Sewing Bee Beanbag

I am really enjoying the latest series of The Great British Sewing Bee now back on TV. It is one of my favourite TV programmes. The challenge of problem solving to make something useful or beautiful is just all part who I am and expressing resourcefulness and creativity. My last Sewing Bee inspired challenge from last year when I made a dress for my daughter from an old top was a huge success and to date my popular blog post. The sewing Bee has inspired me to have an other go at upcycling.

We have recently redecorated our youngest son’s bedroom after being given a wooden mid-sleeper bed. My husband removed the stickers, sanded it all down, primed and painted it all bright blue to match in with his new Iron Man Avengers bed theme, what more could a 4 year old want? He loves the new space with a ‘den’ area underneath. We are really pleased to have given an old piece of furniture a new lease of life with the project.

Freecycle Shed

When we were having a sort out, we had to decide what to do with some of the items no longer needed. We used our local Freecycle service to pass on the changing unit and cot-bed. It is a great way to be eco and for another family to use what we no longer need. We have in our time had some good items (and some bad) from Freecycle. It has become a bit of a talking point in our house including once my husband collected a pretty much brand new shed, dismantled it (with the help of some very good friends) and over time used the materials to build one in our garden and some other things. It was a bit of a mamouth effort but worth it for saving cost and the materials otherwise go to landfill or destined for a bonfire.

Using existing resources in a new way is a great way to be eco by avoiding landfill.

The slightly sad looking Thomas the Tank Engine beanbag (top) was put in a pile of things for the tip where the polystyrene balls would end up in big hole and take over 500 years to decompose. I had an idea to recover it to use in the newly redecorated bedroom. For the cover I used an old toddler bedding sheet that was also no longer used, again being resourceful in using what materials we had and a challenge to not buy anything new.

I cut two circles for the top and the bottom and an edging strip around the outside. I then had to use some maths to work out how long the side panel needed to be based of the circumference of the circle using 2πR. I attached an old zip to one of the panels so that it is removable for washing. It took an evening to sew with a satisfying result. We can make use from the old beanbag for a few more years yet and it has been used already to sit on in a cosy reading corner.

What can you rescue? Next time you load the car for the tip, could any of the items be passed on using a Freecycle service or be upcycled into something new?

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