Sunday, November 21, 2010

Environment Friendly Craft: Potholders from Scrap Fabrics

Doing crafts is therapeutic and can relieve stress and tensions. It is also a perfect way to unwind and make something useful and creative. Every one of us has creative potentials and with modern easy to do kits and patterns, doing crafts does not have to end in frustration.

If you have a sewing machine at home, you can do many creative handicrafts. To start with, a potholder project can be an easy project to do. Potholders can be made from scrap materials or unwanted clothing and a bit of double-fold bias tape. Here are the simple step-by-step procedures in making your potholders.

Cut a pair of 8-inch (21 cm) squares of fabric for the faces of the potholders. Use coordinating fabrics so it would be appealing to the eyes. If you prefer, you can make a cardboard pattern so it will be easier for you to cut the other pieces. Now cut more 8-inches square pieces from any old fabric to stack for the filling. The filling must be thick enough to protect you from heat but thin enough so it would be so manageable and can be sewn through easily.

Arrange all layers so the outer layers are facing the outside and the filler layers are inside. You can put a couple of large straight pins through the assembly to fasten them together temporarily. Then start to sew right across the middle of the stack. Sew across the middle again, perpendicular to the first stitching. Make stitches across opposite corners and do it on the other corners. If you wish, you may repeat each stitch to make a strong bond. The layers must be strong and sturdy at this stage.

To bind off the raw edges of the assembly, trim first the excess parts to smoothen and even out the edges. Open out one folded edge of the bias tape. The wider bias tape can be easier to use, but the narrow type makes a neat finish product. Start with one side, line up the edges of the tape with the edges of the potholder. You may now start stitching through all layers along the first fold line. The stitch must be a quarter inch from the edge. Repeat same procedure with the remaining three sides until you reach the starting corner of the potholder. Cut the bias tape off and leave three inches (7 cm) to form a hanging loop.

Fold the bias tape over the raw edge so that the middle fold lines up with the outside of the potholder and the other fold is hiding the raw edge of the bias tape. Now, for best results, manually hand-sew the binding down, forming a loop on your creative handicraft when you get to the end.

This potholder project is very easy to do. You can also try do some other shapes if you want; say, a circular or an oval potholder or even fruits and veggies shapes will also do. This crafts idea is very cheap and would not cost too much. You will only need pieces of recyclable fabrics and your creativity. Your finished product will be very useful for your own kitchen or you might do it in batches and give it off to your friends.

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