A just in time handmade gift

In Monday’s post I mentioned the Christmas gift that almost wasn’t ready in time, and which only managed to be under the tree with some last minute sewing Christmas Eve evening. MOH was bemused my by last minute industriousness, even more so when he realised it was for him. I was keen to get it finished, so he stood a chance of working out what it was, and of course to get it finished and wrapped so it could be opened on Christmas Day.

It was a bit out of the norm you see, but I needn’t have worried as he got what they were for as soon as he opened them, phew.

park here - the handmade gift for moh

They’re mats for the wheels of his bike, for when it’s wet and dark, and so the bike stays in our conservatory overnight. Up until now he’s been parking his bike on some newspaper, which while it serves a purpose and does a job, tends to hang about for a bit and so I thought something more aesthetically pleasing must exist. Then I realised it probably didn’t, but was something I could make.

The trouble was when I had time on my own in the house, usually his bike wasn’t there so what size? In the end I guessed and cut a leg of an old pair of jeans to be approximately 40cm x15cm - I knew I wanted something hardwearing, but I also wanted something softer for the newly varnished conservatory floor, so a leg of some old pyjamas were just the thing, and I had some batting somewhere I’m sure…



But I also knew it’d need to be more than just two pads for MOH to know what it was for. With a flash of inspiration one night I hit on the idea of adding some lettering, but what: bike park, stay dry, clean floor, no mess, not newspaper and so on, but in the end I went with the simple instruction of “Park here.”

The original plan was to embroider both words, in script, and “here” looked to be the easier and more continuous to do, so I started with that using twine. I’d written the design onto the jeans (and you can still see it in both photos) and it wasn’t onerous to do, and there was lots of tracing where the flow of the letters should go with my fingers, I realised I wanted more of the pyjama fabric on show too.



So a new plan was hatched for the “park” which involved using my die cutter to cut out the letters from fabric ironed onto interfacing, which I hoped would stop them fraying (we’ll have to see how that works out), then stitched onto the denim. I toyed with the placement and went with a more jaunty arrangement, as time wasn’t on my side, and I preferred to have them clearly not straight rather than trying to be straight and failing.



I’m rather pleased with how they turned out, with more planning I think I’d have quilted them some more perhaps, and given them a wash to remove the red felt tip lettering, but there’s time for that.

What was more pleasing was that when he opened them, he knew what they were for and sweetly suggested I could make these and sell them, however as they often say on Dragon’s Den, I think this is solving a problem that not many people know they have, so I don’t expect there’s much demand for these. They were fun to make, and to give, and as well as their practical-ness they’ve also demonstrated to MOH that sometimes old fabric can be put to good use, and uses you might not have first thought of!

Park here  - a simple instruction - on MOH's bike mats

How were your handmade gifts received?

Recycled plastic rugs, that don't look like recycled plastic rugs

I suspect that when you read that you thought of stiff, shiny woven rugs didn't you? I know that my mind had some trouble computing when I read the sign and saw the attractive looking - and soft to the touch - rugs in the box from Eco Braids, which I spotted on that trip to the House & Garden store at Snape Maltings.  But they are the recycled rugs in question and I tested them they're not stiff or shiny at all. In fact I don't think you'd know about their green credentials unless you knew, if you know what I mean.

100% recycled plastic rugs in the Homes & Gardens shop at Snape Malting Suffolk

They can be used inside or out and are machine washable - just as the sign says.  The colourways have some cracking names too: paprika, putty, sapphire, wasabi and pewter. I'm very tempted for when I replace the mat we have by our back door.


What do you think?

A Green and Rosie Life

Have you ever heard of recycled paint?

No me neither, but it makes perfect sense. So if your shed or garage looks anything like this - or has maybe one or two tins less, then read on as I'm sharing a fabulous guest post on recycled paint here today.



Recycled paint, really?


Hi, I'm Amy from from EPS and Amy I am a parent blogger at heart, but am here today to talk about another topic which means a lot to me: Paint Recycling, no I’m not talking about scraping paint off walls (how many times have I heard that?!), we take the half empty tins which everyone has in their sheds or garages (collected from household waste recycling centres, aka the local tip) and batch it all up, add a bit of chemistry magic and turn it back into brand new, beautiful new paint, which is available in 28 colours from Reborn Paints.

The process itself was “invented” by my father, Keith Harrison, patent pending and we now licence the process to others so paint is being recycled up and down the country. Between us around 1000 tons of paint a year is being stopped from ending up in landfill. We add various clays and limestones to the “unloved” paint and filter and treat it, and re-pot it into our own livery.

The paint itself is “as good as Dulux” (quote is from a professional painter), available in premium quality flat matt finish it is £29 for 2.5 litres, but if you order a sample pot we will send you a £5 off code for use on a full sized pot, so you get your sample money back if you decide to go with us!

There are a couple of stockists across the country - we are looking for more if you are interested - but the easiest way to purchase our paint is directly from our online site: www.rebornpaints.co.uk.

Reborn paints - recycled paint from unwanted paint from household tips

Thanks Amy, that's totally fascinating and I can see lots of mileage in this. It's a shame you can't take paint direct from the general public, as I've a few tins in MOH's shed that I'd willingly donate (don't worry we'll get them to the tip!).

So, what do you think? Would you buy recycled paint? 

* All photos are with thanks to Reborn Paints.

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A Green and Rosie Life