Textile Tricks

Some peoples’ problem solving creativity never ceases to amaze me. Since necessity is the mother of invention, today I’m sharing some fabulous answers to common problems that use thrifted cloth or fabric. Through its entrepreneurial business model of collecting and selling donated goods, Goodwill® helps communities extend the life of usable items—like clothing, bedding, and handbags—in environmentally sound ways and prevents items from piling up in local landfills. It’s wonderful to use second-hand goods for their original purpose, but with a little imagination there are countless ways they can be repurposed, too!

Image via bhg.com

Ah, what to do with wool sweaters you’ve accidentally shrunk? Turn them (along with some other withered woolies) into a felted patchwork blanket! Hit up your local Goodwill for sweaters in complementary colors then follow this tutorial shared by Goodwill Industries of Alberta (Edmonton) on their Goodwill Hunting pinboard to felt them all and create your own toasty throw. This would look lovely adorning your couch and is super nap-worthy. Which color scheme would you choose?

Image via stylishrevamp.com

Kathy from the blog Stylish Revamp hates the look of dangly chords and she was hoping to find a way to add a desk lamp to the table pictured above while still masking its ugly wire. When she spotted this monogram pillow cover–originally from Target–at her local Goodwill, it inspired a solution! By topping a basket of blankets with this pillow, the textiles would be tall enough to completely cover the outlet and draping chord. It’s a quick fix that also brings texture to the environment (and keeps cozy bedding nearby and easy to grab). Great idea, Kathy!

Image via homeyohmy.com

Is your bag looking blah? Need a quick mini-gift idea? Head over to your favorite thrift shop in search of suede or leather ready to be revamped. Check the accessory section for an outdated purse in a great color or scope the clothing section for out-of-style skirts or tops then turn your findings into tassels for handbags with this tutorial that I found on the Goodwill Fashion: DIY, Inspiration & More pinboard from Goodwill Industries of the Valleys (Roanoke). Whipping up a bunch of these would be a fun grown-up version of friendship bracelets for your gals and an easy way to add a punch of color to your daily ensemble.
Are there any secret uses (or re-uses) you’ve found for textiles? Fabric can be such a versatile material, with project ideas limited only by your imagination. Have fun crafting and decorating while saving goods from the landfills at the same time!