T-shirt Bracelet Tutorial

Not too long ago I spotted a really great fabric bracelet at a high end store.  Since I’m not a big jewelry wearer, I couldn’t bring myself to pay big bucks for a bracelet.  However, that bracelet popped into my mind this afternoon and it sparked a recon idea in my head.  I just gave it a whirl and while it’s nothing fancy, it’s a fun, quick project that’s perfect for a funky accessory.

The absolute simplicity of this project makes it a great summer project for a teen or pre-teen that’s trying out his or her sewing skills.  My 3-year-old daughter is begging me to make her one in ‘prettier colors’ as we speak.

Let’s get started!

Supplies:

Old t-shirts or any old piece of clothing made of knit or other stretchy fabric

Scissors

Sewing machine

So…get your t-shirt.

Cut strips of fabric, making sure the the stretch goes down the length of your strips.  You’ll want the bracelet to stretch a bit so you can easily get it on and off.

My wrist is child-like in size and measures just under 7 inches, so I made my strips about 8-8.5 inches long.  I made mine too wide to start with and ended up narrowing them to about 1 inch.  This is all very approximate.  That’s the beauty of the funky little bracelet–the more random and rough it is, the more fun it looks!  Despite the yard stick in my photos, I didn’t use it once.  Just freehanded the whole thing.  Fast and fun!

Now, simply fold the strips in half and sew, using a straight stretch stitch.

Now loosely gather the ends and stitch across them to secure them.  There’s no rhyme or reason to how I need this.  I just bunched them up and stitched across using a slightly longer stitch length to accommodate the thickness.

To close this bracelet up, you’ll want a wider, shorter strip of fabric that is something like this:

It should be wide enough to cover the end seams on the strips on both ends and long enough to overlap when wrapped loosely around the ends.  Like this:

After you’ve stitched one end into the wide strip (should look like photo above), tuck the other end of your bracelet into it and repeat.  Easy enough, right?  Here’s my bracelet:

To make it more your style, you can mix and match colors, thread on some random large beads, change up thread colors.  Just have fun!  Grab the kids and bust up that summer boredom!

Linoleum is my new friend

You know, these days linoleum is just not considered one of the more desirable flooring options available to homeowners. I think what pops into most peoples’ heads when they think of linoleum is the ‘avocado green’ or ‘harvest gold’ they remember from their grandmother’s kitchen.

However, I like to think that linoleum is making a comeback. My reasoning: it’s green. Linoleum is environmentally friendly and that makes me happy.

Turns out, the stuff is made from all natural products like linseed oil (hence the ‘lin’oleum name), wood flour, cork flour, etc. Therefore, it’s totally biodegradable and won’t leave nasty toxins in our soil once it’s in the landfills.

See, in our last house, we had lovely looking ceramic tile. It was very appealing, but I depised cleaning it. The grout just gave me the heebie-jeebies because I felt like it was a bacteria trap. I couldn’t clean the glazed tile with vinegar because the vinegar would eat through the glaze, causing the the tile to become more porous and open to dirt and germs. I didn’t like trying to clean with toxic products, so the cleaning process was very unpleasant for me.

I hope that the practicality and the Earth-friendliness of linoleum will help it make a comeback in homes everywhere.

(For more great info on this, click here)

Today’s green things

Today is a bit of a rainy, dreary day, so with the exception of a couple of errands I just ran, I’ll be getting things done around the house today. I thought I’d share the little things I’m doing along the way that help make an average day’s activities a little greener….

I’m about to sit down and serge some cloth baby wipes. For months after I began cloth diapering, I just never switched over to cloth wipes. I thought that disposable ones were easier and just never went past that. However….I soon realized that picking used disposable wipes out of a poopy diaper is just not appealing. If you use cloth, you don’t have to bother with that…..they just go in the wash right along with the diapers. They’re handy that way. And they’re really soft and cute (see above photo). And….they’re green.

I have down a few loads of laundry today with my Purex Natural Elements detergent. It’s concentrated, so the bottle isn’t excessivly large. Its ingredients are Earth-friendly. And it smells veryyummy with it’s natural apple & melon scent! While I don’t find that it’s a great cloth diaper detergent, I love it for the rest of our laundry.

Later on, I need to clean my linoleum floors (which I recently discovered are relatively green themselves! But that’s another story for another day.). I absolutely despise mops, so when I clean our linoleum, I get down on hands and knees and scrub. I use cotton bar towels (love the natural fibers) and I just pour straight vinegar onto the floor. My floors have never felt and looked so clean as they do with a good vinegar scrubbing!!

So….what have you done today that’s green?

Diapers on the line

I love line-drying our diapers. There’s something seeing them hanging out there that makes me feel very peaceful. It feels good to know my clothes dryer isn’t eating up energy. It feels good to admire our beautiful collection of diapers. And it feels good to know that I’m not filling up garbage bags with disposable ones.

Do you line dry your diapers or clothes when the weather permits? I know some people dry in their garage or have other types of line drying systems set up. I would love to hear how you dry yours!