Eco-friendly Decorating Hacks

(Collage Images: fabric bookmarkspaper lanternspolo pillows)

1. How to Make Fabric Bookmarks

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Don’t know what to do with excess fabrics from your craft projects? Or looking around for something to do with old clothes? Start upcycling and create fabric bookmarks, all you need are an iron, scraps of different kinds of fabric, pinking shears, thread, and sewing machine.

First, cut out your fabrics into 2 3” x 3.5” and 1 3” x 4”, have another fabric (preferably a harder or sturdier kind like denim) cut into 3” x 9”, this would serve as the back portion of your fabric bookmark.

Have your bigger size fabric piece in the middle and decide which order the other fabrics would be. I’d like to have these scraps of fabrics in complimenting colors, but you can also have them in different shades or textures. Just have a bigger size fabric in the middle and sew them together with a 1⁄2” seam allowance. Have the wrong side sewn together with the denim back, sew along the seams with 1⁄4” seam allowance around all 4 edges and then pink the edges! You are all done!

Make sure before sewing the project together to iron the fabrics out to avoid creases and folds. You can also iron after the project’s done.

You can also personalize these bookmarks by embroidering your name or a loved one’s initials to make for a creative and inexpensive gift idea for the holidays!

2. How to Make Paper Lanterns

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Paper lanterns are quick and easy to make. You can make a hundred of them and have a festive garland that can be for whatever occasion or party. You just need craft paper (8x8), parcel string, PVA glue, Pencil, Paint brush, ruler, craft knife, and a stapler.

First, cut a sheet of craft paper into half and then fold that half again along the length. Mark 1cm from each edge along the long side and mark along the whole length. Pencil in 1cm measures along the long lines, these will serve as a guide for cutting.

Using your craft knife and ruler, cut straight lines, making slits on the craft paper, carefully using the 1cm markers as a guide.

Apply some glue along the front of the short edge and bringing both sides round together.

Using a different color craft paper, cut two 1cm strips for the top and base of the lantern. Glue these on the bottom and top of the lantern. Get a piece of parcel string and staple it on top of the lantern.

You can make this parcel string as a lantern handle or you can have the parcel string connect a series of lantern making a garland for decoration on walls, ceiling, or windows.

3. How to Make Polo Pillows

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Did you know you can also turn old polo shirts into polo pillows. Recycle old uniforms and office clothes that have been taking up space in your closet. All you need is a button down shirt (short sleeved or long sleeved), a sewing machine, thread, scissors, and a 16-in pillow (sizes may vary depending on your choice).

Start with turning your shirt inside out. We are going to use the front and back layers. It would be good to cut them at the same tie so we can pin them together making sure that they line up. Avoid buttons when cutting your shirt into a square. Make sure the buttons stay centered in the squares you cut out. When cutting your square, make sure it’s one inch bigger than your pillow. In this case, cut 17 X 17 inches. Sew with a 1⁄2 inch seam allowance. Round and trim the corners.

Unbutton the shirt from the back and stick in your pillow.