Tuesday, April 30, 2019

April Art Elements' Theme Reveal-Repurposing

Another month has flown by which means it's time for the Art Elements' repurposing theme challenge reveal. Lesley chose this theme and it's quite appropriate for April when we celebrate Earth Day. We have become such a 'throw-away' society. I am just as guilty as most. While working on this theme I thought a lot about the effects it's having on our environment and I hope to be a better steward going forward.

My parent's and in-laws both lived through the 'Great Depression' and they were so reluctant to throw anything away-repurposing and reusing as much as possible. My paternal grandmother never threw out old clothes. Instead she mended the garments until they were too threadbare to be repaired and then she cut them up and made quilts for the beds. She also used them for cleaning rags.

With that said...I went through our closets and found some clothes that didn't make their way into the last clothes donation to Goodwill. I also had been saving my husband's neckties for quite a few years now. The neckties I have used for these projects have been in bags in my studio for close to 20 years. I knew that one day I would figure out what to do with them. This challenge seemed like the perfect opportunity.
First necktie on the cutting board. This one is rayon. I love the pattern and colors!


First quick project-I used the pointed end of a necktie to create a small little business card holder. I am forever forgetting to carry business cards with me. Now I can tuck this little pouch in my purse and take it wherever I go.
Business card holder
Business cards fit snuggly inside. The button on the flap is even a vintage button.

Next is also a single necktie. I made this one into an eyeglass case for my sunglasses.

Then I decided to use 3 neck ties to create a small purse. I chose 3 with similar colors and interesting patterns.

Then I decided that I just had to make a pillow out of 4 neckties.
Love these colors and patterns! Yes, my husband wore some bright & funky ties in the late 80's & early 90's

16x16 pillow.
Then I stared at the pile of clothes I had pulled from my closet and decided it was time to try something other than neck ties. So I pulled a denim skirt from my stash and decided to make a tote bag. The denim skirt was never worn. One of those 'what was I thinking purchases'. And when it came time to put handles on the tote-I turned to what else-a couple of similar red neckties! Hopefully they hold up. I sewed them pretty securely. Silk is a pretty strong fabric so maybe they will be ok.
Finished denim skirt tote. Sorry I failed to take a 'before' photo.

As soon as I finished stitching this tote bag I realized it was the perfect place to stitch my patches from Tiny Cup. I found her on Instagram. She does skeleton embroidery and her pieces are amazing. She periodically offers patches done with her designs. I bought these over a year ago and was waiting for just the perfect place to put them.

Top photo-My Tiny Cup patches on the pockets. I love having the outside pockets on the tote bag. Bottom photo-inside the tote I have smaller bags filled with some sketchbooks, pens, pencils and  watercolor pens.
One last project I created was a bracelet using a piece of the same necktie I used for the business card holder.
Necktie bracelet

I am planning to do a mini tutorial on a few of these neck tie projects over at the Art Elements blog where I'll give a few tips and suggestions. So keep watching. It's a great way to repurpose neck ties especially if you happen to have a large stash of them.

I am really looking forward to what our team members and guests have come up with for this theme.

Here's the list of all participants:

22 comments:

  1. Great projects! Your husband also has/had some fancy tyes!

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    1. Thank you Shirlee! He still has a few in the closet that I haven't confiscated but they are more conservative than these;-)

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  2. Gosh those ties really took me back in time! You created some wonderful things to give the textiles new life and I love that. Many thanks for joining us in this challenge.

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    1. Seriously! Those bright neckties from the 80's & early 90's are a flashback to women's shoulder pads and jewel toned suits as well. Funny how styles change. I'm just glad I held onto these!

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  3. Great projects Cathy! Ties that don't look so great now look really great as your purses and business card holder! you are so creative!

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    1. Thank you Sue! I knew there had to be a better use for those old neckties.

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  4. I love all the projects that you made with the ties. Good for you--creating new from old!

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    1. Thanks Kathy! Once I got started with the ties I couldn't stop. I kept getting new ideas.

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  5. Cathy, I was eagerly awaiting to see what you did with the ties! And all your projects came out great! I especially love the pillow, those prints are just WOW~~ .. Peg made a lot of things out of neckties but they're not activated in our shop. The colors in your little glasses case reminds me of an obi belt she made. Alysen

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    1. Thank you! Oh I would love to see her projects from old neckties. An obi sash sounds like a great idea. I just wish I still had the waistline to wear something like that;-)

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  6. Wonderful designs Cathy, I love that they're all so practical too... my favourite is the tie cushion, the colours are stunning together.

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    1. Thank you Caroline!! I think that is my favorite also.

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  7. WOW! You found so very many ways to reuse those old neckties. I'm in awe of your creativity. And, I cannot wait to see those tutorials!

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    1. Thank you Hope! I really got carried away with repurposing those neckties once I got started. But it was fun.

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  8. oo I love those, I saw the sunglasses one on Instagram and fell in love with that. I love the colours they are so vibrant :D

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    1. Thank you Laney! I do love that necktie. It was always a favorite so I decided to use it solo to let it 'shine' all by itself. Now I'm afraid of throwing it in my purse and getting it snagged or stained. Eventually I will get over the newness of it and allow myself to use it.

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  9. Love all your projects! And the colors, WOW!

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  10. I love that you can make bags too, apart from so many other beautiful things. You are super talented Cathy and I think that the cushion is pure genius. I love its vibrancy

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  11. How many ways can someone use an old necktie? I'm impressed! I love all of them. I'm not sure I would have had the inspiration to work with old ties, but the result is stunning. I think my favorite is the cuff and the sunglasses case. They're wonderful. The business card holder is really fun. The denim tote is right up my alley. I am sure the ties will hold up great. Gorgeous and clever work, friend!

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  12. What fantastic ideas for reusing neckties, Cathy! When I'd see the sneak peeks from you on IG, I'd think about necktie-based projects and completely draw a blank every time. :) Awesome repurposing, and wonderful projects. I especially love the pillow. And as for the tote bag - the necktie handles and skeleton patches are a great fit for it! I too hope the handles last well.

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  13. Once upon a time I dreamed of making a denim tote - I went as far as a thread catcher :) Love the necktie re-purposing, especially the bracelet!

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Wishing you peace, love & chocolate!

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