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You can use sheets as washable seatcovers. Here, they cover the truck bench seat, and in the L/R, they cover my couch. When dirt or pets hair happen, they can be washed! The local thrift stores resell sheets and other bedding. They're great used as backing for a quilt.
Aliceone's website for helping the shelter is great. Here's the link with specifications for the cage comforters:
I know there are lots of animal lovers on ThriftyFun. It's a good way to use up extras and help the animals, too.
Susan from ThriftyFun
I run a program in NYC where we ask volunteers to make little comforters for the abandoned, abused and traumatized animals waiting for new homes. We use blankets, old comforters, mattress pads, crib bumpers, etc. to make little beds 12" x 18". These items smell like "love" to these homeless animals and take the institutional smell out of shelters housing more than 500 animals each. The animals take the beds with them if they are lucky enough to be adopted. If not, they are laundered and passed on to another animal at the shelter. Anyone who would like to help with this program can contact me. The shelter is a not-for-profit and I can provide a receipt for tax purposes for donated beds. For more information on the program you can visit my website: http://www.pleasebekind.com.
I use strips of old mattress pads for the centers of homesewn prefolded diapers. For the cloth part, use an old flannel sheet. Look at a purchased diaper for the size. I just put the pad in the middle of the back piece and anchor it down with a line of stitching on each side. Cover it with the top piece and stitch all 3 layers together stitching over the top of the lines just stitched. Then I serge the edges to complete it. I prefer the solid colored flannel sheets but have used patterned.... After all, you know where it "ends" up! Have fun
If you live in a city or town where you see homeless people on the street, why not load up all the blankets and hand deliver them to these extremely needy people.
You can use old sheets and blankets to make new ironing board covers. Thick blankets make really good ironing board pads. You just lay your old pad down and cut a bigger one from the sheet, cutting extra to cover the sides of the board and for the drawstring parts. Cut just the size of the ironing board top from the blanket.
I just finished making a throw/quilt for my daughter's newly redecorated room using bargain fabric ($1/yd) for the top, an old sheet in a coordinating color for the bottom and an old mattress pad for the filler. It has turned out very nice and I am pleased with the "recycling" I have done!
Those old recieving blankets that are to small for you growing baby make great all purpose rags when cut up. I use them to wipe noses, clean up messes, wipe messy faces, dry bottoms after cleaning, and much more. I always have them around and they cost me nothing (they were all gifts!).
I would like to add to the discussion for uses for old linens such as sheets, blankets, and bed pads.
Sheets can be made into curtains (my simple kitchen curtains are made from a flowered topsheet I never used), tablecloths, table toppers, placemats, and table napkins. They can be made into aprons and used as backing on a quilt. They come in handy for making kid's Halloween costumes, costumes for theatrical productions, and summer play tents for kids. Keep one handy in the car trunk for a picnic table cloth (good for on the ground or for on top of a wooden picnic table), or to cover the car seat when the kids get in the car after a day at the beach. Donate old sheets to a pet shelter or a veterinarian for the animals, cut them up into rags to wash the car, or cut them into strips and braid them into rag rugs (you can find information at the local library or online on how to do this). An old sheet can be laid on the ground in Fall and leaves can be raked onto it for easier removal from your lawn. They also make good dust covers for furniture and are wonderful painting spatter cloths.
Old blankets can be kept for an emergency in your car trunk, given to animal shelters and veterinarians, cut up into squares and used in making a quilt, used as the batting or lining in a quilt, folded and sewed together as a child's sleeping bag, used in making potholders, and used in making kid's tents (good for walls and floor of the tent). Or recover the old blanket with a duvet or comforter cover (sew two sheets together for this!) -- and you have an even warmer blanket!
Old bed pads made great filling for a quilt or comforter, filling for potholders or hot pads, or cushioning for the dog or cat bed.
These certainly are not all the things you can do with old linens, but use your imagination and see what else you can come up with!
You can dye sheets if they are not the right color. A twin sheet split in half (sew raw edge) makes two balloon valance curtain toppers. Use a whole sheet for fuller effect. Use your imagination.
Create A Drape - frame
(Dollar store use to carry them)
I have been using them for a number of years and it gives a finished look to curtains.
I still have two of the frames in a pack from the Dollar Store so thought I would copy the information & directions from the sheet.
The last ones purchased are called "Create A Drape" similiar to those shown on TV a while back. This one has two rows of twelve circles 2-1/2" all the way across the frame. On the bottom corners there is a 2-1/2" circle on each side which is like a third row. Frame width is 36". Measuring from the top row down to the third corner row, it's 8-1/4" deep.
Directions for the balloon valance. Fold fabric (sheet) in half (lengthwise) using the fold line as your center guide place "Create A Drape" frame on top of your fabric. Starting from the center, pull loops through to a length of 10". Fan to desired fullness. Tuck in edges to have a finished look.
You can also do a swag treatment. Fold your fabric in half lengthwise. Find the middle of the fabric and the middle of your "Create A Drape". You will start in the middle to make sure that you have the same amount of fabric left on each side. Gather the fabric in the middle with one hand. Pull approximately 12" of fabric through the top middle loop so that your fabric stays in place. Pull the fabric tightly through the next to the last loop on each end of the frame. Release the 12" that you pulled through the center loop and lay the top of the fabric over the top of the frame and pull the bottom of your material as low as you want it.
You will notice that it will naturally pleat itself. For the corners, you can bring the remaining long piece of fabric over the top of the frame for a conservative but elegant look. To create balloon ends just loop your fabric through both top and bottom end loops and fluff out. Hang frame on cup hooks.
Our local S.P.C.A. always needs old sheets, towels, blankets, etc for caring for the animals they have.
My most treasured herlooms are two framed embroidered birds on a square from an old sheet that my mother made before she passed away. Also, she made a set of tea towels (approx. 2' x 3') from the sections of old sheets. She used iron on transfers (Aunt Martha's found at WalMart for under $2). She made several sets for her daughters. I admire her ingenuity and handiwork.
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