Tag Archives: repurpose

2nd Hand Flip


2nd Hand Flip – By G. Allen Clark is On Sale now for readers of this site, for the introductory price of $4.95

Have you ever wanted to be in business for yourself, or turn your love of flea market and thrift store shopping into a profitable business?  If you have ever had this idea, now is the time. Why get into the business of reselling? According to National Association of Retail Trades, (NARTS) (https://www. narts. org,) a consumer research firm, an average of 15 percent of Americans shop at resale stores in a given year.

The industry has experienced an average growth of seven percent a year for the past two years, and, according to IBISWorld, reselling is expected to increase at an annualized rate of nearly three percent until the year 2021. The number is higher if you add in Flea Markets or sales through online thrift stores.

For consignment/resale shops, it is higher, hitting in the area of 12 – 15%. To keep these figures in perspective, consider that during the same time frame; 11 percent of shoppers shopped at outlet malls, less than 20 percent in apparel stores, and just over 21 percent at major department stores.

For those who are Rich, Poor, or Middle class, the art of the deal is inherent in all of us.  The American Dream is built on the adage, Buy Low and Flip It.  While many major chain operated businesses close their doors every day, vintage stores, including the small Mom and Pop booths in Resale malls, remain healthy and continue to be one of the fastest growing segments of the retail market.

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1927 Singer


DSCF3038(1)This post is directed to the person or persons who painted the 1927 Singer sewing machine case baby blue – thank you.  You have given my husband many hours of pleasure and kept him out of my hair.  He has toiled away in his workshop, lovingly removing the hideous color from what he tells me, is beautiful oak.  Thank goodness, they didn’t paint the machine itself.

By the way, for all you shabby chic aficionados who are reading this, this was not shabby chic.  I’ll be kind and simply say this was at best – a very poor, sloppy paint job.  (I said I would be kind)  While we love good shabby chic, this was not it.  As the appraiser said, because the machine works are in excellent condition and the cabinet was the more expensive seven drawer model at a time when most of the ones sold were the less expensive five drawer cabinetry, the only solution for preserving it, was to restore it to its natural oak finish.  Once my husband carefully removed the paint, he refinished the beautiful wood with three coats of hand rubbed Tung oil.  That gave it life again and because everything was by hand, he even managed to save some of the old patina that had been painted over.

Once again, I can see where the hand of a young mother rubbed the finish as she guided the fabric through the foot.  One of Singers earliest conversions to power, it still has its treadle, but I can see where her foot rested on the power switch and where the soles of her shoes wore the black paint off the side.  I can see the dents and scratched made from buttons, dropped scissors and probably a child’s tin toy.  If I close my eyes just right, I can even see the gleam in the little girls smile as mother holds up the new Sunday dress she just finished.

The next time you are in Mom & Me’s Vintage Linens & Lace in the American Classics Antique Mall, stop in space B30 and marvel at the simple ingenuity of DSCF3037(1)these beautiful sewing systems.  Look at the quality of the cabinetry work.  The careful attention to the joinery and style of the design.  You know that old world post-war craftsmen created them.  Rest your hands on this beautiful machine, close your eyes and see if you can relive its history.  Yes, it’s for sale at below appraised value because my husband hopes that its next owner will be able to repurpose the machine, but not want to paint it ever again.

upcycled napkins {diy}


napkin diy




Remember the pillowcase I picked up here? Well now we’re enjoying it as a new set of napkins – just in time to complement my new cooking skills!

I love upcycled projects like this, especially when they’re as easy as one two three (cut, iron, sew – oh and of course pre-wash so make that four).

Buen provecho!

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A Long – Short Week


United States Olympic Committee headquarters i...
Image via Wikipedia. United States Olympic Center

Friday night, after a long – but too short Christmas break, I finally closed the classroom door and was happy to get home and hit my easy chair. Tomorrow, (Sat) we are heading to the store to add in some more lace and vintage material, then it’s off to the Antique Show here in Colorado Springs.

An idea for you teachers. Two years ago, I made seat back pouches for all my elementary student chairs. The kids would come in, put their books and personal items into the pouch, keeping everything off the floor and out of the way.  Naturally I used repurposed material. In this case, it was old car seat covers I had found, but any heavy canvas material would do.

Instructions:   Measure the width of your chairs and the length from the top of the chair to the seat.  I will bet that you creative types will already know how to sew the rest, but for those who don’t try this.  Take your length measurement times 2 1/2. plus 2 inch’s.  e.g If you measured 15 inches from the top of the seat back to the seat, then the length of the canvas you will need is about 38 + 2 or 40 inches.  The last 8 inches is the pouch part.  The first fold is at 15 inches.  The second fold, folded inside itself is at 30 inch’s  (I hem the top and bottom of the strip one inch before I fold anything, so that’s why the extra length.)  The width of the piece is two inches wider then your seat back.  Now sew the side edges and turn everything inside out.  Your pouch part is now on the outside and ready to be filled.  Slip the whole thing over the seat back and your done.  Do this 25 more times and you have a classroom full of happy kids with new seat pouches and a clean floor.

Until next time, recycle, repurpose and stay green.