Meet the Maker- Fabels out of Vintage

One of my favourite things about blogging is finding beautiful new products that I can then let you, my readers, know about, whether it be toys, decor, or clothing.

I get super excited with little butterflies in my stomach when I find a product or piece that I fall in love with and is wonderfully unique and stunning too! Such was the case when I discovered the gorgeous new dutch label Fabels out of Vintage, earlier this year.

Fabels, are decorative animal heads made out of second hand material and garments that have been sourced by Lauri Tjallinks, the owner and designer of Fabels and they look ahhmazing in a children’s room! The kids adore them and were intrigued when they arrived.

Wanting to delve a little more into this fabulous world, I hunted down Lauri ( pardon the pun, I promise I am vegetarian!) to ask her a few pertinent questions about her fabulous new brand, how it all started and what the future might hold for Fabels out of Vintage.


I adore the concept of “Fabels”, that you are creating a new life out of old clothing or fabric. More so that you re-use the care labels and the cotton you use to stitch the fable together is also made from recycled PET bottles. Everything from start to finish is recycled. Where did your love of vintage fabric and re/upcycling come from? Why is this so important to you as a person and as a business?

When I was a young girl my mother would often take me to thrift shops. So it become a lifestyle for me. I wear second hand clothing and my home is full of old furniture. I often saw beautiful fabrics, but the clothes were old fashioned. This is how it actually started.

Why do I have to buy new fabric when there is already so much we can use and give it a second life. I think we have to save the world and look for other options than just creating new materials.


Why did you decide on designing animals? And what was the first animal that you created?

I’ve been always a big animal-lover. From the dog in the street to the bird up in the tree. I become a vegetarian when I was 6 years old. I don’t use leather and other materials which come from animals. I find it hard to see how some people treat animals. I think we need to have more respect for all the living creatures on this planet. With my designs, I hope to pass this idea on to the next generation. The first ‘Fabel’ I made was a bunny. At that time I had a big french lob in my little house. She was my inspiration.

The animal designs are simple yet it is the simplicity that makes the designs so striking and using the same fabric throughout each piece reinforces this effect, how long does it take you to make one Fabel?

Just the sewing takes around 2 hours. Then I have to photograph the designs, edit the photo’s, making cards (every Fabel has his own little label which tells what piece of clothing it used to be) So in total,  it will take a lot longer.Fabels_out_of_vintage_rhino-01 (4)

What is the process surrounding a fabel? Do you find the fabric/clothing first and then decide on the design or the other way around?

It all start with a piece of fabric. I carefully select the clothes in the thrift stores. Is the colour right? What is the material? How much fabric do I need? Sometimes people send in they own clothes. Clothes that used to be worn by a loved one, or a favorite jumper they can’t throw away but don’t wear anymore. They tell me which animal they like the most. Then I make a special customised one for them.

You graduated 4 years ago from one of the most prestigious art schools in the Netherlands, Willem de Kooning Academie, majoring in Lifestyle and Design, what creative and artistic journey have you been through to get to where you are now?

I graduated with a collection of headpieces made of dead city birds. These birds got killed by fault of the human being. I used their feathers to create an artistic headpiece. After graduating I started selling the headpieces to shops.

But I could not make a living out of it. When I became pregnant I started sewing stuffed animals out of my own clothes for my baby boy. I received so many great comments from friends and family, that I decided to give it a go and make my own label out of it.


You have said you have been surprised by the response to Fabels so far, why is that? Have you only used Instagram to sell your wares or have you been showing at local markets as well?

A friend of mine opened a shop in the town I live. The first 2 pieces decorated the wall in their beautiful shop in the centre of the city. At the grand opening they already sold both pieces. After restocking this shop, other shops came to me and also wanted to sell Fabels. So first it was local, after that I created a web shop. Now when I also use Facebook and Instagram it is going worldwide!


What is your 5 year vision for Fabels, any other ideas/designs in the pipeline?

At the moment I’m busy with designing new Fabel-animals. In the future I hope I still make all the pieces by hand. Maybe I open my own studio where people/children can meet and I teach them how to make their own Fabel.



I was so enamored with the Fabels that I really wanted to give them a proper little home on our playroom wall. I think the DIY cork boards are perfect for them as the colours make the fabels pop out !

I am not sure what I love more the gorgeous simplicity of the Fabels, that Lauri has created or the eco friendly principles behind her beautiful label and the creation of each Fabel. We need more and more designers thinking this way and reducing our over abundance of waste.

I cannot wait to see what new Fabels and ideas Lauri has in store. I love the sound of learning to create my own fabel under her guidance, especially if it was in her native country, the Netherlands!

You can purchase your own Fabel here at Fabels out of vintage or in Australia at Dutch Warehouse.

Styling:  denim rhino Fabel and denim bunny Fabel by Fabels out of Vintage. Feathers by The Inspired Paddock. Cork boards designed by Kids Gifts and Toys.

NB:- this is not a sponsored post.