You know what the second busiest time of the year for gift-giving is? Stop guessing, we’re all too busy for that. It’s May and June! Certain years—especially those packed to bursting with graduations—are a slippery slope of events and presents from Cinco de Mayo to Father’s Day. It can be forty-four straight days of “What should I get her/him/them??”
Now gift cards and cash are nice, but sometimes, often times, you want to show how much you really care. You want to honor history and good times together by telling a story, by wrapping them in memories.
We were lucky enough to have the ideal warm and cuddly gift fall into our laps. A puppy! Just kidding. Potty-training anything is NOT a gift. No, we’re talking about a Project Repat t-shirt quilt! It’s as perfect for your favorite graduate as your dear old dad.
Everyone gets the feels about old t-shirts or at least everyone who has a beating heart. Just pull out an old college t-shirt. It’s almost like time traveling because it’s not just a memento from your life’s journey, it’s a reminder of the past lives you have led. Seriously, even when they’re past threadbare (or appropriate) to wear, you can’t bear to part with them. So what do you do to show your appreciation for these relics? Um, if you’re like Erin you banish them to plastic storage bins in the basement to live out their days hoping to be something more.
I have been throwing old jerseys, team shirts, school club shirts, and every other shirt my kids outgrew but still loved with the red hot fire of childhood into storage bins for years. I was saving them for something, I swear. But I lack the crafting gene so I wasn’t quite sure what that something was . . . until Project Repat. A miracle that could clear out my basement, display my memories, show my high school graduate I love him, and give me an end product my void-of-Pinterest-soul could never pull off in a million years? Yes, please!
When my son, who is a freshman in college, went two hundred miles away to school, he barely took any pictures and he had no posters on his wall until one of his friends bought him one for Christmas. He’s not one to be overly sentimental about the things and people he left behind, but when he was home for spring break, his quilt arrived.
His reaction was better than I dreamed . . .
I mean, really, much, much better than I would have thought . . .
I loved it, because some of those shirts were from when he was just a little guy.
He LOVED it, especially because we were able to include super meaningful shirts like one of his travel soccer jerseys. . .
and his staff shirt from his first job. (Notice you can add polo type shirts!)
He had no trouble telling me how much he liked it.
In fact, he liked it so much, he even packed it up and took it with him. High praise indeed from someone with only one poster on his wall and an itty bitty suitcase.
Meanwhile in Ellen’s household . . .
When we signed on to work with Project Repat, my first thoughts were, “I have a daughter graduating from high school this year! A t-shirt quilt would be the perfect gift!”
What my second thought should have been was “I need to go through t-shirts during the one million hours she is gone from the house during the week.” What I actually did was start sorting through them during the only two hours she was home all weekend. By the way, people ask me to do A LOT of things, but throwing surprise parties is not one of them.
Daughter: “Whatcha doing going through my old (looks into box), really old clothes?”
Ellen: “Looking through your t-shirts to make a memory quilt out of them.” (If only I was in a profession that gave me the skill set to create stories to divert her attention.)
Ellen: “A t-shirt quilt. You go on Project Repat, pick out the size, pick out the color of Polartec backing you want, prep your t-shirts, mail them in, then get back a beautiful t-shirt quilt to literally wrap yourself up in your memories!”
Daughter: “Sounds cool, but I don’t get the name.”
Ellen: “‘Project Repat’ comes from all the textile jobs they have repatriated back to the United States. Another fun fact, the PolarTec ﬂeece is made out of recycled plastic bottles. In fact, each yard recycles twenty-three plastic bottles that would otherwise end up in landﬁlls. And, AND they use zero water in their production process. Even with all these responsible business practices, Project Repat offers the best price on the planet for this kind of product.”
Daughter: “You filming a commercial?”
Daughter: “We have got to make one of those for Dad!”
Ellen: “But I was making it for you! You’re graduating! I already watched this video (ten times) and got inspired (sobbed)!”
Daughter: “But it would be so awesome for Father’s Day! Dad has all of those old fraternity and concert shirts. He would love it. He is soooo hard to buy for. You can make one for me once I’m gone so it can be a surprise.”
Me: (Sniffle, sobby, sob) Whatever, look away!
I have to admit, the girl was right. This is going to be the most awesome Father’s Day gift. Look how delighted they are with it. These blankets are just as much a gift to the giver as the recipient.
And talk about cuddle value. It feels good knowing so many water bottles were kept out of landfills, but the PolarTec just plain feels good, no, GREAT!
We are beside ourselves with how wonderful our blankets turned out. So are you ready to upcycle your old memories into a memorable new gift? Because we have a gift for you!
One person who signs up will also be randomly chosen to receive a $75 voucher, which can be redeemed with Project Repat to purchase a 16-panel lap blanket at no charge!!
(Project Repat will contact you directly if you are chosen as the winner.)
Click here to get started! Once there, click on “Buy Now” to begin the selection process. Want to see how they do it first? Watch this behind-the-scenes video about the upcycling. Oh and while we still have your attention, Mother’s Day is also a gift giving occasion in May. Just putting it out there. (Wink.)
You can follow Project Repat on Facebook and check out some of their great t-shirt quilts on Instagram.
While we were compensated for this post, we truly cannot put a price on the joy these blankets brought. We absolutely love them.
-Erin and Ellen
Check out our books, “I Just Want to Be Alone” and “You Have Lipstick on Your Teeth.”
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