Recently at Brit HQ we made a commitment to get better at reusing and recycling our crafting materials. We often buy materials to create a project but end up with tons of leftovers. These extras fall behind desks, end up in strange office corners, and most often end up in our office dogs’ mouths. So, when brainstorming some summer DIYs, I came up with the idea of repurposing one material into a bunch of new projects! I used one brightly colored Mexican blanket to make five projects that are perfect for summer.

Throw Pillow

 – Mexican blanket (or sarape)

– rope

– glue sticks

– thread

– pillow

 – scissors

– needle

– sewing machine

– hot glue gun

– measure tape

– pins


1. Make a tassel by wrapping the rope around your fingers at least 20 times. Cut a small piece of rope and tie a knot through the loop you created. Using the hot glue, wrap and secure a two inch piece of rope around the body of the loop. Once it is tightly wrapped and glued, cut the loops on the bottom to form fringe. Make three more tassels for a total of four.

2. Measure your pillow to determine the dimensions of your pillowcase. We measured 20 inches and cut our fabric into a 22 x 22-inch square.

3. Pin the tassels in place. The tassels should face the inside of the pillowcase.

4. Sew around three sides of the pillowcase plus halfway across the fourth side, making sure to sew all four corners so the tassels are attached.

5. Turn the case inside out and stuff your pillow inside!

6. Hand sew the opening together using a whip stitch.

Step one is making the tassel. We used a thin glossy rope, but feel free to use any type of embroidery floss, rope, or cord. Wrap the rope around four fingers at least 20 times. Cut a small piece of rope to loop through the rope and tie it at the top. Cut another piece of rope, secure it to the looped rope with hot glue, and wrap it around the loop tightly so all of the strings stay together. Finally, cut through the loops at the bottom of the tassel and trim to your desired length.

Yay! Four little tassels! Feel free to make them huge :)

If you are making a cover for a pre-existing pillow, measure your pillow and cut your fabric slightly larger than that measurement. Our pillow measured 20 inches so we cut a 22 x 22-inch square of fabric.

Lay the tassel between the two pieces of fabric with the tail sticking out of the other end. Pin in place.

Start sewing about 5 inches before your first corner and end about 5 inches after your last corner. This will leave you a hole to stuff your pillow inside, but will also secure all of your tassels in place. We used reverse stitching on all the corners to double and triple make sure the tassels were attached!

Flip your cover and stuff your pillow inside.

Use a whip stitch to close up the opening in the case.

This for sure is a pillow that pops!

Perfect for lounging.

Okay, I’m bored. Let’s make something else!

Jean Shorts — Just in Time for Summer!

This is a great DIY to update shorts from last season!

 – Mexican blanket (or sarape)

– shorts

– thread

– Fray Check

 – pen

– paper

– pins

– sewing machine

– needle


1. Our shorts were rolled up, but we didn’t want that as part of our design, so we unrolled them and cut them to our desired length.

2. Place a piece of paper over one side of the shorts. Using your hands and a pen, feel the creases of the shorts and create a paper pattern.

3. Place your pattern on the material and cut it out. Add a half-inch border to your pattern because the fabric will fray.

4. Use Fray Check on the ends to keep them from fraying.

5. Pin the fabric to the shorts. When pinning, first align the curve of the fabric to the pocket of the shorts. The rest of the fabric will be easy to trim away later.

6. Use the sewing machine to sew the two straight sides of the fabric — the bottom edge, and the top straight edge near the belt loops .

7. Using a needle and thread, hand stitch the curve of the pocket (unless you are pro with a sewing machine).

8. Trim the edges of the fabric to the edge of the stitching.

9. Cut out a pocket shape from the fabric, hold it against the shorts and adjust the size accordingly.

10. Slide the fabric into the pocket and hand stitch it in place.

We picked up these shorts from Forever 21 for less than $10! They came rolled up, but we wanted the fringe effect, so we un-rolled them and cut off the bottom to our desired length.

Remember using crayons to copy the texture of a tree or leaf onto a piece of paper? Well, this is the same idea. Place a piece of paper on top of your shorts and trace the basic outline of the section you want to cover. Cut out your pattern and place it on your fabric. When cutting from the fabric, add an extra half inch for fray-age. For double security, add Fray Check to the ends.

Pin the fabric onto your jeans. Start by pinning the curved side to the pocket and then finish pinning the rest. There will be excess on the sides, but don’t worry — we will trim that later ;)

Using a sewing machine, sew all the straight parts of the shorts. This is a tad tricky — make sure the back side of the shorts is out of the way!

Unless you are a pro at sewing curves and avoiding pockets, stick to hand sewing this part. We used a basic stitch, but you could also use a whip stitch.

Trim off the extra fabric. The stitching will stop it from fraying too much, but it will fray for just enough flair.

Let’s balance out these shorts with a little colorful blanket on the other side. First, cut out the shape of a pocket, then place and trim to perfection. Use Fray Check for the ends and hand stitch into place.

These are perfect for summer!

These shorts are crazy colorful, so pair them with a neutral tank to let the colorful blanket shine :) The pillow and shorts are super cute, but what will hold my stuff when I go shopping?

Beach or Shopping Carry-All

This is the perfect carry-all for the summer months. The bright pattern matched with the sturdiness of the fabric make it a great material for a tote bag. Check out the tutorial and get one step closer to using up that blanket!



– Mexican blanket (or sarape)

– bangle

– hot glue

– yellow beads


– hot glue gun

– scissors


1. Cut a square out of the blanket and attach it to the bangle with hot glue. Trim the sides to reveal the shape of the bangle.

2. Hide the side of the fabric with beads. Lay a section of hot glue and place the beads along the straight edge.

3. Add more pieces of fabric to create a pattern on your bangle.

Cut out a colorful square from some leftover scraps. Pile glue onto the bangle and press the fabric in place. Trim the sides to revel the curve of the bangle.

Hide the sides of the fabric with fun beads! Our beads came on a string, which made it super easy to place them in a straight line. Add some hot glue or E-6000 to the bangle and set the beads in place.

So easy! Choose the most vibrant scraps to add to your bangle.

Hello arm party :)

No-Sew Blanket Poncho

This poncho is an oldie but goodie. As we know, summertime means beaches and BBQs. But here in San Francisco it also means it’s chilly! This is the perfect poncho to keep you warm while reminding you that it still is summer. Congratulations! With these five projects you will have completely repurposed one material five different ways.

Now let’s put these projects together.

This blanket is the perfect pattern to kick off summer.

Picnic party, anyone?

Do you have any old blankets that you want to repurpose into fun summer projects? Tell us in the comments below!