Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Tutorial Easter Bunny Egg Cosies

Rummaging through the fabric bins for some Easter inspiration I came upon some small remnants of psychedelic fabric I can only imagine hailed from the 70''s.  Floral? Check. Random colours? Check. They caught my eye and needed showcasing, but how?

Sometimes all it takes is a small piece of a bold fabric to make the project pop, this is that project.

What you'll need:

Small piece of mid weight fabric, denim or cord are perfect. The fabric will need to stand up on its own when sewn together so nothing light or drapey.
Scraps of a bold patterned fabric
Sewing machine

Optional: bias tape maker, pre-made bias tape

Using the shapes in the photo cut out two arc shapes, this will be the main piece and should be no bigger than the palm of your hand.

(The circle is circular but it needs a good iron!)

Cut two ear pieces, round off the ends of two rectangles, repeat with patterned fabric.

Lastly cut out one circle 2 inches across.

Right sides together sew your patterned and main fabric ear shapes together reinforcing stitches at start and finish of each piece.

Flip right sides out, at the open edge fold the sides of the ears in, pinch and sew across to make a rolled ear shape. Repeat for the other ear.

With the raw edges of the ears lined up to the top edge of the main arc shape piece, stitch both ears down ensuring they are evenly spaced across the top edge and leaving a gap in the middle.

Layer the other main arc shape on top of the piece you have sewn the ears to and stitch three quarters of the way round, starting at the bottom edge and finishing halfway down the opposite side.

Add bias tape (or double fold) the raw bottom edge. I made a faux bias tape by using a 1 1/2 inch strip of the patterned fabric on the straight grain, double folded it then stitched it down, opening up the bunny to make the bottom edge lay flat as I sewed.

Turn bunny inside out again and stitch up the remaining open edge, reinforcing stitching at the end.

For an extra bit of psychedelic flare I made a yo-yo and hand-stitched this to the back in place of a tail.

To make your own yo-yo's (hand sewing required):
-Cut a circle two inches across, stitch a running stitch all the way around the outside of the circle starting from the inside with a knotted thread, stitch 1/8 in or thereabouts from the edge.
-Pull up the threads when you get to the end and knot. You should be left with a circular puff of fabric.
Turn it over and hand-stitch it to the back of the Egg cosy, in place of a tail.

Add a cute face or just leave it plain, make them your own with your fave Reuse Centre fabric finds.

Happy Easter

- Emma (Volunteer)

Friday, 15 March 2013

How to lose 20 pounds and get organized

Spring is (hopefully) on its way and with that comes spring cleaning! So how can you lose 20 pounds of extra, no longer used stuff in your house and get organized? Well the first step is decluttering.

We found a number of websites with tips on decluttering you space. Here are some of your favourite ideas summarized below.

15 Great Decluttering Tips on, suggests implementing a clothing rule: if you haven’t worn an item in 6 months, sell or donate it. Another idea is creating a one-year box. Take all your items that you haven't used in a while and don't know if you should get rid of and put them in a box, seal it and date it for 1 year in the future. When the date comes, and you still haven't opened it, donate the box.
Impulse buyer? Keep a list labelled “Don’t Need It – Don’t Want It.” When you run across some kind of item you crave, note it down on the list. This will slow you down long enough to reconsider. also has some great decluttering tips in its piece Pro-organizer tips: What not to do when decluttering your home. The article suggests organizing items before purchasing storage pieces and supplies so that you will know exactly what you need for each space. How about making decluttering not just a spring activity but a daily or weekly one? Another post 5 Strategies for Decluttering recommends doing a little bit of decluttering each day. Try to take 10-15 minutes in your day to focus on at least one small space or project.

Once you have decluttered, give your unwanted, in good condition items a second life by donating them to an organization or charity. Check out the Reuse Centre's list of acceptable items or the Reuse Directory to learn where you can donate them.

So now that you have decluttered, here are some ideas on how to get organized:

  • Plastic storage bins are ideal for organizing as they are durable and come in a variety of sizes. Larger containers can be used to store seasonal decorations and smaller containers are perfect for organizing craft supplies.

  • Sort small household items into shoeboxes. They can be decorated with paper to match any room and are easily stackable in a closet or corner.

  • Coffee tins are another neat way to keep all of your smaller items organized. Perfect for storing pens, pencils and other school supplies and they can be decorated too!

  • Wicker baskets are stylish ways to keep things tidy and organized. Baskets are great for storing magazines, toys, or blankets.

This is what we gathered through our research. Hopefully they will help you through your spring cleaning. If you have any tips, suggestions or helpful hints, please share them below!!

- Hayley (Staff) and Vanessa (Volunteer)

Friday, 1 March 2013

7 Ways to Reuse Magazines

If you've been to the Reuse Centre, you know we have a huge collection of National Geographic magazines, so we decided to brainstorm and research interesting ways to reuse them. If you don't have any old magazines sitting around your home, stop by and grab some from us to get started on these great reuse projects!

1. Reuse Decor - The beautiful and inspiring pictures found in National Geographic magazines can become treasured pieces of art in your home. Find an old frame (we have some of those too!), cut out a favourite picture and place it in the frame. It's as easy as that!

2. Magazine Coasters - Want to show off your DIY skills next time you have company over? Make these cool magazine coasters and put them out at your next party.

3. Gift Wrap - Have you found the perfect gift for someone special but can't quite decide how to wrap it? Come to the Reuse Centre and we will help you find a National Geographic magazine from the month and year you are looking for. Whether you're celebrating a birthday, anniversary, or other occasion, a National Geographic from the special date will make great gift wrap... and you can include the rest of the magazine in the gift for the recipient to flip through. If you're feeling extra adventurous, you can make your own bow too!

4. Magazine Bowls - Jewellery, accessories, and home decor made from old magazines have become quite popular recently. Instead of buying one of these bowls from a store, save your money (and some trees!) and make your own.

Step 8

5. History Lesson - Old National Geographic magazines can make great resources for teachers. The magazine was first published in 1888 and has been providing readers with a wealth of information since then. One of the oldest issues we found at the Reuse Centre recently was from June of 1957. Bringing a magazine like this into a classroom could be invaluable for teaching students about the history of our world, how it has changed, and how it has stayed the same ()
6. Magazine Magnets - This project will require you to purchase a couple extra supplies, but could result in a cute and thoughtful homemade gift... or you could just keep them all for yourself! Grab your crafting supplies and some interesting pictures from an old magazine and have fun making your own unique magnets!

Step 11

7. Travel Inspirations - Who would have guessed that the very same National Geographic issue mentioned above from June, 1957 would have a 21-page story (complete with several full-page pictures) about the beautiful Maldives islands. A dream destination for many even today, the author of this article talks about how long he has waited to visit this paradise. The amazing pictures and incredible stories about destinations around the world could inspire you to take your next vacation now!

- Marissa (Volunteer)