Saturday, October 29, 2016

Upcycle Your Papers

In college and life, we accumulate a lot of paper. I am constantly shifting threw it to remove outdated materials. Instead of recycling it, I would love to share some ways to upcycle it!

Here is a great video to not only upcycle your home work but to give back to the Earth. These are called seed bombs. You grind up papers then mix seeds into the mash. These can be given out to family and friends or used as party favors. I just adore this idea. Its so simple.

I love bead making with paper. Here is a twist on the classic favorite. Each cut give a unique bead.
~ How to make different kinds of paper beads I know a few little girls that I…:

Basket weaving is an old craft that is fun to do. This method used old papers rolled into rods then crossed over one another to make a basket. I find that this project can be done while watching tv or being with friends.

If you would like to take it a step further you can paint it your favorite color. I found several other ways to make baskets with paper. I have included a link here 

I like this idea. The image shows how you can free-style your rolled papers. I think this would work best with magazines. 
Image result for upcycling magazine

Friday, October 28, 2016

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Upcycling- The Art of Avoiding Plastic Waste

Image result for quote upcycling

Most of us are tremendously aware that plastic is a notorious pestilence on the natural environment, yet such a prolific component to daily life.  Many know that there are literally islands of plastic building up in oceans off of India, and that if we don't course correct, the amount of plastics in our oceans could increase by one degree of magnitude.

Yet many of feel helpless.  How can we as individuals stop such a megalith of an industry that is constantly generating thousands of tons of plastics on a regular basis?  Like any countermovement, it begins with small steps.

The average American disposes of 185 pounds of plastic per year. If this figure strikes you, it should also encourage us that we as individuals can make a change in our own life.

Within this site are several methods and creative ideas of turning plastics that would normally end up in the ocean, into creative and utilitarian tools at home.

Help be a part of the change.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Upcycling-Repurposing Wine Bottles.

The age old saying “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” embodies the entire spirit behind the concept of upcycling. So then what exactly IS upcyling? Upcycling is often referred to as the re-purposing of old or discarded materials by creating something new or of value.  This concept can be applied in a variety of ways, but once facet of upcycling is through the re-using of trash, old, or discarded items and transforming them into house hold items, or the transformation of trash into treasure via home decor. 

There are endless creative ideas that help to facilitate the increase of recycling through the appropriation of old materials into the creation of something new. Upcycling provides a creative outlet for the earth conscious-both helping the environment and being able to channel your creativity in a resourceful and efficient way. From the do it yourself at home crafting novice to the home decor guru- regardless of your level of skill- anyone can participate in upcycled home projects. 

From left over wallpaper scraps bound for the landfills to baby food jars, from old crates to broken furniture- all of these things can be taken and used for other purposes around your home. Just wine bottles alone provide an endless source of re-purposed design ideas. 

After a weekend dinner party, holiday party, or any occasion for wine- don’t throw away the wine bottles left over, instead you can save them and use them around the house for various decor or functions.  Step 1: Drink Wine Step 2.) Wash Bottles and remove labels  Step 3.) Use Bottle Cutter Kit to cut, heat, and cool 

You can leave the bottle in tact or cut the top or bottom of the bottle to create a variety of household decorations or uses. 
For the environment friendly crafter, here are a few eco-friendly household projects one can do with wine bottles alone:

1.) Beautiful Vases

By simply washing out the bottle and removing the label, you can turn a wine bottle into a vase. Or you can step it up a notch by mounting the bottles using metal or wooden brackets or removing the top of the bottle using a bottle cutter tool kit.  Check out more ideas at:  Design Sponge. DIY Project:Lindsay's Wine Bottle Vases

2.) Kitchen Storage

After washing and adding desired label, your old wine bottles can be used as a decorative form of storage in the kitchen. You can simply add a label and use to store dried beans, rice, or pasta. Even add a simple stainless steel bottle pourer and an oil and vinegar label- to create a clever oil and vinegar holder.  Try chalk board painted labels to personalize the labels for your wine bottles. For simple instructions, check out Chalkboard Painted Wine Bottle

3.) Holiday Gifts & Decorations

Decorate the bottle with a seasonal touch and have an instant charming and classy seasonal decoration or gift to give away during the holidays. Add a decorative label as appropriate for the occasion and garnish bottle with a bow to give it an extra touch. Fill bottle with candy such as green and red M&Ms for the Christmas season or Candy Corn for Halloween.  Candy Filled Wine Bottles-Crafts on Pinterest

4.) Tea Light Candle Holders

After cleaning and removing the labels, you can simply remove the bottom half of your wine bottle and place a candle in the neck. Or you can remove the top half of the bottle and place a candle into the base of the bottle or even us the base of the bottle as a candle itself. For more ideas like this check out: Unique Wine Bottle Candle Related Items-Etsy

5.) Lantern Wine Bottle

Create a beautiful handcrafted hanging wine bottle lantern using spiral wire holding a glass candle votive and adding a metal chain & metal ring to hang. 1.) cut length of chain and attach to ring, attach metal wire to votive holder and ring, feed through the neck of the bottle and and attach hook to hang. Hang inside or out for a romantic and charming touch to your home. For more info check out Repurposed Wine Bottles

These are just a few ideas for upcycling do it yourself wine bottle projects.  However wine bottles can be used for a wide variety of home projects- both decorative and practical. From bird feeders to planters, shelves to wind chimes the upcycling opportunities for old wine bottles alone are endless. With a little creativity and imagination- the opportunities are endless. You can re-purpose wine bottles into a variety of do it yourself home decoration projects- both saving money and helping the environment. 

With upcycling  you are not only helping to preserve the environment by reducing landfill waste, but also being economical at the same time-by saving money, practicing creativity, and decorating your home on a budget. 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Creative Possibilities of Upcycling

The term “upcycling” always brings me back to one of my grade school birthdays, when an aunt gifted me a large book titled “1000 Ideas for Creative Reuse.” I fell in love with the book’s cover and expected it to be filled with step-by-step instructions for building my own furniture and decor, but instead, the inside of the book consisted almost entirely of photographs. Rather than a craft guide, “1000 Ideas” functioned more like a Pinterest board; a dense collection of aesthetic inspiration. I was a little put-off by this since, as a kid, I didn’t have the means to replicate what I saw in the photos. One page, for example, featured a beautifully modern dining chair built out of recycled iron rods and a large sheet of molded plastic.  Since revisiting the idea of upcycling during this school year, though, I can definitely imagine how useful books like these might be to business and/or homeowners who are looking to invest in unique and sustainable furniture. This book in particular could be a really great resource for promoting the artistic and visually pleasing possibilities in reusing waste materials as well. I think many people (including myself at times) have an instinctive aversion to upcycling, if only because we expect it’ll be a difficult to trust and utilize items when we know they’re made from materials we’d typically view as waste. It would be fantastic to see our culture evolve to recognize the versatility of scrap material before we deem it garbage. In my own experience, it really helps to see successful examples of creative reuse. Here’s a link to that particular book, if anyone’s interested in getting inspired:

Also, while we’re on the topic of creative upcycling, I want to be sure to recommend stopping by SCRAP in Southwest Portland! It’s a phenomenal place to source discarded materials for projects like these, and the store itself is filled with trash-to-treasure example projects to get you thinking. Even if you don’t have a project in mind, it’s a really fun and interesting place to check out; you never know what you’ll find, and everything’s affordable.