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Saturday, 7 June 2014

Repurposing and Upcycling... Part II

After successfully turning an old pair of black pants into a couple of purses — with the help of other fabric, of course — I thought it would be timely to revisit my "repurposing and upcycling" topic.

Upcycled Belts

It's funny. I had passed over those pants on multiple occasions whenever it was time to get a bag of old clothes together for donation. Talk about a stroke of luck that I never made that final move to pull them off the hanger. Do you think that I knew all along that those two narrow belts would come in handy someday as a bag strap?

eSheep Designs
The two belts that became a strap for my first Hot Hues Convertible bag...

And then there was this chain belt, shown here totally taken apart for my convenience:

The main part of this old chain belt became the strap
for my second Hot Hues Convertible Crossbody Fooler Bag...

This was picked up for almost nothing at some discount department store years and years ago, and was probably worn only once. This thing was actually closer to being donated than my pair of black pants. I actually retrieved it from a bag of clothing destined for the donation bin about a year ago. And yes, this time, it was for the expressed purpose of someday being a purse strap.

Not only that, but do you see those little bitty pieces at the bottom of the picture? Never mind squinting, here is one up close. These will find new life as zipper pulls. (Here's one on my Hot Hues bag.)

Ready to be recycled into zipper bling...

Repurposed Pillowcases

Sometimes a bag needs a lining that really "pops", but in other cases, subdued is more appropriate. And if we're talking about pocket linings, well, how often do you care what they look like inside?

The best way to get off cheap with linings is to use pillowcases. They don't even have to be old/used. New pillowcases are available at dollar stores and at Jysk for around a couple of bucks a pair. (And if you can get king size pillowcase, all the more power to you!)

In the bigger department stores, you can often find high thread count cotton pillowcases in their clearance bins. They're usually in neutral colours that work well in many applications.

Repurposed Jewelry

Looking for some bling for your bags? Cheap and gaudy costume jewelry — that you likely wouldn't think of wearing "as is" — can make a statement when added to your bag. Case in point:

Come on — as an earring, this is really too much, isn't it?
The above is one half of a pair of earrings that serves as the flap decoration on each of my two Bella bags.

Dollar stores or even eBay (lurk around at the tail end of auctions for best results) can yield some good finds for earrings and pendants that can be turned into bag bling.

And let's not forget your own potential throwaways. Here's the pendant from a necklace that was ready to be trashed because the chain was tarnished; it's perfect for a zipper pull.

What are some creative ways that you have come up with to reuse and re-purpose stuff that you don't want any more?

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