Suddenly, a lot of us are finding ourselves with a lot more free time – and in the midst of so much madness, it’s important to do what we can to feel good.
Making and mending can not only help us work on mindfulness – but can help us be more sustainable by fixing things instead of buying new and be more zero waste at home.
Want to practice some self care? Learn a new skill? Just want something else to do if you’re already on your tenth at-home pub quiz? Take a look through our recommendations of videos and tutorials about making and mending crafts. See how you can be more sustainable, as well as save your funds, just by staying at home.
DIY Crafts That WIll Help You Go Zero Waste At Home
1. Make a felt plant hanger
Yodomo offers online courses, kits and live webinars from independent artists to help us all get more creative. And when we don’t have the freedom to go outside, Yodomo are helping us bring nature indoors by offering a FREE course on how to make a felt plant hanger from felt offcuts (taken from The Mindful Maker by Clare Youngs, in partnership with CICO Books).
Use these clear step-by-step instructions to learn how to prepare your felt hanger, as well as a range of hand-stitching techniques you can go on to use again and again.
And once this is done, have a browse through Yodomo’s site for a range of different crafty guides – maybe try making a loved one a DIY craft with your newfound skills.
2. Make your own zero waste drawstring bag
Palava is a zero-waste clothing retailer – all of the family business’ accessories are made from the leftover fabric after cutting items of clothing. Even any small scraps remaining go into fabric bundles on offer to crafters and home sewists.
To keep you occupied in lockdown, Palava have also produced a step by step guide to make your own drawstring bag – all you need is a sewing machine, fabric scraps and drawstring cord or ribbon.
Watch out for updates as it is also currently looking into interactive streaming solutions for craft workshops and ‘Palava Club’ mending socials.
3. Make Raeburn’s shark mascot toy
Raeburn is an independent fashion studio championing responsible fashion design. It’s underpinned by the 4 R’s; RÆMADE, RÆDUCED, RÆCYCLED and RÆBURN’. Raeburn also holds a range of monthly events, discussions and workshops around London – but now that’s not possible, it’s bringing activities to you.
Ever made a stuffed shark before? Me neither.
All you have to do is download the pattern of one of Raeburn’s animal mascots, print it on a sheet of A4, stick the pattern pieces as instructed and then draw around them on any pieces of spare fabric or offcuts.
You’ll then be able to sew your shark together on a sewing machine OR by hand and stuff it with whatever you have available!
The activity is free – but they ask everyone to consider donating what they can to Direct Relief to support frontline health workers.
4. Learn how to weave baskets from ghost nets and marine plastic
Zero waste and DIY crafting doesn’t get much better than this. Kittiekipper, a fibre artist and activist working with ghost nets and marine plastic, aims to ‘unite and weave the seas clean’.
For those (like me) who hadn’t heard of ghost nets – they are discarded fishing nets that have been left in the oceans, having the potential to kill marine life. Read more about them here in this explainer feature.
See Kittekipper’s IGTV post for a ghost net weaving tutorial to make the best of materials collected from beach cleanups. You can also check out her TED talk on how marine plastic is killing the planet here.
5. How to make a rag rug out of waste fabric (no loom needed)
The rag rug is a classic DIY craft but as it uses up no end of scrap fabric and helps all your other fabric crafts be more zero waste. There’s no need for any fancy equipment here.
Nancy’s Notions YouTube tutorial helps us make an easy no sew rag rug with small scraps of material. Visit Nancy’s Notions YouTube channel to find this video, as well as many more free patterns and crafty tutorials.
There is even a specific section on her YouTube called ‘Scrapbusters’ to create other DIY crafts out of things that you may find lying around the house.
6. How to crochet with plastic bags
Fancy trying a new DIY craft project whilst getting rid of old plastic bags? Of course you do!
Izzalicious Designs teaches us how to recycle plastic shopping bags into Plarn (plastic yarn!) and crochet them into a bag – or whatever else you may want. Others have made bigger bags and even sleeping bags out of recycled and upcycled plastic bags so get your zero waste crafting hat on.
7. Learn how to darn and sew
Ok so it might not be a DIY craft but it is a very useful DIY skill to learn and might be helpful in any DIY mending or upcycling projects you’re undertaking.
Online clothing alteration company, Clothes Doctor, is sharing their sewing expertise with some online DIY tutorials, and the first one tackles darning.
Or if you want to tackle other fabric based DIY crafts pick up some basic hand sewing skills with Fast Fashion Therapy’s helpful Clothing Maintenence tutorials.