Wednesday, December 11

Give your old Christmas Ornaments a facelift this year

Tired of your old Christmas ornaments? Give them a facelift using an old CD.

Most of us have converted those CD's over to our iPods and other electronic music devices. The CD just sits there collecting dust. Why not give it a new purpose with some holiday flair?

I found the idea above on DIY Crafts and Projects. It's an interesting blog with photo only instructions. This one looks simple enough... an ornament you're bored with, a CD that was just collecting dust, some glue and a pair of scissors. I think it would be interesting to try with a colored ornament.

If you decide to make some of these let me know and send a pick - I'll post it here for you and give you credit for your work.

Friday, April 24

Upcycle to Make a Ring

Zakka Life Crafts has very simple project instructions for upcycling the plastic tab from a milk or juice container into a ring. The project is so simple even a young child can easily do this.

The only thing I'd add to her instructions is the possibility of cutting the round circle into different shapes for more variety. An adult should do the cutting and the edges of cut portion should be sanded down so they are not sharp.

From to

Saturday, April 18

The Definition of Recycling

Recycling has come of age. It's become cool. It's also become a term that is used for far more than what it really means. Below I've defined "recycling" and two other similar terms. All these methods reduce the waste sent to landfills, which we all know is a good thing.

In recycling the item being recycled is returned to a form which can then be processed by manufacturers into something new. It does have a bit of a carbon footprint from being transported to the recycling center, the manufacturer, the retailer and ultimately back to the consumer. Recycling uses energy and does create some pollution in the process, but generally uses less energy and produces less pollution than the raw materials would. It also reduces the need for mining those raw materials, which means fewer trees cut down, less strip mining, etc.

Reusing an item is better than recycling because it avoids all the reprocessing and the energy use and the carbon footprint involved with recycling. Reusing an item means just that, using it over again. Like the roommate I had that rinsed out plastic bags and turn them inside out to dry so she could reuse them for her lunch the next day. Reusing an item does not alter that item's shape or look and it generally keeps the same purpose it originally had.

Upcycling is a new term and there still seems to be some talk about what it's true meaning is. To me upcycling is a step up from recycling (hence the name?). Upcycling is when you reuse an item, or a piece of an item to create something new. Upcycling doesn't take as much energy or produce as much of a carbon footprint as Recycling does. With upcycling you do not need to reprocess the item back into a raw form. Most of the items on this blog are upcycled. Upcycling is more fun than the previous two. With upcycling anyone can use their imagination, take some items from the recycling bin or trash and use them to create something new.

That said, I should probably have named this blog "Art of Upcycling". Oh well, more people search on the term "recycling" than "upcycling" anyway. Here's a challenge for you. Upcycle something and send me a photo with a list of the items used to make your new creation. I'll post it on this blog. If you want send the instructions for making that item and I'll post that too.

Wednesday, March 18

Creative Metal Recycling

Check out Eco-Art Creative Metal Recycling. I love this guy's work! Tim Pace uses cast-off, discarded and scrapped metals to create his unique sculptures. Tim likes to retain the shape of the original found object to keep it recognizable within the resulting artwork, like the shovels and clippers used to create the birds in this photo.

Eco-Art pieces range in size from objects that easily fit on the desktop to very tall items that can be displayed as garden art or home décor. I especially like the Reading Mantis displayed outside the Jackson-Madison County Library in Jackson, Tennessee.

Friday, February 20

Reusing an Airplaine

Until now I've focused on how people are recycling small every day items in to wonderful things. Today I've found something much larger for you, a Boeing 747 "Jumbo Airplane" that once flew for Singapore Airlines, Pan Am and Transjet. Oscar Diös has turned it into Jumbo Hostel in Stockholm, Sweden. It doesn't fly anymore, so it no longer has that huge carbon footprint it used to have. It still has the original lounge, first class seating and spiral staircase. Other parts of the plane have been converted into rooms where you can sleep, including the cockpit. You can even walk out onto the observation deck built on one of the wings to watch other planes take of and land at the airport. I've read that it's engine rooms are also being converted into bedrooms and the old turbines are going to be remade into the blinds for those rooms. It looks really cool.

Friday, February 13

Made from Recycled Yarn

I've recently discovered the blog Look What I Found by Le Chat in Amsterdam, Netherlands. This girl really gets it. She does a lot of creating with recycled objects, especially yarn reclaimed from sweaters. Here's a sampling of what she makes from the yarn. The orange one is my favorite. She sells her creations at shows and on her Etsy shop, also called Le Chat. Click on the photo's below to read more about what each was recycled from.

Friday, January 23

How to Recycle yarn from a sweater

Remember when I blogged about reusing yarn from sweaters to make new things? Well I just stumbled upon an excellent free instruction on how to unravel the yarn from the sweater step by step. So if you've got sweaters you want the yarn from but are frustrated with how to get it apart, check out this page from Neauveau fiber arts.