Tag Archives: repurposing

a 2-step, 2 minute wine gift bag


Since I finally managed to put some order to the sewing room, I did feel like I should actually use it at least once to prove its necessity. I have a stack of clothes to be mended or altered into something else stacking up beside the sewing machine and decided that this would be a quick project that I could do in minutes and feel like I accomplished something. And all told, photographs and everything, this was just minutes from beginning to end.

I used to make my own gift bags, but out of laziness lately I have slacked off. This Christmas we were given some gifts from a neighbour who always makes her own bags and the gifts seem more personal knowing that she made at least part of it herself. This is my shortcut to doing something similar.

The small kid is very hard on blue jeans, so there are always a few pair with no knees laying around to be mended or cut up for patches. One pair of kid’s jean would make two wine bottle gift bags (or other small gift bag, if you want). The process is quick:

wine bag

Step one:

Cut the leg below the knee (the finished bottom of the pants will be the finished top seam of the bag – saving some sewing) and sew a straight seam across.

Step two:

Flatten out the seam until you have two triangular corners at the ends. Sew a straight line across both corners, trim excess material and thread.

And that is it, unless you count turning it right side out and tying a bow on the top as another step.

Linked to Simple Lives Thursday, Wildcrafting Wednesday, Frugally Sustainable

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recycling and reusing – buying used and selling or passing it on when you are done with it

Although we definitely don’t buy everything second hand, we do buy most things used. I have found that if I want something, all I need to do is wait and look around for a while, and I can usually find it used. I don’t think that means we have a household full of old crap. We have some quality items that we bought second hand and fixed up when necessary. We don’t have matching suites in anything, but we do have an eclectic mix of things that (at least in my humble opinion) have made our home comfortable and inviting.

I change things around as new stuff comes in to our lives. Right now I’m keeping an eye out for more modern lighting to replace some of the grandmotherly lamps. I like the old stuff look, but would like to add in a few modern touches.

Here is a quick list of things we’ve bought used:

  • furniture/antiques (pretty much everything in the house)
  • linens/quilts
  • appliances
  • cars
  • baby/kid/adult/maternity clothes
  • baby equipment
  • toys/games
  • play structures
  • animals (we had lovely Newfoundland dog that we bought from Kijiji after the kennel that bred her retired her from breeding)
  • housewares – dishes, small appliances
  • area rugs
  • artwork/decorative objects
  • sports equipment

We also have a bit of a round robin going with children’s clothes. Good quality clothes that I had handed down to me when our babies were born have now made it through 4 families and 7 children, perhaps more. We do of course buy new stuff as needed, but when we are done with it we pass it along. Even at my place of work, most of us have children close in age but at different stages of growth, so we tend to bring in bags of gently used clothing for the other moms to look through. We support and help out each other this way.

We also sell the things that we no longer need. Another short list of things that we have sold in the past year:

  • 1940s era Cockshutt tractor that was rusting behind the barn
  • radial arm saw from a high school woodshop
  • woodstove
  • electric hospital bed

Just keeping up our part in a continous loop. If we don’t need it, we can usually find someone who does.

Linking to Cozy Home Scenes, Frugally Sustainable, Thrifty Decorating, Sorta Crunchy, Mod Vintage Life, Knick of Time, Learning the Frugal Life

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