10 reasons why you should make your own costume instead of buying one: lessons learned from my mother. www.cucicucicoo.com

10 Reasons to make your own costume

The one question that I get asked in every interview I’ve ever had is what or who my creative inspirations are. I usually give a different answer every time because I am inspired by so many people, places and things. But my first creatively inspirational input was without question my mother. (Hi, Mom!) As a […]

Upcycle umbrellas to protect your backpack during bad weather! These DIY backpack rain covers are quick and easy and perfect for kids and adults alike! www.cucicucicoo.com

DIY backpack rain cover from umbrellas!

Last week, I got caught in a torrential downpour when walking my kids home from school. And even though all three of us had umbrellas and the school is about a two minute walk from our home, we got totally drenched. When we got home, we had to spread the kids’ wet books and notebooks […]

Make your own easy woven paper baskets from repurposed cereal boxes with this easy tutorial by www.cucicucicoo.com. So fun and colorful!

DIY woven paper baskets from cereal boxes

Oh, how I love cereal boxes. I love their stability, yet ease of cutting. I love their bright colors. I love their cost… nothing! I rarely throw cereal boxes into the recycling. I use them to back small pattern pieces to make them more rigid and to make them last longer (and I suggest that […]

Upcycle your glass bottles to create cool home décor! These DIY wine bottle vases are easy to make with glue and twine and are a great house warming gift! Tutorial on www.cucicucicoo.com

DIY wine bottle vases with colored twine

I love having a drop or two of wine, a beer or perhaps a nice cocktail while preparing dinner. Heck, who doesn’t? Sometimes the bottles have such a nice shape that it seems such a shame to just throw them out in the recycling. Or perhaps you drank a bottle of champagne to celebrate a […]

Got some old tees? Turn them into these super easy no-sew t-shirt bracelets! The tutorial shows you how to in less than two minutes! www.cucicucicoo.com

Easy no-sew T-shirt bracelets tutorial

In the years that I’ve been writing this blog, I’ve collaborated with lots of other blogs and websites. And today I’m so pleased to announce that I’m starting a new collaboration with the Italian handmade learning website Make It Land! I will contribute an eco-friendly refashioning tutorial every month for my special column of sorts […]

Wine bottle crafts: Make upcycled vases with craft materials you already have! 2 great ideas with paint and glue! A DIY tutorial by www.cucicucicoo.com #winebottlecrafts

Wine bottle crafts: 2 upcycled vases with materials you already have

Mother’s Day is creeping up and will be here before you know it. Have you started preparing gifts for the most important women in your life? Most mothers (at least the ones I know) are happiest to receive something small, but from the heart, and what could be more from the heart than personalized homemade […]

Transform that T-shirt you never wear into something useful! This no-sew tutorial shows how to make a bag from a T shirt. Great upcycling craft for kids! www.cucicucicoo.com

Make a bag from a T shirt: No-Sew Tutorial!

My name’s Lisa and I’m a T-shirt hoarder. Seriously, I have a problem. Come to my home, and you’ll find numerous containers full of t-shirts. I love them because they’re so easy to embellish or repurpose into other clothing and objects. But another wonderful thing about t-shirts is that the jersey fabric doesn’t fray and […]

The Perfectly Imperfect Play Doll: a fabric doll pattern review by www.cucicucicoo.com

Perfectly Imperfect: a fabric doll pattern review

Finally I’m ready to show off my Perfectly Imperfect cloth dolls. I’d been working on these dolls and posting in-progress pictures on Instagram for months. My original plan was to make a bunch for Christmas presents and the kids’ various charity Christmas markets and giveaways. My original plan failed and I only managed to get […]

Make adorable DIY paper poinsettias for the holiday season from upcycled egg cartons and fruit nets! Even kids can make these with a little help! Full photo tutorial on www.cucicucicoo.com

DIY Paper Poinsettias from Upcycled Egg Cartons

When my daughter’s teacher invited me to come into the class to make crafts with the kids that could be sold at the school’s charity Christmas market (a couple of years ago I did the same thing with these yarn Hopi Eye ornaments), I was thrilled to find out that this year’s theme was “recycling”—my […]

DIY Tutorial: Crochet carry bags for kids from upcycled fruit nets. A quick gift in under an hour, perfect for collecting treasures at the beach or in the woods! www.cucicucicoo.com

Tutorial: Crochet Carry Bags from Fruit Nets

It all started with this. My son found some fruit nets in my collection of recycling-for-crafting and decided to use one to hang up his toys. Total genius right? And so, I came up with these: Oh yes! I took those fruit and onion nets and crocheted around their edges, creating a comfy shoulder strap […]

Never use a plastic bag for your fruit and veggies again! Here's how to sew reusable produce bags in two different ways! www.cucicucicoo.com

How to sew reusable produce bags

I hate plastic bags. I really do. I hate the smell of them, how hard they are to open up the first time you use them, how easily they rip. I hate knowing what they’re made of and how long it takes for them to decompose. I hate how quickly they accumulate and I hate […]

How to create a diy necklace hanger from a giant cane root or driftwood. No sewing or manual skills needed! www.cucicucicoo.com

DIY Necklace Hanger from Giant Cane Root

My family just loves the beach. Sure, we love swimming and sunbathing, but we go to the beach all year round, even in the winter. A lot of people think we’re kinda weird, but we adore the salty air, the sound of the waves, the feeling of walking in the sand. Even if we can’t […]

Jumping with Jurassic Joy! Upcycled Glovosaurs. Glove animal tutorial (dinosaur softies) by Sweater Doll for www.cucicucicoo.com

Glove animal tutorial: Upcycled Glovosaurs

Today I’m so happy to back with my Cucicucicoo’s Eco Crafters and Sewing series with the one and only Allison from Sweater Doll! Allison is a US expat, like me, living in Australia and creates the best fabric dolls and softies ever. Seriously, next time you’re considering buying a Barbie or other doll, check out […]

How to make personalized DIY flower pots from tin cans | Cri Erre Handmade for www.cucicucicoo.com

DIY Flower pots from tin cans

A wonderful thing about summer is being able to spend time gardening gorgeous flowers, delicious veggies and flavorful herbs. Well, at least you can if you have a garden! For those of us who live in an apartment, a few pots on the balcony and in the home have to suffice. Today’s guest poster for […]

How to sew a DIY lace t-shirt top from an old tee! A sewing tutorial by Green Issues by Agy for www.cucicucicoo.com!

How to sew a refashioned DIY lace t-shirt top

Welcome back to the newest tutorial in the Cucicucicoo’s Eco Crafters and Sewers series! If you follow me on Facebook, you might have seen my notice that, due to the transfer of my website’s hosting and domain to a better, FASTER, service, I wasn’t able to publish earlier this week. But now everything is back […]

Tutorial: How to sew a felted wool cover with a leaf appliqué from old sweaters. Free template included! www.cucicucicoo.com

How to sew a Felted Wool Pillow with leaf appliqué

Today I finally have the new Learn to Machine Sew tutorial to go along with the lesson on felting wool sweaters! We’ll be making a variation on one of my favorite things to make: pillow covers! But this tutorial is very special because it puts together the skills learned in several of my sewing lessons […]

DIY tutorial: How to sew a clutch bag from repurposed jeans. A tutorial by Le Pecionate for www.cucicucicoo.com

How to sew a clutch bag from repurposed jeans

Today’s guest for the Cucicucicoo’s Eco Crafters and Sewers series is the lovely Laura from Le Pecionate! I love the tireless spirit and sense of humor with with she approaches her projects, which, as the name in Roman dialect (from pecione, meaning “bungler”) says, don’t always come out perfectly. But in this age of Pinterest […]

DIY tutorial: How to make Flower Fairies from upcycled egg cartons | a Mammabook tutorial for www.cucicucicoo.com

Tutorial: upcycle egg cartons into Flower Fairies

For our third guest post in the Cucicucicoo’s Eco Crafters and Sewers series, I’m thrilled to have Silvia from Mammabook! I’ve known this Italian mom living in Germany for years now, and it’s amazing how close you can feel to a person without ever having seen her before! I love her creative drive, always creating […]

How to felt wool sweaters in the washing machine: make your own boiled wool for crafting or sewing from old sweaters, cardigans, jumpers, blankets or any other thrifted wool items! www.cucicucicoo.com

How to felt wool sweaters in the washing machine

With summer just around the corner, it’s time to pack away all those warm woolies and bring out light hot-weather clothing. So what do you do with those sweaters with little moth holes or stains, or with the ones that are stretched out or a bit shrunken? Put them in a big pile and get […]

18 Mother's Day DIY gift ideas with upcycled materials: make a gift for little to nothing by repurposing materials! | www.cucicucicoo.com

18 Mother’s Day DIY gift ideas with upcycling

Mother’s Day is right around the corner and, if you’re anything like I am, you want to make something for your mother, grandmother, mother-in-law, best friend who is also a mother, etc, but you haven’t even started yet and you probably don’t want to have to pay very much, either. Well, don’t fear, because today […]

Primule 10

Upcycle yogurt cups: Primrose flowers

Here we are for the second guest post for my Cucicucicoo’s Eco Crafters and Sewers series! Last time we had a refashion, and this time an upcycle with my friend Silvia Brentegani from Tocco di Lìllà! I’ve known Silvia in the blog world for years, but we’ve never met in person, although, strangely enough, she […]

Tutorial: Make easy recycled crowns for kids with foil wrapping paper and cardboard | www.cucicucicoo.com

Tutorial: Make Easy Recycled Crowns for Kids

Happy Easter Monday! Hope you had a lovely day yesterday! And if you have children, I’m sure you now have insane amounts of candy and chocolate in your home. Here in Italy there’s no Easter Bunny, but kids get these huge chocolate eggs with a little gift inside. The eggs are wrapped in big squares […]

Crochet Baskets

Crochet T Shirt Yarn Baskets: Four Styles

So, what do you do when you’ve accumulated way too many old, ugly, worn-out, stained or otherwise ruined t-shirts and other jersey clothing items? Easy! You cut them up into strips and wind up your lovely new balls of t shirt yarn! (Read how in this post from nearly five years ago!) There are all […]

How to sew bathroom rugs from upcycled towels and sheets! Fast, easy and ecofriendly! | www.cucicucicoo.com

Sew a bathroom rug… from towels and sheets!

I just love making my own bathroom rugs! They’re small so they’re generally fast to make and I just love the feeling of a squishy bathmat under my feet when I get out of the shower! So we have quite the collection of bathroom mats that I’ve made over the years. Ages ago I showed […]

Three DIY street toys from repurposed materials for kids who love cars! Toy streets, street signs and a stoplight | www.cucicucicoo.com

Three DIY street toys for kids who love cars!

Both of my kids love playing with cars, but my little guy in particular goes nuts with his toy cars. Seriously, there is really something in some boys’ DNA that draws them to cars because I am sure that none of us has conditioned him to this preference. It was Nicky’s birthday last week, a […]

How to make a waterproof picnic blanket from umbrella fabric and a sheet! Have eco-friendly fun in the great outdoors without getting damp! A tutorial by www.cucicucicoo.com

Waterproof Picnic Blanket from umbrellas!

Goodness, how time flies! Nearly a month and a half has gone by since my tutorial on how to remove the fabric from broken umbrellas and I promised two projects on how to use that fabric, but you know what they say: Better late than never!  I will spare you all my list of excuses […]

Free Tutorial: Easy pot holder pattern using the method Turn and Topstitch. Part of the "Learn to Machine Sew" series on www.cucicucicoo.com!

Easy Pot Holder Pattern (Turn and Topstitch)

Welcome back to the Learn to Machine Sew series here on Cucicucicoo! As promised, today we have the practice tutorial for last week’s lesson on how to turn and topstitch. If you need to brush up on that technique or if you want to learn some little tricks to topstitching with small seam allowances, read […]

Simple Halloween costumes: a witch cape and a ghost costume with a hood

A little Halloween story

So Halloween 2014 has come and gone. Halloween is a pretty recent import in Italy, where I live, so it’s much less of a big deal than it is in the States. Here some kids (but definitely not all) dress up as a witch (girls) or a vampire, wizard, pumpkin or ghost (boys). And that’s […]

Tutorial: How to remove fabric from umbrellas | www.cucicucicoo.com

Tutorial: How to remove fabric from umbrellas

Welcome to the fall! Now that we’re starting up with rainy season, I’m starting to see a lot of this. And this. It drives me nuts. As you can see, I live in an area where people have no scruples whatsoever about dumping their trash all over the place and it takes many months (years?) […]

Tutorial: How to make DIY mesh drawstring bags for the beach or pool from old shirts

DIY Mesh Drawstring Bags for the beach from old shirts

One thing I love about upcycling and refashioning is the challenge of figuring out what to do with, well… trash. I mean, just look at this horrifyingly ugly mesh shirt I found in a pile of used clothing at a market last year. But that awful thing just lit me up because as soon as […]