I’m the first to admit I’m a material hoarder. Lots of people don’t realize that clothing makes up a large fraction of landfill trash, and these days, much of it is synthetic and breaks down slowly.
I like to save old Lycra from random rashguards and surf gear, so I decided to cut pieces up into small quilt squares to make a simple two sided squishy pillow filled with scrap neoprene. Woah…that’s being supa Bro–active about our environment, yo.
Pile o’ Lycra
Cutting pieces into smaller squares from various pieces
Laying out a fun pattern
I serged into rows first
Layout of the other side of the pillow
Both sides of the pillow
Pinning the pillow to stitch it up before stuffing
Neoprene beans from wetsuits
I stuffed the pillow casing I made with quite a bit of the cut up neoprene “beans” I had cut up previously (see this project).
Clipped the opening closed and I whip stitched it closed
That’ll fit my rear, watch out, Max….
So I figure this pillow with be perfect for the beach, since I can rinse it off, toss it in the wash with no worries, and it’s small enough to sling over my bag.
Hey, if this helps the environment, great. I mean, it’s your world, brah.
Talk to some “old school” surfers, and they’ll call it a Kook Cord, meaning that only newer, clumsier surfers require being attached to their surf craft. I say leashes are litigation deterrents- a little insurance in a crowded lineup of surfers and swimmers. If I’m alone and the surf’s small, okay, I’ll skip da leash. Otherwise, better to be safe all around.
My issue has been finding a decent lightweight leash that’s 9′ long to use with my longboards. The Comp weight doesn’t seem to tangle as much as the thicker cord types, but the 9’+ length can be tricky to find. I’m never going to surf Pipeline, so I don’t need the reinforced titanium nitro supa thick variety. Also, for longboarding, I like to use a Knee Leash as opposed to an Ankle Leash to help keep it from being tangled around my feet. Hopefully.
I ended up buying an XM 9′ Comp leash I found and just wrapping the ankle strap around my knee instead.
Ow. The exposed edges of the Velcro raked the heck out of the back of my knee after a few weeks of use. Since open wounds and ocean water make for a doctor’s visit, I decided to make the strap a bit more comfy.
First, I took off the side of the strap with a seam ripper.
It came apart pretty easily
I saved the pull tab to reattach it later
Using some scrap neoprene taken from the chest panel of an old wetsuit, I made an extender strip as wide as the original leash strap.
I used the chest panel since it’s got a rubber layer over the neoprene
Once I had my new longer neoprene strip ready, I glued it back into place using E6000 industrial glue. I had some nylon thread as a backup, but I didn’t need it! Woo Hoo!
I sandwiched one end with glue on both sides
I used quilting clips to hold everything in place while it dried
Next, I took a bit of the loopy side of some 2″ Industrial Velcro and used glue with the adhesive on the back of the strip, similar to what I did on the Board Bag mod.
I used a lot of glue
Clamped and drying
I gave the leash about 48 hours inside to fully cure, since the weather’s been so hot.
After surfing with it
It feels MUCH better on my leg now, with no more burn. Hey- if I’m going to get rug burn from Velcro, I’m going full YOLO….
If you follow my blog, you may already know I freakin’ love boardshorts. I will also wear them while surfing too, since few people appreciate me duckdiving a wave in a thong. Their loss.
Christmas in July
Anywho, I picked up this pair of Quiksilver Waterman Boardshorts a while back. I love them except for the thicky-thick tie that came with it. It’s bulgy, doesn’t stay tied, and hurts when I lay on my board to paddle. Time for a makeover.
Nice except for the crappy tie
This tie NEVER stays tied
I gathered some 1/4″ flat elastic, a needle and thread, some scissors, and a seam ripper (if needed).
The tie was sewn into the shorts, so I had to use my seam ripper to remove it:
Removing the original tie
Taking just a small length of the flat elastic, I laced it through the grommets of the shorts’ fly from the TOP DOWN. This is important since I want to join the elastic together at the BOTTOM, where the elastic won’t get as much action. I pulled the sides of the fly together flush, and pinned the elastic ends together where it’s comfortable.
Laced through, ends come out on the INSIDE of the fly
Sewing the elastic ends together
Looking inside the fly, the ends have been clipped and sewn
Pull on and off!!
This now stays flat, pulls on and off easily, and there’s no need to worry about my shorts staying tied finally.
I’m so happy that the biggest pressing concern is chafing my belly button when I surf. It can ALWAYS be worse, brah….
In my last post, I was carving some Tagua palm nuts to make some neato pieces. Like wood, Tagua nuts can be painted to artsy up a piece even more. I had cut a nice thick piece, and drilled a top hole to hang the slice as a pendant.
Sanded and ready to paint
For this project, I used my acrylic paint pens that I’ve used on my surfboards before. Small paintbrushes and toothpicks come in handy for detail painting too.
The brush on varnish I like to use with the acrylic paint pens I like
The important part is the varnish, though. Tagua is cellulose, so if you want your d’art to stay sharp and not bleed into the nut, put on a couple of thin coats on the surface before you start your creation. I sealed the entire slice before painting.
Once it’s completely dry, I can start painting whatever I want, building up color slowly.
Keeping just an accent
Happy little daisies
I made sure the acrylic paint was completely dry before painting two more thin coats of varnish to seal the piece.
I use my disposable contact lens containers for paint and varnish
I used some yellow Linhasita cord and some olivewood beads to finish this piece off into a necklace:
Happy and bright
Super easy, super fun, and if you hate what you painted, get out the sandpaper and start over. Hopefully the Tagua slice was cut thick enough.
I certainly got comfortable with sanding (not REALLY my arm, just a meme, haha!)….
I’ve always had a thing for palm trees, probably since they remind me of tropical places and surfy times.
It’s no surprise, then, that I freakin’ love Tagua nut anything, since it grows naturally from the Ivory Palm Tree.
Tagua was used in the old days like plastic would be used today: buttons, handles, knobs, jewelry, etc. were easily carved from this nut that resembles elephant ivory on the inside. So, after years of collecting various carved Tagua pieces, I had to try out carving some myself. Especially since non-biodegradable plastics seem to be forming islands in the ocean around us, it’s worth checking out for some hippie eco-fun.
I ordered some raw nuts from Etsy for about $1 each plus shipping, so it wasn’t a huge investment. Tagua nut harvesting is one of the few industries that encourages keeping rainforests around a little longer too….super hippie eco bonus.
One of the raw Tagua nuts I ordered
Tagua is supposed to cut similar to wood, so I used those type of tools for woodworking. I used tools like a scroll saw, sanding wheel, and drill bits that I already use for small wood craft projects:
My Dremel scroll saw
Since I didn’t want to saw my fingers off, using a vise was helpful- especially for cutting nice, even slices. You must either use a vise or glue the nut onto a steady block of wood to cut it. It’s just too small to try and line up under the saw with just your fingers….and keep ’em.
The hard rubber jaws of the vise are perfect for this work
Top view of the nut getting ready to be sawed in two
A nut slice…has a small void
Every Tagua nut potentially has a void at its’ center, which is something to consider when carving this. If the Tagua is dried properly during the harvest process, there is supposedly less of a void. So I’ve heard. This batch I received also looks a bit dark on the inside, so this Tagua might be older, but it’s still a beautiful color.
I made sure to cut and grind slowly, since Tagua burns very easily. And you can smell it when it starts to get too hot.
Sanding the exposed surface on the side wheel
I used a sanding bit to sand away the surface to make cool patterns
Tagua is delicate! I was too harsh with this piece
Some of the Dremel bits I played with
They polish up like little fancy bits o’ wood
Now, Tagua isn’t waterproof- it’s very porous cellulose, so it’s not a bad idea to coat pieces with a clear sealant. I like the paint-on varnishes better than the spray can type for these. When I tried using the spray can, the varnish left tiny little raised dots all over the surface. Bleh.
Here’s some of my sealed pieces using the better paint-on varnish:
Finished and varnished pieces
Since I already enjoy woodworking, I can totally see myself getting into this tropical craft that’s fun, sustainable, and reminds me of my favorite trees ever….
Christmas lights should be banned in Florida because it’s absurd
Remember that necklace/wrap bracelet I made a couple of posts ago? I saved the little silver charms from the 4Ocean bracelets, and I wanted to use them to make some easy fun earrings with basic stuff from the craft store. Ear hooks, a few glass beads, and a couple of eye pins can make a fancy looking pair of earrings. You’ll also need a pair of small round-nose jewelry making pliers (here’s a link to some I found online).
All of my supplies
Adding a charm to the end of each eye pin
Sliding a silver bead, a glass fish bead, then a silver bead onto each eye pin
Preparing to make a loop at the top of each eye pin
I try to match up the same position when I make the loop on each
These are a cute way to promote the 4Ocean cause of removing plastics from the ocean, and creating awareness of plastic pollution.
Honestly, though, for surfing the Cocoa Beach Pier, I need more useful earrings. I searched on Etsy and found my dream pair:
Both of these companies raise money for ocean related charities, which is always a good excuse to buy pretty things, ya know. And by the way, I don’t shill for these companies, I had to buy ’em just like everyone else.
For this project, I used my two 4Ocean bracelets, my Cape Clasp Hammerhead shark toggle (removed from the paracord), scissors, and some Chinese Knotting cord (I used dark green), which is essentially VERY thin nylon paracord. I used a little over 3 yards for this, folded in half. Glue may be handy to secure the finishing knot.
Saving the charms for another project
I made a lark’s head loop over the tail hole and made an overhand knot. I slid a recycled glass bead over both cords, and made another overhand knot, snugging it up against the bead. Repeat until all the beads are gone.
Lark’s head loop over tail
Overhand knot between each bead
For the loop, I took the cords and made alternating half hitches until the loop was long enough to secure over the toggle, then I secured it with a square knot and melted the ends with a lighter (outside!).
Alternating half hitch knots
Done! It came out to around 20″ when it was complete, long enough for a necklace or a wrist wrap.
The Country Club Surfer
A halfway decent strand of Mikimoto’s will set you back several grand, but I figure this hundred dollar DIY set might help out a bit more.