How to Upcycle Using Embroidery – A Denim Jacket Transformation

Some of you may already know that I am an embroidery nerd. I taught myself needlepoint and cross-stitch way back during my Fine Art degree and have been stitching pretty much every day since. Stitching by hand can be incredibly time consuming, and working full-time means there’s little time left in the day to complete lots of projects.

Thankfully, I’ve found a way around this and a way of combining two of my favourite things – charity shopping and needlepoint. For the past couple of years I have been scouring the charity shops for abandoned embroidery projects, with the hope of finishing them off or unpicking areas of stitches and reworking them into something else entirely. The perk of this is that most of the stitching has already been done for me, and all that’s left is for me to put my own spin on it.

One of my first reworking attempts was a completed needlepoint piece of a large ship at sea, to which I added some ginormous sea monster tentacles attacking the ship. The next was a small landscape piece that someone had completed but not bothered to frame, which I decided to add the Instagram ‘Like’ icon to the bottom corner and finish into a small cushion complete with a pom-pom trim.

While trawling the charity shops in Halifax (spoiler alert: they’re great and I always find something) I came across a small, completed, swan needlepoint in a frame for just £1.00! Of course I bought it. Initially, I didn’t have plans for this piece, but on a whim, I removed it from its frame and pinned it to the back panel of my denim jacket. I decided to keep things deliberately ‘rough’ and really simple; I pinned the piece to my jacket, and simply hand-stitched it in place, leaving the edges frayed and loose.

 

 

My next project? Well, I have an embarrassingly large collection of completed needlepoint pieces I’ve found in charity shops now, so I really need to start to work my way through them all, but I have my eye on reworking this tiger I found in my local Oxfam in Oldham…

 

 

As much as I’d love to hog all of the embroidery pieces in the world for myself, should you come across some, there are many things you could do with it. If you’re feeling handy with a needle and thread, you could follow suit, and rework areas of it. Confident using a sewing machine? Make it into a bag or cushion. Or, you could simply display it just as it is and appreciate the time someone put into making it for you.

You might also like: 

A Day In The Life of An Oxfam Shop Volunteer: Christmas Eve Edition

Why do only wools and camos work?

Shop With Oxfam Online

DIY: How to make a Tie Lampshade

I’m sure everybody’s Dad / Granddads’ have a ton of ties, some never used?

This Lampshade is very easy to create, and is perfect for a handmade gift or even for yourself!

 

What you need:

 

– An old lampshade

– A few ties  (Oxfam Online Shop)

– Glue

– Scissors

 


 

1. Firstly, I started measuring the ties to the lampshade and cutting off the excess

 

2. Then, one by one I started to glue the ties to my lampshade, making sure the ‘V’ is just hanging over the edge of your shade. (I used strong Fabric Glue and tiny bits of Super Glue)

 

3. After this, Leave your  glue to dry (around 1hr)

4. Finally, depending on how you want your shade to look, you can add some other fabric like lace around the top to neaten up where the ties have been cut!

 

And there you have it, your handmade Tie Lampshade!

 

 

With the leftover bits of ties that had been chopped off I decided to put them to good use experiment and make another lampshade.

 

What You Need:

– Left Over Tie Cut Offs

– Glue

– A lampshade

 

1. I got all the ties together and measured them around the lampshade to make sure they fit snug. If they are a little big I cut them to size(remembering the lampshade is not all the same size and usually gets bigger towards the bottom..make sure you do measure before you start to glue)

 

2. I Then started to wrap the ties around the lampshade making sure the V is glued on top of the raw edge

 

3. Carry on repeating this process all way down to the bottom of the lampshade using the same glue as before.  And before you know it you have 2 Up-Cycled Unusual Handmade Lampshades!!

 

Share all your creations with us @OxfamFashion #foundinoxfam

Post written by Leah Topham, volunteer at Oxfam Batley where she helps upcycle the clothes. She’s written this series called ‘Rags to Riches’ where she lets us in on her DIY secrets. You can also check out her last one ‘How to make some Lace Bottom Tailored Trousers’Shop With Oxfam Online

How to make a terrifying cushion for Halloween

By Cassie of cassiefairy.com

Bring a touch of Halloween fun into every room of the house this October by adding some custom-made soft furnishings. This project will help you to turn a t-shirt with a spooky design into a throw pillow to make your sofa look spooky or your bedroom more bonkers.

Pick up a tee at a charity shop or, if your little ones have outgrown last year’s Halloween costume, you could recycle the fabric. This ghoulish cushion will bring a touch of scariness to your autumn décor or can be used to create a gothic look in your home all year round.

You will need: A t-shirt with spooky design, scissors, matching thread, needle or sewing machine, pins, cushion pad.



  1. Iron the t-shirt flat and lay your cushion pad on top of the design.

 

  1. Use the edges of the cushion pad as a guide to cut up one side of the t-shirt.

 

  1. Fold the t-shirt in half down the centre and then cut along the other side in line with the first cut.

 

  1. Unfold and use the cushion pad to determine the top line of the fabric and trim across

 

  1. Fold in half width-wise and trim across the bottom – this piece will be the front of your cushion

How to make a cushion case

  1. Create an ‘envelope’ opening for the back of the cushion by using fabric from the back of the t-shirt.

 

  1. Use the hemmed bottom edge as the top envelope flap and cut a piece that’s half he width of the front piece.
  1. Use the rest of the fabric to cut a piece that’s 2/3rds of the front piece.

 

  1. Layer the fabric pieces with the design facing up, then the smaller hemmed piece (with hem across the centre of the design), with the 2/3rds piece on top.

 

  1. Pin around all the edges then straight-stitch around the edges with matching thread. You could use a sewing machine or hand-stitch the three layers together.

 

  1. Turn the cushion cover right-side out and stuff with the cushion pad.

 


You can make a few cushions in a variety of colours and designs to create a soft-yet-scary corner on your sofa, or throw one onto your guest bed to scare visitors when they come to stay over Halloween!

Have a go and share your creations with us @OxfamFashion #foundinoxfam

You might also like: 

What to Look Out For When Shopping for Your New Work Wardrobe

Freshers Outfit Inspiration

Student Outfit Inspiration: Tips to Start Lectures In Style!

Shop With Oxfam Online

How to DIY your own Lace Bottom Tailored Trousers

As all you fashion lovers will have probably seen in almost every high street shop, Lace trousers are totally on trend this season! Why not Revamp some boring old trousers into an on trend pair of beauties?

What you need

– Some Old Trousers

– A Lace

– A Sewing Machine

– Needle & Thread

If you don’t own any old trousers, come and visit us in any of our local Oxfam Shops or in our Online shop.

Follow these steps

1.  First of all, I started by shortening my trousers by 7″. When shortening I took into account that the hem was 1inch so overall they would be 8 inch shorter. If your not sure how much to take off, put them on and ask someone to give you a hand measuring so you can see how long you want them.

 

2. Secondly, I turned the raw edge over by 1.5cm and did a full machine stitch all the way around to hold in place. The reason I didn’t use an over locker is because I know many people don’t own one so I have done the way everyone would be able to do if they owned a sewing machine, but with an over locker would be much quicker and easier.

 

3. Then turn up again another 1.5 cm and sew. This will lock in the raw edge and make a nice neat new French seam.

 

 

4. Now to the best bit using whichever lace you desire.

I used heavy weight hole lace which is easy to cut into shapes to appliqué on. I cut the same parts of the lace for both the front and back of the trousers so they match. Pin in place making sure both legs are matching!

 

5. Finally,  using a needle and thread I did little tack stitches on parts of the lace where it wouldn’t be seen to hold it to the trousers!



 

And…Da Da! You have your own on trend lace hem trousers!


Don’t forget to share all your creations with us @OxfamFashion #foundinoxfam

Post written by Leah Topham, volunteer at Oxfam Batley where she helps upcycle the clothes. She’s written this series called Rags to Riches where she lets us in on
her DIY secrets, keep your eye out for her next post! You can also check out her last one ‘How to make a Victorian D&G dress’

 

Shop With Oxfam Online

How to make your own Upcycled Vintage D&G Style Dress

Everybody loves a little black dress! But I’m sure you girls out there have one hanging in your wardrobe that could do with a whole new revamp! In just 3 quick steps!

 

I have started with a plain black tight strapless dress and some old vintage buttons. If you do not own a dress to work with you can pick one up at your local Oxfam or Oxfam Online Shop.  And
I’m sure a relative will have a box of old buttons you can use! If not, these are easily found in many charity or antique shops!

 

 

1. Firstly, I gave my dress a quick press to make sure there wasn’t any creases before I pointed out the central line

 

2. Secondly, I started by marking a straight line down the middle of the dress where my buttons will be sewn with tailors chalk. Which will rub straight off with a wet wipe

 

3. Finally, I finished by sewing all my buttons down my line, to reveal a classic plain black dress turned into a Victorian D&G style dress!

 

 

Easy, right? Give it a go and you will see how everyone will be impressed about your Victorian D&G style dress!

Post written by Leah Topham, volunteer at Oxfam Batley where she helps upcycle the clothes. She’s written this series called Rags to Riches where she lets us in on her DIY secrets, keep your eye out for her next post! You can also check out her last one How
to make your own Upcycled Vintage 20′ Cloche Cap

 

Shop With Oxfam Online

How to make your own Upcycled Vintage 20′ Cloche Cap

Post written by Leah Topham, volunteer at Oxfam Batley where she helps upcycle the clothes. She’s written this series called Rags to Riches where she lets us in on her DIY secrets, keep your eye out for her next post!

Everybody has old hats that have been through all weathers and are now on the verge of getting binned! Why not up cycle your old hat, or find a plain one in your local Oxfam or from the Oxfam Online Shop, and transform it into one fit for any special occasion!

 

 

I have started with a plain black felt cloche cap, 5cm wide black lace, 2cm wide black ribbon, and some left over spotty fabric.

 

1.) Firstly I started with my spotty fabric I cut it down so it was approx 11cm wide, I then folded from the bottom to create a little more volume.

 

2.) Then Pleat the fabric as you pin it to your hat …You can choose how you want your hat trim to look. I have worked more towards a flower shape so I have pleated my fabric and pinned in half a circle.

 

3.) Then using a needle and thread, gather the edge of the lace to make it into a circular shape. I gathered two strips of lace, you can do as many as you want and any length depending on the look you’re going for.

 

4.) After Gathering the lace, lay it on top of the fabric already pinned to your hat, keeping in mind the design and shape you’re going for.

 

5.) Then using Ribbon twist it into the shape you desire and tack a few stitched to hold the shape together.

6.) Next, Pin your ribbon into the middle of your lace, and start to stitch down all the fabrics to your hat, remembering to remove all pins afterwards.

 

 

 

And there it is! As easy as that. If you try to do it at home please, remember to share the pictures with us: @OxfamFashion #foundinoxfam

You might also like: 

Header image

What Fashion Means to Me: Nicola Lucas’ view

 

header

Shwopping and Oxfam

 

Shop With Oxfam Online

 

 

How to Make a DIY Rug From Old T-Shirts

Blog By Upcycling Volunteer Sophie Burton

As a volunteer at Oxfam Online Batley Hub I was challenged to upcycle something from the rejected products that gets donated to us. As this is such a great way to recycle t-shirt fabric and make something new I decided to share it with you all.

My Idea: To make a rug. But not a regular rug, more of a quirky style rug that is different and unique. So my idea was to get lots of different jerseys and cotton blended fabric, cut them up into 1-2 inch strands and plait to make a continuous yarn. Once done I wound it together on top of an anti slip material to form the shape of a mat. My idea was to make something that would have been rejected or thrown away into a ready to use item. I have written down the steps below if you want to make a one-of-a-kind rug of your own!

My Rug

What You Need:

  •           Old T-shirts (To create a door-mat sized rug like mine I suggest 6-10 T-shirts, for a smaller table mat you should only need 3 T-shirts)
  •           Non-slip floor matting in a large enough size to create the base of your mat.
  •           Needle and thread
  •           Hot Glue Gun

Step 1: Find a variety of jersey fabric materials that include T-shirts, both long sleeve and short sleeve. Look for bright colours and stripes but avoid complex patterns and these do not work as well. Find a mid-stretch fabric, not too stretchy but not tight that it has no give. Try asking your local Oxfam if you could buy some of the damaged clothing that gets donated to them.

Step 2: Cut the shirts!!! To get the most out of one T-shirt I suggest that you cut across the t-shirt but leave a 1 inch space and don’t cut through. Do this to the whole shirt and carry on cutting to the end once below the sleeves. When you’ve done this, open the shirt up to the part that is all still attached and cut across diagonally. I found this tutorial by My Poppet really helpful in creating my yarn.

Make Your Own T-Shirt Yarn

Step 3: Once you have a length of yarn, start to roll it up into balls. This makes the next step easier as you can see what you’re working with and it makes sure that everything isn’t getting knotted. It is also good to make up some cool colour ways.

Step 4: Once you have all your yarn balls you can then start to plait them together using a normal three strand plait. Sew the 3 pieces of yarn together across the top keeping it as flat as possible – this makes the next few steps less fiddly and gives you more yarn to work with.

Make Your Own Upcycled Fabric Rug

Step 5:  You can now start to lay out your yarn to get a feel for what style and shape you want! I chose an oval style square shape that would make a door mat. I started off by laying my plaited yarn onto non slip material which can be sourced cheap off line or at a general shop.

Wound Rug

Step 6: Gluing. For this I used a hot glue, I cut out a rectangle of the non slip and started in the middle in a circular pattern. Once my circle reached the edges then I laid to pieces of straight yarn above and below the circle, I then went round the circle and created semi circles shapes to fit into the lines above.

There you have it – all finished! You can now enjoy your new mat. Hope you liked this tutorial and please share if you make it! Tweet @OxfamFashion #foundinoxfam

DIY T-shirt Rug

Shop With Oxfam Online

8 Fun No Sew DIY Crafts to Do With Your Kids In The Holidays

As Oxfam’s shops are currently focusing on all things child friendly I decided to have a hunt of Oxfam’s archives to see what DIY ideas my fellow bloggers have created that can help you entertain your children this holiday.

Shop Quality Kids Clothing With the Oxfam Online Shop

Pom-Pom Critters

DIY Pom pom animals

Image Credit: Pom-pom tutorial Kelly O’Conor, pom-pom creatures & animals from Pinterest

 

Help your little ones follow fashion blogger Kelly’s easy guide to make a bunch of different pom-poms. From there grab some glue and a collection of googly eyes, pipe cleaners, scraps of card and felt or anything else you can think of and let them get creative! I’ve created a Pinterest board full of ideas from these very on-trend emojis to little critters with feet and googly eyes from bugs to bunnies and monsters to
minions! There are endless possibilities.

Friendship Bracelets

Make Yarn and Thread Bracelets

Whether your kids make these as gifts or keep them for themselves they will love filling their arm with all these coloured strands. We have two tutorials on the blog, Boatemaa’s plaited one with beading or Emma’s tutorial for knotted or wrapped braids.

Personalised Top

DIY Customised Personalised Top

This can be a great way to get kids loving the clothes they wear – let them design them themselves! First of all they need to create a design so let them get to work cutting and sticking, drawing, painting, whatever they like to do best. Then just photograph or scan their design to get a digital version which you can crop and edit to get it looking its best. From there Cassiefairy’s tutorial will give you all the instructions you need to transform their design into a top. Just make sure you
takeover for the ironing stage!

Summer Wreath

Make a Summer or Winter Wreath

Ok I know, I know wreaths are supposed to be Christmassy! But I think this simple design by Cassiefairy can be adapted to any season. Choose bright sunshiney colours to create the perfect decoration to add so cute colour to a barbeque party. You could even knock up some matching bunting to pull the décor together. Cut triangles of fabric with pinking shears and fold bias binding along the top edge, sewing or sticking it down, and voila you’re done!

Make a Stock of Homemade Gift Tags and Cards

Card Making Ideas

Not only can card making be a fun way to fill your little ones time but it will come in handy once your back in term time and need to send that last minute birthday or thank you card without out loosing that personal touch. You can busy pre-folded blank cards from craft shops or just DIY your own by halving sheets of card. Then let the kids get to work! Our bloggers have come up with all sorts of ideas to get their creative juices flowing from Liz’s cut and stick collage technique to SJP’s cross-stitch idea or Emily’s cut out designs  they’re sure to find something. You can even recycle old cards into gift tags too as Liz shows you here.

Finger Knitting

Finger Knitting How To

If your little ones are more on the patient side then Liz’s guide to finger knitting might be a great way for them to get a new skill and a new scarf without need to buy any new equipment! If your kids love loom-bands then this is one they could really enjoy, with the added bonus that you won’t be using lots of non-biodegradable plastics to make this.

Clip In Hair Braid

DIY Feathered Hair Braid

As a 90s child these were all the rage in my primary school days! These clip in hair braids are a fab way to add a pop of removable colour to your kids hair letting them explore the wild side of their style! Made using reclaimed fabric and thread they’re really easy to make and are perfect if you’re heading to any family festivals this summer. Alternatively you can use one of the friendship bracelet ideas to make a thread one instead.

Junk Toy Challenge

Make Recycled Toys

Photos by: John Ferguson, Eleanor Farmer & Annie Bungeroth.

The children that Oxfam works with often don’t have the luxury of having toys to play with so they reclaim materials from around them to make their own. This summer Oxfam is challenging kids to do just that and share the end result on Twitter with the #junktoychallenge. Find materials that would otherwise be thrown away, empty milk cartoons or cardboard boxes and let them make their own toy to play with. If you share their finished creation before midday on Friday 28th July then they could be in with a chance to win some chocolate and see their toy featured in Oxfam’s new
newspaper. Find out more information here.

Shop Quality Kids Clothing With the Oxfam Online Shop

 

Do the Trend On the Cheap: Make Your Own Personalised T-Shirt

I’m always on the look out for ways to re-create the clothes displayed so beautifully in the fashion magazines using a little charity shop fashion DIY. Lately I have been noticing that slogan t-shirt’s are filling the glossy pages. I love the big ol’ bold quotes on a colourful t-shirt. I love a small embroidered understated slogan in the corner. I love a funny or tongue in cheek slogan. After lusting over these t-shirts for a hell’uva long time, I thought it was about time I got cutting and ironing. The wonderful thing about creating your own slogan t-shirt is that you
can choose your own slogan. You can be hilarious. You can be witty. You can be Political. I went with being a little French and choosing the slogan ‘JE M’EN FOUS’ which translates to ‘I Do Not Care’. Or it does according to Google Translate which I blooming hope it right! I got this idea from another t-shirt. I thought it was a nicer way to remind myself to be a little carefree from time-to-time. And I decided to go with the French version because everything sounds better in French, right?

So, here it is. A little ‘no sew’ fashion DIY.

Choosing your design

Ingredients

  • T-Shirt (Use a plain one you already have or hunt for one in your local Oxfam or on Oxfam’s Online Shop)
  • Scissors
  • Iron on Letters (I used the ones from here)
  • Iron
  • Pins
  • Tape Measure

Method

1. Start by cutting roughly around the letters needed for your slogan.

JE M'EN FOUS Top

3. Lay the letters with the wrong side (white paper) facing up starting with the middle letter just below the pins and lay out to check how many lines you want the slogan to spread across.

Ironing the letters on

4. Once you are happy with the positioning of letters, remove all but the middle letter. With the wrong side (white side) still facing up. Follow the instructions supplied with the letters – I pressed the iron on the letter and held for 15-20 seconds.

Carefully remove the backing paper. Check as you start peeling the backing paper off that the letter has transferred onto the t-shirt. If not, hold the iron on the letter for a little longer.

Add the remaining letters from the middle outwards.

The finished look

And that’s it. An easy and quick way to adapt a plain charity shop t-shirt into something personal and unique! Let me know if you have a go at this fashion DIY as I would love to see your finished slogan t-shirt!  

Shop With Oxfam Online

Do the Trend On the Cheap: Make Your Own Personalised Jacket

One of the biggest trends of both 2016 and 2017 has been slogan clothing, especially DIY style jackets. Seen on both the catwalk from the likes of Gucci and Ashish to high-street stores like Topshop and ASOS all coming out with their own DIY/ Up-cycle feel clothes from patch jackets to painted leather. We have done a blog post in the past on how to make your own slogan t-shirt and now we will show you how we have been up-cycling our plain leather jackets to be sold at our Glastonbury Park
shop and how you can make your own!

You will need:

  • A Leather Jacket
  • Acrylic Paint Pens
  • Water and a cloth
  • Chalk (Optional)
  • Stencil (Optional)

Leather Jacket Upcycle Inspiration

1)       The ​first step of creating your own leather jacket is to first think of a design, I suggest looking on Pinterest for ideas or creating a mood board like the one above.

2)       On a hard surface like a table or the floor, lay your jacket down as flat as possible. Then take your chalk and mark out the design that you want. The chalk is good to use if you are not confident in creating a design free hand because it simply wipes away.


Personalised Jacket How to Instructions

3)       The next step is to take your acrylic paint pen and start drawing your design over the chalk. If you make a mistake you can scrub away the paint with a damp tissue or cloth.
4)       Once the outline is done you can fill it in or leave it as it is, it’s totally up to you what you do!  I chose to add some detail to this lettering with a vibrant pink design.


The Completed DIY Leather Slogan Jacket Look

This is a fun, easy and fashionable way to upcycle old leather jackets to give them a new lease of life. We will be taking lots of custom jackets made by our volunteers to our Glastonbury Park shop, so if you are heading over to Worthy Farm at the end of June check them out!

Here is a sneak peek at some of the designs available…

DIY Slogan Jacket



You might also like: 

Neat hung clothes

Declutter Day

Shop With Oxfam Online