I found a vintage linen tablecloth at a local antique shop and used it to make clutch purses in blue for my sister in law, pink for her Mom and her soon-to-be Mother in law. I’m not sure when the tablecloth was made, but from researching the embroidery style, it may be from the 1950s. It felt cruel to cut up something beautiful that some unknown person spent time making, but I decided they wanted their work to be loved and used, above all else. The bride loves them, and they’ll be quite loved on her big day! Maybe they’ll even be passed on to a few future brides down the road.
My friend Nannette gave me some squares she’d cut from her son’s USMC uniforms and wanted to see what kind of crafty use I’d have for them. When I showed my 18 year old the fabric squares Nannette sent me, she asked me for one. She didn’t even need it made into anything – she just wanted to keep a fabric square with her because a Marine wore it in Iraq and Afghanistan, and she just wanted that reminder to keep with her.
Well, I’d just seen this tutorial from Erin Erickson for circle zip earbud pouches and thought that was a much better way for her to keep a bit of that fabric with her. It just used a 5″ fabric square for the front and back and a few other scraps and supplies, and now she has a useful little reminder or our troops and all they do for us.
I made one for Nannette, using a little piece that had her son’s name stamped inside.
And I’ve made a few more for some of the guys on our Christmas list. (I think it’s safe to post that here, I don’t think any of them read this — but if you know them, don’t tell!) I liked a bit of color inside.
They’ll be given with tags explaining they came from recycled uniforms of a USMC combat engineer who toured Iraq (twice!) and Afghanistan, in the hopes that this will be a visual reminder to thank and pray for our troops. (Most of the squares are being saved for a future project, so hopefully you’ll be seeing them again!)
We’ve scheduled a family vacation for June and I’m already working on details. (I love having something to plan!) My daughters are still using little-girl-going-to-Grandma’s style luggage that they outgrew years ago. It’s time for them to have some real luggage to take on this trip and into adulthood.
I’ll buy them some nice roller suitcases, but for carry-ons I wanted to upcycle some vintage luggage. I asked what they might want painted on their luggage and earned a couple eye rolls. “Mom’s crafting at us again!” But then I said the magic words, “Would you like a horde logo?” OH. YES. THEY. WOULD. In their spare time, my sweet little girls are hardcore World of Warcraft gamers.
If you want to personalize some luggage, you can create a stencil for yourself using Contact paper. Draw or trace on the paper side, keeping in mind that you’ll need to reverse your design. Cut out carefully and apply to your luggage. Smooth down all around the edges, but if your suitcase is textured you may want to paint carefully from the stencil toward the middle of your design. This helps keep paint from being pushed underneath the stencil into the little surface grooves.
I use fabric paint because it’s meant to be flexible when dry. I was told the horde logo should be red, but my red paint looked really pink. I’m not into World of Warcraft myself, but I’m guessing pink horde logos just won’t do. I started with a little metallic black around the edges, then mixed the black and red together to fill in. Carefully peel off the stencil while the paint is still wet. (Waiting until it dries may cause some of the paint to dry on the stencil and peel up right along with it.) After it’s dry, you may want to apply a few coats of varnish to protect the paint against scuffs.
Hooray for second chances!
I hope they’ll approve! (You can see my own Twitter luggage here.)