A THRIFTY care home worker has been upcycling old curtains into cushions ahead of a garden party for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
When The Gables Care Home, on Highfield Road, Middlesbrough, got new curtains, activities coordinator Alison Cochrane saw an opportunity to make use of the old ones.
Instead of throwing them away, she turned to her trusty sewing machine and got to work transforming the floral-patterned curtains into garden furniture cushions.
She also used the foam seats from old wheelchairs and stuffing from old pillows to fill the cushions – making over 30 which, when stacked, stood taller than her.
The cushions will be used to keep residents comfortable while they enjoy the planned garden party celebrations to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend next month.
Alison said: “I’ve always been thrifty. I had seven brothers and sisters in my family and we were always taught that nothing useful should be thrown away.
“My mum ran a nursing home and I spent a lot of time with the residents, who taught me to knit and crochet. At 8-years-old I knitted pink bed socks for all the residents. Their habits of reusing things transferred to me.
“At home we recycled everything we could because that’s what you did. We made our own clothes using offcuts of material – for example, tank tops with lace inset in different colours and picture frames from scrap wood.
“Nowadays we call it upcycling but it’s just being thrifty and not adding to all the waste generated by society every day.
“So when we bought new curtains for The Gables, I thought the old ones would make wonderful seat cushions that we can use with the garden furniture for our Jubilee party.”
Resident Joyce Calvert said: “Alison’s always busy doing something. We never know what she’s going to have us making next.
“We’ve done a test run with the cushions and garden furniture, so we’re going to have a very comfortable seat at the Queen’s Jubilee party.”
Mark Culley, home manager at The Gables Care Home, said: “Alison’s done a great job. Not only is she looking after our residents but she’s also taking care of the environment.”