I enjoy creating small flowers with scraps of vinyl signs. They are fun little exercises for my hands.
When I started TRAASH back in 2012 all of my products were created with fused plastic bags. Fusing is a great way to upcycle plastic bags into a durable fabric like material. I did this by taking several layers of bags and ironing them between two pieces of wax paper. The iron would melt the layers together to create a thicker material. This material was water resistant, colorful, and easy to sew on a sewing machine. I started off making small velcro change purses which led to the zipper pouches I make now.
I loved this process as well as the colors and images I was able to create. Over time I became really good at fusing and even bought myself an old fashioned all metal iron. I made coasters, placemats, hair clips, and earrings all with the fused material. I sold them at many craft fairs and local events.
The only downfall was that this process was very time consuming. One sewn pouch could take over an hour to make. Fusing was not easy because different plastic bags took different amounts of fusing time. I would cut and layer several images together to get the look you see above. Once the fusing was complete the pouch then had to be sewn together. I also found out that over time (a year or two) the plastics would start to break down which was good for the environment but not so good for my merchandise.
So it happened! One day I received a donation of a two vinyl signs from my friend Michelle. This was not unusual since I always received donations of plastic bags and other items from friends who hoped I could reuse them. Michelle was working for Hamilton Health & Fitness at the time and they were getting rid of some old signs. I had worked with Michelle during her many Not Yo Mama's Craft Fairs so she was very familiar with my products and process. Needless to say, the signs sat in my studio untouched for months until one day I decided to sew a pouch with them.
I immediately fell in love with the vinyl. It was smooth and water resistant like the plastic bags but took about half the time to make a pouch. I still had to prep the vinyl by inspecting it and washing it but I no longer had to make the material from scratch. I was so excited that I started creating all kinds of things like this vest for my dog Gabi. Unfortunately she wasn't as fond of it as I was.
Once the word got out that I was using vinyl signs, friends started donating rolls to me. I even picked up a few rolls at the creative reuse center SCRAP while visiting a friend in Portland. Vinyl signs are still my material of choice and I enjoy all of the different ones I receive.
I love sharing ideas and projects so I was so honored when the Jersey City Independent asked me to be one of their bloggers. I am happy to present my most recent post Five Indoor Crafts To Make With Your Child. Read about my ideas and then please share your child-friendly projects as well!
I recently reused a cardboard box into a playhouse for my daughter. See how I made it HERE.
Hello & Happy Friday! It felt like a good day to bring back some folded vinyl wallets to the Etsy shop. Just like the pouches, these babies are made with 100% recycled vinyl. They are nice and slim and easily fit in a pants pocket. Can hold folded money, credit cards, and business cards. More to come to the shop soon!
I always thought headbands look cute on babies. But, when my daughter was younger I had a hard time finding a headband that was comfortable for her. When she was a newborn the few headbands I did put on her caused red marks across her forehead and one gave her a rash behind her ears. Now that she is older I have decided to give headbands a second try (because they do look cute on her). Instead of purchasing new ones, I decided to make my own. I referred to an old diy post from Alisa Burke I remembered from a few years back. She created fabric rolled roses and attached them to the elastic waistband from a pair of pants. Her clever idea of reusing the waistbands and scraps from baby pants is a great way to give new life to the clothing my daughter has outgrown. These were really so easy to make that I intend to make more. They fit her comfortably and look super cute!
I wanted to make a dog bed for Gabi from an old sweater for a long time. I see photos and instructions all over the Internet. Today I decided would be the day. It was so easy! I used my sewing machine on almost all of the steps to make it faster but if you do not have a sewing machine you can hand stitch the bed together. To stuff the sleeves I used a bag of Fiber Poly Fill I had laying around the house. Instead of fiber, you can use fabric scraps or unwanted clothing to stuff the sleeves. While I was sewing the last step of the bed together Gabi jumped into it and was already making herself comfortable. Needless to say she LOVES her new handmade bed!
Trying to get all of your gift wrapping done? Instead of buying ribbon, make your own using plastic bags. Follow my easy steps HERE.