Monthly Archives: June 2020

4th of July Upcycle

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I was asked to do this piece back in mid March.  I was excited to be asked again and to think about fun 4th of July projects. I usually decorate my house all of summer in patriotic/picnic decor.  These decorations cover all 3 patriotic summer holidays and it just makes the house feel fun and bright - like summer! 

Then, the whole world came to a screeching halt.  My family chose to hunker down.  We did everything from home and were cut off from the outside world.  Fear of the unknown settled into a daily feeling, and fun stuff like decorating some shelves in our house felt so foreign.  As my deadline approached, I was having a bit of anxiety thinking about walking into a store and meandering about. When I walked into Goodwill, I felt immediately at ease! It is mandatory to wear a mask inside the store.  Everything was spaced nicely with plenty of room to walk around, arrows were on the floor to let you know that aisles were one way now. They even had large stickers on the floor showing you how far 6 feet apart was.  Except for the mask on my face, it felt normal to be out in a store and shopping!

I always search Pinterest for some ideas beforehand but keep an open mind when shopping. You never know what treasures you will find at Goodwill. I looked for everyday items that can be used in other ways or crafted into a fun holiday decoration.  I was keeping my eyes open for patriotic colors or rectangle shapes.

After walking the aisles a few times, I picked up:

  • a wire dish rack
  • 5 paperback books
  • 3 large glossy red frames
  • a smaller gold frame
  • some blue and white beads on a wire
  • some red flower petals 

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My total was $28.22. I was not planning on buying any frames having done that on my last project, but I couldn’t resist the great frames I found for around $3 a piece!

 

Paperback books

I had previously seen books stacked together, painted with some words on their spines all over the place and thought that looked like a fun, easy and inexpensive project.  Each book was $1 - I tried to find books that were similar in size.  I chose paper back books because they were cheaper than the hardbacks, but you can use either. 

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I ripped off the covers and some of the glue on the spine.  I sanded the spine of the book a little to make it smooth, and painted 3 books with white paint, and 2 books red.  I stacked 2 of the white ones together, tied some string around them and added some of the beads I found.  I had a few flowers laying around in my office and decided to use them as well. I kept the first layout very simple. 

With the second one, I stacked the books red, white and red to mimic the American flag.  I tied some linen ribbon and string around this stack and also added a blue flower to the top.  I have previously seen these done so many different ways - some with stamped letters, vinyl letters, or free hand letters with names or sayings.  You could also use scrapbook paper, paint, flowers and greenery, or ribbon to decorate the top.  You can use almost anything, and these stacked books look adorable!

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Wire Rack

I chose to tackle the wire rack next. 

I was not sure what to do with it, but thought it had a great flag shape.  I have a small sewing business, so I already had a lot of different fabrics and ribbon laying around.  I started to pull ribbons hoping to have a variety of different red and white ribbons, and I was happy with what I found.  I cut pieces of ribbon about 2 inches longer than the rack.  I then just wrapped the ends around the back, pulled it tight and hot glued the ends to the back of the ribbon. 

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This was also a very fast project - it took me more time to pick out the ribbon then actually gluing them on!  If you don’t have a stash of ribbon at home, you could tie on scarfs, mens neck ties, or even yarn.  You could cut up some old clothes or a tee shirt and dye them the color you need. There are so many ways to make this inexpensively. 

Frames

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I searched the web for a fun fireworks image, printed that and put it in one of the red frames. For another holiday I would love to use the 3 frames in a row, but will just use the one for now.  I also pulled out the frames I made from my Goodwill finds for Valentines day and incorporated ideas that worked with Independence Day. 

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I found a coloring page of an eagle online and printed that out to put in the aqua frame. For the red frame, I used some fun glitter stars I had and it pulled everything all together! 

I really love how it all looks together!  All of these projects were really fast!.  The items I ended up using from my shopping trip came to a total of $15.28. I hope you head on out to your local Goodwill Store and upcylce something today as well! I hope this encourages you to try your hand at your own Goodwill upcycle project.

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Quarantine Clean Out

These last few months of quarantine have forced us to spend time inside. A lot of time inside. And while families were playing board games, cooking more, having Zoom meetings, and putting countless hours on the couch binge-watching more hours of Tiger King than any of us care to admit, another activity we know happened…cleaning.

We received messages from so many customers who had been cleaning out closets, basements, attics, well, basically any corner of the house because they had so much time on their hands.

“It’s liberating!”

“I forgot I even had some of this stuff.”

“I’ve wanted to clean out these spaces for such a long time!”

These were the types of messages we heard daily. You weren’t kidding! When the state’s mandate was lifted and we were able to open our “no-touch” donation drive-up sites, it was nothing short of an avalanche of treasure at each one. And, the donations are still coming in full force every day. No one in the company can remember a time when we’ve seen this many donations. But, please don’t stop!

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Why? These donations allow us to do something pretty special. They are sold in our retail stores (which are all open by the way.) Those sales fund the mission services we provide in the greater Cleveland and East Central Ohio regions. What kind of mission services? Compass is a rape crisis program that helps survivors of sexual assault. The Literacy Services program assists adults in overcoming reading and math obstacles. Our employment skills programs includes two key areas: Pre-employment Training and Job Placement Services and are available to any job seeker with a barrier to employment.

These are just a few of the 26 programs we offer. Each one designed to help people overcome different barriers in their lives to get good jobs, become self-sufficient and strengthen families and communities.

What next? Keep cleaning. Keep organizing. Keep donating. And now that our retail stores are open, come shop with us knowing your purchases are helping someone right here in your community.

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Easy Crop-Top Tutorial

Hello Everyone! It actually feels like a lifetime ago that I did the St. Patrick’s Day tutorial. I hope everyone has been in good spirits and good health through all of these tough times. I just want to start off by saying Goodwill has done a fabulous job in reopening their stores. I have been a very hardcore social distance-er (can that be a word now?) since the start of all this, so my anxiety was a little high getting back into my thrifting game.

I went to the North Olmstead location and the organization was top notch. Someone was greeting at the door to ensure everyone had a face mask on, as well as to wipe down the carts before handing them off. There were signs all over reminding us to remain 6ft apart, and everyone was extremely respectful of that. I’d say the only big difference that I noticed was that they weren’t offering a color of the week sale at the time that I went, but by the time you are reading this tutorial, even that will be back into effect!

Now back to the tutorial! Now that the weather has finally warmed up, I thought it would be a fun idea to create a trendy short sleeved top out of oversized T-Shirts! What inspired me? My love of being comfortable and fashionable all at the same time. I knew I wanted to tie-dye a shirt when I thought about sharing this project, so I went in looking for a men’s large or XL plain white t-shirt, but if tie-dye isn’t your thing, this project looks cute with any shirt you find!

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 Supplies:

  • ½ inch elastic
  • Oversized shirt
  • Tie-Dye kit if you are following along
  • Sewing machine + supplies

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Shirt is from Goodwill’s men’s section size L: 5$ new with tags
Tie-Dye Kit and elastic: 12$ total but get multiple project uses

               First thing you will want to do is open and set up your tie-dye kit and fetch out the rubber bands. There are many different patterns and designs to create while tie-dyeing, I just happened to remember the swirl pattern I favored as a teenage free spirit. All you do is pinch a section of the shirt and start twisting it in a circle. Once the shirt is all folded up, rubber band the heck out of it until it is secure. If this design doesn’t suit you, check online, there are countless tutorials on tie-dying.

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Once you have your T-Shirt ball created, I always spray some water one it (because the internet told me so) and then take it outside. There is no right or wrong way to dye your shirt, just keep adding color until you are satisfied. The only tip I would give is to be sure to get in all the nooks and crannies of the shirt for maximum color, and because you’ll be cropping the shift down, focus mainly on the inner circle.

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Once you are satisfied, wrap your T-Shift into a plastic bag of any kind and set it aside for a 4-6 hours. After the long wait, it’s time to unravel your shift and admire your work! If you have a wash basin in your laundry room, you’ll want to wring out your shirt of excess dye. You can also do this outside using a hose. Once the water is running mostly clear, throw it into the washer alone and set the cycle. Once it is dry, it’s time to start sewing!

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1. Try on your shirt and while looking in the mirror, mark where you want to cut the shirt. You should cut the shirt approximately 2 inches LONGER than your desired length. This leaves room for a hem

2. Cut your shirt

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3. Measure your natural waist (This is the slimmest part of your torso). Do not pull tight because you want the elastic to just sit on your waist, not squeeze it. If you do not have a measuring tape like I do, wrap a string around your waist and then measure the string.

4. Cut elastic to the size of your waist (add .3 inches or so)

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5. Turn your shirt inside out and flip up the edges to create a hem just large enough for the elastic to fit through plus a seam allowance. I just went with approximately 1.5 inch give or take to be on the safe side.

6. Iron your hem and then pin it into place.

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7. Take your shirt over to the sewing machine and sew along the raw edge.
IMPORTANT: leave a gap! Do not finish the complete hem, about 1.5 inches before you hit your starting point, stop and back stitch.

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8. Feed the elastic all the way through the hole you created in your hem. The easiest way to do this is to attach a safety pin to the end of your elastic and push it through. It makes the feeding process a lot easier. Make sure the end of the elastic always sticks out of the hole.

9. Sew the two elastic ends together, make sure the elastic is not twisted anywhere in the shirt.

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10. Fluff the shift around the elastic band and stitch closed the gap you left in the hem.

11. Flip it right side again and enjoy your brand new crop top!

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Like I said before, this project works for any shirt. I also created one using an “Equality Wins” rainbow shirt I found in the same men’s large section, it came out just as cute and is perfect for pride month! If you aren’t a sewer, just use fabric glue in the same areas that I stitched. I hope you all enjoyed this tutorial, happy thrifting!