Posts Tagged ‘upcycling’

Make a Cake Banner for Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day Cake TopperWant to be the hit of the party? Make this too-cute-for-words cake topper

I made this cake that’s free of gluten and refined sugar for a meeting last week. Absolutely no one who knew me was surprised when I brought out a white cake stand, pink cake and Valentine’s Day cake banner, because cutesy decoration is kinda my thing. However, I was a little surprised at how well it went over. My ultra-healthy treats aren’t always the hit of the party but this cake was definitely the exception. I read once that pink makes sweets look irresistible! I think this cake topper definitely proves that true. Everyone couldn’t wait to dig in, and I think the aesthetic presentation played a big part in that.

Make a cake bannerMake a Valentine’s cake topper

Ready to make a cake banner? The best part is that’s it’s really easy but looks totally impressive when it’s done.

Step 1: Cut four or five triangles of fabric. The fabric can be of your choice. If you have heaps of fabric scraps like I do, this is a perfect use for them. Upcycle those fabric scraps!

Valentine's day cake topper tutorialStep 2: Then I used tacky glue on the triangle’s edge to affix it to the string. I used If You Care cooking twine because I love their Eco-friendly, unbleached cooking products, but you can use any twine or yarn you like.

Valentine's Day Cake Banner tutorialStep 3: Then tie the ends of the string onto two chopsticks or bamboo barbecue skewers. After it’s dry it’s ready to place into the cake. I made the topper the same day and it was ready to go. The tacky glue dries quickly, but you could use hot glue if you want it ready even faster.

Valentine's Day cake decorationsI hope you enjoy this cake topper as much I did! It’s definitely an easy way to wow your guests at any event. There is always an occasion to celebrate with cake!

If you’re in the Valentines’ Day spirit, read on with Valentine’s Day Gift Guide.  If you need a laugh and aren’t easily offended, check out one of my most popular posts of all time, Vintage Valentines That Didn’t Age Well.

Valentine's Day Cake Topper banner

Brown Paper Packages Tied Up with String

Eco-friendly gift wrapEco-Friendly Wrapping Options

I love wrapping paper. Each year I love finding artistic paper options that aren’t typical Christmas designs (like the ones below!). But I definitely do not love throwing away the packaging after the gifts have been opened. For a few years now I’ve worked on my collection of pre-wrapped boxes that can be used year after year. There is a downside to those, and that’s storage space. This year, I experimented with the trend of minimalist, nature-inspired wrapping techniques. Here are my Eco-friendly gift wrap solutions to try.

Gift wrapBrown paper Packages, twine and greenery

They look elegant and well-designed, but these packages are covered with things you probably already have in the kitchen! All you need is brown paper, twine and greenery sprigs and you’re golden!

eco-friendly-gift-wrap-with-sprig-of-greenery“But where do you get these sprigs, Abbie?” You may be asking. Mine are taken floral arrangements. Greenery usually lasts longer than the blooms themselves, so you can  re-purpose it on your gifts. If you have a real Christmas tree you could also take a piece off of that in a place that’s not very noticeable…just throwing out ideas here!

eco-friendly gift wrappingFor the paper, I used a brown grocery bag, but you could also try newspaper or the beige paper than comes in shipping boxes. Eco-friendly twine and re-purposed ribbon tied them off. There’s something very personal about the appearance of these packages, don’t you think, like they’re designed with the recipient in mind.

Plaid and greenery: eco-friendly gift wrappingAnother option I discovered this year for re-usable gift wrap is a reusable shopping tote. They’re no more expensive than paper gift bags, and the recipient can use it again and again. I found a Minnesota-themed tote at Trader Joe’s this year and it was perfect for large gifts.

Want even more ideas? Another blogger has some for you – I especially like her idea of using last year’s Christmas cards to make tags!

What are you wrapping your gifts with this year?

eco-friendly-gift-wrapping

How to Upcycle Leggings with a DIY

So I wear leggings a lot. Like, a lot. I’ve often thought “I hope my readers don’t notice how often I’m wearing leggings in all these outfit posts.” Whether it’s regular black leggings, LuLaRoe leggings, or even Lisa Frank leggings, my drawers are full of them all the time. If not, the laundry situation is seriously dire. One thing is sure though: leggings do not last forever. As any avid leggings wearer knows all too well, they get baggy, thin, ripped and unwearable. There are things you can do to delay this such as line drying, but eventually your relationship with your dear wardrobe stable will come to its inevitable end. Or will it?

Since I care so much about the environment, I like to avoid tossing things mindlessly in the trash. Since you’re reading this, I bet you do too.

If they’re truly beyond any hope, I cut them into squares and upcycle leggings into rags. The soft cotton is ideal for cleaning. If they’re kind of still good, you can patch them using old sweaters or sock cuffs, as in this tutorial:
Upcycled LeggingsThis upcycling project is inspired by a pair of boutique leggings first worn in the New Year Style Guide. I realized these unique, comfy, cuffed leggings could be easily recreated as a DIY upcycled leggings project. Here is the original pair:

DIY cuffed leggingsThe cuff part can easily be made out of the sleeves of old sweaters, or old decorative crew or knee socks. You’ll need a coordinating pair of leggings to sew the cuff to.

For a sewing project, it was pretty easy! I don’t consider myself a confident sewer (I gave up trying to get the machine properly threaded for my Princess Anna costume and ended up hand stitching practically everything) but this was totally doable.

DIY cuffed leggings How to Upcycle Socks as Legging Cuffs

Step 1: Cut the arms off the sweater or the foot of the sock. Up to 12 inches is a good length for a cuff. You should now have two tubes of fabric which will become the cuffs of your upcycled leggings.

Step 2: Slide the tube onto the ankles of the leggings. Fold down the edges if needed and pin to secure.

Step 3: Hand or machine sew both the top and bottom edge, securing the upcycled cuff to the leggings. Wear them with flats or ankle boots to show off the cute cuff of your new upcycled leggings!

Full price, the boutique leggings were $36. Congratulations, you’ve just made a pair for the cost of a basic pair of leggings, plus created a new use for an unwanted garment that might have ended up in a landfill. Not to mention this is a totally exclusive item that no one else will have!

Here’s what they look like on.

DIY legging cuffsFor more reading, here are more of my favorite ways to reuse old items. And read my upcycled corkboard tutorial here.

Do you upcycle leggings? What do you do with them? I’d love to know in the comments!