This 1975 school-library-style book How To Recycle Your Rubbish became an instant favourite when some friends gave it to me for my birthday last year.
Projects include making bookcases from cardboard boxes, how to seamlessly join oddments of string, a macrame shopping bag from said reassembled oddments of string, a lamp and lampshade, a patchwork cushion, new candles from old, a tin lantern, a tiny chest of drawers from matchboxes, how to re-sole your shoes using old car tyres, natural dyes and the pièce de résistance - a pair of moccasins out of scrap leather, felt or wool...
I've been tempted to try making myself a pair of these but haven't quite got round to it yet - I thought it could be fun to make them quilted... if anyone wants to try, instructions are at the end.
I love this book's Blue Peter vibes, but how sad that the world's dwindling resources were already an issue when this book was published, yet 50 years of rampant consumerism later and the problem is x1000 worse. Waaah. If only we'd taken more notice back then...
There's a list in the back of how to recycle various household waste (aside from making stuff out of it) which reminded me that my parents used to tie up bundles of newspapers and leave them on the front wall for collection by Friends of the Earth - paper must have been the only thing readily recycled in those days (at least that situation has improved I guess, but only because we have a lot more waste that needs recycling than we did in the past).
Anyway, if you fancy knocking up some fancy footwear from a felted jumper or suchlike, here are the instructions for those DIY moccasins:
Do let me know in the comments if you give it a go!
How To Recycle Your Rubbish by Judy Allen and Sharon Finmark (Studio Vista, 1975)