Category Archives: Upcycling

Zippered Pencil Cases

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You know about my love affair with burlap – making something out of used Hessian coffee bags. Well, for quite a while I have been thinking of making zippered burlap cases for pencils or other small items. The problem was that I have an irrational fear of zippers – sewing zippers, that is! I finally decided to tackle this fear and lo and behold!

The case below was the very first one I made. It’s not perfect but I really like it, and it now lives in my bag, holding all those small items you carry around… The one above is now for sale in my Etsy shop!

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My fear of zippers conquered, I grabbed a white zipper I had somewhere and with some oilcloth scraps I made this pouch. My son loves it so I may give it to him…

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Next, I cut a freezer paper stencil to make this case (also for sale):

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Of course I could stencil any word (to a maximum of 10 letters) onto a case like this, so I am also offering a Personalized Burlap Pencil Case.

And I might try some zippered pillow covers soon! (although hidden zippers still frighten me…)

Take care,
Linda

Article in Making Magazine

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Today I received a large envelope from the UK… with the January issue of Making, one of my favourite craft magazines. And in this issue is my article on how to make a burlap pencil roll from a coffee sack! Yay! (I’ve had quite a few articles published in magazines, but it’s still a big thrill!)

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I sent a pencil roll to the UK to be photographed. Doesn’t it look gorgeous!

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There are some other great projects in this issue, so do check it out if you see it! I really like this magazine – it’s fresh and original, full of attractive projects. I’m proud to be part of it. 🙂

Take care,
Linda

Supersized Burlap Pencil Roll

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This week a customer asked if I could make a Burlap Pencil Roll for her that could hold 20 pencils instead of 12. The largest one I had made so far was for 16 pencils, but four more wasn’t a problem!

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The roll measures 25 x 50 cm (10″x 20″). Rolled up it is pretty big…

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If you would like to order a roll that can hold a different number of pencils (or thicker pencils, or pockets for a sharpener and a rubber, or would like to see it threaded in different colours), please convo me on Etsy or send an email to info@lindarobertus.com. I love doing custom orders and will be happy to work with you!

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Take care,
Linda

Happy New Year!

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I hope you had a lovely time during the holidays with your loved ones!
I spent two very relaxed weeks with my family at the beach and am now feeling full of energy and creativity :-).

The note in the photo above was pinned to a pole in Kingscliff, NSW – not a bad motto for 2013!

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But I like this one even better… The Coffee Quote on Burlap, Stretched in a Hoop, is the latest item in my burlap collection. This one is now for sale on Etsy, with more quotes to follow, as well as a personalized one, where you can choose your own words. What would you like to see printed on the burlap?

Take care,
Linda

Burlap Money Belt

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At the Inspired Event last weekend I realised I really need a money belt. So I made one – from a coffee sack, of course! 😉

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I sewed a velcro strip on the inside of the pocket to be able to close it (I don’t do zips). Here’s a pic of me wearing it:

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I’ll be trying it out at the BrisStyle indie Designers Market next weekend!

Take care,
Linda

Burlap Coffee Sack Apron Tutorial

Last week I made this Burlap Coffee Sack Apron as part of my set of items for Reverse Garbage’s Festive Collective (there’s one in my Etsy shop as well). It’s quick and easy to make and I thought you might like a short tutorial on how to do it. So here goes…

You will need:
– 1 coffee sack (in Brisbane, go to Reverse Garbage – elsewhere, try your local coffee shop!)
– lining fabric, approx. 80 x 60 cm (31.5 x 23.5 inch) (I used plain calico – that’s muslin for American readers – but you might want to use a patterned or coloured fabric)
– 4 m (13.1 feet) ribbon, 2.5 cm (1 inch) wide (I used something called twill tape because its colour matches the burlap, but black ribbon would also look great)
– matching thread (I used burlap-coloured Gutermann cotton)
– optional: buckle or D-rings
– fabric scissors
– optional: pinking shears
– pins
– sewing machine with a straight and zig-zag stitch

A word about sewing with burlap (Hessian, jute) in general:
Burlap frays terribly, so don’t cut it until you are ready to start sewing. It also sheds a lot, although I have found that spraying it with starch and pressing it with a hot iron helps to reduce this. Nevertheless, clean your sewing machine when you have finished as a lot of lint will build up inside and don’t wear your best clothes whiel working with burlap!

Instead of a pattern I used an apron that fits me well – it is 55 cm wide and 73 cm high (22 x 29 inch). I pinned it to the lining fabric and cut around it. Then I used the cut piece of lining fabric to cut the apron from the coffee sack, taking care to place it so that the words on the sack were on the apron (click on the photos to enlarge them):

You will now have an apron-shaped piece of burlap and an apron-shaped piece of lining fabric. Pin these together with the right sides facing each other:

Now sew the two pieces of fabric together along the edges, leaving a gap of about 30 cm (12 inch) at the middle of the bottom edge. I use a standard zigzag stitch to keep the burlap from fraying too much.

Clip the corners and gently turn the apron right-side out. Push out the corners carefully with a round tool. (I use the top of a paint brush)

Press the apron with a hot iron. Fold in the open edges at the bottom and press them down:

Using a straight stitch, top-stitch close to the edges all around the apron, thereby closing the gap in the bottom edge.

Your apron now looks like this – all that is left to do is add the finishing touches!

Cut a piece of ribbon to cover the top edge of the apron. Fold it in half lengthwise, press, lay it over the top edge and sew through both sides using a straight stitch.

Make sure you carefully guide the ribbon folded over the fabric:

Next, attach the second piece of ribbon in the same way. This piece covers the bottom half of the apron – see the drawing below:

The third and fourth piece of ribbon cover the side edges of the top half of the apron and also form the neck strap and the waist ties. You could use one piece of ribbon for this if you don’t need the neck strap to be adjustable. I used two pieces and added buckle from an old backpack. You could also use D-rings.

For the length of the waist ties I looked at the old apron that I also used as a pattern. They are 60 cm (23.5 inch) long. I cut the ends with pinking shears to stop them from fraying. You could also fold them inwards and stitch back and forth a few times.

Ribbon pieces 3 and 4 cover the start and end points of ribbon pieces 1 and 2 and give the apron a beautifully finished look.

Here is the finished apron with my other burlap items for the Festive Collective. I hope you found this tutorial useful and would love to hear it if you made your own apron! If you have any questions or if something isn’t clear, please let me know so I can help and adjust where necessary.

Take care,
Linda

Festive Collective

I am very excited to have been chosen to be part of Festive Collective, the end-of-year exhibition at Reverse Garbage (where I source my coffee bags). I am working hard now on a collection of burlap items for the exhibition – these Christmas ornaments are part of it.

The exhibition will showcase jewellery, soft furnishings, home wares, fine artworks, paper goods and gifts for the eco-conscious buyer. It kicks off on Saturday 24 November with an opening party that I am really looking forward to!

Take care,
Linda

Burlap apron

 

It was a busy week here, with hubby in New Zealand, so I didn’t get to do too much creative stuff. I did manage to make this burlap apron and am very happy with how it turned out. My eldest son (9) made the photo – I think he did a good job!

I’m now working on some more burlap Christmas items… Hope to show them here soon!

Take care,

Linda

 

 

 

Newsletter

Today I spent most of my time writing the very first Blue Jacaranda Newsletter and setting up a mailing list. I plan to send it out once a month so as not to clog up inboxes. If you subscribe you will automatically go in the draw to win a beautiful Blue Jacaranda prize each month. This month the prize is a set of three Burlap Christmas Cards (see photo) with a text of your choice (in a language of your choice)!

In the newsletter I will tell you about what’s going on at Blue Jacaranda – including new items in the shop, where I hang out, and other things I think you might like to see.To read the first newsletter click here.You can subscribe on that page as well, or go to the Newsletter tab at the top of this page.

Take care,

Linda