Sunday, March 25, 2012

Re-purposing

I love finding ways to save money and reuse items instead of buying new.

I recently saw a post by Julia @ Blissfully Content about revamping your old rags.  She has directions for making them on her blog.  I loved the idea, and had to try it out.
These are so much nicer to look at.  Let's face it, by the time a towel makes it to the rag stage, it's usually pretty beat up.  This is a great way to pep them up a bit.  The fabric was even a freebie from someone who decided not to go into quilting after buying a bunch of supplies.

I like making rags from a number of things.  Some of my favorites are old, terry cloth robes (makes great washcloths), old cloth diapers (although my Dad, who's a gunsmith would always talk me out of mine for use in his shop), and toweling scraps.
You may remember these that I made for Ri out of scraps left from making a couple of hooded baby towels.

Another thing I love to reuse are gallon, and half gallon pickle jars.  Several of my girls love pickles, so we can go through some large jars.  The only problem I ever had was in trying to get the pickle smell out of the lid.  I tried every trick in the book, and while I could get enough of the smell out for dry items, you could never use the jar for wet things because the smell was never completely gone.  My remedy for this was to contact the manufacturer, which happened to be a company right here in NC, and ask them what size lid they used for their jars.  Then I found a company on the internet that sold the size lid I needed, and ordered a bunch.  You just have to keep a couple of things in mind; 1) You need to check and see if the company can sell retail, and 2) if they sell in small quantities, because you probably won't need a case of 1,000 lids.  By ordering at least a couple of dozen (dependent, of course, on your family's pickle consumption) you can reduce the amount per lid you'll end up paying in shipping charges.  

Another way we like to reuse things, mostly clothing items, is to turn them into decorative pillows.  The girls have used several things to make pillows to dress up, and add a personal touch to their beds.  And though we don't wear jeans (unless we're turning them into a blue jean skirt), I've seen them made into cute throw pillows.
And here's one of my last re-purposing projects.  We recently bought a cute little bistro set to go in the sunroom.  It's taking the place of a bench we had sitting there that had several throw pillows on it.  Instead of turning something into a pillow, I took a pillow I had on the bench and turned it into a cover for the seat.  I didn't really want a thick, padded cushion, but since the walls are tan, with white wainscoting, and the bistro set is beige, we needed a little color.  I took the pillows apart, cut them to size, added some batting, and then quilted.

It's always fun to find new uses for older items.

I've linked this post with the Barn Hop.
 

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14 comments:

  1. Oh, I love the dish rag idea.

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    1. I did too. Makes it so much nicer if you have to pull a rag out to use when company's over.

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  2. And what do you do with those pickle jars? I know it sounds dumb...I know you can recan pickles in them, but what else do you have in mind for them? Just curious, I love repurposing jars!

    Found you from the barn hop

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    1. For the most part, I store dry goods in them; rice, beans, oatmeal, etc. But I have used them when a milk jug developed a leak (which is why I know you can never get the smell out of the pickle lid - nothing like dairy for picking up smells), as an extra container when I needed to make a lot of tea (I only have a couple of gallon size tea pitchers), or a place to put my chicken stock to cool so I could take the fat off before transferring it to smaller containers to freeze.

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  3. I have been reading your blog for a while now via the Barn Hop and I just love it. Today especially, since we are big on reusing.

    I must say though, as someone who lives in Nevada, your blog's name always makes me laugh because Petticoat Junction is the name of a legal brothel out here in the middle of nowhere. I know it was also an old tv show, but that's what I always think of :)

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    1. Wow! What a great example of ignorance is bliss. :) I'll remember that one. Don't worry though, it doesn't bother me. I was thinking of the old TV show, the fact that we have all daughters, and that we wear dresses all the time when I named the blog.
      I'll have to tell my older girls about it, they'll think it's funny too.

      And thanks for reading my blog. I'm glad you enjoy it.

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  4. I love repurposing too. It was fun to see what you had done!

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    1. Thanks! I love the challenge of finding new ways to use things.

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  5. Your recycled terry towels, and the wonderful pillow/chair pad are great ideas. Thank you.

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    1. Your welcome. But I must admit, I got the idea for the towels from Julia @ Blissfully Content.

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  6. I really enjoy reading the posts. It is such a pleasant feeling that people are out there helping each other, sharing and being so nice!! Very different from most of our daily lives.

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    1. I agree. It is great that there are ways, like the Barn Hop, for us to share our ideas with one another and help each other out.

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  7. Becky, your dish cloths turned out so cute! Thank so much for mentioning me! I love all of your ideas:).

    ~Julia

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    1. Thank you, and you're welcome. I'm happy to pass on great ideas. :)

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