May 5, 2011

$$Frugal Friday Tip by Christy$$

Design Team Member Christy submitted this Frugal Friday Tip.  She said:

I buy and use cheap luggage. I learned the hard way, that regardless of cost and claimed durability, luggage takes an extreme beating when you fly as frequently as we do.  Often, given the beating it gets, expensive luggage has about the same life span as a cheap Walmart suitcase. To top it off, if the airline breaks it, they will either give you the cost of a cheap bag or cheap bag itself as a replacement. It's just not worth spending big money on luggage. Thanks to the airlines, a duffel bag style suitcase I have broke recently (the wheels came off and it was beyond repair). I realized I could do a little recycling. Armed with a sturdy pair of scissors, I cut the bag apart. 

Not pictured is the one wheel I saved.I think it would be cool to use it with paint or ink. I'll roll it all over a paper for a grungy effect. I cut out several zippers which I can pull apart to use as trim or make into flowers. There were some cool metal tags and zipper pulls with the word "embark" on them which I can use in the future for travel layouts. I also cut off part of the handle figuring that these can also be used as an interesting trim. If you don't have a broken suitcase, consider going through old clothes in search of items to salvage. I have a pair of jeans that are not worth patching. I plan to use some of the pockets, the zipper, the label and the material itself to make my own embellishments.
Lately, I have been coveting Maya Road's zipper trim. I have seen some neat flowers made from it and have wanted to make my own. Zipper trims just aren't readily available where I live and quite honestly, I'd like to avoid having to buy them since my scrappy budget is very limited. I considered buying regular zippers from the fabric store. I can get them for around $2 or less. It's a good option if you want a specific colour or don't have any salvageable items. However, I decided to use my salvaged zippers to experiment with before I bought any.

You will need thread (I recommend using a colour that matches the zipper) and felt. As shown above in the photo, I used only one side of the zipper. I simply separated it, cut it apart and saved the pull to use an embellishment on another project. I cut the felt into a small circle. It doesn't have to be a perfect circle and if there is any excess, you can trim it away when you are finished. I started by sewing one end of the zipper to the center of the felt circle.

Then I just slowly wound it around, stitching it in place as I went. It resulted in a small rose style flower. As mentioned before, I trimmed away any excess felt from the circle that showed at the edges.

 I like having the felt as a base for the flower. I think it makes it easier to adhere it to your page later on. Maya Road also has some zipper flower tutorials on their blog. They will give you ideas on how you can change the look of your flower.

 Happy Salvaging everyone!

Now it's your turn.  Do you have a frugal tip you'd like to share - just send your tip along with a picture (if possible) to .  Your tip could be posted as a future Frugal Friday Tip. 

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  1. Christy,

    You are super thrifty girl!! I love all of your great ideas for re-using this suitcase. I've been wanting some zipper flowers too but am not sure I would be patient enough to sit and sew one. But who knows...? You've inspired me again. And your flower looks great!

  2. Cute !! Will def be trying this!

  3. Wow - what a great idea. I'm going to have to look at some of the things I send to Good will differently!

    Thanks for the idea!