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Reduce, reuse...re-wear? Upcycling makes a comeback -- literally -- in modern fashion. Turning leftovers into stylish works of art is both creative and socially acceptable. Runway fashion shows even display dresses made of newspapers and laminated packaging. You don't need a degree in design engineering though to craft wardrobe staples, innovative jewelry and head-turning accessories out of old junk. Be the envy of your friends by sporting glamorous treasures made with what once may have been on the trash heap.
Tablecloth Wrap Skirt
Retro tablecloths come in colorful prints and offer several yards of fabric for skirts of any size. Shop your local thrift stores to obtain tablecloth prints that pair well with your wardrobe staples. A simple A-line skirt pattern allows you to make flowing wrap skirts adorned in pears, flowers, plaids and checkers. Just measure, cut and sew. Wrap skirts suit any figure and old-school cotton tablecloths spice up colorful fitted tees.
Bottle Cap Earings
Bottle cap earrings complement casual couture. Plus, they're a great conversation piece. Gather a collection of ornamental caps off your favorite beverages. Lucky treasure hunters can source out old-fashioned soda bottle caps for added retro styling. With a small hammer, an awl and jewelry pliers, assembling a pretty combination of beads and caps yields fun, wearable art. Buy the needed accoutrements, such as inexpensive earring wires and head pins, at your local bead store.
Bike Chain Jewelry
Health-conscious divas can express their fitness-passion with steel bike chain jewelry. Make bracelets, earrings and necklaces out of broken bike chains. Cleaning them thoroughly is key. Leftover grease on your neck is less-than-sexy. After soaking your chain overnight in an eco-friendly de-greaser, give it a good scrub with a toothbrush. Use your chain tool to remove the links and reattach the rivets to a desired length. Be careful though, your new chunky trinket will be desired by others and you may be suckered into crafting a few for friends.
Transform holey, moth-eaten sweaters into purses and bags. Crafty seamstresses go the extra mile and "felt" old wool sweaters by washing them in hot water. Felting shrinks the yarn and tightens the weave, making for a sturdy creation that won't loose it's shape or unravel. Cut sweater pieces to a desired shape and sew them together. Add pockets, fabric straps and colorful appliques for a unique inspirational touch. Line the insides with vinyl tablecloth fabric and fret not if your lotion explodes on the inside.