Sunday, November 28, 2010

Reduce, Reuse, Upcycle

So there’s a hot new trend in crafting circles, and I’m sure you’ve seen it, even if you’re not entirely sure what it means. You’ll see plenty of artists and crafters referring to their wares as “upcycled.” So what is that, exactly?

When we recycle items, generally, they can only be made into the exact same thing (like aluminum cans) or a lower quality item (like paper.) Upcycling takes an item and makes a more useful product of better quality.

A brand new item with a new coat of paint or used in a new way is not upcycled. On the other hand, a stained sweater, with some feathered appliques and well placed buttons will give the sweater new life. Voila, upcycled!

Buying Scrabble games at Thrift Stores, and reusing the tiles (especially from incomplete sets) to make Christmas ornaments? Upcycled awesomeness.

Easily my most favorite upcycler from this year’s Handmade Holiday, CitiWood takes fallen trees from around our very own city, and makes furniture from them. How cool is that?!

If you see a crafter promoting their upcycled goods, ask them about their process. How did they get inspired? Where do they find their goodies? What was their favorite find? It’ll give you a whole new appreciation for the crafting process.

Written by Meghan Barbato

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