Saturday, August 23, 2008

No peeking, Mimikachu! More swap goodies!

OK. I can't take it any longer. I have to share what I made for my Go Green and Recycle swap partner. So if you've wandered over here, mimikachu, STOP NOW! Avert your eyes!

My partner is a teacher in the Bronx (wow!) and I thought maybe she could use a bag to fit a binder or two, or maybe some books. So I came up with a new design, and this messenger bag is completely constructed from reclaimed fabrics.

The interior has two pockets; one is divided for pens/pencils.

But I think I'm most proud of this stencil! It was my second attempt ever at a freezer paper stencil. I found the image at a royalty-free, public domain clip art site... that is now defunct. (I included the link just in case it decides to work again, as it was one of my favorites, and I have used it many, many times.) The stencil's not perfect, but I was pretty happy with it. My partner mentioned somewhere that she loved old typewriters, so I hope this works for her.

Next, another item I hope she can use at school -- a reusable lunch sack! I know these are everywhere these days, and now I understand why. So simple to make, cute, and practical. Here's the tutorial for the lunch sack. This one is made from new, imported fabric on the exterior, and reclaimed fabric for the lining, and a reclaimed button.

Oh -- this is washable, too. The tutorial says to insert cardboard in the bottom, but I just sewed a plastic canvas rectangle in between the exterior and lining to form the bottom.

Not shown, but tucked away inside, I made a removable lining made from fused plastic bags. I made it the same way as the lunch sack, but a bit smaller, and it folds over and closes with velcro. I made this in case she has a leaky or drippy item inside, or maybe wants a tad bit of insulation. It can be wiped clean, too.

The next items were another first for me -- journals from recycled materials. (It's funny how we made each other some of the same items!) There are sooo many great bookmaking sites and techniques on the internet, but as this was supposed to be my "easy" or "small" item, I didn't want it to get too complicated. I decided on this tutorial for the larger journal. I LOVE the way it turned out, and can't wait to make myself a few. (I just may make a few for my Etsy shop, as well!)

The cover of the larger journal is a record album cover from The Lovin' Spoonfuls. The journal is filled with recycled papers. Many of them were pictures I had printed out from Dover's free samples I get every week, and the kids hadn't gotten around to coloring yet. . . . so now maybe my partner will have some coloring to do if she likes.

The smaller journal's cover is made from some cool retro shelf liner I found at the thrift store (still in its wrapper, 85 cents) that I sewed to cardstock. I filled it with some recycled notebook paper. I used this technique to make this little notebook.

I hope my partner likes her items, and I hope you'll try out some of these techniques and tutorials. I had so much fun with them!


  1. Connie! I love the lunch box and your Large journal. So great!!

  2. You make the best bags! I'm absolutely in love the the reusable lunch sack.

  3. The messenger bag and lunch sack are Fab! I'm sure you're swap partner will love 'em!


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