Let's talk about waste...and how to reduce it...and create something beautiful too

What a year 2020 has been. In amongst the chaos and drama there have been snippets of slowing down, more time with people we love, and a reset on what is really important in our lives. 

One special thing for me has been sharing my airy little studio overlooking Hardys Bay with Una Davis from 1000 Pretty Things, a creative and gentle soul with an eye for detail and a love of hand making which helps her find calm and tranquility in everyday life. 

Our conversations as we work through our days wander in and out of deep thought, ethical dilemmas and back to frivolous fun. One day I offered Una a few off-cuts of lampshade paper and what she created is so beautiful I wanted to share it with you too, and Una has been kind enough to write about it for us.

You might find yourself with off-cuts of lampshade paper too. Thank you Una for these gorgeous ideas of ways to use what might have been thrown away. 


Guest Blog with Una Davis from 1000 Pretty Things

by Una Davis

Do you hate seeing things go to waste? I do. And I know I have this in common with the lovely Anna from 3Chooks. We like to repurpose where possible, give items a second life or find a use for what would otherwise end up in landfill.

Being a crafty person, I hoard offcuts and interesting bits and pieces in case I'll find a use for them one day. And often I do. Especially coming up to Christmas, I go searching through my stash to make gifts rather than buy new. For example tissue paper boxes - they come with gorgeous designs these days and can be used to make cute little cards or Christmas tree ornaments.

Anna and I got talking one day about the lampshade paper off-cuts she produces in her business. I took home a few scraps and started getting creative. So here are a few ideas.

1. Kids Artworks

Recently, my daughter brought home a pretty smashed up artwork she had created at school. We loved it so much and wanted to display it in her room. It was on a particularly thin paper that had been through the wars, crinkled and folded. So I ironed it carefully (on dry setting so the art didn’t steam away). Then I used one of the lampshade off-cut pieces to glue the paper onto. It smoothed out perfectly. We found a matching frame, et voila, the artwork now brings a smile to our faces when we enter her room.

1000 Pretty Things kids artwork frame

2. Keepsakes

When my daughter was little, there were a couple of dresses that I absolutely adored on her. I have kept them in a box. But they kind of got forgotten there and not really treasured. So I decided to cut one of them up. "You didn’t!” I hear you say… Yes. I did. I cut filet pieces from the dress and ironed them smooth. I put those fabric pieces on the off-cuts from Anna’s lampshades and cut out little heart shapes. Put on some string (simply punch through with a needle and string) and now I have lots of little hearts. I have made a garland out of them and hung them in my daughter’s room and I have one larger heart hanging on the mirror in my room. This way I can cherish it and every time I look in the mirror I am reminded of that gorgeous dress and how cute my little girl looked in it.

1000 Pretty Things fabric tags

This also work for the kids. Some of the t-shirts these days have the most adorable designs on them. So whenever my daughter grows out of something that she really loved, we simply cut out the design on the front, glue it to a lampshade parchment off-cut and either just hang that somewhere or put it in a frame. My daughter has quite the gallery in her room!

1000 Pretty Things t-shirt art frame


3. Tags and Ornaments

Lastly, I use some of the fabrics I really like the design of to put on Anna’s lampshade paper off-cuts, draw my shapes on and cut out the delicate ornaments. Hearts, stars and even little angels are easy enough to cut. String them up into a garland or use as an ornament on the Christmas tree.

Here is a fancy idea... You could use the same fabric you used for your lampshade and cut out little hearts and stars. Display them in the same room as your lamp for a coordinated look. This year, you can even match your Christmas tree decorations with your lampshade!

1000 Pretty Things fabric star tag

Have fun and enjoy a wonderful lead up to Christmas!




Thank you Una for sharing these gorgeous ideas. Please head to 1000 Pretty Things if you'd like to see more of Una's beautiful work. 

Sending you all love and positivity this Christmas, and of course happy lampshade making! 


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