Celebrations

We have so much to celebrate lately – two of our kids are graduating their schools, and I sold so many paintings through the Ukraine fundraiser! Thank you all who donated and got a painting in return! <3

When we celebrate something at our house we usually hang some bunting. I’ve sewn many of them during the years, sometimes to gift to others. This one is a bit special since it’s made of a quilt I made for my oldest son when he was just a toddler.

He’s slept with that quilt for so many years that it was in tatters. I was able to salvage a lot of parts and turned it into a celebratory bunting instead! Upcycling at its best

 

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DIY Reusable Christmas bags

This is one of my favorite Christmas DIY:s! Instead of packaging gifts in paper that gets tossed out, I sewed us a bunch of pretty bags that we can reuse for years to come.

I got to repurpose a lot of preloved materials, which also made my heart a bit extra warm! Old Christmas curtains, napkins and runners are now a staple beneath our Christmas tree, and get to be as admired as they ought to.

The bags are super easy to sew – simply cut a rectangle of a material (a runner is perfect for this). Fold it in two, add a ribbon to one side (make sure the longer part of the ribbon is on the straight side of the fabric) and sew together. I’ve used up a lot of pretty ribbons that I haven’t had the heart to use up, including lovely ribbons from funeral adresses.

It’s the perfect way to reuse old fabric material that you still love, but don’t have a use for. We get to take out the bag filled with bags, and fill them with our gifts, saving both the environment and time, and making us smile in the process!

 

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My upcycled statement necklaces

There are some things I miss now that I have problems with my eye sight, and beside knitting, sewing beads is at the top of my list. It is just so calming to sit and sew, to see your creating grow beneath your hands, and also to know that you can produce these small art works from other people’s cast away jewelry!

I had planned on introducing the necklaces one by one, but now I’m just going to toss them all out here in one big post. Hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I do!

This butterfly necklace was once a bunch of bracelets and odd bits and pieces:

This brown one is my favorite, and the only one that I’ve worn more than once – I don’t get out much! I’m considering selling my pieces, but haven’t gotten far – I have no idea how to prize them. But this brown one feels so personal, so it will not go for sale. It’s, among other things, made out of old glass beads that I inherited from my great grandmother, and a bee broach that I particularly love. This one was just a fun thing I tried out – what if I drew a heart shape with wings? I love how pink and red and happy it is! Ooh, I forgot my B-necklace! This is also one I’ve worn on several occasions, inspired by Anne Boleyn’s B-necklace: And then the snakes! I’ve made two snake necklaces, and they both took some engineering to get to fit around the neck. And a lot of fiddling to sew. I loved every second of it! The green in this snake is just such a venomous green! I love it! My pretty blue butterfly! You were supposed to have so many friends to fly away with, but so far you’ve only got the one green one. But you were so fun to create!

So there you go! That’s a small peak into the assorted jewelry I’ve created during the years.

Making your own jewelry out of other people’s cast offs is such a fun hobby! You can create whatever you like and are only limited by if you can sew or not. And if it doesn’t turn out great, well, no worries – you haven’t spent a whole lot of money, and you’ve probably learned a lot in the process! Plus I find it is so relaxing. It’s one of the best feelings in the world, to have made something out of nothing. To be part of creating.

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DIY Reusable Gift Bags

This year we’re ditching all the Christmas wrapping papers and are ”wrapping” our gifts in these – our new mini-Santa’s bags!

I bought some cheap red cloth, and old table cloths and runners and sewed them into bags. It was a real fun project, easy to sew and so satisfying to use up all the lovely red ribbons I’ve collected through the years! Some of the ribbons, or strings, are from ”condolence cards” (I don’t know the translation, when someone dies, you buy a large card and the proceedings go to a charity). A very nice way to make something new and meaningful out of something pretty and already meaningful.

Most of the gifts are already waiting beneath the tree. And it looks so pretty with all those red parcels underneath!

Next year I’m going to make reusable tags too. (But first I’ll have to get my eye sight back on par – I made these bags in early 2020 fortunately! )

 

 

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DIY Lace garland

What do you do when you have a whole stash of scraps of lace that can’t really be used for anything important? You turn them into a lovely lace garland!

I laid out my lace scraps and sewed them onto a ribbon. I was in the mood to make it as quickly as possible, so I simply sewed once over the ribbon and that was that.

Super-easy, didn’t take long to make and it adds a bit of whimsy and nostalgia to any Midsummer celebration!

I’m loving this!

We’re going to use this garlands for many Midsummers to come.    

 

 

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DIY Simple and comfortable Midsummer wreath

I’ve been thinking for years about how to make an easy and comfortable wreath, and now I think I’ve found the solution!

I started by twisting 6 strands of cotton cloth – old T-shirts, sheets and cloth that has been cut into 1 cm wide strips. I made a long twist that fits around a head nicely, one for each of our guests. The wreath is easily adjustable and comfortable, and you can compost it afterward if you don’t reuse it!

To make the twists: Make two sections out of the ribbons. Twist both sections simultaneously counterclockwise. Twist them around each other clockwise. Or the opposite. It doesn’t matter which way you go, only make sure you twist the sections one way, and around each other the other way. Otherwise the whole thing will unravel.

Twisting is much faster and easier than braiding, but if you’re unsure how to do it – just do a simple 3-strand braid.

Make a knot at the end of the twist and make a circlet out of the braid.

Make small bouquets of flowers and fasten them around the braid using some cotton string. Wrap the string around the braid, wrapping in bouquets as you go along. You can make a full wreath, or just add flowers to the front of the wreath.

The wreath looks great with some strands hanging this way and that, adding a bit of whimsy to your Midsummer wreath.    You can use any flowers you like – flowers picked by the roadside, flowers from your garden, grasses. I used some Midsummer roses for this one, and chives, so we get to both look pretty and smell lovely!

 

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Easy Midsummer-DIY:s

This is one of my favorite Midsummer-DIY:s – a homemade table Midsummer pole!

We cut pieces of round bar and glued them onto each other like a cross (Niklas first carved out a piece in each of the poles so that they would fit). Then we fastened the pole to a square block and painted it green. We wrapped red, yellow and light green ribbon around the whole thing.

The wreaths are made out of pipe cleaner plus felt flowers. The pole is topped off with a string of flags.

Above an Åland Islands-version with Midsummer crowns instead of wreaths. Those too are made out of pipe cleaners, and ribbon.

I love recycling, and I love a touch of nostalgia in my interior decorating! I made a long table runner from pieces of lace, that looks great on any Midsummer table.

Just add a bunch of bouquets of flowers in small vases and you’re good to go!

On years when it’s raining I compensate for the bad weather by hanging up lace curtains in front of the windows. It adds that special touch of days gone by that any good Midsummer needs! 🙂

If we’re outside, I hang up bunting or flags like these ones made out of old embroidered sheets and table cloths. It’s the perfect project for upcycling cloths that are stained or have holes in them. And they get a new life, getting to look pretty and add to the festive feeling!

 

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DIY Flower necklace with a secret eye

Here’s a fun necklace I made! I wanted to make something inspired by the Victorian ”Lover’s Eye” jewelry, but my ”eye” ended up having glaucoma (I used the wrong glue!) so the only one knowing the thingy on the right side is an eye…!

I used up a lot of pink star-paillettes for the flower – I kind of stocked up on paillettes when we lived in Copenhagen more than 10 years ago, and I’ve still got a large stock. It will take quite a lot of jewelry making before I run out of them!

The bronze thing at the middle of the flower is an old pretty button that I hadn’t found a good use for. The one to the right is a broken brooch that I ”mended” by gluing a homemade eye to it.

I love taking old discarded things and make new pretty things out of them! It makes me so happy to both create and use jewelry like this.

 

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Re-purposing jeans – my mom is on a roll!

My parents are definitely making the most of this social distancing/quarantine-time – my dad is baking bread and keeping busy like always, and my mom is sewing and being creative. Just look at what she made for Niklas for his birthday:

I mean, look at that apron! It’s just perfect for the barbecue season, with all those pockets and places to hang stuff. This was a team effort, with my dad inserting most of the grommets, and then they filled it with lots of kitchen:y goodness: knitted dish cloths (made by my mother, one of them made out of flax that I think my great grandmother grew and spun so many decades ago), a wash cloth for the barbecue station, brushes and pens and lots of little goodies.

And the best thing? It’s all made out of repurposed jeans!

I learned through homeschooling this spring that jeans/denims are one of the most polluting garments on the planet, so it makes sense to keep using them even though they’ve become a bit disheveled. And what better way to give two old pairs of jeans a new life than as a cool apron?

My mom’s been busy re-purposing so many jeans this spring, so she’s definitely doing an effort to keep them in circulation!

Some of them end up as runners, with just a piece of lace sewn onto each edge. Some end up as pot covers, just look at these:

That’s a whole look for that bunch of roses! I think they love the new lace belt they got!

They are accompanied by a matching tablecloth.

P.S. In my family we either donate clothes that are too small, or we compost the ones that are unusable. Which also is an argument against buying clothes containing plastics (like spandex, acrylics etc) – cotton is very easily composted, and when you mix it with compost from your kitchen compost it turns into mulch in just a few months’ time.

 

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My favorite statement necklace

I have quite a collection of DIY statement necklaces by now, but this is usually my favorite! It took about 20 hours to make and it was totally worth it! I always feel as if I’m wearing a really special piece of jewelry when I wear it.

I made two interlocking circles and covered them in black beads with some green accents. I used up a couple of old necklaces and bracelets and sewed everything onto some felt fabric. The lining is a piece of an old leather jacket. Three skulls hang from the necklace, along with some glass beads.

I love love love wearing it! It has such a nice weight and since it’s black, it goes with almost anything in my wardrobe.

 

 

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