Upcycled and Repurposed Gift Guide

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how to recycle old clothes into new life

 

Hope you enjoyed Thanksgiving! We had a lot of fun doing our annual Turkey Trot, even though it was a little wet and wild outside. We got two rounds of turkey, visiting family all around the metro. And we still have a Friendsgiving to look forward to. Bring on the leftovers!

If you got a little burnt out on Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping, it’s ok. I actually swore off Black Friday shopping a few years ago. It was after heading out in very icy conditions… I think I was looking for a crock pot or something petty. Long story short, I ended up rear-ending someone because my brakes couldn’t handle a fresh ice patch, and that was a very short-lived little shopping trip. I decided all the madness of consumerism and downright danger were just not worth saving a few bucks. I took a step back and thought about how silly the whole thing is. Thanksgiving is about friends, family and togetherness. Where’s the gratitude in a $19.99 crockpot and fender bender? So that was the end of my Black Fridays. I went cold turkey. (Thanks for noticing the pun.)

Gift Giving Alternatives

But I’m all for Small Business Saturday, the day after Black Friday. I fully support the notion of using our cash to support local shops rather than big box stores. We vote with our dollars, you know? I’m guilty of deal hunting at chain stores, but I really want to try to support more small businesses. It just feels good. While I’m trying to cut back on holiday shopping in general, I think at least being mindful of where I’m using my money is a step in the right direction. That said, I’m hoping to do a lot more Christmas crafts this year! And please, before you throw something away consider first donating it, recycling it or upcycling it. Organize a clothing swap, have a DIY-off with friends, make mittens, sew a quilt, make shop rags or give it to someone in need instead.

Our friends at Cotopaxi have some ideas for recycling and repurposing as well, and have a promo code for you at the bottom of this post if you’d like to check out their website.

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Handmade Backpacks

What we really love about Cotopaxi is that all the backpacks are handmade by someone who otherwise may not have a job. The person gets to personally design the bag with colors and fabrics that inspire them. No two bags are alike. And all the fabric is repurposed, fabric that would otherwise have ended up in a landfill. It’s a win-win. I’m impressed with their commitment to impact sourcing – the people who make these bags earn a decent wage to actually improve their quality of life.

If you have a certain someone on your shopping list who’d like a unique, socially responsible, durable and useful gift, we’d highly recommend checking them out! There’s a promo code just below. Watch this video for their inspiring story:

 

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Cotopaxi did not sponsor this post. We just think they have a great business model and mission worth sharing and we hope you will too!

 

What’s your favorite way to repurpose fabric or clothing?

It’s Gonna be a Crafty Christmas

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it's gonna be a crafty Christmas header

Crafty Christmas

Looking for Christmas crafts this year? I’ve got some super simple ideas that you can whip up. Honestly, if I can make them, so can you. It’s always fun to give/receive a personalized gift. Bonus points if you make it. If that’s not your style, no big deal. But this post is for all the Christmas DIY’ers.

Coasters

I made coaters again, this time for my coworkers. I had to reference my tutorial from last year just to remember how. But they’re just like riding a bike – pretty simple to pick up again. I found these funny napkins at World Market last year.

Christmas crafts coasters

DIY coasters mod podge

Candles

I bought a few little candles and peeled the labels from them. I took some music paper and stamped the names of my friends on the paper, then cut them to the size of the labels. The jars were still sticky, so it was easy to stick the new labels on. The candles were less than $1 each. Then just added some twine bows!
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