old - old - old crafts

toomuchglassNovember 6, 2004

Boy - looking at that Pack O Fun magazine got me thinking back to my first crafting days and some of the projects that were really "IN" back then. I mentioned the bleach bottle pig - what were some of the "trendy things" you made way back

then ? I also remember making people out of bottlecaps - usually they had big hoop earrings ....... melting records in the oven to make dishes ....making those Loopy Potholders ...

sequined fruit (usually pineapples).... feather flowers ...

plastic doilies with sponge flowers staples around the edges....oh-so many more . What am I forgetting ?

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stamps out of potatoes, popcorn and cranberry strings for the Christmas tree out of pieces of foam packing and red beads.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2004 at 6:22PM
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Okay, I'm gonna be showing my age, but do you remember...
fried marbles
macrame everything!
crewel embroidery - pillowcovers, pictures, bellpulls, etc.
paint-by-number oil paintings
3-D paper pictures
wrapping yarn (or burnt match sticks) around soup cans to use as desk accessories
candlesticks made of wooden porch railing spindles
decoupaged desk accessories, covered in dozens of layers of clear sealer
pipe racks for your Dad(!)
styrofoam ball Christmas ornaments covered with pinned on sequins
crocheted clothes-hanger covers
crocheted shawls
little girls' nighties made from a pillowcase
flower bouquets made of crepe paper, dipped in paraffin wax
belts made of sliced walnut shells and rawhide laces
woodburned designs in wooden plates
salt-and-flour ornaments for the Christmas tree
Christmas trees made of nylon net
and nylon net tub/kitchen scrubbers from the leftover net!
God's eyes made of yarn and popsicle sticks
trivets made of bottlecaps
coal gardens (sometimes called crystal plants) with ammonia and blueing
yarn dolls to wear as pins
carnations from kleenex, colored with a crayon, on a bobbypin stem

Ahhh... the simple pleasures!

    Bookmark   November 6, 2004 at 7:28PM
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Ah Red, I think you've covered just about all of them,.I tried Crewel but I'm just not good at it. I still have one of my sisters works of a lion that is about 4 feet tall nicely framed.
I still do the 3-d pictures but on greeting cards. When the paper forum started that was the first thing I posted.

Hey if I can remember them you're not that old.\!!

Oh I'll post my favorite paint by number pictures. I still love them and display them.
Besides Old is someone at least 15 years older than you haha

    Bookmark   November 6, 2004 at 8:10PM
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Oh Man - Red C ---- I DO remember all those !!! This really brings back memories !!!! When I was young - I was also a member of the "Fad of the Month Club" -- every month for a DOLLAR - you would get a kit in the mail --- complete with everything to make a monthly project. (I wish I could buy supplies for a buck now !) LOL

    Bookmark   November 6, 2004 at 9:36PM
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I belonged to one of those craft-a-month things, too! I remember a black, fully lined handbag that had a black/grey/white stitch pattern on the front (I gave it to my grandmother for her birthday - she loved it!); a plaster-of-paris floral patterned trivet that was painted (I remember mostly yellow and green) and then stained lightly with brown - I think it might have had marbles for feet; oh, dear! That's all I can remember know, but I know I belonged for months and months! It was always such a thrill to get those kits. I paid for them from my allowance, but oh how my Mom hated writing the checks for me to send!

Which kits do you remember, Kathy?

    Bookmark   November 6, 2004 at 10:09PM
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You did ,too !?!?! I remember a green & white tote bag for the beach -- it had fish netting on it and rope handles... a picture of some vases you could frame - you outlined the vases with thin gold cording and glued teeny beads inside of it .... Colored Easter eggs on sticks - you put flower decals on the plastic eggs and highlighted them with gold paint --- a nakpin holder with little squares of brown tissue paper decoupaged on it - then stained .... Oh -- I wish I could remember more !!! I LOVED that club - I used to wait on pins & needles till it came ! That was probably the start of my Addiction ! LOL

    Bookmark   November 6, 2004 at 11:33PM
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I remember a craft of the month club for $1.00 I got some kind of plastic thing to paint and when finished it looked like glass. It was hard to get that extra dollar in those days. Tandy used to have a lot of ads in the few craft magazines that were around. I think McCalls Needlework and crafts (or something like hat) was the only one that I can remember

    Bookmark   November 6, 2004 at 11:53PM
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I have to tell you. . .at a recent Estate sale I bought two angels made with Readers Digest magazines with a styro foam ball for the head.. Remember those? How old they must be. I never made them myself but I remember all the subscriber ads for the craft mags with instructions for them as a bonus. I bought them for around $1 in honor of the crafter who made them.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2004 at 11:58PM
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Oh, my gosh!! Yes, Kathy, I got the kit with with plastic Easter egss, decals, sticks, and flower pot, too!!!

I remember all the Tandy ads, Minnie... I bought one of their kits to make leather moccasins. Wore them for a long time! And I remember all those ads for the angels made of Reader's Diget magazines. Never made one, though.

Do you remember making the bowls from old Christmas cards... you cut the cards into a round-topped rectangle, except it wasn't really a rectangle because the sides slanted, then you put two back-to-back and stitched around the sides, then assembled six of those into the sides of a bowl (with a hexagonal shaped card set in the bottom? I've still got one of those!

    Bookmark   November 7, 2004 at 8:24AM
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I think you guys just described my mother in laws house!!!!! She did all those things and still had them 'decorating' her house!! The Readers Digest angels must be 30 years old at least. And have 30 years worth of dust on them!! LOL
Whenever I start thinking about all the past craft things, I think HOW in the world did we do things without a glue gun? I cannot imagine now, waiting for glue to dry so you could go on to the next step.
And remember when sewing machines just sewed forward and back?
Look at them now and what they do. My Brother ULT actually sews in a hortizontal line and has over 1200 built in stitches.
As they say, 'We've come a long way baby' LOL

    Bookmark   November 7, 2004 at 10:06AM
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Well, we have the satisfaction of doing it the old way and remembering when!!

    Bookmark   November 7, 2004 at 12:43PM
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And so many of these 'old time' crafts come back, over and over...
Remember tie-dyed clothes in the sixties? How many times have they come back?
And I have seen paint-by-number sets in Hobby Lobby recently.

I think a lot of the appeal of these older crafts is that you are actually using your mind, hands, and creative ideas, and the materials were often just stuff you had around the house, or were very inexpensive to buy.

Many of the crafting kits of today give you so much in materials, already prepared, that there is little personal creativity left for you to add. Kinda takes the fun out of it - LOL!

    Bookmark   November 7, 2004 at 1:01PM
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This reminded me - when I was a kid - we couldn't buy popsicle sticks by the thousand like we can now - we had to actually EAT popsicles and save the sticks ! Coffee cans and bleach bottles were in demand - Old Yarn never got thrown away .... heck - we even melted crayons back then to make them last longer ! (Geeze - now I feel like Wilma Flintstone !) LOL I guess the saying is right - what's old is new again !

    Bookmark   November 7, 2004 at 1:23PM
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:) let's see- while the girl scouts were playing around with

shrinky dinks
suncatcher kits
jersey loops
and various 'knitting machines'
making sitapons from vinyl, and that plastic 'gimp' cord with newspaper padding inside
putting 1000 pieces of torn masking tape over a bottle, then 'antiquing' it with shoe polish
and making cutting boards out of scrap wood...

:) my grandmother was teaching me the 'old stuff'...
tatting tiny little flowers
crocheting the 'shell' pattern
how to make 'clay' from dough with salt intsead of sugar
'china painting' (underglaze painting, which led to things like Duncan Ceramics, and ultimately the 'paint your own pottery' fad)
beading on wire to make flowers and whatnot
peach-pit baskets
pipe-cleaner people
decoupage the old-fashioned way (with old greeting cards with the heavy backing soaked off, covered with varnish or shellac, one of those things that smelled like pine sap instead of petrochemicals)
'fixing' dried flowers with hair spray
button bracelets and people
and hand-sewing to make dolls, clothes for the dolls, hats for the bassett, patchwork panels for quilts (not that my grandmother would ever USE such things- she donated them to charity, I'm sure some of those lap rugs are still in use)

and the grand art of 'assemblage' (which is a much cooler thing when you're working with seashells, or seed pods, instead of macaroni)

    Bookmark   November 10, 2004 at 2:10PM
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and oh, confetti...

tie-dye's never left, they just started taking it seriously, and calling it 'shibori' which is to tie-dye what beef wellington is to a big mac :)

over the years, I've gotten to study both african and asian techniques...and they're more elaborate, but still the same stuff :)

    Bookmark   November 10, 2004 at 2:15PM
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(underglaze painting, which led to things like Duncan Ceramics, China Cat. I wish I had the money I spent on ceramics. Back in the 70's you could go to the high school and use their kilns and pour your own stuff. What fun we had.
My sister was a master of the old fashioned decoupage. She did beautiful work and then went into the 1" equals 1 foot miniature things. I have some of the rooms and two purses she made for me. Someday I'll try and post photos of them.

She also crocheted the button bracelets (mine was silver buttons) She designed things for Herschner's Needle craft catalog. Her Husband was with them and then when Quaker Oats bought them out he still headed up the catalog.

I miss both of them so much.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2004 at 6:00PM
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grits. the paper not the food.anyone old enough to remember even hearing about it?don't know if it can be bought today.never hear about it.but besides the bible it was my mama's favorite thing to read.looked similar to a newspaper but the pages turned like a magazine.a young boy on his bike would ride around the neighborhood calling out grits! get the paper!i can see mama now rushing out to him as he picked up a paper from his bike's basket.the paper had recipes.news.cartoons.patterns.a little something for us all.
when you got a certain age my school gave us a big box of candy to sell.you were suppose to go door to door selling it. the proceeds went to the school.well it turned out to be my family's favorite candy. we ate it all.so the money came from daddy's pocket. another year we were given a box of flower and vegetable seeds to sale door to door.i learned one thing from that.i would never have a career as a salesman.don't ask how old i am.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2005 at 8:11PM
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I remember almost all of the crafts mention. One I remember well is collecting milkweed pods and cattails and spray painting them gold. Oh yeah, cockleburrs(not sure about the spelling) too.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2005 at 9:35PM
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How about bleach bottle purses, Vac-U-Form crafts, paper beads, silk flowers made by rolling the edges with glue, plastic dip flowers, ice candles, popcicle trivits, and ice cream spoon puppets.


    Bookmark   December 20, 2005 at 10:04PM
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I can remember when I was little my Mom making those reader digest christmas trees, making wreaths I believe out of old time card(or something like that), that you folded the 2 corners on one end together to form a small cone and you stapled it together. It took lots of cards to make a wreath. And everyone in the neighbor hood was making them. I don't know where they got those cards. I remember they had little holes punched through out them. Then they would spray paint them and add glitter. I also remember her making trees by taking a styrofoam tree and covering it with different dried macaronni then spraying it gold.
It's great seeing what all we remember. Great Post!!!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2005 at 7:39AM
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Oh my. I feel like my life just rushed past me. I too belonged to the $1 craft-a-month club. Made yarn flowers, bleach bottle two-tiered planters, collages, decoupaged styrofoam balls (they didn't disintegrate then) with paper napkins, liquid embroidery and all kinds of recyclables although we never heard that word before. I can't even think of anything else although I'm sure there are more.

Thanks for the memories.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2005 at 7:41AM
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Oh, Cheri_C - you are making me feel SO OLD! Those "cards with the little holes in them" were IBM punch cards... that is what computers used waaaay back then for programming!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2005 at 9:38AM
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Oh, gosh, you all are making me smile to remember! My favorite aunt did the punch card wreaths and the Readers Digest trees. And my first grown-up-and-away-from-home Christmas tree was trimmed with embellished satin-covered styrofoam ornaments. (I was fortunate enough to be working for a costume shop, and had access to scraps of fabric and trims.) And one of my cousins does beautiful old-fashioned china painting.

The only things I remember that nobody else has mentioned: When I was in 6th grade, we made "Friendship Pins" out of plastic gimp (which we bought at the shoe repair shop behind the drug store across from the school) and straight pins and seed beeds. You made a matching set, one for your friend and one for yourself.

And there was the needlepoint craze, when even male celebrities were doing needlepoint. I still enjoy doing it, although supplies have gotten way more expensive and harder to find.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2005 at 8:28PM
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I belonged to that $1 a month club too. It was a lot ofmoney in those days. I remember the flowers I painted and they looked like glass afterward.
I think I mentioned last year that I bought two of those old Reader's Digest Christmas angels at an estate sale for old times sake.
And Pac-O-Fun always offered the pattern for the Three Wise Men in therir magazine ads. The picture you made out of macaronis.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2005 at 12:23AM
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Sounds like my life! I learned to crochet at the age of 10. When I was a teenager in the 60s I crocheted at least a doz ponchos; sewed bell-bottom pants; sewed wrap around skirts; material was madras and broad cloth, then polyester. Sewed hip huggers (now jeans go way below the hips and they said we were pushing the envelope). Used net and ribbon to sew a hair bonnet to keep your hair in place when you went out in the wind. Don't forget rain bonnets!!! Also made culottes (not sure how to spell that).My mom taught me how to do Swedish embroidery on a huck towel, put a zipper in it and make a clutch purse. When we were little she would save oatmeal boxes and make us Indian drums to play with. My older sister made us bed dolls, yarn octopus and a poodle made out of coathanger and dry cleaners plastic bags in pink, blue and clear.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2005 at 10:37AM
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I also remember another one that my Grandmother made. She made 100's of these magnets made from some kind of art foam. She cut them out in different shapes, animals, characters, and all sorts of stuff. She then personalized them with sequins, wiggle eyes, and even alphabet macaroni pieces. She was selling these everywhere.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2005 at 11:20AM
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I think I must be older than dirt, because I remember all of these and more besides, and yes, I even remember the "Grit" news paper!! This is a fun thread, thank you Ms. Glass (and Red, of course)!!!!

    Bookmark   December 22, 2005 at 2:13PM
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I made cocklebur Christmas trees complete with lights. I put the lights on a styrofoam cone and then the burrs. I then covered each little light with aluminum foil to protect them and sprayed the whole thing gold...removed the foil and it was a beautiful lighted tree. I remember going out and picking buckets of burrs until my fingers were raw. I had gloves but those babies were sharp! With the coming of modern herbicides, you don't find many patches of burrs all in one place any more.

Did anyone make the nylon net swans for a bed decoration?

    Bookmark   December 23, 2005 at 9:19AM
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Jaybird, don't feel bad! I am right along with you. These young chicks are making me feel so old!! I remember making pictures of a roster & hen out of seeds and colored popcorn kernels. Sold them too for $25.00 a set.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2005 at 10:50PM
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I can't really relate, never heard of most of these crafts, but some of them sound intriguing , like something I'd like to try. No, I'm not a baby, but I do remember something we made in grade school that I haven't heard mentioned here. We made roses using the pastel colored stryofoam egg containers, they had green pipe cleaners for the stems. We cut out the individual egg compartments and used those as the base, then cut petals out of the other compartments and glued them on the iside of the base, until the whole base was filled with layered petals. My favorite were the pastel pink ones, although the pastel yellow were also very pretty too!
Oh, and something I just saw yesterday on an old Ray Rayner tribute (local) show. He was trying to make roses using netting as the flower part? Anyone remember those? Not I, but they were kindy funky, and retro.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2005 at 12:33PM
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I have one not mentioned! Sweetheart soap - it was oval and had a design on it. You would use ribbon, plastic flowers and pearl tipped pins to put the embellishments on it. put it in dressers for sachet.

ahh the Buck a month crafts!

also, the crushed stone pictures. you'd outline the picture and details with cord and then spread glue in the open areas and sprinkle on the stone, like paint by number!

    Bookmark   December 27, 2005 at 11:43AM
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All these crafts have brought back lots of memories! The thing I remember doing was scrapbooks and saving birthday cards, Christmas cards, etc. to cut out the flowers and other items to decorate the pages. I haven't got into scrapbooking now because I get mad that I didn't think of all the new items for scrapbooking and I could have been rich and famous, lol.

My Grandmother and several great aunts lived in a small town in Utah and all the ladies would go to the junk yard and get the tail lights off cars, I think they needed six that matched and then made hanging planters, there was a center pole and then some kind of wire was used that bowed out and the lights hang on the end and it was all painted sliver. I think every yard had one, and a couple of years ago I drove thought town and still saw a couple. Maybe it was just a Utah thing. But I thought they were very interesting.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2005 at 8:41PM
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My DS made those Sweetheart Soaps and sold them for his Jr Achievement club. They were really very attractive.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2005 at 11:43PM
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I remember all those that red mentioned and several others.

Who remembers the bed dolls made with that plastic doll body and those things that looked like kleenex coffee filters.I made mannnnnnnnnnnnnny of those.
As a kid we made mud pies and put them on the big rocks to dry in the sun,then we decorated them with crayons that we grated on old metal window screens,or used ajax for the frosting.

We also had a swing out tree in the woods by my grandads house.It was like a grapevine(think Tarzan) and we'd climb this big rock,grab the vine and have the best swing of our lives.Memories,ahhhhhhhhhhhhh.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2005 at 6:10PM
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Kathi - Those were milk filters that were used to make the doll skirts. The filters are still available at some country stores and some 'Amish' stores, and no doubt at some websites.

I loved mud pies, too, but never thought to put crayons or ajax on them! Great idea!! And remember the doll 'dishes' made of acorns and acorn caps?

I swung on many a vine also. Did you ever "ride" a tall, limber tree? Several kids would bend a tree way down so the top reached almost to the ground, then one kid got to hop on near the top. When the other kids released their hold, the rider hung on tight and went zooming way up in the air... what fun!! Not too good for the tree, but there were always lots of them in the woods. No one minded.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2005 at 7:55PM
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We would collect bottle caps and look for cigarette wrappers. In those old dys the ciggies came in a tin foil lined package. We'd peel the foil off of the paper and glue it in the bottle top and then glue a shiny rock in the middle.

Before that ciggies came in thin tin boxes kind of like the ones that are sent with free AOL disks in them. We'd use them to store our paper dolls in - the ones we cut from books or the Sunday newspapers.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2005 at 9:39PM
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Dustyknees, and Jaybird, My DH was the boy on the bike selling the Grit newspaper. He was 71 on Dec 2. He's not sure, but that was probably his first 'full time'job! LOL
I remeber a lot of the thingsthat were mentioned, but was more interested in making my own clothes and in learning to crochet and knit, and the things that Chinacat mentioned. No money for things that were not 'useful'. I still crochet, but never learned to like knitting. Since then I have done a lot of the other things that were brought up.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2005 at 11:11AM
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Y'all are giving me the warm fuzzies! Gone are the good 'ol days of simplicity and keeping your hands 'busy'.


    Bookmark   January 1, 2006 at 8:48PM
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Gosh, everytime I would think of something...someone would list it! I did tons of those card wreaths as in those days I was doing some keypunching myself and they weren't recycling - just tossing bad cards away.

I made lots of money (age ten) making those old octopus's out of yarn, styrofoam balls, ribbons and wiggley eyes and everyone had one of them things on their bed. My aunts and friends of my mom were my best customers for whatever crafts I was into at the moment.

Did anyone mention cutting up small tomato sauce cans with metal cutting sissors into strips? Some of the strips were used for the legs and the others for the back of the "Chair" and the metal was rolled and spray painted black and itlooked like wrought iron. Then you made a little pillow with scrap fabric and fiberfill and glued in on the seat and used this as a pin cushion or just as a decoration. I remember my teenage cousins cutting the edge off one end of the can so that I could then cut the strips. It's a wonder I still have fingers today now that I think about it, don't remember ever using gloves.

Ahhhhhhhhh the memories. Can you imagine how much stuff you would have if you saved one of everything for a sample or if you did and had a spare room for this, you could have your very own craft museum.


    Bookmark   January 2, 2006 at 8:16AM
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I don't think I've seen this posted yet...does anyone remember making birds in birdcages out of maribou feathers and styrofoam balls with pipe cleaners? At Christmas we used to take two clear goblets and use angel hair and miniature nativities to make a scene inside. Then we would glue them together and trim around the two glasses. Oh, yeah, usually adorned with an ornament on top!!

Oh, what fun we had with little of nothing!

    Bookmark   January 2, 2006 at 2:07PM
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I was just going to post about the birdcage! I rember most of the ones listed. Some I did and most my grandma or my aunts did. Remember the beer can hats? My grandma made those for everyone one Christmas - we still have pictures! She could knit and crochet like no one I have ever seen. She could look at a picture of something and make an afghan of it with no pattern. I think I have her to thank (blame!) for my crafting gene! Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2006 at 6:10PM
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I'm LOVING This trip down memory lane !! I remember almost all the ones that were posted . Did someone mention Kleenex carnations ? (Those were back when we had colored kleenex & toilet paper ) LOL

    Bookmark   January 3, 2006 at 8:20PM
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Do you remember the little girl purses made of margarine tubs with the crocheted drawstring top? Or dipping plastic flowers in varnish mixed with gold paint, letting them drip dry upside down and arranging in a pretty vase? Reading these posts have really made me take a trip down memory lane! What fun!!!

    Bookmark   January 3, 2006 at 10:05PM
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How about the wreaths made out of the thread cones,clothespins and macaroni,then you spray painted the whole thing gold.That was in the 70's.
Back when i was a kid we would take the old empty wooden thread spools.pound 4 or 5 nails in the top,then using yarn would weave this long thing that we would eventually turn into a rug for our dolls.
Outside in the summer we would play Ted Macks(remember him) amateur hour.We'd stick the pitchfork in the ground and the handle became our microphone and we'd sing our hearts out.

Ink bottles and lightning bugs

Burning grass in a waterpail(bucket) in the summer to keep the skeeters away.

Mother may i game

Freeze game
and who could forget listening to all those old radio shows,the Lone Ranger,Inner sanctum,amos"n" andy.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Memories.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2006 at 2:18AM
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I remembered one more....how about macaroni glued on jars (seashell, elbow, etc, and sprayed gold or silver?

Did we REALLY think that was attractive? Yikes!!!

    Bookmark   January 11, 2006 at 7:29PM
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I remember the Grit paper. Our neighbor got it and the recycled it to us. I remember a lot of these and I am 40. I am looking for the old pattern of the dog that was made on the clothes hanger with something like pom poms on it.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2006 at 5:32PM
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I think I still have that pattern somewhere. I made a ton of those dogs. I also made cats out of 4" strips of yarn strung on dental floss.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2006 at 9:29PM
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When you find them could you share. Thanks

    Bookmark   January 14, 2006 at 5:53PM
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How about the birdhouse made with the reader's digest glued to a saucer and bud vase, then decorated with a bird and artificial flowers. We used to fry the marbles then glue together to make animals, etc. Also we did eggshell diaoramas ( make a hole in the front of an egg put a little scene inside with minatures and glitter the outside) People make them now on a much grander scale. Ours were just chicken eggs.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2006 at 9:03PM
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This was interesting to read and some did bring back good memories.I don't know what it was called, but I had a plastic board with designs on it, about the size of a writing tablet, you used crayons on it and could remove the color with a scrapper included, I mostly scratched the crayons off with my fingernails...and colored-in again.over and over.We never thought of ourselves as poor, we had plenty to eat and didn't lack toys, but the best times were spent playing with free stuff. I would retrieve the empty oil cans Daddy pitched into the barrel, one stomp with my feet would embed the sides over my shoes, tight enough that I could dance with them...the metal made a sound on the porch as if I had on tap shoes...Did anyone ever try that? ha
We'd take buckets of water and pour it down a hill, so we could slide down it faster...it was better than a real slide...I didn't think about how rough it was for mother to get the mud out of our clothes... Kudzu growing over everything in the fields kept us cool and made a perfect tent.
Playing marbles with my brother and his friends in the dirt...he never told me to get lost like some brothers would of done... Bet that I had as much fun, if not more, with my mud pies baking in the sun, than the kids do now with their Easy-bake-ovens...
Walking barefeet in mud holes after a rain, and sometimes during the rain.
Mother sewed sock dolls, and made some that looked like monkeys for every girl in the neighborhood...and there was one boy who had to have one...noone joked about it either.
Even when he had mother give him a home permanent...it was sort of a yearly thing...on our back porch...with me and other girl's waiting to get a permanent.(My brother had naturally-curly dark hair)
Those were great days to experience childhood.No worries and endless imagination.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2006 at 9:26PM
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I remember further back. We used to get a package of some kind of waxed paper and a stick like a tongue depressor. Then we'd place the shiny side of the paper on a comic from the Sunday paper and rub. Then we'd put that paper on a sheet of white paper and rub the comic off on to it!!.

I remember that I went everywhere with the couple next door. One day I went with HER to HER office and we went into the supply room. I was able to pick out a brand new yellow pencil and a tablet of pure white paper. I was thrilled. The paper we had in school (paid for by the school board) was an off white kind of cheap paer.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2006 at 11:43PM
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In reading over this post again. I can remember doing string art pictures. Where you would take a piece of wood cover it with material and then have a picture that you would go by and place the nails then use thread and make the picture. I can remember doing a big boat. I would liek to do these again but haven't been able to find any patterns. I know that at one time Wal-mart carried some but they were nothing like what I remembered doing. Here is one link that I have been able to find. Hope this help jog some memories.

Here is a link that might be useful: String art

    Bookmark   January 16, 2006 at 1:38PM
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I remember making my Dad a string art old car...I was so proud!! I also was quite adept at making cars and tractors and stuff, out of shop junk...bolts, nuts, washers, cotter pins, old keys,nails, screws and any other "whatzit" that came to hand! Even made Christmas trees one year, and decorated them with home made glitter made from crushed glass christmas balls (yep, we saved the broken ones from the year 1). Also made Christmas trees from pine cones with soap snow and crushed glass glitter!
Red, we used to swing on the birch trees too!! Never have found any trees in the south that were supple enough to swing on! I LOVE this thread!!! Thank you again and again!

    Bookmark   January 17, 2006 at 5:08PM
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I seen a post about the beer can hats. Does anyone have the pattern for it? I have looked on line and the one I found is no longer there. I have included a link for a purse that I found. Thanks

Here is a link that might be useful: Pop can purse

    Bookmark   January 20, 2006 at 8:39AM
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I thought of another one. My daughter made the cutest yarn cats back in the early eighties. You wound the yarn around a cardboard rectangle so many times and then tied it off...somehow you put it all together and came out with a beautiful yarn cat....sigh..once again, I no longer have the pattern. Who would have thought that twenty and thirty years later, we would be interested in reviving some of these old crafts?

    Bookmark   January 23, 2006 at 10:16AM
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I bought some cute books from the thrift store the other day. Anyone ever heard of Stumpkin Dolls "wee-folk"? They are made out of pantyhose. I think I'll make some up and try to sell them at Christmas. I bought an Apple Dumplins' Soft Sculpture book that looks fun and Dumplin Designs "Pecan Pie" leaflet. I don't know what I'll do with that since I don't crochet. I bought the strawberry shortcake doll (already made) of the same family because she was so cute.

Here is a link that might be useful: Stumpkin Dolls.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2006 at 1:35PM
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Can you imagine having a booth at a craft fair with all "Retro Crafts" in it ??!!! I bet people would buy alot just because it brings back memories !!! :)

    Bookmark   January 24, 2006 at 9:42PM
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Toomuchglass- I agree. The craft gift shop event I had stuff in at Christmas had a lot of 60+ people attending. A friend and I watched their buying habits. They did tend to buy and admire things that were no longer the current trends such as crochet afghans, the yarn/plastic canvas stuff, needlepoint, and kewpie dolls. The people under 50 tended to look for something inexpensive or something original. Of course, practical items such as scarves and hats sold well. Sometimes, it becomes a matter of everything old is new again.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2006 at 10:36AM
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i just did a web search, grit is still in publication and i just ordered my dh a subscription. he was a grit boy while growing up. geez, yall have made me feel old, i remember most of the things mentioned and im not quite 40. maybe i was just raised right, lol.


    Bookmark   January 26, 2006 at 5:42PM
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Among my mother's tons of books were titles like, "A NEW LOOK AT FELT!" And "HOW TO TURN TRASH INTO TREASURE," mostly involving yard and cardboard. I got sucked into a BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS 1980s Christmas craft book. It showed how to make little puff-pillow tree ornaments with muslim and decorative calico material. Well, maybe people were smarter in those days and everybody knew how to sew, but the directions left a lot to be desired -- a whole lot. The one I finally ended up making looked like -- well, not like something you'd want to hang on your tree. . .chery2

    Bookmark   January 27, 2006 at 9:16AM
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Reading about all these old fun crafting memories, brought back some really great memories. I remember practically all of them >> I'm glad the memory is still in tact'.
I don't know if these were mentioned, the 'Octopus Dolls' made from a skein of yarn..the body had eight braided legs, and the head had google eyes glued on, and a ribbon tied around it's neck. Also, I remember we took the metal strip off the boxes wax and foil paper, and wound them around a pencil, and then kind of pulled them to elongate them, and hung them on the Christmas Tree as icicles. Also the stained glass cookies..that we hung on the Christmas tree, made from chopped up sour balls that melted into a stain glass look. Those were really fun times and great memories.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2006 at 5:33PM
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I have enjoyed reading this thread. It brought back a lot of crafting memories.
I belonged to the Craft of the Month Club and still have a styrofoam piggy bank (pink) and the green bag with fish net and rope handles. I remember making a planter for on the wall and a box with plastic pieces on the lid that you had to heat in the oven so they would melt and become one piece. I remember watching for the mailman when it was time for the kit to come each month.
Linda OH

    Bookmark   January 31, 2006 at 11:19PM
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You know, back around that time (Craft of the month club) there wasn't too much going on in the craft industry. McCalls Needlework and Crafts mag and a few others is all we could get. I remember looking for books in the library and maybe there would be one or two. Then all of a sudden the industry went wild. Quilting as an art form took off about the same time.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2006 at 11:56AM
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Does anyone remember the pop bottles, or cans, decorated with masking tape? Each of my kids brought one home from school. I still have the one my youngest child gave me (he's 33 now). Small strips of masking tape was randomly stuck to the outside of the bottle, or can, and then rubbed with brown wax shoe polish. It was supposed to look like wood.

How about the Christmas wreaths made by tying yarn to a coat hanger? I made my share of those for Christmas presents.

I have been teaching my grandchildren some of the "old" crafts. They love it. And, you're right, what was lod is new again. The look of discovery and delight on their faces is as good as the memory of my discovery and delight.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2006 at 2:09PM
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I remember the green bag with fishnetting !!! LOL

    Bookmark   February 3, 2006 at 10:14AM
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Did anyone make the Easter Bunny Baskets from gallon plastic jugs? They were crocheted, attached by holes punched at the top, ears were cut out of the plastic or shaped out of wire (don't remember which) and crocheted around, pom poms for nose, feet and tail. I would like to make one for GS. My DD remembered that her GM made her one years ago. Wish I had the pattern.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2006 at 8:21PM
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Donner - This probably isn't the Easter Bunny Basket you remember, but it IS made of a plastic jug, has pompom features, and is partially crocheted - LOL! Maybe it will keep your GS happy until you find the right pattern!

[Lots of other Bunny Crafts there, too. - Nice site.]

Here is a link that might be useful: Gramma Lowe's Squeeze Bunny

    Bookmark   February 3, 2006 at 8:54PM
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Thanks Red Confetti! It isn't the one but I think I might try making it. Looks like fun. I also saw the chicken pattern my mother used to make. Such memories!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2006 at 11:08AM
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donner, I have made these baskets you are talking about. I might still have the pattern. I have to make a couple here before long. If I can't find the actual pattern I will try to write it down for you. I am not sure if they have it on the webste or not but check www.coatsandclark.com for some I am thinking I seen it there also. I tried looking but for some reason it won't let me look at the yarn patterns.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2006 at 1:53PM
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Lynn- All I found at that site was one wreath. If you find the basket pattern I would love to have it!

    Bookmark   February 7, 2006 at 4:47PM
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I remember forming wires into flower petals and dipping them in some liquid that dried plastic. Then winding each petal together to make one large flower.

Readers Digest Christmas trees; pine cone wreaths spray painted gold.....

Crochetting granny square purses....

Wow, brings back some memories

    Bookmark   March 16, 2006 at 3:45PM
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I remember helping my grandmother make pictures by finding material that had a scene on it, sewing a backing around a few of the pictures then stuffing it to give it a 3-D affect. Then we'd glitter some parts of it and frame it.
Baby food jars turned into snow globes.

Flower arrangements with those fuzzy pipe cleaners.

Material animal prints that you'd cut out the front and back and make a pillow. I still have my orange tabby pillow from the 60's.

Pet Rocks!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2006 at 4:52PM
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I finally thought of another old craft that hasn't been mentioned yet... chicken scratch embroidery on gingham fabric! You may know it as tenneriffe lace or snowflaking. I remember using it at the bottom edge of aprons (remember when we wore aprons??).

There are quite a few links on the Internet with instructions and patterns. Here's just one that explains the basics, and shows pictures of aprons and bookmarks.

Here is a link that might be useful: Gingham Embroidery

    Bookmark   March 23, 2006 at 11:04PM
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Omygosh....I remember those Reader's Digest Christmas angles...my mom made those! She was a big crafter, and made the resin grapes, the fake jewel handbags, the macrame plant hangers and just about everything else. I've still got the Three Wise Men she made out of wooden forms, starched fabric and fake jewels. I remember making God's Eyes, lanyards and salt/flour dough ornaments. What a fun thread!

    Bookmark   March 30, 2006 at 11:40PM
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Does anyone remember Artex paints? People had Artex parties where racks of paint pens were sold along with all kinds of pictures on a kind of interwoven fabric. Oh, and how about gum wrapper chains? The gum wrappers were folded and interlocked to make long gum wrapper chains.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2006 at 9:17PM
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Yes! How could I forget the gum wrapper chains....my sister made days of them. And I also remember the dipping plastic flower thing, too, but forgot what they were called.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2006 at 1:18AM
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As for the poodle made with pom poms and a hanger. Boy no one seems to have put this specifically on the web. However my rec lady has one but it's not a poodle and I found a pattern on the web for a dog made with a hanger and by making little yarn bundles to cover it. I had some difficulty at first tying the yarn bundles so we decided it could be done with pom poms. Another lady had done it. So I made up the pom poms. I had roughly 2 skeins of yarn, one color between 2 left over skeins and a full skein of white. The poodle needs more than I had for the head. I'll post a pic when it's all done. But here's the page with the pattern.


Here is a link that might be useful: Recycled hanger dog

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 10:33PM
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Don't you wonder where all that stuff is now? Probably in a land fill somewhere.
I remember: wreaths made of gathered-up plastic dry cleaner's bags, macrame belts and purses and plant hangers, batik and tie dye, jeans purses, skirts made of mens' neckties and cut apart jeans, and beaded headbands. Also beaded curtains from uncooked macaroni, bottle caps and almost any type of object you could string. Windspinners made from slicing up liter plastic soda bottles and hanging them with a fishing line spinner decorated our yard. Oh -and mini dresses made from folding a lace round tablecloth in half and cutting out a space for your head. Yes, I'm an old hippie, I have to admit! Although these days I'm more "hippy" than hippie...

    Bookmark   June 23, 2008 at 12:27AM
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AHHHHHHHHHH....memories! And what a journey it has been! I remember all the things mentioned here. Each time I thought I had another one...someone came up with it.

I'm more "hippy" than hippie...LOL! Scarlett, I know the feeling! Those hipster jeans just don't fit right anymore!

One thing I did learn to do back in the 60's and didn't see mentioned here were "Christmas Spiders". From the small glass Christmas balls and pipe cleaners, with sequin eyes. They looked like this...of course you've got to remember this one has been around for a good number of years now! LOL..ugly thing, isn't it?

With new products and vintage jewerly, they now look more like this example.

I made dozens of these every year..and sell most of them these days.

We still use the Christmas ornaments like this. I'll never forget the year we decided to make this the family
Christmas project! Neither will our 2 daughters! We all had such sore fingers. But, they treasure these ornaments now, and like myself use them every year.

Let's not forget Santa and Mrs. Claus made from dish detergent bottles. With the dime store (then Ben Franklin) faces and hands, etc. They are still part of my Santa collection but I don't seem to have a picture of them anywhere in my on line albums.

I still make a few of the old things...most often with a bit of a modern twist...using some of the easier to use products. The pasta angel is a good example of evolving pasta art.

I do have problems finding the metal thumb tacks used for the candle in these.

Someone mentioned the crochet covered clothes hangers. I'm just old fashioned I guess...I still do them. Along with little sachet bags to go with them.

I love collecting the old crochet patterns and making stuff from them. These are the vintage pattern projects that I have recently finished.

The shaded pansy thread colors are almost impossible to find these days.

You can see some of my spiders in this basket...they are not Christmas Spiders. I call them my illusive, almost extinct pansy spiders! I wanted some really pretty silk pansy to put in this basket and couldn't find any...so I used the next best thing. LOL

I think I should stop now! I don't think the "old" crafts will be completely lost...they will just evolve.

Be Safe, Rach

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 24, 2008 at 1:38PM
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As promised somewhere in these posts, here's a pic of the yarn hanger dog that looks like a poodle. It's made the same way with the hanger as with the yarn bundles except it's done with 1 1/2 in. pom poms. I had 2 colors of yarn for this particular one.

Ummm ok could someone tell me how to insert a pic here? lol

    Bookmark   June 26, 2008 at 7:47PM
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Juniemoo - here are instructions for inserting pics into your posts. I use Photobucket so that's what I talk about. If you use a different photo sharing program, the instructions might be similar.


copy & paste:


    Bookmark   June 28, 2008 at 5:39PM
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I remember the beer can hats and friendship pins to put on our shoe laces. I also remember when pickled bums were everywhere and because of that I wanted them so badly! Why?, I'm not sure.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 11:59PM
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Isn't this great to sit around and get sentimental about old crafts ? I hope this thread keeps on ... every post makes me smile ! Crafts were SO exciting back then ... that's when everything was "new" ...! Geeze - are we old or what ? LOL I'd love to see a booth at a craft show with "Retro-crafts" ..... I bet that would be the most crowded booth at the fair. *sighing and smiling *

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 9:04PM
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Love the lists! Here are a few more:
Candy wreaths
Jeweled purses - Made from kits
Cigar box purses and treasure boxes
Juice can footstools
Bleach bottle piggy banks
Soap swans
Sock head hobby horses
Large cans with punched designs to use as luminarias
Burned match crosses
Embroided denim anything
Hand knit dishcloth
Cigar band decoupage
Rag rugs
Letter pillows
Blown eggshell crafts
Pom pom animals
Swedish straw ornaments made with paper drinking straws and yarn
Clove oranges and sachets
Styrofoam cones decorated with trims and broken jewelry as Christmas trees
Milk carton manger scenes
Cottage cheese carton easter baskets
Wine cork trivets
Stamps carved from erasers
Paraffin candles made with ice in the molds to produce craters
Skateboards made from roller skates and boards
Paper Christmas chains
Toilet paper cores decorated and strung
Clothes pin people
Loopy poy holders made from old socks cross cut
Doll heads made from old nylons
Painted rocks
Wind chimes made from old silverware and bottles
Tuna can bangle bracelets
Spare toilet paper roll doll covers
Button bracelets
Ghosts made from Kleenex with a cotton ball head
Folded and cut snowflakes
Walnut shell boats
...oh so many memories

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 4:41PM
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WOW!!! This thread is awesome! We made so many of these. My sister made stars out of paper soda straws and tiny glass ornaments. They were beautiful hung from the ceiling at Christmas. The heat rising would make them revolve slowly. I made tiny red felt mice and stuffed them with the cotton ball that came in the Alka Seltzer bottle. I kept a small suitcase full of all kinds of fabric scraps and trims to decorate them. I still have about 4 of them.(that would make them about 60 yrs old) My favorite thing was the plastic crafting strip that we used to make lanyards. We used these to keep our skate key on. Today they call this craft boondoggle. Remember the woven paper place mats or lanterns? I made tiny little swords using straight pins, a small piece of craft strip and seed beads. I always made a matching pair so they could be crossed on your collar. I sold them to my classmates for a nickle a pair. Today I would be thrown out of school for bringing sharp objects to school. haha. I also got sent home from school for wearing culottes that came to my knees because we weren't allowed to wear pants to school. They had a flap in the front that covered the split and made them look like what we called a coachman squirt. I had a gum wrapper chain that was almost 20 feet long. This is so much fun just remembering all these.

1 Like    Bookmark   February 8, 2015 at 11:37PM
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