My parents are practically the original DIY gurus. I wish I could say I have the same skill in craftsmanship and eye for detail as my parents (95% of the things they’ve created are completely indistinguishable as being homemade), but currently I don’t. Perhaps I’ll get better at it with time. Also, my parents did a great job of schooling me in the art of frugality. I’m pretty good with budgets and know how to make the most of what I’ve got. Unfortunately this frugal do it yourself mentality sometimes has a negative connotation as being of low quality, ugly, or simply cheap. A while back I came across the term “repurposing” and fell in love. Out the door went the feelings of sub par thirft store worth and in came words like earth conscious, industrious, and creative married to a low price tag.
Currently my favorite way to repurpose is to take old clothes and make them into something else. I’ve mentioned a couple of repurposed clothing items in the past such as Cooper’s jean blanket or my Halloween shirt, but here are some of my recent projects.
I took a baggy knit shirt that I rarely wear and turned it into a corsage shirt. I used a tutorial from Make It and Love It which has an entire section on repurpsing clothes for anyone interested. I spruced it up with some beads that I inherited from Noel’s grandma. Total Cost: $0
This was only a partial repurpose. I wanted to make a skirt like one I’d seen at Down East. I found the fabric on clearance at Hobby Lobby and used an old shirt for the lining. Total Cost: $12
When we first moved into our place it felt like we were spending money left and right on things we needed (dresser, bookcase, lamps, etc), so I didn’t want to spend very much on decorating. I had copies of The Family: A Proclamation to the World and The Living Christ that I wanted to frame, but no extra frames hanging around. I used an x-acto knife to cut some frame shapes out of cardboard and then took fabric scraps I’d kept from a maternity dress and wrapped them around the cardboard. I decorated with miscellaneous buttons. The only thing I purchased was glue sticks for my hot glue gun. Total Cost: $3.49
We buy a lot of stuff in bulk and are constantly looking for containers to put things in. I’ve thought about buying fancy looking canisters, but can’t bring myself to pay for them. Besides, I don’t have that many people judging the aesthetics of my kitchen. We’ve washed and reused old food containers, redecorated cardboard boxes, and found new uses for things we don’t use very often (like old Nalgene bottles). Total Cost: $0
Any things you guys do to repurpose?