Planning a Blue Denim Christmas Ornament Contest

As we turned the calendar to November and changed our clocks this past weekend, I have to say that my thoughts turned to all of the preparations for the coming Christmas season. Let me first say, I love Autumn – the colors and the holidays that is represents. I especially love the Thanksgiving season and don’t like the way most holiday shopping takes away from the Thanksgiving holiday. With that being said, there is so much to prepare for the Christmas season that my mind has had to be on decorating and plans for decor especially for Glad Rags. Every year I decorate in our theme colors of blue and silver and use a lot of snowflakes so that the decorations can stay up through January.

Christmas Tree display

Christmas Tree display

This year I decided to change things up a bit as I have had my mind on finding new purpose for items that don’t necessarily sell at the store. In my last blog post I announced a Repurpose Redesign Refashion Contest and really looked forward to seeing the ideas crafters would come up with for this contest. I am sorry to report that we did not have enough entries to go forward with the contest, but I do plan to have the contest in the winter months. So if you thought about entering the contest, but did not have the time to dedicate to entering it, please stay tuned. We will be having the contest in the New Year. In the mean time, we really wanted to give away the prize that we had for the Christmas category for the contest. This prize would be great for a Christmas gift, so we decided to have a simpler Christmas ornament contest.

Every year our business community has a theme for their Christmas Walk that is held the first weekend in December. This year’s theme will be “O Christmas Tree”. In planning for decorations for our window displays, I have decided to have a contest to help decorate our tree for the season. The theme I decided on for the window is a “Blue Denim Christmas”. We always end up with so much denim that comes through our store and I want to craft with it for Christmas this year.

pocketcontestTo make it simple I decided to have a “Decorate a Denim Pocket Christmas Ornament Contest”. Those who wish to enter the contest will need to purchase either a pair of jeans or just jean pockets on sale at the store for the cost of $3.00. Then the fun begins. You can decorate your denim pocket any way that you wish to become an ornament for the Christmas Tree. Glad Rags also carries reclaimed beads and buttons that you can use to decorate your pocket. You can find the entry form here for more details, or pick one up at the store. All ornaments will need to be turned in to the store by Wednesday, December 3rd.

Just one of the kinds of reclaimed beads that you can use for your project.

Just one of the kinds of reclaimed beads that you can use for your project.

Denim pockets in all sizes and various washes.

Denim pockets in all sizes and various washes.

Contestant’s entries will be put on display for the Christmas Walk and the public will have an opportunity to help determine the winners.  Photos of the entries will also be posted on Facebook, Pinterest and here on this blog. Entries will be judged on the following criteria: Originality; Overall Appearance;  Technical Ability; Voting by the General Public (by ballot, Facebook likes and Pinterest likes)

This contest began on November 5th. All entries must be received by December 3rd. Contestant entries will be featured in a special window display at Glad Rags Boutique in Stockton. Voting by the general public will be open from December 5th-19th. Entries will also be posted on Facebook, Pinterest and here on my blog. Winners will be announced on December 20th.


Win this prize – this would make a great Christmas Gift!!

Prizes will be awarded for First-Third finishers.
First Prize Winner will receive a VTech Inno Tab 3 Learning App Tablet for Kids ages 3-9 (Retail value $49.99).
Second Prize Winner will receive at $35 Glad Rags Boutique gift certificate.
Third Prize Winner will receive at $20 Glad Rags Boutique gift certificate.
All those who enter will receive a 30% off discount coupon good for their next purchase at Glad Rags Boutique.

So, now is the time to put on your thinking caps and come up with some decorating ideas. If you need some inspiration, you can check out our Denim Repurposed Board on Pinterest. There is no age limit for this contest, so get your family together for a fun craft night and you can all enter to win!!


A Pinterest Inspired Crafting Contest!

Do you find yourself spending time looking on Pinterest for ideas to repurpose something that you have at home in your closet? teal_pinterestDo you ever go to craft shows and see something that someone else has made that inspires you to try a new craft? Every day here at my store I find myself inspired to create “new” things from “old” items and don’t want to see clothing that just doesn’t have a use or a new home. As a self-proclaimed Clothing Matchmaker, I am always looking for ways to use clothes in unconventional or creative ways. Some items that come to my consignment store don’t meet our strict standards and cannot be put out to sell. At that time I find my mind wandering to find what other use there might be for anything on the clothing item. Can I remove the shoulder pads to be used in another garment or craft? Are the buttons something that would come off easily? Does it have beads? Jars of Beads and ButtonsOver the past several months I have spent hours taking items apart so that some value can come from garments that had outlived their usefulness as a clothing item. Because of that we now have a new rack at the store of many items ready to be re-purposed in new ways. And with the availability of Pinterest and all of the craft ideas out on the Internet I have also tried to find ideas to repurpose the reclaimed buttons, beads, and many baubles into new pieces. That gave me an idea!! Why not have a contest??!!

Contest logoI am sure that I am not the only person who loves to make something “new” from something that has outlived it’s usefulness. I have decided to have a RePurpose ReDesign ReFashion Contest!! The idea is to come into Glad Rags and purchase something – it can be a clothing item or some pieces from a previous clothing item and make it into something new!! I decided to have three categories of entries. The categories are as follows: TShirt Refashion, Denim Refashion and Christmas. We end up with many TShirts at Glad Rags, especially during the summer months and we want to see how many different ways you can repurpose them. When I first started my blog, my daughter Sarah did a tutorial on making a shrug from a Tshirt.TShirt to Shrug I even have a Pinterest board dedicated to TShirt Repurposing – be sure to check it out. But don’t limit yourself to my ideas. Denim is another item that we get in great quantity year around. We have denim jeans, skirts, shorts and more. There once again we have a Pinterest Board that will get you started with ideas.

Glad Rags Repurposed TreeAnd last but not least, we want to see your Christmas ideas. Did you know that Christmas is less than 5 months away? It is never too early to start planning for  new ideas. Last year we decorated a tree for the Warren Festival of Trees and used repurposed clothing items as decor. It was great fun – but now we want to see your ideas. Check out what we did last year on our previous blog post and also our Pinterest Christmas Board.

Are you ready to get started? Here is what you need to do. Make a trip to our store and check out the clothing and crafting items that we have available. You must purchase an item from our store to get started. Pick up an entry form and get to work. Be sure to take a photo of your initial piece before you begin crafting. Once the item is finished take some more photos of the completed project. Be sure to send in your entry form along with the photos The contest begins now and all entries must be received by September 10th. All entries will then be put on display at Glad Rags during the voting process. The items will be judged, but voting by the general public will be a large factor in picking the winners. Voting will take place from September 13th-October 4th. Winners will be announced on October 6th. Photos of the entries will also be posted here on our blog as well as on Pinterest and Facebook. Click here for the Contest Guidelines and Entry Form.

Speaking of winners – do you want to know what you can win? There will be a First Prize and Honorable Mention in each category.

Enter for your chance to Win!!

Enter for your chance to Win!!

  • First Prize winners in the TShirt & Denim ReFashion Categories will receive a Organizational Craft Caddy containing sewing notions and gadgets. (Retail value approx. $50)
  • First Prize winner in the Christmas category will receive a VTech Inno Tab 3 Learning App Tablet for Kids ages 3-9 (Retail value $49.99).
  • The Honorable Mention winners will each receive at $25 Glad Rags Boutique gift certificate.
  • All those who enter will receive a 30% off discount coupon good for their next purchase at Glad Rags Boutique.

So let’s get crafting!! I can hardly wait to see all of the creative ideas out there. Be sure to check back here for updates. All entries will be posted on our blog, Facebook and Pinterest.



Clothing Resale Shops – A Treasure Trove for Unique Craft Supplies

Are you a crafter? Or one of the new terms out there today is a re-purposer? With the advent of Pinterest and the hundreds of ideas for crafts on the internet, do you find yourself spending too much money on trying to accumulate your craft supplies? As the owner of a Clothing Resale Shop, and a self proclaimed Clothing Matchmaker, I want to introduce you to thinking of your local resale shops, whether they be consignment or thrift stores as a place to purchase your craft supplies. And many times this can be done at a very reasonable cost.

With a bit of creativity and ingenuity, there are a ton of crafty ideas to be found in resale stores, and by getting your supplies there instead of at chain craft stores, not only are you saving yourself a bundle of cash, you’re also helping to rescue items that may otherwise just end up in a landfill if they don’t get sold quickly enough.


Button Hearts – Buttons salvaged from items headed for the dumpster.

Giving new life to old items is one of the great joys of resale store crafting. Turning something old into something new and beautiful, seeing where it started and where it ends up, is a kind of thrill I never get tired of experiencing

You can think of your resale shop as your craft supply warehouse!

Now I know that you can’t find everything that you need at your local resale shop, but it is worth checking them out on a regular basis and also talking to the owners or workers and asking them to let you know when they may get in items that you are looking for to complete a certain project.

Here are just some ideas of items that can be repurposed in a crafty way.

1. Sweaters – Search for sweaters with interesting colors and textures. Then, take them home, and transform them into colorful tote bags, mittens, throw pillows and other accessories; or unravel them for their yarn, and knit something new.

2. Shirts – Sift through all those racks of second-hand clothes for shirts that you can deconstruct for their fabric, buttons and other finer points; or that you can refashion into something more you.

3. Jeans – Denim can be used to make so many things – skirts, quilts, purses – you name it. Dig through the piles of discarded jeans for a pair (or a bunch of pairs) to get you started on a project.

4. Beaded Jewelry & Clothing – Look for necklaces and bracelets with interesting beads that you can take apart and use in your own jewelry creations or take the time to de-bling sweaters, tops, etc. that may have sequins, beads & more.


Necklace crafted from a chain belt and silver belt buckle embellished with buttons and beads salvaged from other clothing items and jewelry.

5. Belts – Look for belts with interesting details such as fancy buckles or designs in the leather that can be made into unique bracelets or handles for bags.

 6. Wool Coat, Blazers and Sweaters – Felting wool has become very popular and there are many ways to put this fiber to another use.

Are you looking for ideas of crafts that can be made from clothing items. Be sure to check out the many boards that Glad Rags Boutique has on Pinterest. We have boards for repurposing denim, sweaters, buttons, silk, wool, leather, belts, beads, jewelry, and so much more.

Are you crafty and have projects lined up but don’t have the time to invest in looking for the items? We are starting a craft corner here at Glad Rags Boutique with bags of clothing items to be used for crafts.


These items include BAGS O’ TEES, BAGS O’ SILK, BAGS O’ SWEATERS and more. And of course we have DENIM GALORE!! Those bags are bigger and we are in the process of making up bags of denim pockets and other items. Be sure to check out our other crafting finds with include jars of beads, buttons, jewelry findings and more.

102_0652We also have a spinner rack of buttons, beads and other unique findings that have be salvaged from clothing items destined for the dumpster.

102_0653Thousands of clothing items come through our store every year and for the most part the items find a new home because someone falls in love with them and they are put to good use in the form that they are intended for – clothing. But we have many items that cannot meet our strict guidelines for resale and when the owner does not want the items back, we try to find another use for the item whether it would be to donate the items to another thrift store, or ones in need. But now we also try to repurpose these items to be used for crafting and sewing projects. Here in rural Jo Daviess County it is quite a drive to get to a Joann Fabrics or a Hobby Lobby or Michael Craft supply store, so we want to make our store a place for you to shop for craft supplies as well. This store space was at one time a fabric store, and today it still is!! The fabric that we carry comes in the form of clothing – but sometimes that clothing can be repurposed to be a whole new clothing item with a creative mind and some sewing skills.

Over the next few months, we plan to work on blogging about some of these craft ideas, sharing tutorials and ideas for you so that you can make these easy crafts for everyday use or to make as gifts for others. We are looking into forming some craft classes locally and putting together other ways to network and craft using these ideas and items available locally. Be sure to stay tuned.

In the meantime, my kids gave me a great gift for Christmas. They bought me a plane ticket to Florida!! I will be leaving next week to spend 5 days in warmer temperatures visiting with my snowbird parents and other family that lives year round in Florida. And what do I plan to do when I am not visiting? My mom and I are going “treasure hunting” in the many thrift stores in the area that they live in. With all of these craft ideas from Pinterest I am going to see what I can find to bring back for crafts and more. I will have to be careful with how much I buy, or I will have to mail it back as I don’t want to have to pay for additional luggage on the way home. So when the store re-opens on Saturday, February 1st be sure to stop and in see what craft items we have in stock!! With the cold weather upon us, and more time indoors, it is the best time to craft, and put new purpose to “old” things.


Repurposing – A New Way to Decorate for Christmas

Christmas is well known to be a wonderful time of the year to decorate your home, business and more. Every year stores put out their selection of Christmas decorations in the hopes that people will purchase new and different ornaments each year. Since I started this blog and put my mind to finding more ways to find a new purpose for clothes that come through my store. I decided to come up with a Christmas tree with repurposed clothing items as Christmas tree decor. In the past I have helped to decorate a themed tree for a local Festival of Trees, so this year when the applications were sent out I decided to do one for Glad Rags that would feature some of the Christmas Repurposed Decoration Ideas that I had found. Of course one of my first stops was to go out to Pinterest and do a search for ideas. What a great resource to find tutorials, photos and more! As a matter of fact, to keep me organized I started a board entitled Christmas Decor Repurposed and you can find it here. I, of course found more ideas than I put to use this year, but I am sure that the ideas will only grow from here. I also started out with just a small tree this year, as it takes time to make your Christmas ornaments. But if you find a an idea and have all of the supplies, what a great time to get together with your family or friends and have an ornament making party!!

First off, the tree topper is actually a craft from several years ago when I actually used to participate in a Christmas Craft Show. I made several angels such as this one, from – of all things – a shoulder pad. Many shoulder pads that you find in items are covered with just a simple lining material, and need to be covered with other material to make this craft. The one that I used for this angel was actually covered in the tapestry material that was found in the blazer that it was removed from.


As I said, I made this angel several years ago and the flyer that I found the instructions on has since disappeared. I think it was a free pattern found in a subscription to some crafting magazine. If I locate it, I will try to post it later for those that might be interested. When I did a search on the internet for a shoulder pad angel, the ones that I found do not look like this one.

The next item that I worked on was the garland for the tree. I found a link on Pinterest  for a garland made from buttons and ornament hooks, you can see it here The ornament hooks that I used were longer than the ones pictured in the tutorial, but I liked the look. Because the hooks were longer, I decided to add some ties made from a repurposed houndstooth blazer. I just cut strips with my pinking shears and tied these to the garland. You will see more of this patterned material on other ornaments. Here is what mine turned out to be.


I could have just used any wire, but using the ornament hooks made for not having to cut the wire, and they are very easy to bend into the shape that you want. Christmas ornament hooks are also very inexpensive and come in different colors as well..

rag and buttonsSo remember the houndstooth blazer material – I wish that I had taken a photo of the blazer before it was de-structed for this project, but I didn’t. I used more of the pinked strips to make rag ball ornaments. And of course I wanted to use more buttons, so when I saw a photo for icicle ornaments made from buttons, I had to try that too!


When someone sent me a pin that featured star ornaments made from sweaters, I knew that I had to give that a try. I had a wonderfully patterned sweater that needed a new purpose, so I used just one sleeve to make these stars.I think I made 5 from the one sleeve and I have plenty left to make more in this shape or maybe stockings, mittens, etc.


One tip – I found that it was best to do some of the stuffing of the points of the star as I was handsewing the edges.

So, thus far I have incorporated shoulder pads, buttons, sweaters, and wool material from a blazer. But a re-purposed tree would not be complete without a material that anyone must have tons of (I know I do at the store and at home) – DENIM!! .Since I liked the star theme, I decided to cut out some denim stars, but these I did not stuff, and I used my sewing machine for the edging, that went a lot faster.denim stars

That was a good thing as I was running out of time to finish the decorations and get the tree up just after Thanksgiving. Here is how they turned out. I was able to weave an ornament hook into the top points  where they were stitched to hang them from  the tree.

As I was looking for just one more way to put some denim on the tree I remembered a tutorial that I had seen on making bracelets out of the seam of jeans. I decided to try something with the denim seam and came up with icicles!!denim icicles

These were the fastest of the ornaments that I made. I just put a piece of floral wire down through the seam, put a bead or bell on the end, cut the wire to make a hook on the top and then curled the resulting piece around a large knitting needle to get the right shape.

These were fun to make and I want to try some more and maybe add some bling? I was planning to do some demonstrations of repurposed Christmas ornaments at the Stockton Christmas Walk this weekend, and these may be the easiest to do.

So here is a photo of the finished tree which is in one of the windows at the Warren Community Building in Warren, Illinois at their Annual Festival of Trees.


I was glad I started out with a small tree as all of the items took some time to make, but now that I have started, I may just work on items all year to make it better for next year.

What do you think? I did use more of the houndstooth material – I actually had two different blazers for this – to make the star-shaped tree skirt. Once again, I have bigger plans for next year.

I hope you enjoyed this and get some ideas of your own for your tree. Be sure to check out more ideas for re purposing clothing items on my Pinterest boards.


Bling, Baubles and More – A New Look for Jewelry Cabinet

Glad Rags Boutique has been in existence in the same building in Historic Downtown Stockton since October of 1986. The historic building at 117 South Main Street was built in 1893 as can be seen by the date on the front of the building.101_0091

In it’s history the building has housed a hat shop, a boarding house and a department store, before it was used as Lyon’s Fabric Den beginning in August of 1981. Glad Rags Resale Boutique was added to the fabric store in 1986 at the encouragement of a friend from the Chicago area who said that resale shops were all the rage and this area needed one too!!

In the storied history of the building, one feature of the store space has been a historic, antique display case along the north wall of the building. This built in case I am sure has served many purposes over the years and currently is the main display area for the Jewelry in the store’s inventory. Over the time that I have owned the business what once housed some material, sewing notions and many other items has finally been dedicated to display the many pieces of Vintage, Costume and New Jewelry that Glad Rags Boutique now carries.

Recently, I was tired of the many different colors going on and the cluttered look of the jewelry cabinet, so I decided it was time for a makeover. The lighting for the cabinet used to be light strips with spotlights, A couple of years ago one of those strips decided not to work any longer so the landlord replaced one side with new puck lights. Recently the second side was installed, so now it was time to give the entire cabinet a new look. Here is what the cabinet looked like with everything out. A clean slate!!


It took a lot of work, material replaced in blue to better match the store decor and ideas from Pinterest for displaying jewels and here is the end result!!102_0558

One of the ideas from Pinterest was to use shutters to display earring cards. Wow, that was a great idea as we have hundreds of pairs of earrings from Vintage to Costume. Now they are neatly arranged so that you can see each pair clearly. We have two shutters full and more are displayed on repurposed CD racks.102_0555102_0573

This rack is full of vintage clip or screw on earrings. We have them priced to sell for crafting!! Have you seen all the ideas out there on Pinterest for making such things as statements necklaces from these vintage items??  Be sure to check out our Pinterest Page for crafting ideas with jewelry. have more vintage jewelry displayed in these vintage jewelry boxes.



So if you want to add some bling, or baubles to your life, be sure to stop in at Glad Rags Boutique to see what we have. There is a large selection of vintage jewelry from auctions and estates as well as costume jewelry from consignors. And if you love Annaleece Jewelry with Swarovski Crystals, we also are closing out these pieces for another consignor. You never know what you will find. If you have items of jewelry that you would like to consign, give us a call.

In closing, I wanted to post a photo of the brooch bouquet that my daughter made out of costume jewels for her wedding last October. It is just another idea of what you can do with jewelry. You don’t always have to wear it!!



As a Clothing Matchmaker, I can also add jewelry to the description – helping them to find a new purpose as well.


Feeling Crafty??

As I walk around the store today marking down more items to put in my Friday the 13th Sale it gets my creative juices flowing!! I find it so hard to send the items that haven’t sold out the back door to be donated if someone could truly use them. That is when I start thinking of other ways to use clothing. Today for Friday the 13th we are putting everything in the store on sale. Any Tag marked with a Star is only 13 cents!! Now is a great time to stock up on items for next season as most of the items on sale at this low price are summer items. Tank Tops, Capris, Shorts, etc. But if you don’t need items for that, have you ever repurposed items in another way? Be sure to check out our Pinterest Boards to find ideas.

We have several boards for repurposing clothing items. Repurposed leather, denim and so much more. And what about buttons?? At the low price of 13 cent, if you don’t like anything other than the buttons on a shirt, it is a good deal. Now not all items in the store are 13 cents, but anything that is not already 50% off (Blue Tags) is 13% Today Only!!

So be sure to check out our Pinterest Boards for inspiration and come see what goodies you can get. Pinterest has me so inspired lately that I know I will be posting more ideas and tutorials soon. It’s great to have the boards for ideas, now the next step is to use the ideas, right?? Maybe I will have to come up with a contest to get us all crafting, especially with Christmas coming. What do you think? Let’s get crafty!!