50 Memory Clothes Ideas: #3 – sweater blanket

felted wool sweater blanket by yellow suitcase studio

Do you have old clothes that you just can’t seem to part with? They might be your own or those of a loved one, or your child’s, but there are memories attached to those clothes that you don’t want to forget. How about using them to make a memory clothes project? Give those clothes a second life will keeping those precious memories close. This year I’ll be sharing 50 ideas using old clothes that you can enjoy or share with family and friends. Here is today’s idea:

Wool Sweater Throw by Peggy on DIYcraftyProjects.com

Continuing our sweater theme for January, I thought some ideas for transforming old sweaters into a cozy blanket would be perfect for these cold winter days and nights. If the sweaters are wool they can be felted first but you can use them even if they can’t be felted. This one was made with a mixture of cotton, unfelted wool and felted wool. Some wool yarn has been treated to prevent felting.

upcycled warm wool lap quilt from fiberluscious.blogspot.com

There are several ways to handling the seams as you can see from the ideas above. Here is another variation on sewing felted seams that could be used on a sweater blanket.

felted seam technique from blog.betzwhite.com

Anxious for more memory clothes project ideas? Check out this Pinterest board.

50 Memory Clothes Ideas: #2 – sweater purse/tote bag

sweater purse from sew-over-it.blogspot.com

Do you have old clothes that you just can’t seem to part with? They might be your own or those of a loved one, or your child’s, but there are memories attached to those clothes that you don’t want to forget. How about using them to make a memory clothes project? Give those clothes a second life will keeping those precious memories close. This year I’ll be sharing 50 ideas using old clothes that you can enjoy or share with family and friends. Here is today’s idea:

details for sew-over-it’s sweater purse

I never thought of using a sweater to make a tote bag before. When I saw the above idea on Pinterest I loved it. when I searched deeper, I found lots of different variations of the basic idea of using a sweater to create a tote bag or purse. If the sweater is 100% wool you can even felt it first which has some advantages in making the “fabric” sturdier plus felting bonds the fibers together so it doesn’t unravel when cut. The images above and below don’t come with instructions but I found a few tutorials to help get you started on transforming a sweater into a tote bag.

If those tutorials don’t help with your project a google or Pinterest search for tote bag or purse patterns should head you in the right direction. What a fun way to give new life to a beloved sweater and keep memories close at the same time.

felted sweater purse made by GrannyBeansBoutique on etsy.com

another felted sweater purse from GrannyBeansBoutique on etsy.com

Anxious for more memory clothes project ideas? Check out this Pinterest board.

Gift Idea #50 – Surprise Balls

idea numbers50I came across this idea via Design Mom. The basic idea is to take small gifts and brightly colored crape paper strips. You start with the largest item and wrap it with the crape paper and then add another item and repeat until all the items are wrapped in the ball. Here are detailed instructions on how to make a surprise ball.

These surprise balls remind me if some gifts I gave my nieces when they were young. I wrapped their gifts in yarn. I took a small item and wrapped yarn around it until it was the size of a volleyball. I like the idea of having a series of small gifts to discover along the way.

I think it would be fun to have a series of small trinkets and photos that relate to a family member. It could focus on a single story with the items in the surprise ball help to tell the story. This idea has some great possibilities, I can’t wait to try this out.

Surprise Balls – photo by HonestlyWTF

Gift Idea #46 – Story Box

idea numbers46This gift idea was inspired by this post on Design Mom. Guest Aunt Kelly Wilkinson made a story box for her sister as a gift before her first baby was born. I think this could be adapted for other situations. What Kelly did was take a wooden cigar box and decorate the outside with pretty images. A wooden box would be wonderful but other types of containers could be used also.

Inside she and a few friends put handwritten cards with story prompts. This cards can be used by her sister or in the future her sister’s children to start stories from their mother’s life. Children love to hear stories about their parents lives. This idea could also be used with grandparents or other extended family. The story prompts could also be generic and then the story box could be used by anyone to generated memories of their lives. The story box could be the start of a new family tradition that will be enjoyed for years to come.

Gift Idea #39 – Christmas Wreath with Memorablia

idea numbers39

Simple put this idea is to decorate a wreath with old family photos and other objects from your families past. This gives you the opportunity to share with others the stories about your ancestor.

I learned about this idea at a genealogy conference a couple of years ago. I went to a class by Lisa Louise Cooke. She opened my eyes to the possibilities of ways to share family stories. Lisa has put together four videos with detailed step by step instructions on how to make a family history Christmas wreath. You will find the links below. Have fun with this. Use these videos as a starting point and adapt the idea to your own taste situation.

Family History Christmas Wreath – part 1

Family History Christmas Wreath – part 2

Family History Christmas Wreath – part 3

Family History Christmas Wreath – part 4

Gift Idea #26 – Re-purpose Costume Jewelry

idea numbers26Do you have a bunch of old costume jewelry from your grandmother? My grandma had a pretty good collection that was given to any great-grandchild who was interested. But if you re-purposed that jewelry it would have a wider appeal and a new function along with bringing back memories of a beloved family member.  You might even be able to make a key chain for male members of the family to enjoy. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Book Marks

Fridge Magnets

Costume Jewelry Repurposed

Upcycle Reuse Costume Jewelry

Gift Idea #1 – Have an Ancestor to Dinner

This idea is inspired by the tradition of having a special birthday plate that is only used on birthdays by the person whose birthday it is. In my version wrap a special plate, either one you already have or one that you make or buy just for this purpose. Then you have a family dinner and set an extra place at the table with this plate. During the meal you talk about the ancestor or family member that is the special guest for dinner. Someone could be ready with stories about you special guest or family members could share memories about that person, depending on the situation. You could even invite someone to come in costume as the ancestor and play the role for the night.

These special dinners could be held monthly or on or near the birthday of the ancestor or whatever works for your family. You could place card by the special plate with the guest of honors name and a photo would be a nice touch. If you know a favorite food of the guest, it would be fun to serve that as part of the meal. This is just a starting point. The same idea would work for living members of your family and use it as a way to honor the talents and accomplishments of the guest of honor.

If you Google custom plates there are tons of options of plates you can buy with a family name or other images. There are many ways to decorate a glass or ceramic plate yourself. Below are a few links to give you some ideas and get you started on this project.

Glass Plate Craft

How to Use Porcelain Paint Pens

Decoupage Dinner Plate

Family Name Platter

Etched Glass Dinner Plate

Personalized Melamine Plate