Upcycle and Fundraising Project (off topic)

My closest and oldest friends (not by age but by how long they’ve known me…sometimes being one and the same!) will tell you: “Rachel has great ideas and good intentions.”

However, they will not say, “Rachel’s ideas always come to the most fabulous conclusions.”

My cup cozy idea is one of a million of these great ideas. Cup cozies: As in the replacement for those cardboard sleeves that you get with coffee to go.

At first, I jokingly called it my “million dollah business” idea.

Then it turned into an idea with which to raise money for New Day Ministry.

Glen and Jana Kauffman spent many years on short-term mission trips to Nicaragua and fell in love with the local people. House of Hope focused on helping women learn new skills to better support their families.

Glen and Jana identified gaps in their care that needed addressing such as helping their children obtain the necessary requirements for attending school.

In order for the children to be allowed into the schools, they must have a school uniform. Many of these families cannot afford the uniforms and so the children do not go to school.

For $25 a month, one child can have a uniform, a year’s worth of school supplies,   one daily meal, and a backpack.

I’d love to sponsor a hundred children. However, being unemployed stifles this urge.

I don’t have money, but I have some time and ingenuity…and great ideas.

So we cycle back to the great-ideas-and-good-intentions part of my life.

Part of my original cup cozy idea was to use discarded or repurposed fabric rather than buying new fabric. For example, a ripped pair of corduroy pants and a stained T-shirt with nice colors can be cut up and made into cup cozies.

By using upcycled materials, not only would the purchasers keep more stuff out of the landfill, more trees could be saved by declining the cardboard sleeves from hot drinks. And finally, by purchasing or donating to the cause, these cup cozies can help feed and clothe needy children in Nicaragua. It’s a win/win/win!

I started accumulating stuff for this. A baby jacket missing buttons, a flat sheet that no longer had a matching fitted sheet, a $.50 valance from Goodwill, flannel pajama pants with a cute winter pattern suddenly started piling up in a corner of my bedroom.

I finally got the pieces cut by using a Fiskar rotor blade and a cardboard sleeve as a guide (adding seam allowance) and transferring it to a piece of plastic that was intended for some other type of craft project.

In true Rachel fashion, the pile of cut fabric sat in a pile on the kitchen table for another millenium.

I am thrilled to say (and my oldest/closest friends would be shocked to hear) that I have about 80 of these babies finally cut, sewn, and pressed ready to go.

Here are some photos of the project.

It started as a size 2T adorable fine corduroy jacket with a matched lining already attached.

It started as a size 2T adorable fine corduroy jacket with a matched lining already attached.

I managed to get seven cup cozies out of this one little jacket.

I managed to get seven cup cozies out of this one little jacket.

This was formerly a crib dust ruffle.

This was formerly a crib dust ruffle.

This used to be winter pajamas.

This used to be winter pajamas.

This was a t-shirt...

This was a t-shirt…

...and this was the valance I found for $.50 at Goodwill.

…and this was made from the valance fabric I found for $.50 at Goodwill.

They are by no means perfect and professionally made. I can sew, but I’m no seamstress. I was taught by the best; my grandmother could sew anything perfectly and beautifully, but I didn’t have enough lessons to become as good.

So, that is what I have been working on the past few weeks.

Do you have any favorite charities that you find ways to support by other means than cash donations?


About Rachel

I'm a crocheting bookworm who happens to also be a coffee snob. One of many passions is to learn ways to make healthy food choices without breaking the grocery budget and sharing them with Central Virginia readers.
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4 Responses to Upcycle and Fundraising Project (off topic)

  1. nancahill says:

    Great article Rachel. I have been going to make one and thought about using my finds at the thrift store. (great minds think alike) What a great way to help others!

  2. Jenn says:

    Hey Rachel..Great Idea…Where are you selling these and how much are they

    • Rachel says:

      Thanks! I’m waiting for word from the church leaders who support the Kauffman’s ministry. I’m hoping they can just take them and set them out for “suggested donation” in the church and local businesses. If this is a problem, I’ll set up an Etsy.com shop and sell them and I’ll send a check with the profit. I’m hoping for the church taking it because there will be more profit going to the Kauffman’s, but we’ll see!

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