Thursday, July 18, 2013

Before You Throw Things Away, Scavenge the Parts

Some things get worn out and we throw them away.  But pretend you are in the 1930s and scavenge them for useable parts first before you throw them away.  The trick (I am speaking to myself here) is to actually use those parts, though, and not just keep stuffing them in closets and corners while you go out and buy the first solution that crosses your mind.

What I had to do was retire an old purse/bag.  I loved it dearly, but it had a hole and 3 broken zippers after  5 years of daily use.  I didn't think it was right to pass it on to a thrift store, so over the course of a bus ride, I took seam ripper in hand and took off the useful parts:  2 zippers, the sturdy webbing strap, and a little zippered pocket from the interior. 


the tan webbing strap in my ribbon drawer

Well, when we took our new canopy to the beach ($50 on sale with a coupon!), we noticed that the pegs and guy-ropes slid right out of the carrying bag's velcro pocket if we tilted it slightly.  I knew just what to do when we got home.  I put the pegs and ropes in the scavenged zippered pocket and put that in the velcro pocket so that it's now too big to slip past the velcro. 


It's so nice to use a saved part for a real purpose.  Just yesterday, I had to admit defeat with a cardboard-sided laundry hamper in the children's room.  I bought it online and I did not know it was cardboard sewn into it for support and of course the children have crashed into it multiple times (legitimately - they're children!).  I was only able to remove the thick rope handles from the hamper, and then I threw it away.  So now I have two pieces of rope next to the webbing strap. . .

9 comments:

Tracy said...

I do this, too. I save buttons, zippers, etc.

Rozy Lass said...

One interesting thing I scavenged are the wooden slats out of (very) old roller shades. I figured they could be could down and used as stakes in the garden, when I actually get my garden going, still working on that. I enjoy hearing about other's scavenging efforts. Thanks for sharing.

Rozy Lass said...

oops, should have been "cut down"

Julian said...

So resourceful! I do this with many things like embellishments, paper, giftwrap, ribbons and flowers. I do not sew, so I cannot save zippers , and other things. I've often thought of you with holey t shirts my boys outgrow, thinking someone could turn this into something useful. It drives me batty to throw it away but alas, the sewing talent is not to be had. I liked the old roller shade slats idea. Im always surprised and inspired by what your creative mind comes up with here!:)
Christina

Zoë said...

This is one of my favorite pass-times! I love accumulating a pile of things to be ripped apart and then sitting down one day and doing it all. The pile of re-usables is always fun to sort through and put away!

Also, Julian, you could cut up those t-shirts and use them as rags! When I have something nasty to clean up (from the dog or whatever) I use one of those rags and I don't feel bad throwing it away and I didn't have to use a paper towel :)

Julian said...

Thanks zoe, that's a great idea! I think my rag bag is going to rapidly grow! ;) christina

Sew Blessed Maw said...

So wise... and how nice that it came in handy so soon..

jenny_o said...

I save things like that, too - and it's so nice when that habit provides a free solution to a problem! Well done with the little zippered pocket!

BLD in MT said...

I love making the most use out of something as possible. Very smart. But, yes, only if it is indeed going to again be put to use. Good to remember!

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