Reducing waste through upcycling, repurposing, refashioning and reloving.

Upcycle: South African style...


This refabber was very quiet Nov-early Jan because I was home in South Africa for the first time in over a decade! It was an amazing trip ... restorative and inspiring. And I took a ton of "refab" pictures to share with you! The first set focuses, obviously, on upcycling. It's everywhere! It always has been ... people living below the poverty line (with no capital) create things using found materials. Free materials whenever possible. In the past, most of this stuff was sold on the side of the road. Today, it's easily found in more formalized settings ... everywhere from flea markets to high-end "souvenir" stores in Knysna and Cape Town. Soda and tin cans are an obvious, go-to material. So you'll see a lot of things created from those. But there were some surprises!

Scroll down for inspiration and tutorials... 


Above and below: Flour-sack pants and shorts. They are unimaginably soft ...  




I love these tuna can clocks! I had a lot of fun reconnecting with "South African time" ... things get done "just now" (soon), "now now" (in a while) and ... um ... whenever, I guess. It's all quite loose. Want to make one? Go here.


Beautiful mirrors framed with pop cans ... Some simple instructions here.


The SA version of the vinyl purse ... follow these instructions to make one of your own


DRUM magazine is iconic ... so celebrating these vintage covers in a necklace is fitting. 


Soda/Beer can caps. No tutorial for these... they look very tricky.


I really enjoyed how traditional RSA brands (All Gold, Koo, Lucky Star, Joko etc) are being celebrated in products. "Local is Lekker" (Local is good) is a slogan seen everywhere ... SA pride on display.


Above and below: Candy and gum wrappers rolled up tight and woven into place mats. Huge amount of work!



Oil cans have always been upcycled ... the guitars are famous (more on that some other time). I loved the detail in these airplanes.


Soda can coasters ... simple tutorial for you at The Idea Room.


Fun combination of soda cans and vinyl... lots of work!

Look out for another South-Africa-centric post in the near future ... that one will focus on more high-end repurposing/upcycling and fine art.