Special Guest Blogger: Deena Wuest

03/12/2010 at 3:49 pm | Posted in guest blogger, technique | 9 Comments
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Hey CKers! Deena Wuest here. Just dropping by today to drop off a quick and fun project for you all.

We all look for ways to help the environment—recycling, taking shorter showers, switching to florescent lightbulbs, etc. And while these are all important steps, they don’t necessarily fall into the category of “fun.” Well, today we’re taking the three Rs (Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle) and applying them to our home turf. And guess what? They not only reside under “fun,” but they help the environment and keep *your* green in your wallet as well! It’s all about using what you have in fresh and creative ways.

Today, we’re looking at fabric. If you’re one of those multitalented gems who not only scrapbooks but can sew up a storm, then you’ll no doubt have lots of fabric remnants in your craft room. Take a look at them with a fresh set of eyes, and put them to work in your albums or craft projects! If you don’t have fabric scraps lying around, do what I did and ask your local home-design store for expired fabric swatch books. On the day I went, the store had more than my family could carry! And they were 100% free! So we not only rescued the books from the landfill but had a blast flipping through all the fabric and thinking of the fun projects hiding within them.

Swatches come in so many cool designs, and they are the perfect size to make handmade gift bags or treasure bags. For my first project, I created a simple, long, narrow bag to hold old love letters.

Supplies: Bags: Fabric from recycled swatch book; Tag and pink button: Pink Paislee; Metal-rim tag: Making Memories; Ribbon: C.M. Offray & Son; Other: Button.

To create this bag:

  1. Cut two pieces of fabric in equal sizes, and sandwich the right sides together.
  2. Press a fold of about 0.5″ to 1″ along the top of each fabric panel.
  3. Run a straight stitch along the sides and bottom.
  4. Turn the bag right side out.
  5. Hem the fold along the top of the bag, if desired.
  6. Embellish with buttons, ribbon, or other accessories.

I have to be honest here. I can’t sew to save my life. It’s true. But if I can manage to figure out a simple straight stitch, anyone can! Don’t have a sewing machine? These projects work great using fabric-adhesive tape or any stitch-less sewing products.

Here are a few more projects I created from old fabric swatches.

Supplies: Bag: Fabric from recycled swatch book; Cardstock: Katie Pertiet; Scallop: Anna Aspnes; Word art: Ali Edwards; Binding: Zutter Innovative Products.

This little bag was created from an eyelet fabric swatch. To keep the edge detail, simply press the fold to the outside instead of the inside, and then stitch up the sides. Super simple! This bag was created to hold a mini album I carry in my purse. Not only cute, it keeps my album from getting scratched.

Supplies: Bags: Fabric from recycled swatch book; Paper and brushes: Mindy Terasawa; Font: Avenir.

We made these little bags and loaded them with favors and candy for my son’s birthday party. Photoshop + a fun robot kit = quick and easy bag toppers. Super simple, and the kids all had a fun keepsake from the party.

Supplies: Denim fabric: Recycled swatch book; Die-cuts: Sizzix; Chipboard accents and ribbon: Little Yellow Bicycle; Font: Avenir.

And don’t limit these fun little fabric swatches to just bags! I ran denim swatches through my die-cutting machine to create this little fabric album. What was once going to be thrown away I now hold as a treasured keepsake. How cool is that!


Try these other ideas too!

  1. Use a fabric swatch as photo mat on a layout.
  2. Create an interactive mini album from old denim pockets. Bind and fill each pocket with a journaling tag or a photo.
  3. Cut a large monogram from fabric for a unique accent on a layout.
  4. Create fabric flowers to use on a page.
  5. Run fabric through a die-cutting machine (or use good-old-fashioned scissors) to create fun fabric tags.
  6. Create a fabric scrapbook by covering chipboard or cardboard with fabric and stitching around the edges.
  7. Create a fabric pocket to hold memorabilia on a page.
  8. Some fabrics can even be run through your printer! Just use a temporary adhesive to adhere fabric to paper first so it won’t jam. (And check your printer capabilities first.) Lots of possibilities here. Print journaling, titles, and photos. Even entire layouts can be printed on fabric.

What other fun and creative ways do you have to use fabric scraps in your projects? I’d love to hear (and see) them! I don’t know about you, but this whole recycling thing just got a lot more fun! Happy Friday everyone!

—Deena Wuest

P.S. Don’t miss Free Font Friday! You can download CK Shadowed Block for free here. Check back next week for another new font.

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9 Comments »

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  1. what an exceptional post, Deena! Loved it, and will definitely try a lot of these ideas!

  2. […] for a fun and easy weekend project? Head over the the Creating Keepakes blog! I was asked to be the featured guest blogger today and I […]

  3. I love the Treasure Bag, thanks for sharing!

  4. these ideas are super cute! love the idea for the kids’ party…great green alternative to the plastic bag!

    I used a pocket from old jeans to make a pocket for pics on a layout…worked great!

  5. I love the layout on the cover and that little girl is adorable!! I really do not have a favorite, I enjoyed the entire magazine!

  6. Fun projects Deena! Great ideas! TFS!

  7. Super ideas Deena! I love the denim mini album!

  8. Projects…can’t get enough of them.


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