How to Upcycle Jeans into a Purse

Around 2012, you could find me in a stuffy 6th grade classroom on weekdays, and in my own room on the weekends. I was always crafting and scrounging around my mom and dad’s closet for fabric to use in my sewing projects. I did everything by hand, and I never bought anything new to sew with, except for thread, of course. I was 12. I literally couldn’t, lol. I remember looking at a pair of lightwash jeans from my mom and thinking the top looked like it would make a good bag. So I turned it into one, and made a strap from a fabric belt or a scarf of some kind before sewing on seashells and an octopus pendant.

I have no idea where that’s gone to over the years, I might still have it hiding between photo albums and forgotten boxes. I think I would cry if I ever found it, honestly. It was such a “me” thing to make, and it was one of if not the first things I mqde and actually used outside of my house. My best friend, who I met in 6th grade, told his mom about it and when I came over for the first time, she saw it and knew who I was lol.

It’s a special DIY for me, even though it’s super simple and easy to make. I created another one a few weeks ago and shared the process on TikTok. The videos can be found below or by checking out my profile @Maiden_of_Moths on TikTok, which also has captions.

Part 1
Part 2

Do you have any DIYs close to your heart? Feel free to share them with me! I am off to get ready for work, so I will catch you guys later. Bye!

Salvaging Ugly Thriftstore Jars

I say ugly, but what I really mean is painted and not your style. This particular jar that I salvaged had some scratched up paint printed onto it, but I really loved the seal and shape it had. This is a super simple and speedy tutorial for painted jars that you want to keep sans the paint.

All you need is 100% acetone (weaker nail polish remover will work too, but it may be more difficult to remove the paint) and something to scrub with. Cotton rounds, old rags, toilet paper, etc. will all do the job just fine.

If you want to pre-treat your jar and make it easier to scrub, wrap an acetone soaked towel or rag around it and place inside a plastic bag for a minute or two. It’ll slip right off. If you’re impatient like me, you can soak a small piece of cloth in acetone and go to town on the paint.

If you have your nails painted (and/or shaped with acrylic/gel), have dry or sensitive skin, or just don’t want chalky fingertips, wear gloves for this. Also bear in mind that acetone is super flammable, so no smoking while scrubbing off this paint.

When you’ve gotten the paint off, clean off any streaks or residue with warm soapy water. Dry and voila! Jar salvaged.

I ended up getting mine for 50 cents, most likely owing to the gaudy snow man pattern and it being out in June. I filled it with some tubes of my homemade lip balm and I’m super happy with it! I even made a tik tok sharing the process. Give it a watch if you’re more of a visual learner!

@maiden_of_moths

I found this jar at goodwill for super cheap and removed the paint that was printed onto it #upcylced #thrift #fyp

♬ original sound – Olivia 🌹

I hope this inspires you to not give up on ugly jars when you thrift shop! If you like the bare bones of it, give it an acetone bath and enjoy! Let me know if you found this helpful, and what fun thrifting experiences you’ve had in the comments below! Bye!

How to Upcycle Seed Beads From Plastic Bottles

As someone who loves making jewelry and also loves to upcycle, I found this beautiful intersection of the two very useful! All you need to create these seed bead-esque beads is:

  1. hole puncher
  2. type 1 plastic bottle
  3. needle or pin
  4. candle
  5. lighter
  6. container to keep the beads in

It’s super simple to make these beads! I actually managed to fit all of my instructions into a minute-long Tik Tok video! I’ve included that below for all of my visually inclined readers, and the written instructions under that.

@maiden_of_moths

here’s how to make some super tiny beads from a type 1 plastic bottle! stay safe and remember to reduce waste! #foryoupage #zerowaste #upcycle

♬ original sound – Olivia 🌹

Step One: punch out a bunch of holes from your type 1 plastic bottle. My hands started cramping after a while, so I had to come back later to finish punching out the rest! Some areas may be stiffer than others, so its okay to skip those spots. I recommend trying to keep your holes closer together to avoid wasting too much of the bottle!

Step Two: Pierce one of your circles with a pin or needle. The thicker the needle, the bigger the hole will end up being inside your bead. You can pierce it easily by stabbing the center of a circle, wiggling it around to get it nice and stuck, and then carefully putting pressure on either side of your circle against your needle. You can do the beads one at a time like I did in the video, or you can stack several circles on one needle, space them apart, and heat them all at once. Just make sure to be careful with the flame and hold the needle with pliers to ensure all of the plastic can be reached safely.

Step Three: Holding the very end of your needle, or the ball of your pin, lower your plastic near the flame of your candle. To avoid any burns, or if you are having trouble holding the pin, fill the pin with circles (about 10 at a time works well for me) and hold the pin with pliers over the fire. Rotate the plastic to ensure it is evenly heated, and the plastic shrinks inward around the entire circle.

Step Four: using a cup, jar, etc., push your circles off into a container. They cool rapidly once away from the heat of the needle, and are ready for use immediately. String on thread or keep loose. Mine are kept loose in an old play dough container.

Notes: If you have any leftover plastic circles, store them away for later use. I’ve found that even the circles with moon-shaped bites taken out of them work just fine as seed beads once they melt down a bit under the fire! Don’t toss the circles if you can avoid it, because they are small and are considered microplastics, and we all know how bad those are.

Have fun finding raw material in something you might otherwise throw out! Stay tuned for more upcycling adventures and DIY projects. Bye!