Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Seriously Recycled Blankets for Cold Weather Emergencies or Charity

I have figured out a way to recycle dryer sheets. Other people have already thought of other ways to recycle dryer sheets, but this is a good one. :-) 

I thought of this one because of watching homeless people wake up on a park bench and walk off and abandon a quilt that they used for one night. Sometimes they are thoughtful enough to put the quilt in a trash can. The quilt may have taken some woman months or at least weeks to make. 

I don't want homeless people to die of exposure, but I don't like putting a lot of useless work into it either, or money. 

The solution to this dilemma is dryer sheets, fabric glue, and pieces of thread ends and tiny slivers of fabric or small bits of yarn. 

You take two dryer sheets and run a thin bead of glue along one side of a sheet. The bead of glue needs to be about 1/8 of an inch wide or more. Stick the second dryer sheet onto the bead along the bottom dryer sheet so they are even. Run a bead of glue along a second side of the bottom dryer sheet and stick the top one onto it. Do the same for the third side of the dryer sheets. 

On the fourth side of the dryer sheets only glue about an inch of the sheets together from the corners out. Leave an opening between the two glued corners large enough to get your hand or at least several of your fingers inside the bag that  is formed by the dryer sheets.

Take a small amount of sewing trash and put it in each corner of the bag. Then fill in the middle with more sewing trash. You do not need a lot of sewing trash to provide more insulation than many quilts have. Do not stuff the dryer sheet bag too full. Remember that there will be many more dryer sheet bags full of sewing trash and all of them together can become very heavy.

I put a piece of newspaper down on the surface I am using to glue the dryer sheets before I start. Lift up the glued dryer sheets before they stick to the paper.

Once you are satisfied with filling your dryer sheet bag with sewing trash, you can glue shut the opening you used to stuff it.

I have experimented more with this and it seems to work better to take one dryer sheet and fold it in half. You then glue two sides and leave the fourth side open for stuffing.

Dryer lint is a very soft fluffy stuffing for the dryer sheet bags. There is a big problem with it however. Dryer lint is extremely flammable. It would not be remotely safe for a person to smoke while wrapped in a blanket stuffed with dryer lint. For some reason, most homeless people seem to smoke like chimneys. None of those homeless who smoke like that should be given a blanket involving dryer lint.

If you are making your dryer sheet and sewing trash or dryer lint blanket for your own emergency use, you need to remember not to have it anywhere in the vicinity of an open flame. 

I like to do the dryer sheet squares as the sheets become available. After completing a square, I put it in a box with others until I have enough to assemble into a blanket. 

Once you have enough squares made you can glue them together into a blanket. It is much easier to glue whole squares' edges than to make a square, so assembly goes fast. In a very short time you will have a warm and almost free blanket. 

Now all you need to do is find a place to take your blanket. Be sure to tell them not to give a blanket, made with dryer lint, to a smoker.  Warn them to avoid fires with it.

A little bit of your time and a very small amount of money will keep someone warm. Your stupid-looking and very cheap blanket may save a life.

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