.

Favorite Dish Towel Rescue Mission
Use the fun stitch of your choice and stitch all the way around the patch. See that pin? Pull it out. You definitely do not want to stitch across it!

Favorite Dish Towel Rescue Mission
If you have a walking foot, use it! You are sewing on a towel after all and a walking foot will help pull the thickness through. Hmm, need to dust my sewing machine…

Favorite Dish Towel Rescue Mission
Turn the corner and keep on stitching!

Favorite Dish Towel Rescue Mission
After the outside edges are stitched, I changed to white thread and stitched rows along the patch. Remember, the inside of this patch is scary, loose, falling-apart towel. Extra stitching will give the towel spiffy new stability.

Favorite Dish Towel Rescue Mission
Turn the patch and stitch the other way.

Favorite Dish Towel Rescue Mission
Rescue mission complete! It’s still not perfect, and it still has some funky pizza stains, but it’s usable and won’t go to the landfill.

Reduce, reuse, recycle!

I have a couple more towels like this and am thinking it would be fun to add some patchwork for a fun repair!

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Recycled Sweater Bag, Revisited and Resweatered

Reconstructed Sweater Bag #2

Once upon a time, I made some bags out of sweaters (okay, it was probably around 2008!).

The first bag was made for my daughter. It was purple and stripey and had cute little flowers on the front. She loved it so much, and carried it for so long, that I made more and posted a tutorial to boot, including a version on cut out + keep.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle a Thrift Store Sweater!

Two years later, a lovely blogger named Kris asked to post about my recycled sweater bag over on Resweater. And, that is just what happened! There have been lots of visits to the recycled sweater bag post, which has helped me to remember what a fun project it was to create. Thanks, Kris!

It’s been a while since I’ve recycled a sweater, mostly because I live in Texas and wool sweaters are something of a rarity. I haven’t found one that really grabbed my attention in quite some time, but I’m sure if I did, I would be happy to make another of the spiffy bags!



Way Back Craft: The Spud Who Lived and The-Tater-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named

Continuing with the Way Back Craft theme is a little project my sister and I did together. The original post is here on craftster.

Harry Spud and Lord Tater journeyed with us in 2008 when we drove to New Orleans, LA together for Phoenix Rising, a Harry Potter Conference. These starchy boys were also the mascots in our hotel room during our stay. They now live with my sister.

My sister collects Mr. Potato Heads and we’re both huge Harry Potter fans. There have been Spiderman potatos, Darth Taters and all kinds of other popular characters. Why, we wondered, aren’t there Harry Potter ones?

We decided to make our own.

Some spray paint (Volde), some fabric paint, lots of hot melt glue, felt, a couple of pipe cleaners, and a couple of old Mr. Potato Heads and their bits… and you have.

They were really easy and fun to make. I hope you all enjoy them!

Happy Crafting!



Way Back Craft: Recycled Binder

In thinking about Back to School season, and the accordian file that I upcycled last week, I thought about a project I did for my daughter a couple of years ago. Then I realized, while I posted a photo of it in a collection of other upcycled/recycled projects, I’d never really talked about it here on my blog.

Here is the story the way I told in August of 2008, on craftster:

This craft starts with a story.  My 13 year old daughter’s middle school is huge.  The kids have less than 5 minutes to get from class to class and they don’t always have time to go to their lockers.  Many of them carry large binders so they can have multiple classes worth of work with them all the time.

Last year, we bought this binder for her, in an attempt to give her a place to keep all her things.  Within a few months, the rings in the binder blew out.   The handle is on the back of the rings, so the weight of the contents pulls down on them, causing them to fail.

So, time for a redesign.  How about a binder cover/bag that has the weight in the opposite direction and that can have the 3-ring binder changed when needed, without losing the rest?

I think this may be one of the coolest things I’ve made and I’m ridiculously pleased with the way it turned out!  It holds a 3″ 3-ring binder, which cost about $6 at the office supply store.  Everything else was recycled or I had on hand.

Outside back – the binding was hand stitched on the outside.  There was just too much stuff going on inside to do it the opposite way.   Cool sparkly fabric was a gift from hardhatcat.

The other side, standing up – the strap is recycled from the old binder.  The strap clicks onto a large split ring.  The bits of ribbon were from a sheet of samples someone gave me.   The denim was cut on the bias so it has give.  Oh, and the denim was leftover from a project that a friend of mine did.  She gave me her leftovers!

inside – the accordion files, back mesh pocket & zipper are all recycled

The accordion file, recycled from the old binder.  It was a bit hard to stitch around, but I managed by moving my needle over to the far left.

All that’s left of the original.  I used a razor blade to take it apart.  Razors are the friend of anyone that recons heavy duty materials, but they take a sure hand.

More photos of the binder cover/tote here.

My daughter loves it, especially the “bag” aspect, freeing up her hands and making it’ll be easier to carry her stuff.

Happy Crafting!



Upcycled Accordion Folder

This whole “business owner” thing has a lot of learning curves. Taxes…blech! Legal stuff..blech! Unforeseen storage issues…creative opportunity!

After a couple of months of getting the Sewhooked Shop off the ground, I had a whole tote bag full of receipts, paperwork and odds ‘n ends that I need to keep track of.  There isn’t a spare foot anywhere in my workspace for a filing cabinet and, as they say, have laptop will travel. I need to be portable.

After contemplating what to do with the mess of papers and such, I headed to our family storage location for paper, folders and general office/school supplies. A giant figurative light bulb danced gleefully over my head at what I’d found.

An accordion folder. Really? How did I not know we had that? The answer is, I did, but I forgot. It was tucked away with the kids’ school supplies. It’s something I used when both of them were very early in their school careers, before I realized that no mere accordion folder could ever cope with the massive amount of tree carnage that is elementary school.

I think this folder was probably around when I was at least in high school. In another lifetime, my dad was a school supply buyer. The bonus of that when I was a kid was all kinds of nifty and creative supplies! I’m pretty sure that this was a remnant from that time that my mom passed on to us when our own kids were little.


  • Accordion folder with with a cardboard shell
  • Fabric Remnant
  • Batting Remnant
  • Spray adhesive
  • Glue Gun
  • Ribbon
  • Mailing Labels
  • Pliers, if needed

Accordion Folder Upcycle Project

So, I find this. Cutesy and functional. I like the functional, but not so much the cutesy!

First thing’s first, tear away the cardboard exterior, doing as little damage as possible.

There’s an elastic band that is used to close the folder. Yank that out from behind and put it aside. We’re going to do something totally different for our closure!

On the opposite side is the button that the elastic goes around. We’ll bend it and wiggle it until we can pull it out of the hole with minimal destruction.

Now, that glue needs cleaning up. We’ll peel all that away.

Much better!

Now, the fabric. How about a remnant from another project? This fabric made the centers of the blocks on my Friendship Star quilt.

Oh no, it’s too short! Ideally, it needs to be a few inches bigger on each side. And, it definitely needs to be ironed!

Not to worry, just add a bit of another fabric to one end. That’ll create a lovely front!

For a touch of magic, spray basting. Because this is a permanent application, regular spray adhesive will work, too.

I think a little padding will be nice, and I just happen to have this bit of leftover lightweight batting from another project.

Now, we’ll spray baste the fabric to the batting. Spray the batting and not the fabric and, of course, we follow manufacturer’s instructions!

Add spray baste to the outside of the decorative cardboard. It doesn’t matter at this point which end of the folder is front or back, as long as we get it even!

Hmm, now about some pretty ribbon? This was saved from a gift The Big Guy gave me for Christmas a couple of years ago.

There are lots of adhesive options at this point, but after seeing how the folder was originally constructed, I think we’ll break out the trusty old glue gun!

We’ll make it extra pretty by gluing each corner down first.

Glue and repeat!

Nice, all four are in place now!

Now, we’ll fold the four sides and glue those in places. This bit might be tricky because we want it taut, but not too tight.

Lots of glue is necessary to make sure all the layers stay in place.

With all the seams glued, it looks so pretty!

It’s all ready for ribbon now!

The ribbon cut in half and glued in the center of each side is just the ticket! Gluing it directly to the cardboard gives it some extra durability.

Both sides are in place, so now it’s time for the final steps!

Let’s put the accordion back in the folder! We’ll sit it right in the center.

Let’s get it all straight so that we don’t have a weird end sticking out or anything! Start at the bottom and swipe the glue back and forth just like it was originally. Be fast, the glue dries quick!*

*Do not, repeat, do not glue the bottom of the file to the outside cover! It needs to be able to expand and contract, or, ehem, accordion. 😉

For extra security, we’ll add more glue up the sides and around the top.

Squish the side hard!

Keep smoothing it until it feels like it’s set. We want the bonds to be nice and firm! With all the glue in place, we’re done! Wow, that was quick.

We’ll change the categories up with some leftover mailing peel and stick labels. A couple of the originals still apply!

Isn’t that nice?

This is a file folder I can travel with. I might even bring some crayons.

Happy Crafting!



Earring Hanger V2

earring hanger v2

You may remember my earring hanger that I posted some time ago.  No?  Well, go check it out, then!  It’s fun and easy to make.

What do you do when you have a teenage daughter with way more earrings than her hanger can hold?  Make her a new one, of course!

While rummaging around my supplies looking for a spare frame, I came across an extra piece from one of those wire cube storage widgets.  This thing has been hanging around forever in my pile of “you never know” craft supplies.

Today, it found it’s purpose!

It’s as easy as pie to put together (and definitely takes less time than pie!).

All you need is one piece of a wire cube storage set, or some other wire-frame widget, some zip ties, a piece of plastic canvas and some of those awesome 3M Command hooks.  All of these things were in my craft supplies, left over from other projects.  Total cost… $0!

The piece of plastic canvas fit perfectly across, leaving two rows at the top for the earrings that won’t fit through the smaller holes.

Hey, wait a minute!  Some of those earrings are mine…. *grumblegrumble*

earring hanger v2 side detail

I put the zip ties on from the back and then trimmed them, so the closure is hidden.

earring hanger v2 top hooks

Using larger hooks on top gave her a place to put her gargantuan hoop earrings while simultaneously keeping the earring hanger sturdy.

earring hanger v2 bottom hook

A single smaller hook on the bottom holds the whole shebang nice and steady so the earrings don’t get bounced off!

If you make a Sew Awesome Craft or any pattern, craft or recipe from sewhooked,  I’d love to see a photo.  Email me or add it to the sewhooked flickr group.

Happy crafting!



Keeping It Green

I have oodles of those 99 cent green bags that the local grocery store sells.  It takes about 8 of them to carry groceries for our family of four home.  Most of the bags are three or so years old, and they’ve definitely seen some wear since I avoid plastic bags whenever possible.

Since it’s the start of a new year and it’s too darn cold to do much outside, I thought now would be a good time to give them a bit of an overhaul!

This is more mending than craft, but it’s easy and helps maintain my reusable bags.

Keeping It Green
First, I checked for broken or damaged inserts that help keep the bottom firm and the bag upright.  Several of them were completely trashed.  After fishing around in my recycling, I came up with a couple sturdy cereal boxes.

Keeping It Green
The boxes were the perfect size, so I just trimmed them up with scissors, rounded the corners and popped them into the bag.  Wallah, brand new bottom inserts!

Keeping It Green
Next, I checked for split or damaged seams.  Most of them were okay because I fairly regularly check for popped stitching caused by one too many cans!  There was one that had lost it’s stitching and was starting to lose the trim that holds the front and bottom together.  A quick zig zag stitch using whatever thread was on my machine, and it’s good to go!

If you make a Sew Awesome Craft or any pattern, craft or recipe from sewhooked,  I’d love to see a photo.  Email me or add it to the sewhooked flickr group.