From curtain tie-back to shawl clip!

I love the challenge of repurposing an everyday item to use as something other than its original purpose.

For instance, I wanted to curl my hair without having to sleep with uncomfortable rollers poking into my scalp. Nor did I want to use the curling iron that I’d cast into the back corner of my bathroom cupboard, since the curls it made never seemed to last beyond an hour or so.

I remembered reading about how women of a bygone era curled their hair by rolling sections in fabric rags and then tying the rags closed. Hmmm. I also had no intention of spending my evening cutting a bunch of fabric into strips.

Glancing over at the kitchen counter, I just so happened to spot a pad of post-it notes and a big old light bulbpost its blazed on. I tore off a square, rolled it like a cigarette, and sealed it closed with the sticky edge. Then I took a section of dry hair, wrapped it around the post-it “roller,” and pinned it securely with a bobby pin. Before long, my entire scalp was a mass of yellow post-it notes.

A head covered in post-its is not the most attractive look but after living with me for so many years, do you think my husband batted an eye? Nothing I do fazes him anymore. Not even wearing a bunch of paper on my head. 🙂

The next morning, when I unrolled the post-its and combed out my hair—surprise!—I had the most beautiful curls ever—far nicer than all the times I’d used rollers. Surprise #2—the curls lasted all day long and the next day as well. I received a ton of compliments from co-workers as well as a lot of laughs when I disclosed the method to my madness. Surprise #3—I was able to straighten out all the post-its and replace them on the pad to reuse as…post-it notes.

shawl pin

So repurposing sprang to mind when I spotted a gorgeous wood curtain tie-back while shopping at Fabricland. I had just finished crocheting a shawl and was looking around for some kind of fastener I could use to dress it up, along the lines of a scarf pin but larger. Bingo!

I purchased the tie-back and sure enough, it was a perfect complement to the earth colours in my shawl. (The pin could also double as a lethal weapon, no? Probably not a good choice to wear for air travel!)

shawl with pin2

In case you’re curious about the shawl; it was a quick and simple project and it looks awesome paired with a forest green top. If you’d like to make one like it, I used Jennifer Dickerson’s free Mulberry Shawl pattern. You can find it at, along with lots of her other gorgeous patterns.loops & threads

I also used two balls of Charisma Loops & Threads “Deep Woods” green and brown variegated yarn. Very warm and soft.

So tell me…what have you repurposed lately? Please share!

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