Category Archives: Recycled Crafts

Thomas Fabric Cake Topper


I probably mentioned this before but two of my kids and myself have birthdays three days in a row in December. Even with extensive planning, trying to make the most of the kids’ days while still enjoying mine is a bit overwhelming. Every year I keep trying to make it easier and less stressful for me. So when my son again requested a Thomas birthday cake I immediately knew I was not going to spend hours decorating something. My foray last year into the more “simplified” decorating plan of using a character cake pan(Lightening McQueen) wasn’t the easier choice I thought it was going to be and not something I wanted to repeat. I have a finite amount of hours and I’d rather spend them enjoying him as he enjoys his day rather than dealing with frosting.

So I had the idea to make a vinyl-encased cake topper. Basically I bought a patterned sheet at Goodwill(for $2 and made two items out of it)and close cut a Thomas character from the fabric. If I had had some fray stop it would have been nice to use it but I’m rather cheap about buying supplies so none of that stuff here. 😉 I then cut two squares of vinyl. I had purchased a roll of high quality clear vinyl at Walmart years ago with the intention of making removable covers for our sunroom screens to keep the room more comfortable in the winter but I never got around to it before we moved. Anyway, I washed my squares of vinyl and then sandwiched the fabric between and sewed around it and cut outside the seam line. I was trying for an oval but since I was in a hurry I failed at making it very oval-ish. It didn’t really matter though since I layed the fabric decoration on my iced and raked cake and then piped a wide shell border around it over the stitched edge so that it was a true oval and around the borders of the cake. I then sprinkled the piped areas with blue colored sugar and surprised myself with how impressive it really looked. It was easy enough(with a circle cake)to slip the knife under the decoration to cut slices so that we could enjoy the look of it longer than simply removing it altogether to cut.

And I thought I had a picture of the cake decorated but alas I do not see it on my data card. Oh well, you will have to use your imagination. 😉


These have the added fun of being reusable. Simply wipe off with a soapy towel and dry. Paper and print-outs from the computer could also be used instead of the fabric to get exactly what you want.


Zippered pencil case


Here’s a quick re-do using the flap off of a beat-up, vinyl diaper bag.

I cut the flap edge down a bit, folded it over and sewed it in place, then used an ordinary hole punch to make the holes. This was a 5 minute project! 😀

Sewn Wedding Card


I like to make gift tags and cards using the invite people send to me. I figure they must have liked it so it’d be a neat way to catch their eye in lieu of an expensive Hallmark card.

Here’s a card and envelope I made recently for a wedding. It’s very simple but I think it turned out quite elegant. 😀

Terry Swiffer Covers


I made these quickly in two styles so I could decide which style worked best. I’m thinking that my original pattern, which I modified for #1 works best because it stays on the swiffer very well while I mop but it’s a pain to put on. The top pieces should be a stretch material, not cotton like in this sample, to make attaching the cover faster for mopping.

And #2. The pad shifts about a little bit while mopping.

I used an old towel for these.

I have a tutorial for a fleece Swiffer cover on this blog if anyone is looking for one. Fleece is fantastic for grabbing all those dust bunnies.

~Update: You can now find the tutorial for Terry covers here.~

Nifty Needlebook


I saw a cute organizer for sewing needles on Etsy and decided that it was something I really needed!
My needles have always been loose in a compartment in my sewing box. It is such a pain to find a needle the right size for a project.
Of course I wasn’t about to pay $18 for one when I had the materials to make one and the option of coordinating it to match my other sewing accessories.
Using felt, embroidery floss, eyelets and an eyelet punch, lace, vintage ribbon and rick-rack , salvaged ribbon bits, a purse ring, and some vintage buttons I made this:
Here’s ‘page 2’:
Page 3:
Page 4:
And page 5 with its’ thimble pocket:

I have got to start taking pictures outside. The red in real life is a true crayon red, not fluorescent as it seems to appear on screen.

I used a drinking glass for my circle shapes just in case you wanted to make one yourself. 🙂

The purse ring will allow me to quickly attach a pair of scissors to the needlebook or to attach the needlebook to a work-bag.

Now I just have to dig out all my needles and sort them!