Use What You've Got

This is the philosophy I was brought up on and still stick to in my life.

Use What You've Got

If you want something, rather than going out to buy it - see first if you can make it yourself, using things you already have.

For example, my daughters came home from school at the end of last term wanting to buy loom bands. Instead of spending money, buying more plastic toys, I looked at my stash, found lots of embroidery threads, looked up some macrame tutorials and helped my girls learn to craft their own bracelets, hair decorations etc.

I've always enjoyed finding my own materials for projects.
Like using old car windscreen shades, old curtains and clothes to make Insulated lunch bags:

Or an old kiddies t-shirt to make an ipod/mp3 player sleeve:

Or in the kitchen, the other week I came to make lasagne for dinner as planned when I realised I'd forgotten to buy the lasagne sheets -oops!
Then I decided, rather than nip to the shops to buy some, I'd dust off my pasta maker (which I had for well over a year before I even tried it out!). I quickly Googled a pasta recipe, made it and ended up with home-made pasta sheets in our lasagne!

But there's also the other side of 

Use What You've Got

I recently spring cleaned my house - all the cupboards and drawers got emptied, tidied, de-cluttered and cleaned.
In doing this, I really got to see quite how much 'stuff' we have that we never use. I'm sure most households are the same.

So - I've decided that we're going to make an effort to use these things.

For example - when cleaning out one cupboard I found a cross-stitch kit my daughter had been given for her birthday over a year ago, but had never been opened!  So that afternoon I sat down with her and showed her how to start, and she's loving cross-stitching away while listening to an audio book!

I also found some vases under the sink that we really never use.  There is a bush at the front of our house that has needed a good trim for a while, so I went out and snipped away, but instead of putting all the cuttings in the compost bin.. we have a selection of flowers in vases around the house - including these pretty ones brightening up my kitchen window!

You get the idea.

We have cupboards full of things we need to use not just store.
I also have a whole wardrobe (and more) full of fabric, and crafting supplies waiting for the perfect project. Time to get creative and find those perfect projects!

Everything from kitchen gadgets, to exercise equipment, board games, books and fabric is part of my masterplan to..

Use What You've Got.

Not only will this be fun, and add more variety to our lives, but it should also save us money too. We have so many things to explore and create right here in our own house, whether it's making our own lasagne sheets or our own version of loom band bracelets. Anything that saves us from spending our hard earned dollars has to be a bonus!

Use What You've Got?

Take a look in your cupboards - do you have things you never use? Clothes you never wear? Recipes you've never tried? Or a crafting stash that has been there for a long time waiting, waiting, waiting for the perfect project?
Do you think it might be time to use it?


  1. Maybe you could create an e-book for purchase - I would get it. I've been watching an 11 year old after school five days a week and am teaching her to sew. Straight lines are a big challenge for her so the simpler the project the better. Today I will introduce her to the scrunchie tutorial. I made mine this morning and am loving it. You have so many other projects I'm sure she will be excited about - I'm leaning towards the pencil/paper pad holder - so cute and useful since she uses colored pencils in her school work. Thanks so much!

    1. Thanks IzzysMom! I've been thinking of doing this for a while and it's something I'm hoping my daughters will help me create! Glad my tutorials are of some help!

  2. How nice to share these ideas! We have recently put down laminate flooring in our houseboat and had half a roll of foam underlay left over. I am slowly using it up to make things that need padding (e.g. made a glasses' case out of an old tie and padded it out with the foam) or insulating (there are some great lunchbox tutorials online). Otherwise, it would have gone to a landfill - what a waste!
    Thanks, IzzysMom and everyone else for the great ideas.

    1. That's awesome Ildinyo that you make use of things too like that foam underlay. I think we sometimes forget how many free craft supplies we have!


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