It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Creativity doesn’t end with card stock

Here we have a fun and funky visual oxymoron:

A rain boot which leaks.

There is not much point to a rain boot which leaks. For a while, I made do by putting a plastic bag over my foot before I slipped it into the boot. Because I’m lazy frugal wanted to put off buying another pair until next spring.

And then the second boot sprang a leak. And somehow, I’m not sure why, this put me over the edge. I was NOT going to wear these stupid things again. It’s not winter boot weather yet, but my winter boots are perfectly capable of resisting the dew on the grass.

Yes, really. My rain boots were leaking not when I stomped through ankle-deep puddles or hauled the dog out of the ooze along the river. They were leaking if I walked too far across the dew-drenched field at the dog park. Leaking to the point of having to change my socks when I got home because of the big soggy spot on one side.

And yet my frugal soul really does cringe when I have to physically toss a piece of clothing into the garbage. I rarely do it, in fact. Outgrown clothes are given to younger children. Worn shirts are stripped of buttons. Holey socks become cuffs on old sweat pants. Jeans become jackets become pencil cases. Pretty nearly all fabric can be torn and turned into either handkerchiefs or cleaning rags. I really, really, really hate throwing something away without getting any subsequent use of it at all. But leaky rain boots? You can’t foist leaky rain boots off onto some unsuspecting charity. Leaky rain boots are pointless, really. They really are just plain old garbage.


They are.

(I can’t stand it.)

Besides, I don’t need rain boots right now. What I need, and don’t have, are some sort of footwear like gardening clogs, that enclose my foot but can be slipped on without using your hands so I can take the two steps out to get the mail in, or go the ten metres from the front door to the street to the side drive to put the garbage bins away. That sort of thing. When you’re only going to be outside 20 seconds and really don’t want to spend 30 seconds lacing boots. Don’t even want to bend over to pull on your boots.

What I needed, in other words, was something like this:


(That discolouration on the inside? Not dirt. Dye. From the bread bags I was wearing inside them…)

As rain boots they leaked, yes. But as clogs, which will never be in use more than a couple of minutes at a time? They’re PERFECT. I did learn that in order for them to stay on really well, the foot opening should be a bit smaller. And yes, the edge is a bit rough. I could seal the edge them with something — half the width of black duct tape, perhaps.

Maybe I will. But maybe I won’t. Because they’re perfect.

And the rest of the boot?

Ta-dah!!! Cut into four circles, stripped of the fabric backing, thoroughly scrubbed and disinfected, they were transformed into …

a set of truly funky rubber coasters. Hee.

I ended up throwing out only a quarter of the original boots. Practically no waste, clogs I’ve wanted for ages, AND a set of coasters. I just feel so damned virtuous!

October 19, 2010 - Posted by | crafts, random and odd | , ,


  1. OMG – you are the queen! I hope charities like greenpeace promote and assist the reuse work people like you have been doing.

    I’m sure they do!

    Comment by surya | October 19, 2010 | Reply

  2. Wow! You take recycling to a whole new level. What inspiration!

    Thank you! While I am an eco-friendly sort, when it comes to things like this, I think it comes of having been raised without a lot of money, but with a creative mother. When I was growing up, there was always a way to make things go that extra mile, if you just looked for it! Consequently, I truly abhor waste. And I save myself a decent amount of money by avoiding it. This idea that going green costs more than being wasteful has always puzzled me.

    Comment by Amy | October 19, 2010 | Reply

  3. brav-O

    Thank you!

    Comment by katkins | October 19, 2010 | Reply

  4. sloggers, cool!

    Is that another name for the clogs I made?

    Comment by Dana | October 19, 2010 | Reply

  5. Genius, you are a genius! I never questioned it, but this takes it to a whole new level.

    Genius, or just really, really cheap. 😀

    Comment by Darcy's Mom | October 19, 2010 | Reply

  6. Wow. That is, and you are, awesome!

    Thank you!

    Comment by Ms. Huis Herself | October 19, 2010 | Reply

  7. This is awesome. I have a lot of packratty tendencies – I see that there is more potential for things that are useless “as they are,” but I have a hard time following through. You really worked to make this stuff useful again! Best kind of recycling.

    Now me, I am an anti-packrat. I love space, and light bouncing off clean surfaces. I don’t often get it, mind you: I live in a small, fairly highly-populated house. Thus I hate clutter, and get a positive thrill when I can discard large amounts of stuff. Whoo! (Even though I do this with some regularity, there is always more to toss. What’s with THAT?)

    But I also hate waste. Very rarely do I put something potentially useful to the curb, and when I must, I put it out 48 hours early. Someone almost always scoops it before garbage day!

    I think the combination my dual hates of waste and clutter work together to keep the projects and “stuff” from piling up. (Though if you saw my craft room right now, you would know that I don’t always follow through on these things…)

    Comment by Rebecca West | October 19, 2010 | Reply

  8. Well, you are a clever monkey aren’t you?

    That’s just awesome. I struggle all the time with just throwing stuff away. Even if I can’t think of an idea for how to reuse an item on the spur of the moment, I’m so often sure that one will come to me.

    But clogs and coasters out of a pair of old rain boots? I’m totally impressed.


    I have a few things on the table in my craft room that have not yet — but will be! really!! — been turned into the useful things I have in mind. It’s just that other things have been more urgent lately. But I’ll get to them!! And thank you!

    Comment by Sheri | October 19, 2010 | Reply

  9. Wow. I think I would have agonized about throwing them away, but eventually I would have done it. This is such a neat idea.

    Thank you! It was an idea that could be followed through on immediately, and took maybe 15 minutes. Nah, probably ten. It’s the quick-and-easy flashes of brilliance which tend to be the most successful, I find!

    Comment by Emily | October 19, 2010 | Reply

  10. Terrific! I suggest you don’t try the tape idea. It seems to me that anytime I’ve ever used tape it slips around and the glue gets everywhere I don’t want it to be. Maybe if you sand the edges they wouldn’t feel so rough on your feet?

    Even duct tape? You’re probably right, though: on the uneven inner surface (it’s lined with a loose-weave cotton) it would be difficult to get the edges of the tape 100% sealed, and then they’d almost certainly catch on my socks, resulting in the mess you envision. The edges aren’t uncomfortable, anyway, they just look rough. I was afraid to start trimming lest, like the edges of the pie crust you nibble on just to ‘even them up’, I’d end up with nothing!

    Comment by Jan | October 21, 2010 | Reply

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