Reducing waste through upcycling, repurposing, refashioning and reloving.

Showing posts with label upcycle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label upcycle. Show all posts

Earth Day 2017


Happy Earth Day lovely people! 


I'm going to keep this short and just share these fab tips care of one of my favorite comic-strip characters, Chrostin. Follow Christina and Chrostin on Facebook and Instagram.





Valentine upcycle: Book-page treat bags


Yup - I made a Valentine's Day thing. Mostly because I was inspired by Pillar Box Blue's upcycled map hearts. They're so easy to make and such a great way to repurpose magazines, old book pages and, apparently, maps. Also, sewing paper is fun!

Upcycle: DIY book-page gift bag


Happy Sunday! Here's a quick DIY for you. What you need:


  • Old book pages
  • Mod Podge, scissors and tape
  • Hole punch and material for handles (twine, tape, ribbon)
  • A big hard-back book (or a box from your recycling) for sizing the bag

Trimming my waste: Week 39 (milk paint for old glass)



This weekend involved apple picking and pumpkins and all things "fall". And I found myself, unexpectedly, in a thrift store a long way out of the city. The kind of place where nothing has been curated for (or by) a discerning eye. It's just a mishmash of great grandma's stuff that no one really wants anymore.

And there was a lot of kitsch ceramic. Dogs, horses, angels etc. What my grandma would have called "knick knacks". I guess I have some knick knacks of my own, but this stuff...wow. It still made me curious though. What can you actually do with an ugly ceramic dog? The answer, it seems, is paint it! Milk-glass paint is especially effective. So here are some ideas:

Upcycle: Tea and coffee pots





Hey - look around! I've been pretty quiet the last couple of weeks working on a big, much-needed site refab. What do you think? I'm really happy with how it looks, but the big goal was to have it be a friendlier place to visit. Hopefully things are easier to find and posts load faster.

Whenever I've had a big break from posting, I re-set with a round of upcycles. Today, it's coffee and teapots. Cafetieres, french presses, teapot lids, espresso pots... you name it. What do you with them some part breaks? Do any of you actually still use a teapot? My grandmother did, because she never made tea for only one person. I never make tea for MORE than one person, so I pop the bag in the mug. And I make coffee-for-one with an Aeropress. So how can we have fun with pots no longer needed for brewing?   

[Interested in how my eating is going? Scroll to the end]

Trimming my waste: Week 31 (refashion giveaway!)




Goals - Week 31:

  • Give away what I don't need
  • Say thanks for all the support I've been given
  • Encourage all of you to upcycle and relove! 

I'm 31 weeks into my challenge! I'm celebrating this milestone by giving away lovely books I don't need. Because I now have multiple copies of them.

Upcycled coat rack


A couple of weeks ago, I shared some of the frustration I was feeling around this project. Let's just say that when I'm making it up as I go, my upcycles rarely go smoothly. But now you get to benefit (a little) from my mistakes! Full tutorial after the jump.

Upcycle: Leather belts + twigs = kitchen organizer



This idea for the kitchen was inspired partly by Pinterest and partly by need! First, I have a whole Pinboard dedicated to new uses for fallen branches. I love the many ways you can repurpose them indoors and used branches as a Christmas tree last year. Then I hung on to some of the sturdier ones when I moved in January (I got odd looks from the movers!) 

The need arose when I found myself staring at my new "back splash" every time I washed dishes. It's ugly. It's in serious need of fresh paint, or a real makeover! But I'm renting ... so whatever I do has to be temporary. I also had no way to organize the paper towel, sponge etc. And that's how the idea arose. I spent $2 on leather belts at a thrift store and everything else I needed, I already had. 

Repurpose: Vintage sheet shower curtain




I have the time and energy to execute about a quarter of the projects swirling in my head (or on my Pinboards for that matter). And because I'm pressed for time, I usually sit on ideas until I think I've landed on the fastest route to execution. This often backfires (of course!). But not this time. This time, once I'd gathered what I needed, the actual making and hanging took an hour. 

Also, I should admit that this project really started with the discovery of the sheet. I was trawling eBay and Etsy for fabric to recover chairs (a project that is taking FOREVER). Along the way, I encountered the most amazing vintage sheets. Bed sheets should not be amazing. But these are. Because the designs are unusual. And, once you're holding them, the quality is striking. I bought one that will soon be a new bedcover for Ms Ro. The other is now my shower curtain! Here's the how to:  

Upcycle: For Halloween ...








I rarely create holiday-specific posts, but this year I've seen enough awesome halloween "upcycles" that I feel compelled to round them up and share. Like the diction-fairy costume pictured above .... really? Does it get any better??? Good tutorials here and here




I featured this creepy idea a long time ago in a post dedicated to repurposing old umbrellas. I'm bringing it back out again because it remains a great idea!




Love this Frankestein bottle care ... DIY of Crafting a Green World



Not really upcycling ... they're crocheted. And I love them ... so go take a look at more lovely images of them at Cute Cottage Overload





Old grill rack turned spider web? Yes. Simple and easy. Care of Petticoat Junktion





And finally ... some creepy dolls. Because I don't think anything's creepier than creepy doll heads. More at Sweet Pickins Furniture 






Upcycle: Cable Ties, zipped up!


Is it just me, or are zip ties (cable ties) bombing the blogosphere? Maybe it's a bandwagon... but it's certainly a colorful one! So, in lieu of actual spring color, I'm bombing today's post with zip-tie colors. Here's a whole array of ways to repurpose these funny little things...

Upcycle: Coke bottles + duct tape = glam lamp!


I looked ... I looked again. And yes - this refab does, in fact, involve soda bottles and duct tape (separate tutorial for the shade).  As usual, I'm in awe. Head to Matsutake for the instructions.

Upcycle: Old appliances, big and small

Haven't put together a big post like this in a while ... because I haven't really been inspired to. Then I saw an old blender on top of the dumpster in our alley and thought "huh - do we even consider fixing small appliances these days?" I don't think so. They get the boot. Perhaps because, in the US anyway, they're so cheap to replace?  So, this collection of refabs began to take shape and I'll add to it as I find fun things. My focus is "stuff you find in a house that has a cord attached".  Pretty broad huh?  

Upcycle: Wax Paper Chandelier...


Great example of some thrifty refabbing ... and creative reinterpreting!  Two places to go for a complete tutorial (I've used images from both):  Design Sponge and Courtney Ann

Upcycle: Yarn-wrapped chair / Chalk-board table

I'm on a kid-whimsy kick this week. And I LOVE this eye-popping upcycle from One More Mushroom. The chair has been yarn-bombed (!), the table painted entirely with chalkboard paint. Which one would you rather have in your home?  :)  Complete how-to (with great pictures) here.


Upcycle: Yarn-bomb a lamp shade!

A simple, retro-tastic makeover worthy of a bow. Elycia shares the instructions in a guest post at One Sheepish Girl.


Giveaway: Anthro-morphed leaf earrings...


Ok ... another jewelry giveaway for you! I was inspired by all the leafy earrings I saw in Anthropologie's spring collection and transformed some dull silver leaves from thrifted pendant earrings (Detailed post here). Like the negative earrings and pendant I gave away last week, these are carefully made and one-of-a-kind. I'm giving them away because... well, it's a fun thing to do.  :)

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment (please leave your name and/or email address so I can identify and contact the winner!). Not in the US? No problem - happy to ship out of the country.  
Entry closed


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Thanks for looking!

Upcycle: Mod Podge Wedges...


Holy transformation bat-girl! Don't know about you... but I think Taryn took these from "gosh, no thanks" to "ummmm, where can I get a pair?!!"  I know some people who have treasure troves of upholstery samples .... what a great way to use them! Full tutorial at Design, Dining and Diapers.  

Repurpose: Vintage camera lamp / slide shade ...


Welcome to my first-ever themed week... five posts about repurposing old cameras, 35mm film etc.  At some point you might see the header "putting a positive spin on negatives" because I can't resist.  There might be at least one actual tutorial from your's truly.  And maybe a giveaway.  Another first for me  :)

To start the week with a bang, I present the completely amazing lamp created by Stacie Grissom blogging at Stars for Streetlights.  I'm mesmerized by this thing. And it's doable thanks to her superb instructions. 

DIY: Gap & Threadless T.I.Y. #4


Here's the latest T.I.Y. Get the laptop sleeve instructions here