Monthly Archives: October 2009

Etsy Shopper- Fall Colors

Yay! Fall is here! This is my favorite season! The crisp air and most of all the colors! I have compiled lots of Fall Colored items here for you to enjoy. Also, remember that the holiday season is quickly approaching so keep your eyes open for gift ideas!

Remember that you need to scroll past the pictures to get a product description and link to each seller’s shop, just match the numbers from the pictures to the descriptions…

1. I love to Scrapbook. This is such a great piece because at first glance, you’d never know it was made from 3 paper bags!  All you need for this Fall themed scrapbook are your pictures and mementos, everything else is all ready for you! This is perfect for those of you out there that want a unique album but don’t have the time to make something this ornate! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=324185732. These are so fun! This clock is made out of a record! This shop is full of all different designs that are hand painted and everything is under $20! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?ref=vt_related_1&listing_id=33443258

 

3. This wonderfully colorful wool yarn is hand spun from mill-ends. It is bulky-weight and would make and awesome scarf, hat or mittens! It looks so luxurious! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=33324841

4. This great journal, and a whole shop full of others, are manufactured from recycled hardcover books! There is plenty of unlined sheets for your musings, including many pages from the original book, and you can take pleasure in knowing how unique your journal is! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=19243316

5. This adorable quilt is filled with batting that was made from recycled plastic bottles. I love the fabric and the simple diagonal stitching. The quilt measures approximately 30” X 40”. As a nice touch, the designer keeps the designs gender neutral so the quilt can be passed down to anyone! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=33330827

6.  This is an amazing gift for a child, heck I’d love it! 🙂 This horse is made from new, vintage and recycle goods. The mane is made from recycled T-shirts as is the heart shaped “birthmarks”. The natural wood dowel is just the right size for little hands! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=33208119

7. This lovely Cushion cover is made from high quality fabric taken from a heavy pair of curtains. The curtain’s original neutral lining has been used to create a plain vintage envelope-style backing. I am sure you will find endless places to use this cover! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=33295011

8. This Celluloid and Metal Vintage pin is just gorgeous! A perfect addition to any fall outfit. This pin would look perfect on a scarf, lapel or even on a wrapped dress! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=33320557

9. This is  lovely piece of vintage upcycled luggage. It is a brilliant red with a design in waterproof ink and has all silver hardware! It is made from a vintage American Tourister suitcase and is in excellent condition. Inside there are a bunch of pockets and clothing straps to hold all your stuff in place!  http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=32583582

10. This is a stunning footstool! It is a reupholstered antique footstool that bursts with color and style. The yellow, chartreuse, black and grey in the Thomas Paul fabric work together so well and make this a chic piece that will stand out in any room. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=33178046

11. These fun zip up hoodie embellishments will add an extra splash of color and style to whatever you choose to add them to! The embellishments are hand stitched to recycled paper and attached to a glue dot for easy application! Go wild! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=33307176

12. These upcycled watering can lamps are so much fun! There are a variety of colors that she can make the lamps available in and make sure to snatch up a paper lamp shade too!! Plus you get a free gift with your purchase! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=21516334

13. Wow is this scarf beautiful or what! It was recently featured on Etsy’s front page  as well as in an Etsy Gift Guide! Made in the USA and is full of all the colors that make fall such a brilliant season! Make sure to stop by and get ourself one! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=31162437

14. ADORABLE! I love this little Scottie dog! The dog’s name is Lottie and she is made from red vintage chenille! The other side is a red and white polka dot fabric and there is a baby-blue satin bow around her neck! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=32348162

15. This beautiful bracelet is sewn out from a vintage grain sack. There is an adjustable metal interior to add to the comfortability. It is edged with embroidery thread and made right here in the USA. It is a unique, one of a kind bracelet! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=33296052

16. This is a beautiful painting! It is an original floral landscape by an award winning artist. The colors are breathtaking and I can imagine the perfect place for it in my house, can’t you!? It measures 24” X 24” X 3/4”. If you do not have a frame, she will paint the edges for you to finish it off. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=33329515

17. This beautiful set of 6 cards have an original designs on the front and printed on heavy, 100% recycled paper. They are blank inside for your own personal message and are the perfect way to send Fall greeting to everyone you know! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=33327574

18. This autumn themed 12” X 12” wall hanging is perfect for the season. Made with love in rural Utah, this piece (among many others beautiful items in this shop) can capture your imagination and add a unique touch to any room or front door.  http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=33330111

19. This fabulous blanket measures 62” X 47”, that’s 20 square feet! It is made from reclaimed vintage fabric from the 60s. With all the places to have a picnic, you will find endless uses for this blanket. Best of all, it is lightweight and comes with a carry strap. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=32493500

20. Don’t these look so soft and warm?! They bought a wool sweater and transformed it into a pair of one of a kind mittens! These are sized large and will fit a man’s average to large hands! Love them! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=20149399

21. I am in love with these adorable pumpkins! This would be such a great addition to any home for the season or you can use it as a pin cushion! The stem in made out of recycled corduroy. There are many different sizes and colors of these pumpkins in this shop so stop by for a peak!  http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=33202802

22. I’m sort of obsessed with thick headbands and love this one for the fall! The colors and great, it is made with reclaimed materials and is attached in the back with an elastic so it will fit many different sizes!! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=27801157

23. This wonderful handmade hat is crocheted to perfection and is adorable! It covers your ears and is just the right amount of warmth for this time of year, The pumpkin theme is really cute as well, of course!! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=7463750

About Reclaimed Threads: Reclaimed Threads is a sustainable bag company launched by Katherine DeSantis. Katherine is  a 20-something entrepreneur combined her love of being creative and sustainably conscious to form the company.  Every bag is handmade by Katherine from reclaimed, vintage and organic/sustainable materials. There are a variety of style bags and products to chose from! Her shop is at: www.reclaimedthreads.etsy.com.


 

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It’s In The Bag!- Finding Alternatives To Traditional Interfacing That Is…

Sorry in advance for the “wordy” post BUT it might be helpful to you if you have struggled to find the most sustainable alternative to traditional interfacing, as I did.

This is one of my newest totes with the interfacing...Once I started making tote bags, I realized that I needed to use some sort of additional material to add durability and, in some cases structure, to each piece. It was obvious to me that I had to use some sort of interfacing but cringed at the thought because traditional interfacing hardly stays in tune with the guidelines that I set in place for myself. I vowed to use only: reclaimed, repurposed, vintage and organic materials in production. Traditionally interfacing can be found made in: polyester, nylon, Polyamide, among other materials and a lot of interfacing doesn’t even list what it’s made of. See my dilemma?

So I set off on a mission to figure this out and honestly I will not bored you with the long list of trails and tribulations. I will say that don’t even bother trying these: layering tons of fabric: it just makes the bags super bulky and may break a half dozen sewing machine needles; don’t use wooden dowels to structure a bag: it seemed like a good idea at the time but it was not and broke through the fabric and poked me in the side when I tried to use the bag; do not use batting for the whole bag without quilting at least one layer (like the lining only) because it will get all lumpy after washing. Mind you, I only put myself through all of this experimenting after a long search for organic cotton, sew-in interfacing and came out with nothing.

I worried that I might have to break down and use traditional interfacing to keep the quality of my product high. So once I started shopping around for interfacing again I found that there were actually 100% cotton interfacing. It was fusible but after all of this I determined it was the lesser of two evils and decided to give it a try! I even found organic cotton interfacing but the company only have a limited supply and had bought it 10 years earlier. So I ordered a little of both and what a difference!! I would HIGHLY recommend the 100% cotton fusible interfacing is what anyone use if they know they have to use some sort of light interfacing, why not use the most natural option?!

So here is what I use:

It is the last item listed: SF101Pellon SF101 Shape-Flex Woven Interfacing (made in the USA). It is 100% cotton, no manufactured fibers, and it comes in white and black. It is fusible so it won’t shift around when you are sewing, making life a lot easier. I pre-shrink mine when I first get it by soaking it in lukewarm water for 10 minutes and then line drying it. My bags are so much more durable now, I am SO happy with my decision! I bought mine at Joann’s Fabric.

Bamboo and Cotton BattingI also do use batting in some of my smaller projects like the gift bag I am coming out with in the next week or so. It adds stability to the bottom of the bag and I can use it in ornaments and such also. I plan on experimenting with batting in a clutch I’m going to try out after the holiday season is over. So if that works, I will add it to this post in a few months. I use Bamboo batting which is 50% bamboo and 50% organic cotton and Cotton Classic Batting made from 100% Organic cotton. Both are made by Fairfield and made in CT, USA. I also have to pre-shrink the batting which is the same process as the interfacing: soak in lukewarm water for 10 minutes and then line dry. I bought mine at Joann’s Fabric.

I hope this saves you some time if you are in the same position that I was over the last few months. The cotton interfacing won’t give you a stiff bag, which luckily that wasn’t what I was going for, but it will add a lot of durability to your project and in my case I want to be able to offer bags that are one of a kind and sustainable in how they can be used for a long, long time! Being able to buy one bag and use it for years is much more sustainable then buying a new one every few months.

Happy sewing to all of you and if you have any alternative to traditional interfacing that you live by and want to share then leave a comment! Thanks!

~Katherine~

About Reclaimed Threads: Reclaimed Threads is a sustainable bag company launched by Katherine DeSantis. Katherine is  a 20-something entrepreneur combined her love of being creative and sustainably conscious to form the company.  Every bag is handmade by Katherine from reclaimed, vintage and organic/sustainable materials. There are a variety of style bags and products to chose from! Her shop is at: www.reclaimedthreads.etsy.com.

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Etsy Shopper – Halloween

Halloween, the time of year to dress up in fun costumes, watch scary movies and get together with friends to celebrate all that is spooky! I had a lot of fun compiling a selection of Halloween treats from Etsy. Everything is wonderfully fun and all made from recycled, reclaimed and vintage materials! It’s scary how creative these Etsy Sellers got in creating their Halloween products! Enjoy!

Remember that you need to scroll past the pictures to get a product description and link to each seller’s shop, just match the numbers from the pictures to the descriptions…

1.Argh!  I love pirate… anything! These brass earrings are a great addition to a costume are as an everyday accessory! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=32030188

2. These hair clip is made out of eco-friendly felt (from post consumer soda bottles and the black daisy shaped piece has a handmade domed resin eye (like Edward Cullens’s) http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=31966146

3.  This adorable handmade fall ornament is made in a reclaimed butter container. The fine craftsmanship is evident is all the handmade and painted details throughout the piece. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=30197862

4.This fabulous piece, by one of my favorite shops and this is their second appearance in this feature, is made from many vintage materials put together to create an eclectic necklace that I’m gah-gah over. And it has a skull and bones element to it so of course I would love it, right?! This shop is also having a 20% off sale all THIS week so stop by http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=32296242

5.These creepy crayons are are handmade from “orphaned crayons”. They are melted down and shaped into monster fingers, this is such a fun product! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=32854272

6. Great pillow with reclaimed materials! It is made using a repurposed sweater and the candy corn is made from a vintage quilt. Perfect for fall home decor! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=31114030

7. This great ring is made from a vintage button. Really great accessory for Halloween! AND it’s adjustable so it will fit growing hands for years to come! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=30683527

8. I love products that can be used for all different things! These fun earrings are crocheted from fused plarn (Yarn made from recycled plastic, bags usually). But you can wear them as earring or use them as an accent piece on a sewing or scrappbooking project, among other things! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=31431410

9. This is such a cute hair accessory! The bow is made from reclaimed T-shirt material, very sustainable. I’m sure you can find other uses for it as well! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=32860949

10. Absolutely genius! These are plantable recycled paper gift tags. They are shaped like little ghosts which is perfect for the season and when you are done with them you can plant put them in soils and grow wild flowers because there are seed in the paper! How cool is that?!?!!  http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=32213591

11. This one of a kind handmade doll is so impressive. It is made in part with recycled wool. The orange dress is halloween ready and so intricate, just lovely. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=32047704

12. These two Halloween hairpins are made from reused Scrabble tiles! They come gift wrapped, are available in larger quantities and have wholesale options! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=32396169

13. This Max costume from Where the Wild Things Are will be a big hit with your child! This costume is made from eco-fleece and is ready to ship! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?ref=sr_gallery_2&listing_id=32846344

14. This Halloween themed reusable snack bag is the perfect sustainable product for the season! Not only that but this shop is having a 10% off sale on all Halloween items! Many quantities are available. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=30653212

15. These arm warmers are made from recycled T-shirt.  There are anatomically correct bones painted on them, great for Halloween or anytime! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=32741678

16. EEK! This creepy Tarantula is made from a vintage tv.radio glass vacuum tube and bendable legs. You can wear it on your Halloween outfit or put it in the candy dish for Trick or Treaters to find! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=28644818

17. Great Halloween decoration! It is made from a recycled Aluminum can and the details are hand cut. Drop in a votive candle and you are ready to go!  http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?ref=vt_related_1&listing_id=33000459

18. Great halloween necklace! The pendant is made from a recycled scrabble tile. There are interchangeable pendants and chains for every taste so stop by this shop and you can find something you love! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?ref=vt_related_1&listing_id=33008365

19. This mask is made from upcycled junk mail! Great idea, great product and perfect addition to any Halloween outfit! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=16151712

20. This necklace works wonderfully for Halloween or everyday use. It is made from a tea stained piece of black cherry wood and the raven was printed onto recycled paper and the necklaces lobster clasp is antique. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=32750627

21. I love charm bracelets. This intricate piece boasts reminders that Halloween is near. The working star watch charm is a practical, yet chic, piece. I love it ! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=32856829

22. This Hells bells necklace is made from vintage lucite and gun metal chain. I would honestly wear this anytime of year and it will add a nice touch to your Halloween outfit! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=31467083

23.  Aren’t these boots fun! These orange boots are in great condition and have been decorated quite nicely. I’m sure these will turn lots of heads this Halloween! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=27433187

24. Fantastic! These pins are a ready to wear costume! They are made from recycled playstands and I get such a kick out of them!  http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=32747792

25. This fun Halloween doll is sewn up using recycled sweater, it takes 2 or 3 days to sew one of these unique pieces so make sure to stop by and snatch up your own! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=32871733

About Reclaimed Threads: Reclaimed Threads is a sustainable bag company launched by Katherine DeSantis. Katherine is  a 20-something entrepreneur combined her love of being creative and sustainably conscious to form the company.  Every bag is handmade by Katherine from reclaimed, vintage and organic/sustainable materials. There are a variety of style bags and products to chose from! Her shop is at: www.reclaimedthreads.etsy.com.

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Etsy Shopper – Earrings

Welcome back!

This week there will be two Etsy Shopper features so that we are back on schedule! Yay! What a treat! Tonight will of course feature earrings by Etsy sellers and tomorrow will be Halloween items, so be sure to stop back!

The first two Etsy Shopper features had a mixture of both conventional items and recycled ones. I am shifted the focus from here on out to focus ONLY on recycled products that are handmade by the wonderful people selling on Etsy.com. There are plenty of items to chose from which makes me so happy and as usual impressed. Be prepared to be blown away and finding yourself in these shops ooo-ing and ahh-ing at what they have created! I found a really nice mix of fancier pieces and pairs that are just plain fun!

So onward! and enjoy!

Remember that you need to scroll past the pictures to get a product description and link to each seller’s shop, just match the numbers from the pictures to the descriptions…

1. These Pumpkin Spice Earrings are made from 18kt gold plated wires with a recycled, vintage gold 3D sunburst. The lovely orange faceted cornelian adds a punch of fall color. And you can buy a matching necklace! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=28177977

2. These beautiful brushed silver and copper tear shaped earrings are made from recycled silver and copper. The imprinted design is on both sides and come to you in a nice jewelry box made from recycled materials! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=32661314

3. This beauties are made with brass antique victorian buttons from the 1800s, one Swarovski crystal bead and brass birds. High quality materials make a high quality, and in the case high style, pair of earrings. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=32240800

4. These cute earrings are made from recycled sterling silver. They are simple, classy and environmentally friendly! There is a matching necklace and you better hurry and get yours before I snatch these up! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?ref=vt_related_1&listing_id=32831999

5. These earrings caught my eye before I even decided t do this particular feature. They are so unique and fun! They are made from spoon handles and the wires are sterling silver. Great find! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=32696322

6. These earring are light weight and less than 2 inches long. Most of bellota26’s items are made from recycled vintage jewelry! Great pieces!  http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=28917100

7. Just perfect, I love these earring! They are made up of a variety of different items such as vintage brass key stampings and watch gears, looove it! Stop by this week and get 20% off your entire purchase! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=30838149

8. I don’t think it gets much cooler than these Lego earrings! They make me smile every time I look at them. And the kid in me loves that the smaller lego is detachable so you can switch them around!! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=26459764

9. Another really cool idea. These earrings are made from a recycled CD! So they look good AND you can feel good about wearing them! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=32706949

10. These little green army men earring are the best! Such a creative idea and they look great! I had to feature these even though these particular ones sold the other day, DrStrychnine has other equally cool stuff in her shop so make a point to stop by!  http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=32692795

11. Gorgeous is the word to describe these earrings! These earrings flaunt Swarvoski crystals and glass beads with gold fish hook tops and come with a equally stunning necklace.  http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=31649944

12. SO CUTE! Each pair of oxidized silver earrings has a snippet of a vintage dictionary preserved behind resin. Love them!  http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=32707446

13. GhostShip has taken vintage sea glass and turned them into an eye catching set of earrings. The earring are finished off with Czech glass bicones and silver plated lever back ear wires. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=27618158

14. These earring have that “wow” factor to them. They have Columbian coins suspended beneath Czech glass, natural onyx and gold plated bead cups. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=21591762

15. These fun earrings are made from eco-friendly felt and have a champagne colored pearl in the center. Lightweight, adorable and the perfect addition to any eco-chic outfit! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=32709354

16. These lightweight wooden earrings are made from the inner workings of a retired piano! They have been reshaped, sanded, stained and decorated to give you a one of a kind piece! Perfect gift for the person who has everything!  http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=32694968

17. I loooooov buttons! So of course I love these earrings! They are hand pressed using recycled security envelopes. Too cool.  http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=32500718

18. Very cute. These handmade Origami Lucky Star earrings are made using an recycled magazine ad. The earrings even come gift wrapped in an upcycled box! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=26196324

19. At first glance I had no idea these earrings were made from a tin can, but they were! Each disk was punched from a Crate and Barrel holiday tin and domed, giving them this wonderful shape! The pair come in a handmade oversized matchbox, all very creative. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=15040085

20. Yes, that’s right, these earrings are made out of a recycled skateboard! I love this concept! The pair have been cut out, sanded and sealed. Great from every angle these are sure to turn some heads! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=32693387

21. Check these out! These mini dress earrings have been made from a recycled tin can!. They are so detailed and I am so impressed by them. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?ref=vt_related_1&listing_id=31551459

22. These awesome earrings are made from pocket watch gears and vintage 1920s red cross pins. Stop by this shop to see all of the other items they have made from vintage and found objects!  http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=32890186

23. These made to order earrings are made from a fine silver circle and sterling silver chain. They only use eco-friendly, 100% reclaimed/recycled silver wire and even make sure to recycle their scraps! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=29845481


About Reclaimed Threads: Reclaimed Threads is a sustainable bag company launched by Katherine DeSantis. Katherine is  a 20-something entrepreneur combined her love of being creative and sustainably conscious to form the company.  Every bag is handmade by Katherine from reclaimed, vintage and organic/sustainable materials. There are a variety of style bags and products to chose from! Her shop is at: www.reclaimedthreads.etsy.com.


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It IS East Being Green- Halloween “Good”ies

JJ says "Happy Halloween!" on behalf of Reclaimed Threads

JJ says "Happy Halloween!" on behalf of Reclaimed Threads

Halloween is such a fun holiday. You get to dress up, eat candy and spend time with friends. Halloween can also be one of those holiday where you buy tons of things that you use once and then throw away. This year why not try to find some ways to be one of the people who celebrate sustainably?! Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing…

General Party Ideas:

Kids Konserve, Party Pak

Kids Konserve, Party Pak

Utensils, plate and platters. Even though this may seem scarier to you then the scariest Halloween costume, try using reusable utensils, serving plates and platters instead of disposable ones! You can use them year after year and won’t contribute to the massive amounts of trash during any holiday season!  Here is a great Party Pak from Kids Konserve: http://store.kidskonserve.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=KKPP. You get 25 of each item: plates tumblers, fork, knives and spoons. All of the items are made from 100% recycled yogurt containers and are BPA, Lead and Phthalate free. Great deal.

Green Planet Parties

Green Planet Parties

Decorations and other “Good”ies. If you are looking for your one stop sop for green Halloween decoartions and such, look no further! Green Planet Parties has everything you need. I was blon away at the selection of great products they have. This is a defite must see so check them out here: http://www.greenplanetparties.com/category_43/Halloween.htm

Children Party Activities/ Decorations:

Make some Scarecrows! This is a really fun activity and give you the opportunity to use up some old cloths and newspapers. You can form a couple of groups and have a contest!

Reclaimed Threads' Trick or Treat Bag, now available at Lil' Green Wagon in Southern CA

Reclaimed Threads' Trick or Treat Bag, now available at Lil' Green Wagon in Southern CA

Decorate Trick or Treat bags! Every year we used pillowcases as trick or treat bags. You can do the same and let you children decorate theirs with fabric scraps and old clothing. Either glue them on or this would be a great opportunity to teach your children how to hand sew!

Starched T-Shirt Ghost at Kaboose.com

Starched T-Shirt Ghost at Kaboose.com

The Starched T-Shirt Ghost. I used to love making these when I was little. You can use an old T-shirt and some clothing starch to create a little ghost decoration for your house! Here is are some nice instructions for this project: http://crafts.kaboose.com/starched-tshirt-ghost.html.

Tombstones, coffins and other decorations can be made out of cardboard. Get creative and use those materials again before you recycle them. If you have scrap wood laying around use those too and save them for use again next year!

Costumes

Costumes on Etsy.com

Costumes on Etsy.com

You can always make your own costume, but you can also go on Etsy.com and find handmade costumes! http://www.etsy.com/search_results.php?search_type=handmade&search_query=halloween+costume&order=date_desc&ship_to= There are many people who can probably work with you too, to make something really unique. Check back this Thursday, October 22, for other Halloween items off Etsy.com.

I can’t remember where I heard this idea awhile back but you can have a costume exchange party! No one uses a costume more than a couple of times so you can get them in really good condition and get rid of your child’s costume from years past! Plus it’s an excuse to get your friend’s together!

Trick or Treat! – What Will You Be Handing Out?

Global Exchange for Fair Trade Items

Global Exchange for Fair Trade Items

The Global Exchange Store is another one stop shop, this time for all Fair Trade goodies. They can be found at: http://www.globalexchangestore.org/category-s/263.htm

Little bags of popcorn

Caramel apples! (you can use locally grown apples if you live near an orchard!!)

Dried Fruit

Pamela's Products

Pamela's Products

Home-made gluten-free cookies. Listen, you might be think EWWWW but hear me out. I thought I had a Gluten intolerance, turns out I don’t but for a few weeks I was eating a gluten free diet. I came across Pamela’s products, you can find them in the baking section of most grocery store’s “naturals section”.  But I got the pancake and baking mix and OH MY GOD! I am telling you these are the best cookies! I still make my cookies from this mix because they are that good! Anyways if you want to offer cookies, definitely use this mix and don’t tell people that they are gluten-free so that they give them a chance! http://www.pamelasproducts.com/

To Wrap Up

Try using as many repurposed items as you can in your projects! You can use these opportunities to educate your children on recycling and how it is important to use up what you already have before buying something new. If you have favorite Halloween craft ideas, share them here!

Also try to buy items that can used year after year. Not only is this good for the environment but for your wallet as well! Why buy new things veery year?! If you want to have different things each year, then think about bring that costume exchange party to a new level and have a Halloween items exchange party and include any and all things Halloween!


About Reclaimed Threads: Reclaimed Threads is a sustainable bag company launched by Katherine DeSantis. Katherine is  a 20-something entrepreneur combined her love of being creative and sustainably conscious to form the company.  Every bag is handmade by Katherine from reclaimed, vintage and organic/sustainable materials. There are a variety of style bags and products to chose from! Her shop is at: www.reclaimedthreads.etsy.com.


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Reclaimed Threads Business Update! October 2009

Back To Work After A Death In The Family

Hello, Hello.

This is my Nanny 1919- 2009

This is my Nanny 1919- 2009

Unfortunately my grandmother, aka Nanny, passed away a couple of weeks ago. All of the chaos that unfolded after, family flying in from everywhere, etc,  has kept me away from the computer. I have, however, been doing some sewing, buying and planning during this time. That being said, I AM BACK! I have all sorts of great new tote bags coming out soon that I am really excited about.

New Equipment and Materials!

My birthday was a few weeks ago and I got the mother of all sewing machines! It’s the new Singer Professional 2010. It is a great machine but with my luck one of the prongs in the power outlet, within the machine, broke off into the power cord?! Figures, so now I am down one machine and up lots of eager customers! Things could be worse though of course.

I have stocked up on all sort of materials over the last few weeks; I blew through my original fabric stock quickly. We have been going through my grandmother’s huge home and  have found a whole bunch a fabric from all over the world! From fabric samples straight out of 1950’s  NYC to silk from Asia. We’ve really found an amazing mix of high quality textiles. I obviously got my knack for nice fabric from my Nanny! I also bought some great vintage fabric off of Etsy.com and was given a whole box full of relatively new fabric that someone decided they weren’t going to be able to use the way they had planned. So I am all stocked up with great fabric and notions!!

Interfacing Dilemma Solved!

quick pic of one of my new bags, made from a fabric sample, cotton interfacing and blue cotton interior

quick pic of one of my new bags, made from a fabric sample, cotton interfacing and blue cotton interior

I have been struggling to find some sort of alternative to synthetic interfacing so commonly used today. I came across some organic cotton interfacing (they only have a limited supply though) and regular 100% cotton interfacing. Both only come in the fusible variety of interfacing and I do not know what is in the glue, but, I figure it is still better than the synthetic interfacing. Using the interfacing is making the quality of my bags increase so much more than I thought it would. Higher quality bags means that they will last you longer so overall this is the most sustainable option for the company and I hope that you all agree! I also came across some cotton and bamboo batting, I’ll play around with that too once I build up some more inventory!

Getting Out There!

The idea that I need to get my products out into boutiques and into markets has been reinforced repetitively over the month that I have been selling my tote bags online. Tote bags are definitely a product that people need to see and touch before they buy from you for the first time. Once people have bought a tote bag from me in person then I am confident that they will feel comfortable buying another from my online shop and recommending Reclaimed Threads Sustainable Bags to their friends.

So now they key lies in getting out into the brick and mortar market place! I am looking forward to this and if anyone has any advice about where to start looking for stores that might want to carry my sustainable tote bags, how to price products for wholesale or how to market yourself then drop me a line! I love hearing from all of you and find that I get some of the best advice this way!

I’m also starting an online picture account so that I can share more pictures of fabrics that I come across, finished products and Reclaimed Threads in action (sewing, buying, at fairs, etc). So I will be sure to reference to that on Twitter as I update it with pictures!

To Wrap Up

I am excited that the company is already evolving and improving! I cannot wait to get all of the new bags finished and up for sale because they are turning out so nicely and I am really proud of them! I love that life has worked out so that I can be a 25 year old with my own company that reflects my  passions for being creative and living sustainably. I am learning so much and enjoying every minute of work. Creating sustainable tote bags for everyone to enjoy is so much fun and watching someone love a bag that you made with your own hands is extremely rewarding! So things are looking bright and I can’t wait to give everyone another update next month!

‘Til then, remember to stop back and catch the Etsy Shopper weekly feature (picking up again next Thursday, October 22, spotlight on Earrings) and other miscellaneous features promoting sustainable living every Tuesday (starting up again next Tuesday, October 20 with “Halloween Goodies”). Thanks for all of your support and spread the word!

Best Wishes,

Katherine

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