the ReFab Diaries

Reducing waste through upcycling, repurposing, refashioning and reloving.

Wooden Watches: A Unique Spring Accessory

Wooden watches unique spring accessory

WIN A $100 GIFT CARD FROM JORD WOODEN WATCHES


If you follow this blog then you know my values, especially when it comes to manufactured "stuff". So when the lovely folk at JORD watches (pronounced -yoad) suggested partnering with me for a giveaway, I asked a LOT of questions before I said yes. JORD creates unique, sustainable, luxury wooden watches. Just how sustainable are they? Read on friends and prepare to be impressed.

Upcycle: mass-produced canvas becomes original art

upcycled art


This post has been, literally, years in the making! When I got this IKEA canvas in 2014, I knew I'd paint over it one day. But it's taken a long time to make it happen and then write about it.

A project like this doesn't fall under general repurposing or upcycled craft. But I'm sharing it anyway because it does reflect my commitment to finding new uses for things I might otherwise want to get rid of. And I really didn't want this generic IKEA print around anymore! So here's to reusing old canvas.

And for those of you who are interested, it shows the process I went through in creating a large piece of art (35 x 46 inches - all acrylic).

ReFabbed Art - shop upcycled art!

upcycled book art



After 10 years of sharing upcycling tutorials, I'm excited to offer some of my own upcycled and original art! If you've been following me for a while, you won't be surprised to see that (almost) all my art involves upcycling books in some way - their covers or their pages. No book folds, but the big round up of DIY book-folding ideas is still around for you.

You'll find a range of hanging bud vases, crafted using beautiful antique book covers and salvaged glass test tubes (from a set recently unearthed in Iowa!). I also have a few book clocks for sale along with original art, some of it on paper, some on vintage book covers.

Because I am launching this store 10 days before Earth Day, I've committed to donating 10% of my profits to TreeSisters, a global network of women funding the restoration of tropical forests.


Take a look at what's for sale!




March Upcycling Madness



This year I've been participating in Joanne Hawker's #MarchMeetTheMaker challenge on Instagram. As I write this post, the month is drawing to an end and the challenge is closing in on 453,000 posts!

Overall it's been an eye-popping, inspiring experience... but Day 11 was the biggest day for me. The challenge prompt that day: reducing waste. I spent the whole damn day on Instagram - no exaggeration. Not only did I interact with hundreds of new-to-me, waste-conscious makers, I ended the day truly pumped by the number of people who expressed concern about their packaging waste, noted that they're using clean energy, and pointed out that, outside of their businesses, they do everything they can to avoid single-use plastic etc.

Wow.

Below are just a few of the makers who stood out. The big takeaway: if you don't already have enough reasons to support small, solopreneurs, here's another one. The stuff they bring into the world is not only made with care. It's made with a conscience.

Book-page, origami Valentines



Valentine's Day is just around the corner and, if you have children in elementary school in US, you might be like us: on the hook to produce 15-20 kid-friendly Valentines for the students in your child's class. And all their teachers. And the coach.... and, and, and. In short, it's either a daunting task to make a "batch" or an expensive shopping trip to buy things that will probably be thrown out.

Oh, and we generally leave it until the last minute because, who doesn't?

Also, our school district added a twist this year by banning candy - no candy at school for any reason. In general, I'm in favor of this ban. But, you know..... it doesn't make the Valentine thing easier.

Anyway, while eating breakfast on Sunday morning, my daughter suddenly decided to make origami hearts for everyone - she just needed interesting paper. I was delighted by her initiative and offered up the idea of painting book pages. She wasn't sure what I meant but agreed enthusiastically.

We completed the whole project in under two hours so I'm sharing it. Because I hope this idea will save some poor parent out there who realizes - the night before - that 15 Valentine's have to materialize by 8am the next day.

Scroll down for instructions and a 50 second video