Thursday, July 21, 2011

Salvage! Salvage! Salvage!

My house is like a craft store.  I have so many supplies.  I love that I have what seems like an endless supply of well... supplies!  The best is most of the stuff I have is free because I salvage usable craft items from things around my house before I throw them away.  

Now, please don't take this to mean that you should keep every piece of junk that enters your house.  Oh my goodness, no.  Have you seen Hoarders?!?  I'm no minimalist and my house has it's fair share of craft clutter, but I work hard to not cross over into the realm of whatever that is.  You have to be wise about what you save and what you don't.  Give yourself rules.  Here are mine.

  1. Ask yourself, is saving this worth the effort?
  2. Make sure you have a place for it.
  3. Make sure you have a use for it in the near future.

Here's an example of something worth salvaging to me.  In the post about the Good Deed Tree I mention that I used an old burlap rice sack.  I kept the sack knowing that I would have a use for the burlap in the future since it is a popular fabric in crafting right now.  When I needed to make the tree I had the sack on hand, folded up on my fabric shelf. 

 I used the bottom of the sack for the Good Deed Tree and what was left of the top was the handles and the zipper.  Now I could have gone crazy and found some use for the handles.  Perhaps for handles of a purse but it didn't follow rules 1 & 3 for me so I chucked the rest of the burlap and saved the zipper. 

Let's see if it follows the rules shall we?

  • Ask yourself, is saving this worth the effort?

  • Yes.  Zippers can be expensive and the 3 minutes it takes for me to save it is financially beneficial to me.


  • Make sure you have a place for it.

  • In the sewing notions drawer in my craft room.


  • Make sure you have a use for it in the near future.

  • Can be put in one of the many outfits I am working on designing or on a purse.

      I simply pulled out my seam ripper and less than 5 minutes later...

      ... I had a zipper to add to my personal craft store.

      Today's lesson: 
      Don't be a hoarder and let your house get so out of control that you don't know how many dead cats are living under the piles and piles of rubbish (you've got to watch the show), but don't waste perfectly good stuff either.  Be smart about what you keep and what you toss and you'll find yourself satisfied with the nice collection of supplies you've acquired.

      Other craft salvage suggestions:
      • Keep the ribbon off of anything and everything.
      •   Remove all buttons off of clothing items.
      • Cut off the good pieces of fabric that a clothing item might still have so it's easier to store with your other fabrics.
      • Remove all working zippers.
      • Strip old bras of the eye hooks for use in other sewing projects
      • On broken shoes or belts save the buckles for use on bags or other belts you may make.
      • Remove elastic from waistbands to use on another project.
      • Keep the elastic cord that comes with new kids shoes (to keep the pair together) and use as a closure with crayon rolls, or like I did was the back closure on the Mod Mod Dress.
      • Before you toss a card, keep any reusable embellishment - brads, fancy paper clips, jewels etc.

      Anyone have any other salvage ideas?  I'd love to hear them!


      1. Those are some great ideas! Some of them I haven't even thought of. Thanks!
        I have my share of salvage and I'm glad I kept some of that stuff:)
        Thanks for the tips!

      2. This comment has been removed by the author.

        1. I meant to say I keep all the pockets off of clothing etc.. and use them for other projects. I also keep the small clear zipper pouches cafe curtains come in to store or put projects in that I can take with me in the car. I keep the clear totes bodywashes come in for this purpose also!


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