Move over recycling, the Internet generation has crafted a new movement called upcycling. Somewhere between recycling and reusing, upcycling is the process of taking an item that would traditionally be considered garbage and making it into something new and useful. Upcycling Allows You to:
- Get Creative: How you choose to upcycle is entirely up to you. Even when using inspiration or projects from other sources, there is always room to make them entirely your own.
- Express Your Individuality: By repurposing a found object you are making a one of the kind item, not something anyone can pick up at a store.
- Save Money: If you spend a little money remaking something, it is often far less expensive than purchasing the item new. If you are already a crafter you can lessen the cost of a project by upcycling a major component.
- Be Good to the Environment: By remaking an item you avoid buying another one, and that leads to less waste in the landfills and less overall production pollution.
Where to Find Things to Upcycle:
Consider looking at local thrifts stores and garage sales for upcycling finds. Additionally, online communities such as Freecycle offer a system for free trading of goods between people within a local community.
Online upcycling information is endless; a simple Internet search can yield many results. Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter are widely used by the upcycling community.
If you are interesting in upcycling clothing or using this technique in your home check out: the shows, Threadheads and Décor it yourself, on Threadbanger. The blog for Craft Magazine is another great source for upcycling projects and inspiration.
Many companies have come out of the upcycling movement. You can see and purchase items from numerous independent artists and crafters at Etsy.
Have an Upcycle Swap Party:
One way to get started is to gather some friends for an upcycle swap party. Everyone brings items they are looking to get rid of to a single location. Then the party brainstorms and gets started upcycling together. Those items that have not been swapped can be brought to the nearest charity or thrift store.
Whether you have a swap party or create on your own, upcycling provides endless possibilities that are good for the environment and your bank balance.
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