08 May 2011

Weekend DIY: The Pants Bowl

It's finally time for the long-awaited DIY I promised you, which is also eco! So, let the upcycling begin! 

We normally knit and crochet using a thread of yarn but what if we add some reducing to our creativity? Sounds strange? We can then make our own thread without any sheep but with the help of our old clothes!

In this fun tutorial I will show you in just 6 steps how to upcycle your ragged pants by turning them into a bowl! Just a hint: you may actually use your husband's pants if you are reluctant to part with yours!

You can use any type of pants, as long as the fabric is not too soft because we want to achieve a sturdy bowl. What you see is a kind of denim fabric, which  produced a really firm and sturdy bowl.

  • a pair of pants/jeans (make sure that they have paid a visit to the washing machine beforehand)
  • a pair of scissors
  • a crochet hook (H/5mm, J/6mm)

1. Cut up the pants along the seams, get rid of the pockets and any other thicker parts so that it's easier for you to cut long strips.

2. Cut the pants in 0,4 inch/1 cm-wide strips.

3. Tie the strips together by making knots to form a long thread. If you want to achieve a cleaner look you can sew the strips together. Another great idea, suggested by Kanelstrand reader Emily is to use fabric glue to connect the ends of the strips. As Emily says, it is fast, works very well and makes an invisible join. Thank you for the input, Emily!

Make a neat ball, so that it is easier for you to work.

4. Now onto the fun part - crocheting! For the base of the bowl make a simple crochet circle. Gauge is unimportant for this project.

Here is a quick tip on crocheting a bowl:
  • Make a slip knot, chain 4 and join with slip stitch to the first chain.
  • 3 single crochet stitches in the same chain and in the next 3 chains. Work through both loops of the stitches. You will not join rounds with slip stitch, instead just keep on working in spiral. You may want to mark the first stitch of the round with a stitch marker (or a safety pin). 
  • 2 single crochets in all stitches. 
  • 1 single crochet in each of the next two stitches, 2 single crochets in the next stitch.
  • 1 single crochet in each of the next 3 stitches, 2 single crochets in the next stitch.
Keep on working in the same progression, depending on the diameter you want for the base of your bowl. 
  • To start with the sides, make 1 single crochet in the back loops of all stitches.
  • 1 single crochet through both loops in each stitch around.
  • Keep on crocheting until your bowl reaches the desired depth.
  • Crochet a last row of slightly tighter single crochet stitches. Cut the thread 3 - 4 inches long and pull it through several stitches.
  • Weave in the ends. 

5. If you have decided to tie the strips together, you will get a wonderful fuzzy look produced by the knots on the inside of the bowl. You can turn it inside out to get this corky hippie urchin.

6. Or you can trim the strips ends sticking out of the knots a safe distance away from the knots themselves to prevent untying, turn the bowl inside out again and get this neat lovely bowl!