DIY: 5 Steps to a T-Shirt Bag!

29 Jul

We did a lot of t-shirt bag workshops, and now, you can do them from the comfort of your home! If you have any variations that you chose to do, let us know in the comment section!

Step 1: Choose a beloved t-shirt that you no longer wear & make sure its washed!

No one wants a smelly bag AND! if you've never washed the shirt before for whatever reason, it may shrink if you throw it in the wash if by chance something spills in/on it during its new life as a bag.

No one wants a smelly bag AND! if you’ve never washed the shirt before for whatever reason, it may shrink if you throw it in the wash if by chance something spills in/on it during its new life as a bag.

Step 2: Assemble your tools!

Tools can be as simple as just a good pair of scissors, but depending on if you do a variation, a safety pin might be useful!

Tools can be as simple as just a good pair of scissors, but depending on if you do a variation, a safety pin might be useful!

Step 3: Cut off sleeves & cut out neck area

Note: how wide or narrow you make this is up to you, the graphics on your shirt, etc. The neck area is the opening of your bag, so just be sure to keep that in mind!

Note: how wide or narrow you make this is up to you, the graphics on your shirt, etc. The neck area is the opening of your bag, so just be sure to keep that in mind!

Step 4: Close bottom of your t-shirt bag by cutting slits in the shirt about 1-2″ and tying a knot


Step 5: Admire your work and add this bag into rotation!


Mine is ready to go back to the beach! (If you didn’t catch the “Reach the Beach” slogan)




We have a resource list!

16 Jul

Howdy PhillySwappers,

Be sure to check out the new resource list! We’ve broken the list into categories that each have their own page under the Resource List tab!

Keep on swappin’!

Get Pumped, Philly!

9 Jul

Dear Philly Swap Community,

It’s been awhile, we know. BUT! We’ve got some pretty cool things heading your way in pretty short order.

First off, mark your calendars for this year’s Greenfest Philly, taking place on Sunday, September 7th! Be sure to clean out your closets/basements/hidden-so-the-guests-won’t-see-areas and bring along your swaps to Greenfest!

Next on the list: We’re excited to bring you a list of resources that will include consignment shops, clothing swaps, upcycle stores, and more! Please feel free to contribute to this list by submitting information to If you run a clothing swap, store, or anything related, let us know, we’d love to add you to the list!

Finally, we want to do more! To begin with, we have some nifty DIY projects to roll out and resources to share, however, community suggestions are welcomed! (Once again, send to

Be on the lookout for more posts and pages!

Frankford Holiday Craft Market Vendors List, Dec 16

11 Dec

HolidayCraftFestWORKING(12-3)GO SHOPPING!

Bonnie Lasses
Fiber wearables: gloves, scarves, necklaces; art pillows; artist books; photographic metal wall hangings; artist cards

Allison Ostertag Photography
Photography of local nature with rustic wood framing

Betsy Ann Paper http
Holiday greeting cards and stationery gift sets

Philadelphia Map Company
Maps of Philadelphia neighborhoods and more

Rachel Udell
Mixed media of art (collage/drawings/sculpture)

JRochelle Designs
Handmade leather bags/accessories and some vintage home décor items

Iqraa Cafe
Scented candles and scarf sets

Helen Ethel Studio
Handmade jewelry

Sock toys and circle scarves

Accessories and small gift items

Sherman Oberson Creations
Homemade jewelry made of vintage parts

Martha Knox
Wood block fine art prints

Evening Star Gallery
Handcrafted cards, bookmarks, pins and assemblages

Art by Meei-Ling Ng
Small handmade sculpture, paintings, and greeting cards

Why B Design
Stationery items made of recycled materials

Jennifer Hermann:Handmade
Handmade jewelry, Christmas ornaments and other gifts

Lynnette Shelley
Fine art prints and original artwork

Heidi’s Unique Gifts
Handmade purses, books, hand decorated glassware and photography

Fifth of a Farm Creations
Handcrafted and all natural jams and jellies

M Heston Illustration
Art Prints

Monique Kendikian-Sarkessian Fine Art
Original artwork, jewelry, and prints

Whitney Superstar
Small wood paintings and handmade birdhouses

Upcycled, unique “green” accessories for adults and kids

Bolt Pottery
Cups, mugs, chalices, goblets, bowls, mixing bowls, jars

Cats and Keystones
Vintage wares

Dana Henry
Ceramics – both for sale and for creation


Carson Valley Children’s Aid
Information and jewelry making table for our organization with the kids in attendance

The Resource Exchange
Dedicated to promoting creative reuse, recycling, and resource conservation

Frankford CDC
Building assets for the community

City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program
Largest public art program in the US!

Philly Swap
Hosting and promoting creative reuse and up-cycling through workshops, events, and swaps

New Frankford Community Y
Helping to rebuild the neighborhood


Sweet Box Cupcakes
Cupcakes and hot chocolate

Meatball, roast pork sandwiches, and sausage sandwiches – along with soda, water etc.

Philly Swap presents Holiday Craft Market with Flying Kite in Frankford, Dec 16

4 Dec

Flying Kite’s been working hard to expose different parts of Philadelphia to you through its On the Ground program ( We are teaming up with them to bring you a Holiday Craft Market to Flying Kite’s current space in Frankford.

It’s time for holiday shopping local! Area crafters and other vendors will sell their wares. We’ll highlight artists who use recycled materials, and we will have plenty of activity stations for you to get yourselves into the holiday spirit.

Check back here as we plan to highlight the vendors who will be participating this and next week leading up to the event.
Refreshments will be made available for purchase. FREE to attend! All ages!Interested in hosting an activity or vending? Vendor tables are still available. Apply here:

Full event listing can be seen on Facebook at: Frankford Holiday Craft Market will take place at St. Mark’s Church and is VERY EASY to get to. Take the Market-Frankford line to Church Station and walk 2 blocks north. Driving? We have free parking too!

Additionally we’ll be highlighting and working with the Frankford CDC, Councilwoman Sanchez, and the Mural Arts Program to celebrate the Mural Arts Program’s Frankford project, the targeted facade improvement project focused on the 4600 block of Frankford Avenue and the new rain garden at Womrath Park. Learn all about it at the Holiday Craft Market!

Philly Swap @ Greenfest this year!!

9 Sep

Clean out your closets and bring your clothing, accessories, toys, books and more! Philly Swap and Greenfest have teamed up to bring you a community swap that will be on-site at this year’s event.

Items collected will include: gently used and clean clothing (men, women, children, baby), toys, and books.

About Greenfest: Greenfest Philly is the largest environmental festival in the Philadelphia area. With over 100 exhibitors and vendors, Greenfest is the place to learn about living sustainably while having fun! This event has something for everyone: shopping for local green wares, great food, live music, live demonstrations, kid-friendly activities, and more. Greenfest Philly is scheduled on Sunday, September 9, 2012 from 11am to 5pm in the historic Headhouse Row. More info at:

About Philly Swap: What started as a citywide clothing swap, Philly Swap has since inspired the swapping of all things! From exchanging ideas and supporting collaborative projects in communities, to promoting recycling and up-cycling of textiles, crafts, clothing, Philly Swap is dedicated to the act of sharing resources, skills, and imagination. We host workshops, demonstrations, and other events to continue the spirit of swapping and creative reuse in neighborhoods throughout the Philadelphia area. More info at:

Hope to see you there!!

HELLO & Happy 2012!

19 Jan

We know we’ve been quiet for a while but we’ll be back soon with some updates for you. Hope your 2012 is off to a good start and we’ll talk to you soon! Any questions/ideas, you can reach us at

See you at the Trenton Avenue Arts Festival!

21 May

Philly Swap will be at today’s Trenton Avenue Arts Festival. We have Philly Swap bags for sale ($3). Come by and say HI. Also, stay tuned for upcoming summer and fall Philly Swap events. See you in Fishtown!

Don’t miss out on these March events!

3 Mar

Hello, Friends! After taking a bit of a blogging hiatus, Philly Swap is awakening from our winter hibernation and is excited about the promises of Spring! In the upcoming months, we’ll be partnering with local businesses and artists to host film screenings, smaller swaps and upcycling workshops. In addition to showcasing artists on our blog, we also want this to be a space to promote the efforts and events of other amazing creative and socially-minded folks. Check out this webinar (register with the discount code listed below) and this free entrepreneurial event taking place this month!

ATTENTION READERS: Enter the code “sfdfriends” to receive a 50% off discount on this webinar!

Behind the Seams with Kristin Haskins Simms, Best Strangefruit

On March 16, 2011, The National Association of Sustainable Fashion Designers is hosting the Sustainable Fashion Entrepreneurs Circle in partnership with SBN to welcome Project Runway season 8’s Kristin Haskins Simms for an evening of fashion-minded conversation. A Philadelphia native, Ms. Simms wears multiple hats as a self-taught apparel designer, freelance graphic designer, and adjunct professor in graphic design. She’ll share stories from her time with Heidi, Tim and the rest of the Project Runway gang, offer insights into launching her company, Strangefruit, and show off some sneak peeks from the new clothing line!

This interactive event will bring together regional fashion entrepreneurs to swap ideas, discuss challenges and engage in meaningful dialogue. Let’s create and support fashion that is not only good looking, but also cares about the good of our community, our economy and our planet. How can we help to make fashion more sustainable? Come and find out.

This event will be held at SBN Conference Room, 1528 Walnut Street, 21st Floor Philadelphia, PA 19102, and registration is FREE. For more information or to register, please visit

Sammy Davis Vintage

24 Sep

Have you heard? Vintage fashion curator and stylist Sammy Davis joining us at Philly Swap! Thankfully, you don’t have to wait until next Sunday to hear her story, and learn more about how she hopes to help her audience take steps to become practical environmentalists… through the pillar of fashion.

Philly Swap: Give us some background. How did you get into DIY work?

Sammy Davis: My DIY trade is in vintage fashion and sustainable style. I started “thrifting” – the act of going to thrift stores like Goodwill and Salvation Army to shop – as soon as I could drive. I grew up in rural Lancaster, Pennsylvania where the options for alternative fashions were limited. So instead of succumbing to the mainstream, mass produced styles of the mall, I searched and seize my own unique style from the racks of my neighborhood thrift store.

I carried my penchant for thrifting into my early 20s as a student at Temple University. I shifted into the vintage arena after discovering that vintage was a shopping industry – I could go to a store like South Street’s Retrospect or Old City’s Sugarcube and immediately discover amazing vintage pieces. In other words: I didn’t have to dig!

Now, I am a curator and stylist of vintage fashions spanning the late ’60s to early ’90s. I acquire the best, most high-quality vintage pieces from thrift stores, estate sales, and the closets of women across the northeast US and present them in an accessible way to the contemporary woman through my company, Sammy Davis Vintage. [link:

PS: What do you like about Philly? Is it a good place to do what you do?

SD: My home-away-from home is Philadelphia. I lived here four years for college at Temple, and if New York City hadn’t pulled me away, I would probably still be living here today.

Philadelphia is a wonderful middle ground for the rising entrepreneur: You have the support of brilliant, creative and business-savvy people around you, without the financial pressure of having to start something that becomes financially successful right away.

I plan on someday opening a vintage store and eco-conscious clothing boutique and juice bar in Philadelphia. Thanks to lower overhead and higher opportunity for investment, Philadelphia is a great breeding ground for DIY-ers to take their trade and create a permanent brick-and-mortar fixture for customers new and old.

PS: DIY projects have never been more relevant than they are right now. Whether the motivation is to minimize one’s carbon footprint or maximize what’s in the bank, people are showing an interest in reusable materials, local goods and creative projects to do at home. What are some simple steps we can take to be more financially-sound and environmentally-friendly in our creative projects?

SD: Part of learning how to incorporate financially-sound and environmentally-friendly materials in your creative projects is learning to see the world through a different lens.

For example: The other day, I was washing a salsa container before placing it into my recycling bin when I began to admire the design of the glass.

I then thought, “I wonder if I could use this for something else?” So, I removed the jar’s wrapper and placed it in my cupboard for the day I’d be inspired to use it. Wouldn’t you know that a few days later, I was inspired to use the jar for help positioning bracelets in a creative, aesthetically-pleasing way.

We move quickly in life. Slow down and allow your environment and its belongings to sink in, and your peripheral vision will grow and allow you to naturally utilize your surroundings in an environmentally-sound, creative way.

PS: What recycled materials do you use in your work and where do you find them?

SD: The beauty of vintage and thrift: it is recycled clothing!

Vintage is not only about dressing for style, it’s about dressing for sustainable style with substance. This the platform of Sammy Davis Vintage: to invest in pieces that stand the test of time and trends and lessen the carbon footprint of your retail spending power by purchasing what is essentially recycled clothing.

Buying vintage from boutiques or a local thrift store and refraining from buying mass produced, poorly made pieces will influence the supply chain to adopt sustainable practices and maintain socially ethical business practices. Right now, sustainable living is about being a practical environmentalist. It’s about small steps that incorporate sustainable practices seamlessly and painlessly into your daily regiment and personal consumption.

PS: How do you think about the audience for your work? Who is it you want to reach?

SD: Sammy Davis Vintage is the platform for women (and men!) to become inspired by sustainable style. I exist to help my audience learn how they can take steps to become practical environmentalists through the pillar of fashion.

Style is what makes you feel great. It’s what I like to call “feel-good fashion” – no matter the print, the color, the size, the fit, the material – if it makes you feel good for whatever reason, then that’s your personal style. Stick to the style that makes you feel best, and your confidence will take you anywhere you dream.

PS: What’s your take on the recent proliferation of the DIY/craft sales online, such as Etsy? Do see this more as a network of support, or as competition for your sales?

SD: Online markets such as Etsy, and the online vintage marketplace Market Publique [link:, are wonderful outlets of support and most importantly for our customers: offer validation and legitimacy of our brands.

The online marketplaces of today that are recognized by the average consumer give your business credibility without actually having a brick-and-mortar store. The overhead is whatever you want to make it, and your audience has unlimited access to your brand thanks to the 24/7 power of the digital space.

It’s wonderful for artisans and DIY-ers to connect with customers and fans in the flesh, and then have an online space to direct them for future purchases and contact. There’s never been a better time to “experiment” with your product thanks to the proliferation of risk-free online marketplaces.

PS: What comes first, the material or the project? Are you inspired by a specific material and develop a project around it, or do you first envision a project and seek out the materials to suit it?

SD: My “projects” are probably best defined as the photo shoots I produce using vintage and thrifted fashion. What always inspires me and inspires me most: how fashion can empower women to gain confidence and trust in themselves and others. I call this “feel-good” fashion – the understanding that by investing in a product that makes you feel good and also does good for the environment and its people, that you are investing in the style AND substance of yourself.

I create projects – whether it is the product itself, a photo shoot, an event, a newsletter – with the intention to make my audience feel good. The materials come naturally thereafter, as inspired by what’s available in the thrift store and my subconscious absorption of current and future trends that look great and feel great on women of all types and backgrounds.

PS: Do you work out of your home, or in a separate studio space?

SD: I work out of my Spanish Harlem apartment when using my computer to manage my web site, facebook fan page, twitter account] and Vimeo page []. I’m also a co-producer and co-host of television show RoadHug which keeps me chair-bound for at least a few hours of the day.

My vintage collection is currently housed in a showroom space at my local Manhattan Mini Storage unit. It’s here that I host private sales, showings and fittings. I’m currently working toward having SDV collections in various boutiques around NYC and (hopefully!) Philadelphia as I begin to promote the SDV name in brick-and-mortar stores.

PS: Many of us are not as good with tools as we’d like to be. What are some tips and tricks to fake it till your skills make it?

SD: When it comes to “thrifting,” my number one bit of advice: Come armed with a plan! You know when you walk into a grocery store, and you immediately head for the food section where you’d like to buy an item from your grocery list? The same tactic works well for thrift stores – they are not for the casual, first-time shopper.

I often hear people say they “get overwhelmed” upon entering a thrift store. But if you come armed with some ideas on your “shopping list,” – think what kind of piece or color – then you can search and seize to find the best piece for you.

Thanks, Sammy! For more tips of the thrifting trade, check out Sammy’s interview with HerCampus.


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