Upcycling – What to, how to, why to

The term Upcycling sounded like a fad to me, an era of  DIY hipsters that took someones off casts and painted it another colour, or the team on the Recycling Board decided they needed a new direction. But like any good Marketer and Blogger I researched, in fact the now ever-growing Pinterest board can attest to my researching, and I’m excited to say I’m a groupie! A fan, a beholder, a witness to a movement that I can agree with.

UPCYCLING – What is it?

Well Google defines it as “reuse (discarded objects or material) in such a way as to create a product of higher quality or value than the original.” And in a nut shell Google hit the nail on the head (DIY reference). But it’s more than that now – it’s a community and a collective desire to create something magical from something not much loved, to perhaps provide minute amounts of relief to the environment, but most of all to out pour your creativity into something tangible. (Plus you feel pretty coll when you show all your friends).

UPCYCLING – How to do it?

I’m going to drop it in again –

  • Research! Trove the treasure cave  that is Pinterest and don’t feel too bad when yours doesn’t quite match the glossy perfection of an image that you tried to copy. Find something that you love the look of or have ties to already – Wooden pallets and spools, Utensils, Bath tubs, Your parents old chest of drawers – and think about where you want it to end up. For your children? Your grand children? All for yourself? Just go for it.
  • Plan – Take your time and have an outcome. Source your materials, find inspiration, find advice (remember you don’t need to take it!). It may take you a year but it’s worth it.
  • Share – Involve your children, even if it’s just to get their ideas, but get them inspired by the idea that not everything has a one day shelf life. Teach them what you learn, pass on a sustainable mind set, give them their own Upcycling project.
  • Start Small – The only reason I mention this is to point out the go big or go home idea doesn’t always work. Especially if you’re Upcycling for the first time. Try teapots, spoons or planter boxes – once you’ve mastered that move up to pub shed/studio/brewery/bath house that you have in mind.

UPCYCLING – Why do it?

Because it feels great that’s why! Because you get that almost mythical sense of self gratification that you’ve achieved something creative. And because most of all it teaches this amazing new generation we’re raising that everything they’ve taken for granted needs taking care of. This Earth, big and blue, is the only one we have, and we need to take care of our inheritance while we’re still around.