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Salsa and Shirt Skirts

Boys #4 and 5 and I just finished reproducing the Easy Blender Salsa recipe to make a gallon of salsa–yes, you heard me right, a gallon.  Making the small batches that this recipe is for only lasted one day, so when I saw this 6 1/2 gallon can of diced tomatoes and Sam’s, and realized that it was half the price per ounce as the normal 14 1/2 oz can, I decided we were going to go all out this time and make enough salsa to last a week (or two??).  And, adjusting the recipe to be larger made a great math lesson for the boys!

Last night, with the help of this tutorial that I found on Pinterest (where else?), I turned this $2 goodwill t-shirt:

Into this skirt:


I know, that’s what I thought at first.  This was “sew” easy (pun intended) and so fun!  In fact, I had never shirred before last night, but I made three of these skirts before I went to bed–it was that simple!

Check out her tutorial, raid your husband’s closet for the t-shirts he hasn’t worn since college, and get started on one of your own!


Repurposed Vintage Suede Jacket

We are back in town and recovering from an action-packed Christmas! I reopened all my online shops and the sales are coming in again.  As we speak, the boys are enjoying their new trampoline in the backyard, thereby giving me a little time to break away to check back in on Tidy Tangle.

I thought it only fitting to throw a post out there about a pinterest-inspired project I squeezed in somehow before leaving town for Christmas.  Your reaction to this before-and-after is going to depend on whether you’re a glass-half-full, or glass-half-empty kind of person.  Bear with me here, I’ll tell the story in a timeline of pictures…

Pictured below is a beautiful vintage suede jacket that I’ve had for several years, handed down from a friend.  Please excuse the cell-phone photography, I was in between cameras at this point…

Vintage suede jacket before...

Now, if you’re a glass-half-empty kind of person, or you have a weak stomach, you might see the after picture like this:

Vintage suede jacket after, version 1

(You might also notice the messy chair, but that’s another story…)

Yikes, I know, but keep bearing with me…

If you’re a glass-half-full kind of person, you might see the after picture like this:

Vintage suede jacket after, version 2

In case I’ve lost you, I repurposed the jacket into a purse, using a tote bag pattern that I created a few years ago.

So, as you can see, it all depends on your perspective.

Now, for the longer version of the story.  I loved this beautiful suede jacket well for the last three years.  However, its age was showing, the leather was starting to wear out in some places, seams were coming loose, and it was fairly dirty.  I took it to the cleaners to get a quote on repairing and cleaning it, and they came back with a “ballpark” figure of around $100.  The dream of keeping the jacket alive died that day and it’s been hanging undisturbed in my closet ever since.  Though tempted to take it to Goodwill, I just couldn’t bring myself to let go of it completely.

Then, I saw this inspiring picture on Pinterest, with the description below:

Thrift store suede jacket + a belt + a tote pattern

Well, one thing led to another, and the next thing I knew, I’d cut that jacket up and turned it into a tote bag.  It’s a good thing that cow had already suffered because I seriously butchered that cow hide on my cutting table in an effort to get as much usable fabric from it as possible, it was a gruesome sight, I decided to spare y’all the pictures.  There were a few times in the process where I began to doubt myself, and I longed to restore it to its original vintage glory, but I pressed ahead.  The final result was a real leather handmade bag that would’ve cost me hundreds of dollars to purchase, and I gave new life and purpose to an old piece of well-worn, and well-loved leather.

That jacket was a work of art, obviously custom-made for someone decades ago who spared no expense.  As someone who is a craftsman herself, I really appreciated the workmanship that went into it.  My hope is that the person who made it would be proud to see it go on to have new purpose.

As well, I’m pretty sure that the fur collar left over is real fur, so the question on the table is: how can I repurpose that??  Maybe Pinterest will give me some inspiration for repurposing fur collars from vintage suede jackets too!  Just in case, I’m holding onto the fur collar…

Interior view of my "new" bag...


Turn diaper boxes into storage

I absolutely LOVE this idea.  Diaper boxes are so sturdy and have great dimensions for holding all sorts of things.

Here’s the blog post on how to turn diaper boxes into storage: http://www.positivelysplendid.com/2011/02/lets-make-something-together-lined.html


How to make a shower curtain from a sheet

Okay, you’ve waited patiently and I’m finally back to show you how I made my flat sheet into a shower curtain!  As promised, I will offer two versions of this project: a no-sew version and a sewn version.  Whenever possible, I will offer no-sew alternatives to my “sewing” projects because I really want to show you that make-it-yourself home decor projects don’t always require a sewing machine or sewing skills.  There are many products available at your average craft store today that make no-sew projects more possible than ever before.



Fence Decor

No, you are not seeing things–that is in fact a picket fence hanging on my wall.  And, believe it or not, I have some surprisingly useful ideas for it in my house, and maybe even yours!  Allow me to explain.



Controlling the Sock Chaos

At the risk of overwhelming you with closet organization tips (my sister has another one coming later on this week) I thought I’d share this little system that we use for organizing underwear and socks in my boys’ room.

All five of my boys share one room and I quickly learned that the key to maintaining my sanity was to create clear, defined spaces in their room for even the small things.  (Of course, of equal importance to maintaining my sanity has been to train them to use those spaces, but that’s a whole other topic entirely!)  I (more…)