Tag Archives: upcycled

You can make furniture from anything!

I’ve been too sick to do any thrifting lately.  Yesterday I started to feel better, got myself together and left the house.  Only to return about 10 minutes later with just a pint of a milk.  However this morning I have woken up and not coughed once.  My chest is starting to feel clearer – there’s no bronchial wheeze on it – has this infection finally flown and left me alone?

So while I’ve been laid up in bed trying to sleep through the wheezing, I’ve been stumbling and looking for amazing upcycling/ reusing/ remaking  ideas.  Today I thought I’d collect together a few of my favourite furniture from upcycled items.  In our flat we have some amazing bookshelves that are upcycled goodiness – however I’m not sharing photos with you yet until the flat is sorted and I’m happy with them enough to take photographs 😉  That’s to say – I’m stupidly happy with the shelves, I’m just not happy with how untidy I am and how messy they are.  I’m embarrassed to show them to you!

So here are some of my favourite furniture upcycled projects:

Repurposed drawers:

schubLaden

schubLaden

These wonderful designs are from a German shop called schubLaden {meaning drawers in German}.

This image was found on Flickr – however I’m not sure who actually designed these:

repurposed drawers

I would happily make Mr Second-Hand spend his spring evenings sawing away at old cabinets so I could have something this splendid in the flat 🙂

I have a real love for Vespas – in fact I still think that one day I will own one.  So these seats made out of old Vespas by Italian company Bel&Bel make me very happy indeed {although I’d rather have the bike than the chair!}:

Bel&Bel

Bel&Bel

Katie Thomspon from Recreate is an absolute genius.  These beautifully created pieces of furniture made from repurposed cases are simply divine:

Recreate

Recreate

Recreate

Not surprisingly all of the seats I’ve chosen to feature are now sold however her website states that she does do custom orders – if only she wasn’t in South Africa!

Finally I’m going to feature the wonderful work of Dallas welder, Joel Hester.  His furniture made from repurposed car hoods are simply inspired.  All of the projects are ‘handmade to order’ which means that you truly get one off pieces especially for you!

Firstly – the beds:

Aren’t these gorgeous?  Unfortunately I can’t post larger pics but if you click on them they’ll take you right to the page.  They are all designed around the shape of your mattress, the size you want etc.  What more could you want? If I had the money and the space I would be purchasing one of these.  However, Mr Second-Hand is creating our bed this Spring so I’ll be posting photographs of that 🙂

I’m just going to post the coffee table too that I love because of the unique pattern on it caused by the original paint and rust:

Coffee Table

This is from their website about the standard coffee table specifications:

straight or modern oval leg design

30+ year old relcaimed sheetmetal top

MIG/TIG welded steel frame

gloss clear coat

stainless steel hardware

leveling feet

original VIN badge���

tables weigh 60+ pounds, the real deal …

 

Oh yes – they certainly do look the real deal 🙂 LOVE ‘EM!

I promise that very soon I will be posting photographs of our own repurposed furniture once the flat is sorted!

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Filed under Furniture, House and Home, Life

Slides slides slides

No – not the ones you fly down and break your arm on at the bottom. Instead I’m talking about photographic slides.
Many months ago we bought a load of photographic slides from Deptford Market and Ebay to turn into either this:
Kodachrome curtains

[<a href=”http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=338100.0″>tutorial on Craftster here</A>]

or this:


[tutorial on Craftster here]

However life took over and we still haven’t got around to creating these wonderful things. At the moment we are brassic so I’m hoping that we can start putting one or both of these together while we’re trying not to leave the flat and have our usual adventures, which often involve trips to one or two pubs on the way.  And some eatery of some sort.
In preparation for this I’ve been scanning in the ones I find interesting/ unusual – if you click on the wind-swept doggy below you’ll find some that I’ve scanned in:

Thrifty Boy also found an awesome box of photographic slides in a junk shop in Greenwich. They weren’t cheap, however they ARE amazing – Novosti Press Agency slides of Russia in 1975. You can see some of the set here:

Novosti Press Agency - Found slide - I couldn't edit it like this even if I'd tried!

These ones we don’t really want to turn into anything so we’re hoping to make a light box to display them in. We saw this one in SuckUK:

SuckUK Slide Light

But it’s about £150 – £200!  As Thrifty Boy is very clever he’s currently designing a slide box for our slides.  Hopefully it means that we can have an ever-changing wall display of our collection 🙂

I’ve found a couple tutorials to share here for light boxes:

ehow

steampunk workshop – not a slide display but you can follow the same principles

Instructables – again not a slide display but a great tutorial – very expensive though – I’m sure it can be done a lot cheaper than this!

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Filed under Deptford Junk Market Finds, House and Home, Life, Photographic Slides, Upcycling

the squidgiest, the plushiest, the softest of recycled loveliness

I love soft things.  Toys.  Cuddlesomes.  Here is Blueue:

Oz and Blueue

Oz the cat and Blueue the teddy

with my cat.  I was 4 when Blueue came into my life, I found him at my school jumble sale and he’s been by my side ever since.  See – I was a second-hand shopper even then!  He’s had his foot eaten off by a hamster, been held over a candle by a very mental ex-boyfriend and accompanied me on many trips into hospital.  So as you can see, I’m a fan of the cuddly things.

So today I’m going to be blogging about plushes and softies made out of recycled materials – and believe me – there are a LOT out there.

Firstly the wonderful work of melbangel – the reason why I love her plushes is because they are so obviously made out of recycled materials.  The bold patterns and weird shapes make these creatures marvellous to behold – and I LOVE their names. Weirdoo Megan and Weirdoo Moochie are by far my faves – I LOVE Weirdoo Moochie so much!  SO CUTE!

Weirdoo Moochie

Weirdoo Megan

I really hope that melbangel makes some more of these as they really are so original and so adorable.

Leah Riley is a true inspiration – and is mostly the inspiration for this blog.  She’s apparently ’embarrassed’ by the amount of t-shirt material she has built up, so she’s been creating a plush-a-day.  They range from skeletons to birds and each one is highly original and a great use of leftover bits of material.

Abigail the goth bunny

I guess I love this one because of the hidden goth within me.  LOVE the stripes (I love nothing more than stripes and polka dots) and bunnies just do it for me (although Anya may disagree – I’m SUCH a Buffy geek!)

I can’t wait to see what else she comes up with in her desire to use up all that material.  Leah – you are truly an inspiration to this hoarder of material!

Lucy Kate Crafts creates beautifully crafted and unique pieces.  I’m in total awe of her photostream and virtually drool over the plushy wonderfulness that abounds.  This little fox is one of my favourites.

Fox Softie

It’s unusual to see a fox – and I think that’s why I love it so much.

However – there is one of her softies that I would LOVE to have on my shelf.  As some of you know I LOVE peacocks, in fact I have an art deco style one tattooed on my back.  She has created this beautiful upcycled softie:

Peacock

How beautiful is this? I love it so much.   So gorgeous.

What I love about Loopy Dolls is that you know one of their pieces as soon as you see it.  I think that’s the strength of their design and imagination.  The faces are so cute – I could imagine a whole range of Loopy Dolls postcards, t-shirts etc.  They could take over the world!

Octopus

So there you go – some truly inspiring plushes/ softies that will hopefully inspire us all to go out and use up those scraps of material and create cuteness.  You can see my gallery of other cuties here – and I promise – that I am going to try this right now.  I have these two books (one I was given by my old school library when they were chucking out a load of books and one I got from Deptford Market for 50p):

Toy making books

and they have some great patterns in them so I’m going to try now to create some wonderful plushness.  In the meantime I’ll leave you with a family of plushes I created a long time ago called OOOOkies:

La Famille OOOOkie

created using upcycled velvet, buttons and t-shirts – however the felt and hearts were bought 😦

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Filed under Art, Plushes and softies, Upcycling

upcoming posts:

I thought I’d let you know what I’m going to be blogging about over the next few days to give you a heads up if you wanted to send me your links etc:

discarded

discarded

Plastic Bottles

We all use them, they are everywhere, some people don’t bother to even recycle them.  Plastic really has been the scourge of modern-day life; it doesn’t biodegrade, it releases toxins and recycling plastics are very labour intensive due to the different standards.  So upcycling plastic bottles should make things a bit easier on the environment (or trying not to use them in the first place would make things even easier – something I really really must do).

I’m going to therefore blog about my own plastic bottle upcycling as well as featuring the work and tutorials of other plastic bottle upcyclers.

rummaging

rummaging

CLOTHING

I love fashion – I’m not fashionable in the slightest and I don’t buy fashion mags.  However I see fashion as an art form and am fascinated by people who are walking art pieces.  Unfortunately this dominance of fashion in our lives has created a clothes mountain.  There are piles of poor textiles, that don’t biodegrade, that are made badly and more and more are being made.  We are all aware of the sweat shops that employ people working on a pittance to create these pieces for us to wear once then throw away.

So as you know, the whole premise of this blog is to buy second-hand, and I don’t buy new clothing any more.  There are other people who go one step further and take existing pieces of clothing and create new pieces out of them.  This blog will be about upcycled clothing – people who have the imagination and creativity to see something in something else!

doll parts

doll parts

DOLLS

And finally a blog about what you can create from those sadly rejected dolls.

So there you go – do you have anything you can add to these blogs? If so, get in touch.  If I like what you do I’ll feature it 🙂

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Filed under Upcycling

the great tidy-up began today

I’ve had to put things on hold a bit here as I’ve embarked on something that is long over-due.  The great big tidy-up.

I’m a hoarder – I come from a family of hoarders – and this hoarding has never been put in check.  Now it’s got out of hand and I need to be ruthless.  So while I only work 2 days a week I’m using the rest of the time to sort my crap out.

Today I started on the worst offender – my study.  It’s always been the ‘junk room’ where things get dumped and lost.  It’s going to be a longer and bigger job than I originally thought.  I had to reign myself in from saving old envelopes because I could create gorgeousness from them like these:

Security Envelope Tags by The Felt Mouse

Security Envelope Tags by The Felt Mouse

Security Envelope Buttons by The Workroom

Security Envelope Buttons by The Workroom

Beads by JPolka

Beads by JPolka

Beautiful Art - by ClumsyBird

Beautiful Art - by ClumsyBird

However it was my wardrobe where I was having my biggest fight.  I find it so difficult to give away clothes, constantly thinking that ‘I will fit into that again one day’ or ‘I could alter that to make something better’.  However some items of clothes must leave my wardrobe and either head their merry way to a charity shop OR head their way into creating my new quilt.  I’ve decided that my big quilt will be my winter project.  A hodge-podge of colours and designs.  Large enough to fit our super-king size bed.  I’m not going for a complicated pattern for my first proper quilt – just a simple box design.  This pool on  Flickr is a great inspiration:    Reclaimed Fabric, Patchwork and Quilting

So I’ll try and blog in a few days with another tribute to some wonderful upcyclers.  I also have some new buys to share with you lovely people 🙂 In the meantime keep recycling and being wonderfully creative!

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Filed under Life, Patchwork/quilting

scourge of the letter boxes

Really, this isn’t a ground breaking comment to make to say that we ALL must hate junk mail. Don’t we? Please say we do. The whole idea of junk mail is vile and intrusive. The amount of times I’ve actually caught someone about to post a pizza menu through my letter box and I’ve taken it from them and posted it straight into my recycling bin.

I do have a confession to make however. As a teenager I used to deliver junk mail to raise money for my summer holidays. My aunty used to do it as a living, and over the summer holidays I’d be given my own round to do. It was back-breaking work for very little money. And now I feel very bad for filling peoples’ boxes with these pieces of trash – however – when one is a teenager one needs to make money!

Recently we’ve had a marked increase in the amount of menus we get through our box – pizza menus generally make me feel quite unwell (the photographs are most unappetising) and I think we’ve tried every Indian and Chinese menu with little excitement or impression. Thankfully one of our cats thinks he’s a dog and tends to ‘collect’ the junk mail, acting as our own personal shredder 🙂

So in my usual manner I’ve been looking for things to do with junk mail. For myself, I’ve only managed collages:

Unfortunately I can’t post a lot of the photos of what people have done with junk mail – which I understand ENTIRELY.  So go to Gallery 1 on Flickr – for wonderful ideas on what to do with junk – including obligatory jewellery as well as journals, a quilt and bowls 🙂

I intend to add to this – however I’m still feeling pretty rough with flu – haven’t slept properly for 4 nights now.  So I’ll finish this later 🙂

EDIT:

Ok … it’s now a much more reasonable time and although I’m in bed feeling like poo I thought I’d finish this entry properly as there are too many talented people out there who need their junk repurposing pimped 🙂

I’ve never thought of recycling paper to create a paper product designed to be written/ drawn on – however now – I can see the joy of using recycled junk mail to create journals, tags, envelopes and other stationary.

Junk mail to satisfy your stationary desires

This is a beautifully designed journal – simple yet clean and minimal.  This recycler has a whole set of journals created from upcycled materials and is a real inspiration to this lady sitting at her laptop typing this.  You really have NO IDEA how many journals and notebooks I have – and to know that there is a way of creating my own notebooks out of all that crap that gets shoved through my letter box is an awesome idea.

I’m going to hunt out the materials needed and start creating my own journals – oh dear – another idea!

You can also see Lootsvele’s upcycled journals here – I love the use of envelopes to create spaces to stash your tickets etc.  I think these would make fantastic presents.

eco-monster seems to be a real star of recycling materials – I’m in love with so many of her ideas – they’re very pretty and pastel-coloured – not very

much like me but I can still appreciate.

This ‘address box’ is especially creative – so country-cottage yet such a simple idea.

Madhatrk’s packaging is very special – takes a bit of energy to make by the looks of things (see the tutorial here) however the final result is REALLY effective.

Junk mail = style

Of course junk mail can be turned into clothes and jewellery – what made you think that it couldn’t?:

Origami star earrings from upcycled junk mail etc.

Origami star earrings from upcycled junk mail etc.

home ECOnomics - paper jewellery

home ECOnomics - paper jewellery

Quilling can be turned into jewellery

Quilling can be turned into jewellery

cute and simple

cute and simple

As you can see from this very small selection – junk mail can be used for some wonderful accessories – when with shops like Accessorize actually start using recycled products rather than creating jewellery that LOOKS as though it’s recycled?

Finally – for now (there will be more to come – I’m quite aware that with every blog post – the more I search – the more I find worth mentioning and pimping 🙂 ) I wanted to leave you with an amazing piece of wearable art that an ex-student of mine created for a Metro Newspaper competition.  However I can’t find the image of the dress anywhere on the internet.  She created it from many copies of Metros (a free newspaper that tends to fill train carriages), folding hundreds of origami cranes for the skirt.

When I find the image I will post it here – until then here’s her profile on Untold. Believe me – she will be a force to be reckoned with – winning Young Designer of the Year aged just 14!

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Filed under Art, jewellery, junk mail, Life, origami

Upcycled fabric jewellery

Like a lot of people who work with fabric I have a lot of bits left over.  And being the woman that I am I obviously don’t throw them away.  Some find their way onto my ever growing ‘crazy patchwork’ bag – other stay sitting in a bag waiting to be turned into something.

Recently when I couldn’t sleep one morning I found a tutorial on making fabric beads – and started playing.  I’m not very good at following tutorials and started kind of making up my own fabric bead design.  The final result was this:

old dressing gown becomes upcycled necklace

old dressing gown becomes upcycled necklace

I’m not entirely satisfied with it – I think it might need a lot more work – however I have a lot of other beads that I’ve made some I’m going to try some different designs.  I also think that I should add some more beads to the top right hand side (where I’ve already started adding beads) as a focus.

In the meantime, here are some wonderfully exciting upcycled/ repurposed/ recycled fabric jewellery pieces that really inspire me to be more creative.

Fabric bracelet by Little Miss Crafty

Fabric bracelet by Little Miss Crafty

This little bracelet seems so simple yet so cute and fluffy. I love the colours (although they’re not the type I’d wear) and it just is SO yummy.  Makes me want to go out and make my own cute little fluffy bracelet.

Read more of Little Miss Crafty’s adventures here:

http://www.littlemisscrafty.blogspot.com/

Hand Made jewellery by Medusa - http://www.labottegadimedusa.com/

Hand Made jewellery by Medusa - http://www.labottegadimedusa.com/

I’m in love with this wonderful piece.  It has its roots in vintage style and is a real focus piece.

Absinthe and Orange

Absinthe and Orange

Absinthe and Orange creates such beauty out of repurposed material and clothing.  Again, like a lot of things I love, the colours aren’t something I ever really wear, however to own a piece like this and have an excuse to build an outfit around them would be something too good to miss! With fabric jewellery like this you KNOW that everyone will keep looking at it and noticing new things that make up this beautiful design.

Sonya's Boutique

Sonya's Boutique

Sonya’s fabric necklaces are real focus pieces that combine strong colour palettes and inspired designs.  Check out her etsy store – I cannot believe how cheaply she sells her work! Honestly – it’s worth more than this! Once I can get properly onto Etsy (it’s playing up for me at the moment) I’m going to purchase one of her pieces before prices sky rocket!

Finally I’m in love with the unusual work of Beehive Girl

I love her combinations of bones and lace – and I love the way in which her pieces aren’t just ‘focus’ pieces – they make you sit up and stare! You can’t stop looking and if you’re me – you can’t stop wanting!

Really – how can you NOT be inspired by these wonderful women’s designs?

Here are some tutorials – often showing you the steps for building up your designs:

How to make a necklace from fabric scraps

What to do with all those scraps

Ruffle necklace

Fabric Flower Necklace

These are just very basic instructions – I figure you can adapt each tutorial to add more and more to make a wonderful statement piece.

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Filed under jewellery, tutorials, Upcycling