DIY books and notepads: Reuse leftover notebook paper

Rimangono sempre delle pagine nei quaderni alla fine dell’anno scolastico, quindi usale per creare dei libretti e quadernetti fai da te da riempire con disegni, racconti o segreti! Bastano 5 minuti ed è GRATIS!

There are always some leftover pages at the end of kids’ notebooks at the end of the school year. Rip them out and use them to make your own fun DIY books and notepads to fill with drawings, stories, or secret diary! It only takes about 5 minutes!

What is it that’s so appealing about a nice, new and never-before-touched blank book or notebook?

I suppose it’s the anticipation and excitement about all the things that it can become. You can write a book in it. Draw pictures. Study plants or animals or anything else that you love and keep your notes in it. Glue magazine cuttings in it. Write a secret diary. There are no limits to your imagination and creativity!

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My kids love blank books, too. We have piles of illustrated books, their own made-up school books for their toys, and tomes of secret writings that I’ve been warned to never look in. Even before they knew how to write, they just loved filling up those blank pages with drawings and stickers. Something about the fact that the books had covers made them feel so much more real to them.

There are always some leftover pages at the end of kids’ notebooks at the end of the school year. Rip them out and use them to make your own fun DIY books and notepads to fill with drawings, stories, or secret diary! It only takes about 5 minutes!

It’s now the end of May and school will be out soon. And, as always, the kids will come home on the last day of school with a bunch of half-used notebooks. Like this one above. “Read and complete.” Apparently Sofia never did get around to completing this assignment before the end of the year.

Normally I just rip out the used pages and give the kids the notebooks with the few remaining pages to draw and write in. But by the time summer vacation comes around, they usually are sick of using those same notebooks that they’ve been using all year round. They don’t want to see the same old covers that remind them of sitting at a desk for hours on end.

There are always some leftover pages at the end of kids’ notebooks at the end of the school year. Rip them out and use them to make your own fun DIY books and notepads to fill with drawings, stories, or secret diary! It only takes about 5 minutes!

But if I give them that very notebook paper in a different form, it’s a totally different story. A mini notebook with a pretty colorful cover?! Yes, please! I want to write a story in it!

There are always some leftover pages at the end of kids’ notebooks at the end of the school year. Rip them out and use them to make your own fun DIY books and notepads to fill with drawings, stories, or secret diary! It only takes about 5 minutes!

A clean cover and blank pages? Yes! I want a book to draw and write about dinosaurs in!

All of a sudden, after a tiring year of studying and writing, they want to study and write again! All because of a new packaging of their usual school materials! And what’s best is that you’re using paper you already have, so it’s free, and it takes less than 5 minutes to make one!

So, what do you say? Want to reuse leftover notebook paper to make “brand new” blank books and notepads? Let’s get started!

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Super quick upcycled DIY tulle flowers

Non sai cosa fare con il packaging delle bomboniere? Ecco come riciclare il tulle dei confetti per creare dei bellissimi fiori fai da te per abbellire casa!

Use up scraps of tulle or upcycle party favor packaging to decorate your home. These DIY tulle flowers are super quick and easy to make and look great!

I love flowers. Heck, who doesn’t? I think pretty much every lady does.

I love how they smell. I love the colors. I love the beauty and joy a vase of fresh cut flowers gives a home.

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What I don’t love is when they start to wilt. And turn brown. And I feel guilty having cut them (or knowing that someone cut them for me).

The obvious solution are fake flowers, but I am quite frankly turned off by the thought of plastic or silk flowers made by overworked Chinese factory workers, both for ethical and environmental reasons. So my eco-friendly solution that makes me and my ideals happy are homemade flowers made from repurposed materials!

Use up scraps of tulle or upcycle party favor packaging to decorate your home. These DIY tulle flowers are super quick and easy to make and look great!

Italians love party favors. Or rather, as I call them, “event favors.” Little sacks or boxes of Jordan almonds (sugar-coated almonds) are given away along with a silver, ceramic or other type of trinket at weddings, baptisms, first communions, births, graduations, 18th birthday parties, and so on.

The almonds are 99% of the time wrapped in little circles of tulle which are color-coded according to the type of event. Students who graduate from university use red packaging so, seeing as my husband is a university professor, we tend to accumulate small pieces of red tulle. And last year was the year of first communions in my daughter’s class, so she came home from school with her classmates’ favors for the entire month of May. I held on to all these bits of colored goodness, knowing that inspiration would eventually strike.

Use up scraps of tulle or upcycle party favor packaging to decorate your home. These DIY tulle flowers are super quick and easy to make and look great!

And then it came to me: flowers! The circular shape make them perfect for making incredibly quick and easily customizable flowers to decorate the home. But even if you don’t have a collection of tulle circles from “event favors”, you can very easily use scraps of tulle you have left over from making reusable produce bags or no-sew tutus!

So what do you say? Are you ready to make your own DIY tulle flowers from your fabric scraps? Then let’s get started!

Read moreSuper quick upcycled DIY tulle flowers

How to make a 30 second infinity scarf and headband!

Be fashionable and warm in the blink of an eye with a pair of scissors and a T-shirt! You can make a matching infinity scarf and headband set in less than 30 seconds with just 4 cuts! Super easy no-sew tutorial on www.cucicucicoo.com

Look great and stay warm in the blink of an eye with a pair of scissors and a T-shirt! You can make a matching infinity scarf and headband set in less than 30 seconds with just 4 cuts! Super easy no-sew tutorial on www.cucicucicoo.com

I am a total infinity scarf junkie.

I am also a junkie of upcycling old T-shirts.

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And, even if I know perfectly well how to sew, I also love super quick projects that require no sewing.

Look great and stay warm in the blink of an eye with a pair of scissors and a T-shirt! You can make a matching infinity scarf and headband set in less than 30 seconds with just 4 cuts! Super easy no-sew tutorial on www.cucicucicoo.com

Last year I published a great tutorial on making infinity scarves from T-shirts by sewing together strips of the cut shirts. But sometimes it’s nice to just keep things simple. Which is why today I’m sharing a way to create a matching infinity scarf and headband set in little more than a blink of the eye. Without sewing!

Look great and stay warm in the blink of an eye with a pair of scissors and a T-shirt! You can make a matching infinity scarf and headband set in less than 30 seconds with just 4 cuts! Super easy no-sew tutorial on www.cucicucicoo.com

That’s right! All you need for this project is a T-shirt and a pair of scissors!

Are you ready? Let’s make a 30 second infinity scarf and headband set!

Read moreHow to make a 30 second infinity scarf and headband!

DIY backpack rain cover from umbrellas!

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

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

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 all over the floor for them to dry.

Doesn’t that always happen?! When it’s just barely sprinkling when I leave home to pick up the kids, all hell lets loose as soon as the school doors open and they come out! Geesh!

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

Then I remembered the amazingly simple idea that I saw years ago on Green Issues by Agy for sewing an elasticized backpack cover from umbrella fabric.

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I have a massive collection of umbrella fabric from umbrellas that I find broken and abandoned on the side of the street (which I usually use to make my Carry Everywhere Shopping Bags) so I immediately got to work making these covers for both kids and a friend.

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

These covers are really easy to make because the umbrella fabric is already the right size and shape for covering a backpack, plus it’s super lightweight and obviously waterproof. They only take about 15-20 minutes and, because you’re repurposing something that would’ve otherwise been thrown out, you’re helping the environment and saving money! They’re perfect for kids going to school, but also for students going to university, professionals going to work, or anyone out for a walk!

Are you ready to make a DIY backpack rain cover? Then let’s get started!

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Easy no-sew T-shirt bracelets tutorial

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

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

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 called “Refashion Cafè” and, seeing as the website is only in Italian, I will publish the tutorial in English here on Cucicucicoo for everyone to enjoy!

I decided to start off with a very simple refashion that anybody can do, even if she doesn’t know how to sew, crochet or do any other sort of handmade crafting: no-sew T-shirt bracelets!

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

The idea is pretty similar to the no-sew t-shirt sleeve necklace tutorial that I published a few years ago, except it uses a different part of the t-shirt and I’ve figured out a better way to bind all the strips together.

These bracelets are ridiculously easy to make and it’ll take you about two minutes to make one, but they’re still really cute, especially when you make them colorful and with matching necklaces! I love wearing these in the summer because they’re light and don’t stick to my skin like most other accessories.

They’re also a great gift and, because you just use old t-shirts and they’re so fast to make, you can whip some up for all of your friends!

Want to find out how? Then keep on reading for the t-shirt bracelets tutorial!

Read moreEasy no-sew T-shirt bracelets tutorial

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

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

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 gifts? And since all moms want to protect their children and grandchildren, even better is an eco-friendly gift that won’t have an impact on the environment.

I like wine and beer and basically anything alcoholic, and when I come across a cool bottle, I always make sure to save it for my DIY projects. Today I’m going to show you two really easy wine bottle crafts, making vases with customized words and designs for your favorite mothers and friends! You can even involve small children in decorating the bottles and, what’s best of all, if you’re a crafty person, you probably already have all the materials you need for both of these projects!

 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

The first version of this project is a chalkboard vase, which is super fun to decorate with personalized or seasonal messages. Give kids one of these bottles and some colored chalk, and they are in heaven!

 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

The second upcycled bottle vase is decorated with a glue gun and spray paint, for drawings and messages that will never risk being accidentally erased.

Both of these wine bottle crafts are really easy and very quick for a great last-minute DIY Mother’s Day gift. Now let me show you how to make them!

Read moreWine bottle crafts: 2 upcycled vases with materials you already have

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

Tutorial: Crochet Carry Bags from Fruit Nets

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

Inspiration for crocheted carry bags from upcycled fruit nets. www.cucicucicoo.com

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:

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

Oh yes! I took those fruit and onion nets and crocheted around their edges, creating a comfy shoulder strap and… voilà: kid’s carry bags!

These are seriously so awesome. They take about one hour to make, are cost free to make (unless you count random yarn you already have hanging around) and are a perfect gift for kids. Over the past six months or so I’ve given away loads of them, usually with some candy or other goody inside (because you can’t give a kid an empty bag, right?!). They fit comfortably over a child’s shoulder and are wonderful for collecting treasures at the beach, in the woods or in the yard because sand and dirt just fall right through the netting, leaving just the things that count most! And you don’t have to be a crochet expert to make them. All you need to know is single crochet, double crochet, chain and slip stitch. Want to find out how to make these sweet crochet carry bags? Then read on!

Read moreTutorial: Crochet Carry Bags from Fruit Nets

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 moreHow to sew reusable produce bags

DIY Flower pots from tin cans

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

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 the Cucicucicoo’s Eco Crafters and Sewers series is Cristina from Cri Erre Handmade. Cristina is an expert gardener, but also a lover of upcycling and organic foods. Today she will show us how to make a personalized flower pot from a simple tin can and a few other materials!

Cri Erre Handmade on Cucicucicoo's Eco Crafters and Sewers

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How to sew a refashioned DIY lace t-shirt top

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!

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 up and running better than ever, and I’m thrilled to have Agatha Lee from Green Issues by Agy as our guest today!

Agatha is an eco-designer and passionate environmental educator, combining her love for making and the environment. She previously worked as a policy maker at the National Environmental Agency, Singapore for over 10 years before founding Green Issues by Agy, where she transforms textile waste into creative wearables. She holds regular talks and shares how you can get more out of your old clothes at workshops such as Fix It Friday and DIY Your Clothes. Her current blog series is Fix It Friday and Fashion Designers Do Good.

You may remember Agy’s name because I was fortunate enough to participate in two of her fascinating blog trains, “I didn’t throw it away” and “Making good.” I love Agy’s ecological spirit which shines through in her creative re-use of materials. So, without further ado, here’s Agy’s tutorial for a lovely hand-sewn upcycled lace top using an old t-shirt and a mended piece of lace!

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!

Read moreHow to sew a refashioned DIY lace t-shirt top

How to sew a clutch bag from repurposed jeans

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

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 perfection, the motto of Le Pecionate (Laura and her friend Claudia) is spot on: “Done is better than perfect!” Well said, ladies! This is the real handmade spirit, and most importantly, to have fun!

But I would say that the name is a bit too much on the modest side, because this pair creates lots of really cute and useful things. And so let me free up the stage for Laura and her tutorial on how to sew a clutch bag from repurposed jeans!

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

Read moreHow to sew a clutch bag from repurposed jeans

Tutorial: upcycle egg cartons into Flower Fairies

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

DIY tutorial: How to make Flower Fairies from upcycled egg cartons | a Mammabook tutorial for www.cucicucicoo.comFor 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 new things in her very own personal style. Feeling passionate about upcycling, she’s organized two editions of the Creative Recycling for Kids initiative (and I participated in both 2014 and 2013 with guest posts). She has a unique and whimsical drawing and painting style, which you can see in her Etsy shop, which features intricately painted rocks, which she turns into brooches, toys, magnets and more.

Silvia has created a tutorial for an incredible transformation of egg cartons, so let me show her in!


I’m so glad to have the chance today to write for a blog which I truly adore, and that I’ve been reading for such a long time; thank you, Lisa! I am also really happy because I’ve been invited to present a tutorial about creative recycling, and that’s definitely one of my favourite artistic topics.

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

There are a lot of recyclable materials out there, but egg carton boxes are for me among the most beautiful and flexible. Today I prepared for you an easy DIY to create decorative flower fairies, perfect for every season – wouldn’t they be cute also in red and white hanging from a Christmas tree?!

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

To make these fairies you’ll need wooden beads about one and half centimetres in diameter, beads about half a centimetre in diameter, string or twine, and, of course, egg carton boxes. Please place on your work space also watercolours and acrylics colours, a thin brush and a thicker one, scissors in various sizes, and a hot glue gun.

Read moreTutorial: upcycle egg cartons into Flower Fairies

How to felt wool sweaters in the washing machine

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: make your own boiled wool for crafting or sewing from old sweaters, cardigans, jumpers, blankets or any other thrifted wool items! www.cucicucicoo.com

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 ready to make some awesome crafting/sewing material because they’re perfect for machine felting!

Say what? Felted or boiled wool is super easy to make and can be used for a gazillion crafts and sewing purposes! It’s all natural and, by upcycling unwanted garments, you avoid wasting fabric and spending money on new supplies!

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

Everybody’s accidentally shrunk a wool garment at some point, so don’t deny that you have. Boiled wool is basically wool that’s been shrunk til it can be shrunk no more. This process changes the fabric completely, giving it totally new properties. Felted wool is super thick and warm, so it’s great for cold-weather clothing. It doesn’t fray, so it’s fantastic for crafting with or creating embellishments with unfinished edges. It’s also waterproof, so a fantastic natural resource for those who want to avoid synthetic waterproof materials in cloth diapers or menstrual pads. And some people simply prefer its thick and rough texture to that of regular knit wool.

So today’s Learn to Machine Sew lesson is not actually about machine sewing, but about creating an excellent fabric to sew with! If you want to learn more about how to felt wool sweaters in the washing machine and how you can use this fantastic material, just read on!

Read moreHow to felt wool sweaters in the washing machine