make it pretty

Over the past few years, I’ve tried to re-purpose stuff as much as I can. When I think that I “need” something, I try to think of a way to meet that need with something I already have – or something that I can make out of what I already have. Sometimes I come up with something, other times the ideas I come up with are so far out there that Ian reigns me in and helps me find a reasonable solution.

I do love that we’re not continually bringing more “stuff” into our home, and that we’re not constantly spending money on new things. But there’s a reason that new stuff appeals to me – it’s pretty. My friend Morgan blogged about the tension between wanting to have cutesy things and limiting materialism, and I totally relate (she also included an awesome idea for DIY plant markers!). So when I re-use or re-purpose something, I try to make it pretty – because I know I’ll love it and use it more if it’s pretty!

Enter this little boy, who is now eating solids:

Okay, usually he’s a lot happier about eating, this just happened to be his first encounter with sweet potatoes, and he wasn’t so sure.

Anyways, I realized a couple weeks ago that I needed more washcloths to clean up little man after his meals. I knew that it was time to tackle some of the many old or discarded t-shirts that I squirreled away to make cleaning rags someday.

To endear these washcloths to me – so I don’t feel like I’m wiping Luke’s face with a t-shirt every day – I decided to make them pretty. I did this in two ways. First, I took enough time to cut, pin and sew them decently – since I’ll be using them every day, I won’t really want to see some lame sewing job all the time. They are far from perfect, but they look tidy enough. Second, I embellished them with a little fun – some quick embroidery. Okay, so I’ve only done one so far, but it’s a fun project to have on hand if I just want a half hour of relaxation.

(Uh, in case you can’t tell, that’s a sandwich embroidered on there…)

I’m pleased with how they turned out, and they work great for the times that we actually feed Luke real food instead of the furniture…

What are some re-purposed things that you’ve made useful and pretty?

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4 thoughts on “make it pretty

  1. Thanks for the encouragement to do things properly, even when repurposing! I really need some kind of insulating drapes over the sliding door in the den, and I don’t want to spend $$$ on them. So my repurposing plan so far: an old quilted mattress cover sandwiched between a front panel of two colors of leftover fabric from who knows when and an old flannel sheet. Sounds so ugly but I think with cute trim they will be serviceable and keep down the heating bill.

    Luke is such a cute chunky monkey– I’m glad to see his French bibs are still in use 😀

    • Oooh, I love it! Smart idea with the mattress cover, I bet that will definitely help insulate. You are ten times better at sewing than me, so I bet it will turn out awesome.

      Luke IS a chunky monkey – and we try our best to use the French bibs on the right days! 🙂

  2. OK i just wish i had a brain that was a small fraction as crafty and clever as yours! Love the washcloths and even more, love the photo of Luke eating the table!

  3. Small Luke eating the table = priceless! The benefit? The fiber will keep him regular! (Does wood actually have fiber? I’m not sure… it’s too late for my little brain!) Also, glad you identified that sandwich for us… I thought it was chips… or for teaching Luke his shapes.

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