Upcycling….?? What is it??

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January 5, 2015 by lovenellie

One of the first questions that I ask the kiddies who come to my ‘Craft and Upcycling Bootcamps’ during the school holidays is ‘Can anyone tell me what upcycling is?’ and I have to say I have had some funny answers my favorite being ‘Is it when you have to peddle fast on your bike to get up a hill?’. A logical answer but it dawned on me that I am always banging on about ‘upcycling’ and maybe there are a few adults out there  who are also not quite clear on exactly what I mean.

Upcycling is a real buzz at the moment championed by clever individuals off the telly like Max McMurdo who runs his own company Restore Design  and Kirstie Allsopp with her latest show ‘Fill your house for Free’ not forgetting George Clarke with his Amazing spaces show which showcased some super creative projects where Shipping containers have been changed into outdoor offices and old Ambulances into camper vans for weekends away.Granted these are a bit more than just projects completed in an afternoon but its amazing what a bit of creativity can achieve. Annie Sloan of course was right at the forefront of the movement creating her chalk paint that can transform any piece of furniture, any good upcycler will need to start a love affair with Chalk paint.

So  the big brains at Wikipeda say ‘Upcycling’ is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value. In ‘Lynne speak’ that means reinventing something that’s not being used or loved anymore into something with a purpose again.Its the art of reinvention and creating something unique, useful and cost-effective. There is a great line in the Wombles song ‘making good use of the things that we find, things that the everyday folk leave behind’ and I think that sums  ‘upcyclers’ up nicely, we are infact WOMBLES !

Remember this??



…and look what we do with the things that we find!!

I love what Max McMurdo has done with this Bath Tub Sofapdt_gallery-max2 But up-cycling can mean just saving your jam jars and filling them with candles or making snow globes, painting up an old chair that would otherwise have made its way to a skip, making a Christmas tree from old lampshades or turning a pallet into coffee table. Here are a few of my favorite things I have upcycled of late.

1507101_668282609891331_1174766595_n handwash 1a IMG_8058IMG_6313IMG_8227


shelfie annie 8


Now why is Upcycling causing such a buzz and why do you need to join the craze? Well I think it started when the credit crunch hit us, people didn’t have the money to go out and just buy new so they looked at things differently and gave them a coat of paint or changed the handles. This then this let to such a great feeling of satisfaction it soon became addictive. As people realised that they could create something unique and bespoke they didn’t want to just open a catalogue or click on a website and get something that the masses already had. We also have the likes of facebook and pinterest where people can share ideas and tips so social media is inspiring us.I can spend hours just looking at other people’s creativity and being inspired. So in a nutshell thats upcycling as I see it and when I am teaching the Children I always try to make them appreciate that one mans trash is another mans treasure !

So this year challenge yourself before binning something or if you see something in a charity shop or in a skip, pop on those fresh eyes and unlock its potential. Could it be just what you’re looking for if it was a different colour? Would those old drawers make great shelves? Would that old door make a perfect headboard? Do you see where I am going with this….

If you do up-cycle something I would love to see your before and after pictures, ideas can be found on pinterest under upcycling  Click here for inspiration.

That’s all folks, off to upcycle my Hyundai into a ferrari, how hard can it be!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Errr I may need a hand from Max McMurdo with that one !!!

Speak soon.

Lynne xx



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