Trawling the net for something, I forget for what at the moment, I came across the term ‘upcycling’. Unlike recycling, upcycling involves turning unwanted items into useful ones. Having read a bit more about it I discovered that I have been an upcycler for years without realising that it had a proper name! I must have started at an early age and my first memory of a successful upcycle was making a tennis dress for school from an old pillow case. (I was small for my age!)
Of course working in the primary sector we make lots of things out of old cardboard packaging and plastic pots though I don’t think it qualifies as upcycling as to date I have not seen any of the children arrive at school in a new cereal packet car!
I thought I would share a couple of my recent attempts at upcycling with you. The first is a skittles game I made for school. The skittles are made from actimel bottles and ping pong balls, much to the annoyance of Finnegan who thought the balls were for him to play with! They are decorated with scrap bits of paper from my paper stash. The bag to keep them in used to be a pair of my daughters old jeans. There is no ball in the picture because it is at school.
The second example is from an aluminium can which I coloured with alcohol inks then cut out gears using Spellbinders dies and my Grand Calibur machine. I then used them on an ATC. Another first for me as it is the first time I have tried out Steam Punk.
When I have managed to get some more drink cans I am going to try cutting baubles out of them as I think they would make good decorations for Christmas.
Is there anyone else out there into upcycling? I would love to know what people have been doing with unwanted bits and pieces.