How to grow basil year after year (without spending!)

I live in Italy, and everyone knows how much Italians love their basil. Even in the families with the worse black thumb imaginable, there is at least one pot of basil sitting on a balcony or windowsill. It gets thrown on top of plates of steaming spaghetti, made into pesto (check out my foolproof recipe […]

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 […]

Sewing concave and convex curves together

Summer’s over and it’s back to school time, which means it’s also back to sewing school time! (Did you know that I have a FREE beginner’s sewing course?) Last week I mentioned that I have a new free pattern for a pencil-shaped pencil case to share with you (update: here’s the info on the pencil […]

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 […]

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 […]

Tutorial: DIY scrap fabric butterfly (free pattern)

Spring is here! My favorite season of all, the advent of Spring makes me so happy. I love blooming trees, the scent of flowers and cut grass, the birds singing outside my windows, the warm sun…. So today I’m proposing a stash-busting and scrap-busting project for spring: fabric butterflies! I’m not the only fan of […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 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 […]

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 […]

Free Pattern: Carry Everywhere Shopping Bag

Big news, guys! My pattern shop, Cucicucicoo Patterns, is just about ready to officially open! I’m just waiting on a few tax-related bureaucratic things before I can put items up for sale, but my first three PDF sewing patterns are ready! To celebrate, I’m sharing a FREE professional-quality sewing pattern with you: the Carry Everywhere […]

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 […]

How to sew an envelope pillow cover (tutorial)

G’day, folks! In my Learn to Machine Sew series for beginners, I pair up a practical tutorial with every techinical lesson. Earlier this week we covered hemming, so today I’ll show you how to sew an envelope pillow cover! These covers (or shams) are wonderfully versatile and don’t require a zipper closure, so they’re super […]

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 […]

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 […]

Seam Allowance Practice Tutorial: Simple Felt Coasters DIY

A few days ago I showed you how to sew while considering seam allowances. I’d say that most things are actually sewn inside out and then turned right side out in different ways. We still haven’t gotten to those techniques, though, and I want to make sure that the practice tutorials for the Learn to […]

Picture frame and burlap earring display

Whew, what a start to 2014 I’ve had! We’ve had a bit of complications in my husband’s family, forcing me to take a little break from the blog and all my projects. But today I want to share a new upcycling tutorial that is great for those of you who love earrings as much as […]

Tutorial: How to make gift bags from cereal boxes

Panic time! If you’re anything like me, you have a last few gifts hanging around waiting to be wrapped (or perhaps all of them), so today I want to show you the last idea for this season of my eco-friendly gift wrapping guide. This one is really super fast to whip up and you can […]

Cereal Box Gift Boxes with Produce Net Bag Bows

I just love cereal boxes. We always have loads of them and I use them for everything. I glue small pattern pieces onto them for stability. I use them as a backing for product tags. I’ve started making shipping envelopes out of them to send things in (I’ll get around to writing about that one […]

Tutorial: Reusable fabric gift bags from freebie bags

Welcome back to my eco gift wrapping guide! Today’s tutorial requires a tiny bit more effort to make than the other projects in this series (though being far from difficult) but is probably the easiest one to use afterwards, and will definitely be used many times. Simple drawstring bags make incredibly convenient gift wrapping; you […]

Furoshiki: Japanese reusable fabric gift wrap

For part two of my Ecological Gift Wrapping series, something I’d been wanting to try for years (I first mentioned it here): Furoshiki. This Japanese technique is basically a form of reusable fabric gift wrap. Wrap a square piece of fabric around an object, either to carry it or to just make it look pretty […]

Tutorial: Make recycled gift tags from old cards

Welcome to the first installment of my Eco Gift Wrapping Guide! In my introduction to this series I mentioned my thrifty mother and how she would get the most out of any wrapping paper or materials that came her way. But her wrapped packages didn’t look as if they were from reused materials; they were […]

Ecological Gift Wrapping Guide: reusable gift wrap ideas

When I was a little girl, I loved getting gifts on Christmas, my birthday, or any other occasion. But I hated how my thrifty mother would insist I be careful not to wrip the wrapping paper so that she could reuse it. I always felt mortified as she picked all the pieces of paper and […]

What to do with old records: bowls and jewelry

I love that records are coming back into style. Besides the fact that their sound is just so full and amazing and the cover and insert art is often so elaborate (and the larger format makes it much easier to appreciate it), I just love anything retro. Plus my husband and I have loads of […]

Make your own DIY soap pocket from a towel

I saw a cute tutorial for a DIY soap pouch made from a towel a while back and after receiving Stefania’s amazing handmade soaps back in June I decided to make myself one of them to use in the shower after my swim class. Soaping up with an undressed bar of soap was getting a […]

Tie dyed bedsheets: Fixing a botched-up dye job

Well, we have had an eventful few weeks. First we had to take my little boy to the ER twice, first because of a bad fall right on his face on asphalt strewn with gravel (much of which got lodged up under his skin. I will spare you the story of my picking pieces out […]

Color-coded keys with nail polish

Do you ever get totally confused when sorting through your keys? They tend to look so similar. Mine are all funny shaped or color-coded so that I can keep them all straight. But recently my little guy bent one of my keys and I went to get another copy made, there were no keys of […]

personalized pool accessories: the footmat

i’ve already written about my first personalized pool accessory. now the second. most women in the locker room have a sort of synthetic mat they stand on as they get dried off and dressed. (edit: some readers asked me what these are. here you can see the ones at decathlon and now i saw that […]

portable pillow floor beds

we have a bunch of pillows in our living room (including a couple of my 100% upcycled ones) and the kids often play with them. and they often put them on the floor to sit or lie down on. (ha! i just noticed that sofia’s headband is made from the same fabric as the pillow […]

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