Updated October 7, 2022.
Many people get heavily into organizing and cleaning out come fall. I’m certainly doing plenty of this with my office reorganization. When you do, you’ll come across things that might get thrown out. Before you do that though, consider some creative ways to reuse them.
In today’s post, we’ll look at some of these from around the web (and I’ll tell you how to adapt them to needlepoint) and I’ll also give you some other great ideas for recycling.
New Ideas for Budget Needlepoint
- Use Scrap Plastic Canvas to Finish Ornaments – Leftovers from plastic canvas projects, especially 14-count, is a great stiff lining for projects. Just cut it slightly smaller than your finished needlepoint. Place it behind the needlepoint turn the edges over it and fold. Sew your backing onto the edges of the canvas. The plastic is securely held inside and it creates a great stiff ornament or nametag.
- Save your Thread Scraps – You might think that last yard of thread is a burden and throw it out. But you use small bits of needlepoint far more often than you think. Variety, even slight, in color and texture makes great leaves, flowers, or any other small areas. Keep them in a container and check there first for bits of thread.
- Use Leftover Felt or Foam to Finish Ornaments – If you have kids, you might have leftover felt or thin foam in pretty colors. Stitch a diamond-shaped ornament. Cut it out as a square and finish it as a folded diamond Ornament (instructions here). Cut the foam or felt to slightly larger, you want the edge to show, and glue it to the back with a loop between the backing and the ornament.
- Save scraps of Canvas for Small Projects – I have a wastepaper basket in my office that only has small pieces of canvas in it. If a scrap of canvas is bigger than 2″ x 3″ it goes in there. These small scraps get used to try out stitches, test threads or techniques, or make small projects. Every one of the Learn-a-Stitch Owls was made on them as were the star projects and tons of ornaments.You can also easily use these scraps with leather key fobs from NPJ and Planet Earth to make great gifts, With the price of canvas so high, this makes good use of every penny.
- Use Scrapbook Paper for Creative Finishing – If you get seduced by those big packs of scrapbook paper (I know I do) use them in different ways to finish needlepoint. Solid colors can be used behind the stitching to add another (background) layer of color or make the open canvas disappear when it matches the canvas when framing or making a tray or box. If you put the needlepoint on top of a larger patterned piece of canvas, it functions as a pretty and inexpensive mat.
More Creative Recycling from around the Web
Personal Creations has a wonderful blog post on 50 uses for old things. I just love so many of these ideas. While most aren’t applicable to needlepoint, many are. I’m excited to try them.
- Transform Old Glasses into Picture Frame – If you have small pieces that can use open backgrounds, why not take this idea to create an inventive frame for them. Even better, if your glasses have broken parts so you can’t really recycle them through your local Lions Club drive. (from Thrifty Living blog)
- Create an Eyeglass Case Tool Kit – There’s no need to buy a pricey new tool case that’s just an eyeglass case when you can make your own. Just use an old case, or one from the dollar store, and cover it with a scrap of fabric. This tutorial from Tea Rose Home shows you how. Use it to store your tools.
- Use Cleaned Mascara Brushes to Clean Canvas – No need to buy a Boo-boo Stick when you have old mascara. Use these instructions from A Thrifty Mrs. to clean a mascara brush to create a spoolie to clean out canvas of stray threads
- Old Ties Create Soft Tool Pouches – Use an old tie to create a stylish and colorful tool tote. You can easily make them as long as you need (to hold laying tools and larger items). This tutorial from Bespangled shows you how.
Now get recycling!