last winter my sister and i gathered wool sweaters at our favorite thrift stores. we then felted them all in a single afternoon. once they were dry, we cut them up and we each had a basket full of pieces to use for this year's hand stitched ornaments + other craft projects. the felting took little time. waiting a full year to use the felt for some specific projects took a little more patience.
this is an excellent guideline for felting especially if you have little or no experience-the instructions are very clear + easy to follow.
what i did was cut + paste the wool types she listed + made a little wallet card for myself + that way if i decided to pop into the thrift store i was armed with the information card + could hunt + gather suitable sweaters (i stuck to 100% wool+ lambswool). obviously you could just put this information in your phone as well for easy access. following her tips we had 100% success with the felting process.
food + product tins
whenever i am at my local thrift store i quickly scan over the tin section every time. always. there are lots of "duds", but every once in a while you will spy a gem.
for this year's gift giving i have found a vintage tin with my husband's name on it as well as a couple of tins depicting photos of some famous cities in Europe--where a family member will soon be visiting. the small honey tin will be used for a plant for a friend who used to live in the city where the honey was made.
i love using tins for presenting food gifts, and they make great gift "boxes" for non-edibles as well. be sure and clean them in very hot, soapy water. i also run them through the dishwasher to further sanitize them (wash + dry them throughly once the dishwasher has run its cycle).
i found this gorgeous linen poinsettia tea towel in subtle holiday hues that i thought i might frame and either use as a pin board (i might not be able to bring myself to make pin holes in it). or i may just frame it under glass as artwork or a dry-erase message board for the holidays. i am sure this tea towel had never seen the light of day until it landed at the thrift store as it is in pristine condition and has that new unlaundered stiffness to it. i just need to get those crisp creases out.
as i have mentioned many times i find it hard to resist a hankie. even from a place i have never visited. however, i know this travel souvenir will hold court in a family member's home, as soon as i launder, press and frame it for them. if you find a linen piece that may have a stain on it think about how you might be able to cover the stain by adding a few embroidery stitches to it, or the recipient's name or year that you are giving it to them--or if it is a souvenir fabric piece you can embroider a special date on it that means something to the recipient.