DIY Christmas Face Mask Pattern to Sew for FREE!

Enjoy the holidays while socially distancing with this DIY Christmas face mask! The adorable Christmas tree is easy to applique to the fabric and decorate with beads and sequins. The handmade face mask pattern is FREE, with three sizes and has options for a nose bridge, adjustable ear elastics and a removable tie. #facemaskpattern #christmasfacemask #christmassewing

Everything about 2020 has been unusual, and Christmas is no exception. But I’m determined to make this holiday season as joyous as possible, which is why I decided to create this festive DIY Christmas face mask! This project adds a super cute decorated fabric Christmas …

Read more

How to Make DIY Cloth Toilet Paper – Easy and Zero Waste!

Learn how to make DIY cloth toilet paper for emergencies when there are no more toilet rolls left in the supermarket. No sew family cloth is zero waste, ecologically friendly and costs nothing when you repurpose old sheets and T-shirts! #zerowaste #familycloth #clothtoiletpaper

I started working on this post about ten days ago, when we started locking down here in Italy for the health emergency, and people were starting to get worried in other parts of the world. My friends in the United States and other English-speaking countries …

Read more

The One Square Tote: an easy tote bag sewing tutorial

No more ripped plastic bags with the One Square Tote, an easy tote bag sewing tutorial made from a single square of fabric! Simple and eco-friendly! #reusableshoppingbag #totebag

Oh boy, guys, I’m excited because FINALLY I’ve gotten back to the beloved Learn to Machine Sew course for beginners! I left off back in September with a lesson on how to sew French seams, which is my favorite way to sew seams because they …

Read more

Crochet Reusable Water Balloons – Summer Fun with No Mess!

Have summer water battles without having to pick up bits of broken latex with these awesome homemade crochet reusable water balloons! Fun to use in the yard or at a pool or lake, and perfect at a summer birthday party as a game, gift or party favor!
Have summer water battles without having to pick up bits of broken latex with these awesome homemade crochet reusable water balloons! Fun to use in the yard or at a pool or lake, and perfect at a summer birthday party as a game, gift or party favor!

Earlier this year, I saw the coolest thing on Pinterest. I wanted so badly to try it out. I was so curious and I knew my kids would love it. Because who in the world wouldn’t want to try their hand at DIY crochet reusable water balloons?!

Save this Cucicucicoo post on Pinterest

Only thing was, it was the very beginning of January, and was probably the coldest day of the year. We were doing everything possible to stay warm.

Have summer water battles without having to pick up bits of broken latex with these awesome homemade crochet reusable water balloons! Fun to use in the yard or at a pool or lake, and perfect at a summer birthday party as a game, gift or party favor!

Flash forward six or seven months to the summer. One of the absolute worst Italy has seen in a long time. Months straight of heat and humidity with virtually no rain. So, we were doing the exact opposite, doing everything possible to stay cool.

At this point, crochet water balloons were sounding even more amazing.

Have summer water battles without having to pick up bits of broken latex with these awesome homemade crochet reusable water balloons! Fun to use in the yard or at a pool or lake, and perfect at a summer birthday party as a game, gift or party favor!

Because everyone loves a good water balloon fight, right? But nobody likes having to go around picking up all the bits of rubber from the broken balloons. And think of all that non-recyclable waste! It drives me nuts!

Have summer water battles without having to pick up bits of broken latex with these awesome homemade crochet reusable water balloons! Fun to use in the yard or at a pool or lake, and perfect at a summer birthday party as a game, gift or party favor!

That’s the genius in this crochet water balloon design by Left in Knots! They avoid all that! You don’t actually fill them up as you would with a classic balloon. You just put them all in a bucket of water and the yarn fibers soak up the water. Throw them at your opponents, then pop them back in the water when they need another soak, and throw them again!

You use the same balloons over and over again, so no waste and no broken pieces of latex to clean up!

Have summer water battles without having to pick up bits of broken latex with these awesome homemade crochet reusable water balloons! Fun to use in the yard or at a pool or lake, and perfect at a summer birthday party as a game, gift or party favor!

When you’re done, just give the balloons a rinse off and air dry them. You can also machine wash and dry them! They flatten out nicely so they don’t take up too much storage space, either.

Let me tell you a little more about my experience making these crochet reusable water balloons.

Read more

Health update and how the menstrual cup helped

How the menstrual cup helped me manage severe menstrual bleeding and better inform my doctors. Natural health and living by www.cucicucicoo.com

This was the view outside the balcony where I spent four nights a couple of weeks ago. Pretty, right? The bay of Naples, Mount Vesuvius, the classic Mediterranean pine tree. Except I didn’t really get to enjoy it very much because I spent most of the time laying in my hospital bed.

Yep. You may or may not have noticed that I had dropped off the map for the past month. No new posts or tutorials, no newsletters, very few erratic social media posts. Basically I spent three weeks in bed with an extremely heavy and long period that made me lose so much blood that I couldn’t stand up without blacking out. In the hospital I got a D&C, two blood transfusions and a bunch of IV treatments. And, even though I felt much better when I got back home, I continued to feel very weak and tired, and my hospital souvenir, phlebitis, had left my arm swollen, in pain and basically useless.

How the menstrual cup helped me manage severe menstrual bleeding and better inform my doctors. Natural health and living by www.cucicucicoo.com

I honestly wasn’t sure if I wanted to write this post, but I decided to in order to potentially help other ladies out. First of all because I’ve never written a post about how incredibly amazing the menstrual cup is, and it really helped me deal with the hemorrhaging and also allowed me to know just how much blood I was losing, which was important information to give to my doctor. And second, because it is so, SO important to listen to your body and not just believe blindly what a doctor tells you if your instinct tells you otherwise.

If you don’t like reading or thinking about blood and/or women’s gynecological health, please just skip this post and come back next week for one of my non-body-related DIY tutorials. If you would like to hear my story and why I decided to write this post, keep on reading!

Read more

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

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
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

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 frequently it’s nice and stretchy, meaning you can cut it and stretch it out to get all sorts of cool effects, often without even sewing.

This past summer I was brainstorming different ways to reuse the classic tee for the “Reborn T-shirts” stand at the Kreativ fair, and I couldn’t leave out the ever-beloved t-shirt bag. There are so many ways to make a bag from a t shirt, but I wanted to propose something that ANYBODY can do, even without any sewing knowledge.

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

And just to prove my point, I also did this project with my 9-year-old daughter’s class while making upcycled crafts to sell at the school’s annual charity Christmas market. All the kids brought in at least one t-shirt and turned them into bags. And they LOVED it! They were so bummed out when we ran out of shirts to make bags from! (We also made these egg carton poinsettia ornaments, which are another eco-friendly and kid-friendly craft.)

Do you need one or two extra shopping bags, but don’t want to buy one? Or maybe you have a special t-shirt that brings back dear memories that you can’t bear to get rid of, even if it doesn’t fit you anymore? Or you want a fun activity to do with your kids? Then grab your scissors, and let’s get to work!

Read more

How to sew reusable produce bags

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
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

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 stories of sea creatures and birds eating them. Have you seen this video showing a seagull swallowing a plastic bag over 5 minutes that never seem to end? You should. It’s pretty horrifying.

I started making reusable produce bags years ago (you can see my first ones here) and I love them! Not only do they help me avoid using plastic bags for my fruits and veggies, I can also store my produce in the fridge inside the bags, because the fabric allows them to breathe. Over time, I’ve given them away as gifts and tried out different fabrics and sewing methods. And today, as the tutorial going along with the buttonhole lesson in my Learn to Machine Sew course for beginners, I’ll teach you how to make two types of reusable produce bags with drawstring closures!

But even if you’re not interested in making produce bags, I still suggest you try out this technique, because it’s always useful to know how to make a drawstring bag! And just to prove it, I’ll show you at the end of this post how to make some other cool drawstring bags for other uses using the same slightly modified techniques!

There are lots of ways to make drawstring bags, and these are only two of them. Because chiffon-like fabrics fray like crazy, I’ve designed these bags to have all edges enclosed inside the casing or french seams. Don’t worry, it’s actually really easy! Let’s get started!

Read more

Baby Changing Mat Tutorial (PUL or Oilcloth)

Travel Baby Diaper Changing Mat Tutorial (with PUL or oilcloth): a DIY project by www.cucicucicoo.com!
Baby Diaper Changing Mat Tutorial (with PUL or oilcloth): a DIY project by www.cucicucicoo.com!

Earlier this week I published a nice, long post for my Learn to Machine Sew series all about PUL fabric: how to prepare it and tips for sewing it without going totally bonkers! So now that you know everything there is to know about PUL (well, more or less….), let’s sew something useful with it: a travel changing mat for babies!

Travel Baby Diaper Changing Mat Tutorial (with PUL or oilcloth): a DIY project by www.cucicucicoo.com!

What if you don’t have any diaper-wearing babies? Make one anyway– these are a highly appreciated gift for any new mom! Nobody wants to change their precious baby’s diaper on a scummy changing pad in a public or store bathroom. Or what if you’re in the park when a massive blowout occurs? Just lay out one of these pads on the grass or on a parkbench and get that mess taken care of ASAP!

You can fold these mats into fourths along the central sewn lines and just stick them right in your bag! Or, if you have a particularly squirmy baby, making it dangerous to change him on an elevated changing pad, use these changing mats right on the living room floor to avoid any accidental falls or near-falls. And when they get dirty, just wipe them off with a damp cloth!

This is a pretty simple design, just a rectangle with rounded corners, but you could always add a little strap with a snap or velcro to keep it closed, or add a little pouch or drawstring bag to hold it in.

Read more

Free Pattern: Carry Everywhere Shopping Bag

Free Pattern! Introducing the Carry Everywhere Shopping Bag. Upcycle an umbrella or use lightweight fabric to sew a beautifully-finished shopper that can be stuffed in a hidden attached drawstring pouch! #carryeverywhereshoppingbag | www.cucicucicoo.com
Free Pattern! Introducing the Carry Everywhere Shopping Bag. Upcycle an umbrella or use lightweight fabric to sew a beautifully-finished shopper that can be stuffed in a hidden attached drawstring pouch! #carryeverywhereshoppingbag | www.cucicucicoo.com

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 Shopping Bag! Continue reading to find out how to get it!

Free Pattern! Introducing the Carry Everywhere Shopping Bag. Upcycle an umbrella or use lightweight fabric to sew a beautifully-finished shopper that can be stuffed in a hidden attached drawstring pouch! #carryeverywhereshoppingbag | www.cucicucicoo.com

Now, I know that there are plenty of free shopping bag patterns out there, but I wanted to make the most useful shopper possible: a reusable shopping bag that you can have on hand at all times. How many times, while paying at a store, have you realized that you’ve forgotten your reusable grocery bags at home or in the car?

The solution is a small and lightweight enough bag that you can carry around with you wherever you go, yet sturdy enough to pack full of heavy items (like the apples I was carrying for the photo above). A bag that you can keep in your purse or backpack so that you’re always ready for bagging unexpected purchases. My solution? One word: umbrellas!

Read more

Easy DIY Gift Bags with boxed corners

Easy DIY gift bags with boxed corners. No drawstring casing necessary! Tutorial on www.cucicucicoo.com

Remember when I said that we would use our practice pieces from the boxed corners lesson earlier this week for something useful for Christmas? I guess it wasn’t particularly difficult to figure out what I was getting at: DIY gift bags! I have come to …

Read more

Tutorial: Reusable fabric gift bags from freebie bags

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 …

Read more

Furoshiki: Japanese reusable fabric gift wrap

Stop wasting wrapping paper! This tutorial shows how to make Furoshiki, a Japanese style of fabric gift wrap that gets folded and reused over and over. So pretty and colorful! www.cucicucicoo.com

Today’s project is my absolute favorite one that is part of my Ecological Gift Wrapping series: furoshiki. This Japanese technique is a super simple form of reusable fabric gift wrap, although it’s also used to carry bundles in Japan. I’ve been using the same furoshiki …

Read more

Bananas become cloth pads with SHE

a friend of mine sent me a link to a very interesting bit of news: one of the winnders of the Curry Stone Design Prize 2010 was a certain Elizabeth Scharpf and her SHE (Sustainable Health Enterprises). why, what did they do? they created a …

Read more

Inserts for cloth pocket diapers

these days i make two types of cloth diapers: all-in-ones (AIO) and pocket diapers. AIOs are the easiest to use because they’re the closest thing to disposables in terms of structure and use. pocket diapers, on the other hand, are empty on the inside and …

Read more

Charity: giving back those “lost” days

last april i became part of a very interesting initiative, that is the donation of cloth menstrual pads to girls and women in developing countries. without any access to such products, women in these areas are forced to use tree bark and leaves and newspaper …

Read more

Thank you for your help!

last week i wrote about the initiative that i am participating in. if you haven’t read it, check it out. i am continuously sewing more pads to donate and putting them up “for sale” in my store on cloth pad shop*. it only takes a …

Read more

Charity: donate menstrual pads

as many of you know, i sew and sell my own models of cloth menstrual pads. cloth pad shop, one of the online portals where i have a store,* has a wonderful initiative going, which is the donation of cloth menstrual pads to girls and …

Read more

All about cloth diapers

For those who don’t use cloth diapers, the idea of being in close contact with your child’s p & p (pee and poo) isn’t that pleasant; however it’s… totally natural. Disposable diapers are a relatively new invention which became the norm only in the past …

Read more