Sunday, January 29, 2012

Save the Earth, make a cosmetic pouch, and more!

Anyone that knows me well knows that it pains me to throw things away. It makes me sick to see good things in the dumpster or to see dryers at the dump. The rate at which people consume and consume without any thought of the effect is has on the the planet or the economy is staggering. Not to say that I am perfect. I don't recycle all that I could. I'm trying to improve. One way that I try to keep my stuff out of the landfill is by repurposing it. By giving my unwanted stuff a new life, I can add to the life of our planet.

A couple of years ago a client of mine gave me a couple of bags full of old school shampoo capes that he had gotten off of Ebay. They are plastic, way outdated, and smell like musty basements. One plus is that they are cool retro designs and have a lot of crafting potential. It didn't take me very long to figure out a few ways to use them.

The first thing that came to mind was a lined cosmetic pouch. These shampoo capes make a perfect lining. They keep your makeup from messing up the inside of your pouch and the cool prints add a little surprise. There are about a gazillion tutes out there for a zippered cosmetic pouch. This one from Skip to my Lou is really easy to understand and has great potential for customization. It is the one I used to make my pouch.

What's that? You don't have bags of shampoo capes just lying around? What about a shower curtain liner? I bet you have one of those. I get lots of life out of mine by washing it with baking soda in the washing machine when it gets funky. But once it gets a tear in it or the holes rip out, I've got to face facts and get a new one. Did you know that vinyl can last indefinitely at a landfill? It may never fully decompose, and while it sits there it is emitting toxic gases into the atmosphere! The old one will fit the bill for any of these projects:
  • cosmetic bags
  • wet bags for swimming, diapering, or potty training oopsies
  • baby changing pads
  • insulated lunch pouches*
  • kid art smocks
  • pocketed baby bibs
*I have seen vinyl used for little snack pouches where the food goes right into it, but I hesitate to put it into direct contact with food. Even plastics that are meant for contact with food are questionable, so I would not risk using a plastic that is not food grade.

This is just one example, but I'm always looking for new ways to use old stuff.

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