While cleaning up my linen closet I found a fitted sheet that had ripped awhile back. I stuffed it in the back of the closet until I figured out what to do with it and that day came today when I had a hard time rounding up four king size pillow cases for my bed. Some people lose socks, we seem to lose pillow cases! I think my oldest son may be stealing them actually. Sooo…I decided to turn that ripped sheet into 3 king size pillow cases.
I used an existing pillow case as my template and I cut around it, leaving some space to be able to turn and sew. I thought about cutting the elastic off but figured if I left it on, that was just one side I wouldn’t have to sew….I am all about easy. After cutting I turned it inside out and started sewing, reinforcing the edges and corners as I went. Then I flipped it right side out and I had a pillow case! This was a great recycling project that only took about 20 minutes from start to finish for all the pillow cases.
Then you need to watch the following video and stop by a donation center for Soles United. This looks like an amazing program that not only helps the less fortunate but it repurposes a popular product that is being sold my the millions in this country.
Last year when the lead toys fiasco all came to light, I briefly blogged about a new company called Green Toys. They take recycled plastic and other environmentally friendly materials and turn them into stylish and practical toys. They are made in the USA so you don’t have to worry about weak safety standards like you would if they were imported from China. They comply with all safety standards prohibiting phthalates and BPA.
My family recently got to test drive these great toys made from recycled milk jugs and they got a BIG thumbs up here. They are perhaps a bit more expensive than toys you could buy at Wal-Mart but you really do get what you pay for. Green Toys are sturdy and attractive…not cheap and flimsy looking. I love the darker pastel and earthy colors and to me they just shout out QUALITY. I think they are a much more appealing than anything you could find at a big box store, they are tough and will stand up to some serious play, and they are turning garbage into treasure.
Green Toys covered the basics with the following toy sets:
Green Toys Tea Set (17 pieces) – What little girls don’t love tea sets? I know my daughter does. She has several and unfortunately some of them are the cheap, low quality ones, so we are phasing them out. Her favorite tea set is a Strawberry Shortcake set made with real ceramic but since she is 4, I prefer she play with something less breakable for a while and earth friendly, green toys are perfect. The colors are beautiful with blues, greens, purples, and mauve.
Green Toys Cookware and Dining Set- If you have a play kitchen in the house then you need this cookware set. It has 27 pieces including a stock pot with lid, skillet, plates, bowls, cups, and 4 utensil place settings. It uses the same color scheme as the tea set so this makes a great pair for kids who like to make believe they are cooking and throwing diner parties. My kids could spend all day slaving over their hot imaginary stove. ;)
Green Toys Indoor Gardening Set- My kids get plenty of exposure to gardening outside but other than cut flowers we sometimes forget to bring nature indoors so this is a fun set for kids. It is adorable. It comes with 3 pots, a pea-pod shaped planter tray for the pots to sit in, a trowel, soil, and 3 packets of organic seeds. The seed packets (Teddy Bear Sunflower, Zinnia, and Basil). It is pretty easy to use too. Just drop in the peat, soak with water, wait 30 minutes and you are ready to plant. Unfortunately the pots do not have drainage holes so if your kids will be watering they need to be careful not to get things too wet. We will see I guess, if this presents a problem.
Green Toys Sand Set- We have a nice sandbox outside so these are a hit of course. If you are familiar with sand toys then you will likely know how cheap and breakable they usually are but these are sturdy and sure to last for several summers. The set comes with a bucket, a sand castle mold, a shovel, and a rake. These are perfect for your personal sandbox at home or for trips to the beach. They stay true to the gorgeous blues, greens, and oranges that the other set use too.
Overall I was very impressed with these toys. They will last, the kids like them, they are attractive, and they make use of landfill waste…turning it from trash to treasure. This green mom likes Green Toys.
Here is an Unplugged Project sent in by blog reader Tamara. Like many moms this time of year she found herself with a collection of mismatched mittens and gloves. I am in the same boat. ;) We have some little kittens that have lost their mittens.
So she got creative and decided to have the kids fill them with what looks popcorn seeds. Rice or buckwheat would also work. Then she sewed them closed and off the kids went to play bean bag toss for hours of unplugged fun. Pictures are below:
Also if you want that cool bean bag toss board she has in the picture you can find the same one here. This is an awesome project that recycles objects that might otherwise get thrown away and it gives kids a stimulating and fun project to do…as well as hours of fun later.
I seem to be suffering from clumsiness lately. A few weeks back I was walking out of my bedroom and instead of clearing the doorway my left hip brushed the doorjamb and caught on the receiver end of the door knob thingamajiggy (not sure what to call it). It ripped my jeans ever so slightly. The 1.5 inch tear didn’t bother me much so I just kept wearing them as is. Well it happened again a few days ago and now that tear streaks down my whole back side…so they are not wearable anymore. A patch would look ridiculous and would be awkward to get on so now I need to figure out what to do with them. If only I could find my sewing machine I would make numbers 1 and 2.
Ideas for Recycling Blue Jeans:
1. An iPod pocket protector – Use the pocket area of your blue jeans to make a nifty little purse for small electronics like cell phones and iPods. It would also be perfect as a little snack bags for young kids. Get instructions here.
2. Use the legs to make a wall organizer perfect for sewing notions.
3. Stuff them with straw and use them to create a scarecrow for fall decorating.
4. Cut them into squares and make a quilt or cut them into strips and make a rag rug.
Hi there! I am a green, paleo, crossfit mom of three. I am concerned about health, wellness, and sustainability issues. This is my life. This what I am passionate about. Come get to know me and feel free to connect. Enjoy!