Mother Earth Living

Easy, DIY Green Crafts Projects

Try these projects for all your repurposing and crafting needs.
By Stephanie Nelson
March/April 2009

Sheep Sock Puppet/Sheep Sock Toy for a Dog
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Wine Gift Wrap 

Materials: Long-sleeve button-down shirt
Required time: 15 to 20 minutes

• Using fabric scissors, cut the sleeve off of the button-down shirt and fit the sleeve to the wine bottle from the base to the top.
• Trace a circle slightly larger that the base of the wine bottle and cut it out.
• Flip the sleeve inside out and pin the cut out circle around the base of the sleeve. The sleeve will be larger than the circle, so equally distribute the fabric around the circle.
• Sew the sleeve and the circle together.
• Flip the sleeve again and place the wine bottle inside. For a finishing touch, tie a scrap piece of ribbon or string around the neck of the bottle.

Reusable Shopping Bag 

Materials: Old T-shirt
Required time: 15 to 20 minutes

• Flip the shirt inside out and cut off both sleeves as well as the neck.
• With a marker, draw a curved line a few inches below the neck; make sure it is wide enough for groceries and other goods.
• Sew a line across the bottom hem.
• For durability purposes, fold the bottom of the shirt one to two inches towards the top and sew another line.

Toiletry Tote 

Materials: Two pillowcases, a dowel rod (or a stick) and ribbon.
Alternative: Rather than two pillowcases, try an old towel.
Required time: 45 minutes to one hour

• Iron the pillowcases before beginning the project.
• Sew the tops of both pillowcases closed.
• Lay the pillowcase one (p1) down and pin the top of pillowcase two (p2) to p1 three or four inches down from p1’s top. Depending on the items you put the top pouches, you may want to make this smaller or larger.
• Five or six inches from the top of p2, pin the two fabrics together and sew a horizontal line across the narrow part of the pillowcases.
• Fold p2 into itself a few inches above the previously sewn line. The pocket will be the remanding fabric from p2. Pin the outer sides of the fabric together.
• Fold p1 over the bottom of p2 for the final pocket, and pin the sides.
• Cut four pieces of ribbon six inches longer then the height of the project.
• Pin the ribbon to the project. Leave an inch at the bottom and fold the ribbon over the top to make a loop where the dowel will go. Two of the pieces will be on the outer edges of the project and the other two will be evenly spaced between on the project.
• Sew all ribbon pieces to the project. For durability, sew a horizontal line across the top and the bottom of the project.
• Put the project aside and sew a ribbon or tie a string around both ends of the dowel.
• String the loops of the project onto the dowel or stick and hang it behind the bathroom door.

Sheep Sock Puppet/Sheep Sock Toy for a Dog 

Materials: Black tube socks, two white tube socks, batting or scrap fabric, red and white embroidery thread and black thread.
Required time: 20 to 30 minutes

• Flip one of the black socks inside out and draw and cut a circular line around the ankle that is a natural extension of the line of the heel. Put the tube of the sock aside until step seven. If you are making a sock puppet, start at step three.
• With the bottom of the sock facing up, cut a line down the middle, from the heel to one inch before the toe. The sock will lie flat.
Embroider a red smile on the toe of the sock.
• Above the smile, embroider two white eyes. If you are making a sock puppet, you can substitute goggle eyes for embroidered eyes. Put the black sock aside and cut the white pair of socks into horizontal stripes along the ribbing.
• Pin the strips along the topside of the sock and sew. If you are making a sock puppet, hand sewing the strips is suggested.
• Using the tube of the black sock, cut four two to three inch vertical strips that are 1/4 to 1/2 an inch wide. For hooves, tie a knot at the base of each strip.
• Sew the four legs to the sheep’s body equally spaced.
• If you are making a sock toy, flip the sock inside out and sew shut, leaving a half an inch to an inch hole for stuffing.
• Flip the sheep right side in and stuff with batting or scrap fabric.

Coffee Cup Cozy

Materials: Old sweater
Required time: 5 minutes

• Cut about six inches of a sleeve off an old sweater.
• Flip the material inside out and pin a slightly curved line just below the recently cut line.
• Sew along the pined curved line and cut off the extra fabric and flip right side out.  

Mosaic Picture Frame 

Materials: Flat picture frame, broken vases or plates with minimal curves, gloves, protective eyewear and grout.
Required time: 1-2 hours

• If your plates are not already in small to medium shards, wrap them in multiple plastic bags and carefully tap them with a hammer.
• Lay out a design of the pieces on the picture frame and carefully move the pattern to the side.
• If you have uneven pieces or curved shards, lay down a layer of grout and place those pieces down so only half of it shows. Allow for the grout to dry completely before proceeding.
• Evenly spread a thin layer of grout and lay the remaining pieces down. All of the pieces should be flat and even.
• Spread another layer of grout in between the shards.
• Fill a bowl with water and dampen an old sponge and gently wipe off the excess grout on the shards. Repeat this until the shards do not have any grout residue.

Jeans Purse

Materials: a pair of worn jeans
Required time: 20 to 30 minutes
Tip: For a longer bag, pick a pair of denim that has a zipper of six inches or longer.

• Iron the denim before sewing and cut the legs of the jeans at the crotch. The denim should now look like a skirt.
• Sew the zipper shut.
• Flip the fabric inside out and pin the bottom together, make sure the waste of the fabric is a straight line.
• Sew a sturdy line at the base of the bag.
• Put the project aside and cut two strips about one to three inches wide and 15 to 20 inches long, this is going to be the strap of the bag. If you want your bag to have two straps cut four strips.
• Pin the fabric straps inside out and sew three sides of the strap and leave one of the narrow ends open.
• Flip the sewn strap right side in and fold the open end about a quarter of an inch into the opening, and sew shut.
• Flip the bag right side in and sew the strap to the opposite sides of the bag. If you want two straps, sew a strap to one side of the bag and the same distance on the opposite side.

Cereal Box Magazine Holder

Materials: acrylic or craft paint and a cereal box that is large enough to hold your magazines
Required time: 15 to 40 minutes depending on paint drying time

• Cut off the top of the cereal box’s flaps.
• Using your scissors, cut down the seam of one of the side panels and leave about three to four inches at the bottom. Repeat for the other seam on the same panel and cut off the removed portion.
• Using a ruler, draw a diagonal line from the top of one end of the box down to the now cut portion.
• Repeat for the opposite side.
• Now you can paint the box. Keep in mind that drying time between coats is recommended for an even finish.


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