Reclaimed Materials – A Gateway To Creativity

Contributor post by Catherine of DesignsByCnC

Over Labor Day weekend, I attended our area’s largest flea market.  As a handmade artist, I enjoy going from booth to booth to see the beautiful home decor pieces, furniture and outdoor sculptures all created using reclaimed materials.

The booths with the pallet art and furniture were extremely popular, with pieces ranging from decorative wall art to dining room tables, as well as outdoor furniture. We discovered a unique bench handcrafted using pallets and a tailgate from an old Chevrolet pickup truck.   With our focus turning to autumn decor, I found myself drawn to the vintage framed screens hand painted with colorful scarecrows and pumpkins.  One of my favorite booths is that of an artist that reclaims framed windows from old homes and paints beautiful landscape scenes on the glass with stunning results.

Products handcrafted using reclaimed materials are unique, artful and more sustainable than many of today’s mass produced items.

As I admired the creativity, I was reminded of the idiom “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”.  Each year small businesses reclaim and salvage a significant amount of materials.  This not only helps eliminate landfill waste but also preserves part of our past.

I posed the question, Does your business upcycle or use reclaimed, salvaged materials? to the members of the Etsy Christmas In July Team.

 

GypsyGeneralStore from GypsyGeneralStore answered:

“They don’t make ’em like they used to”…. I grew up listening to my Dad make that statement time and time again and it’s true! I would rather repair, recycle or reuse something “old” than buy something new. I love to salvage bits and bobs, odds and ends – I have a stash of “trash” just waiting for a new purpose! This time of year, I love to give rusty old tart tins a new lease on life:

Christmas Star Ornament Tart Tin

Christmas Star Ornament Tart Tin

 

spoiledfelines1 from SpoiledFelinesArt had this response:

I grew up in Southeast Louisiana. When I was a young girl, my father taught me to respect nature as it is a finite part of our environment. We would go for walks along the waterways just talking about life and taking in the beauty of the sun setting over the marshlands. Sometimes we would come upon a unique piece of driftwood, which would end up in his workshop waiting for the perfect wood carving project to showcase its beauty.

Most of the items in my shop are made from reclaimed wood. I chose to feature my father’s hand carved woodpecker bird because I love its overall appearance, particularly the bird’s beautiful red head and its unique cypress driftwood perch!

Red Headed Woodpecker Bird Carving

Red Headed Woodpecker Bird Carving

 

Heather Barber from MooseintheMint shared:

I use a variety of games pieces to make a selection of items, from magnets to jewelry, scrapbooks to decorations. One box with an incomplete game can make a scrapbook or a clock with the board, a variety of cards and magnets from the cards, and some fun jewelry or key rings from the game’s pieces.

Scrapbook From Upcycled London Monopoly Board

Scrapbook From Upcycled London Monopoly Board

 

Bevan Blackshaw from TimberDimensions commented:

As a furniture maker, I have a deep and enduring respect, as well as appreciation, for the materials I work with. I despise waste and do whatever I can to reduce, reuse, upcycle, repurpose the offcuts I generate. I make bangles, pendants, earrings, brooches, and finger rings regularly. The one item I most enjoy is my Book Bird. A practical, functional item that I really do enjoy making. I love what I do!!

Book Bird Page Holder

Book Bird Page Holder

 

Corkycrafts from Corkycrafts added:

I repurpose wine corks in my shop. Hence the name Corky crafts. Guess what I promote wine drinking… HA HA HA….uh well least we have fun in our craft room.

My friends & family donate their corks and every cork creation gives life to a little cork that kept wine fresh. Speaking of fresh here is a new fresh item in our shop just in time for your Christmas planning….

Wine Cork Snowman Ornament

 

Melissa R from missy69 stated:

I love this subject! I love to take garbage and turn it into something beautiful, or something old new again. I love glass, wood, and old or broken jewelry to reclaim/recycle/upcycle any of those terms work great. Below is a ring created from a broken pendant, and a broken ring that was just left as a band. I used wire to wire wrap them, and the result is beautiful and affordable. Nice small size to fit a small hand or pinky ring.

 

Upcycled Blue Topaz Marquise Silver and Gold Wire Wrapped Ring

Upcycled Blue Topaz Marquise Silver and Gold Wire Wrapped Ring

 

Dawn Whitehand from DeeDeeDeesigns remarked:

My shop is mainly ceramic homewares and jewellery, but I do love using repurposed materials to create some different jewellery pieces.
One of the materials I use are marbles – yes, my kids old marbles! The colours and patterns in them are truly beautiful and they are lightweight and lend themselves to necklaces, earrings, bracelets, pretty much anything!

Upcycled Marble Earrings

Upcycled Marble Earrings

 

Lisajoy Sachs from saxdsign had this response:

This is great! Using reclaimed, salvaged materials is a perfect way to help save the environment. We offer recycled aluminum Nespresso capsule pods to crafters to make items out of. Interestingly enough, most of these get shipped overseas from the US. It is a great way to recycle and not let these go into the landfills. And the art and jewelry made out of them is really cool.

Nespresso Pod Empties

Nespresso Pod Empties

 

Chris Preiser from CreativeChris000 responded with:

I love to re-purpose and recycle items into my handmade creations, but was getting tired of using the same old bottles, bottle caps, etc as my materials and wanted something new to work with. About 2 years ago I realized the possibility of re-purposing soda cans and quickly began making lots of ornaments and decorations with them. Today, the majority of my creations have some sort of ‘soda can ornament’ incorporated into them, and people are always shocked to find out that the item they are purchasing was made with a soda can!

 

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Upcycled Aluminum Butterfly and Flower Set

 

Maryann from gojjell said:

My husband does wood turning as a hobby and I am frequently salvaging different types of timber off cuts or ‘non usable bits’! left on the workshop floor. From such finds, I weave my magic and create one of a kind jewellery, usually pendants or necklaces, featuring these re-purposed timber off cuts.
The necklace below features a fine silver heart and two round Tasmanian Oak beads prepared by me and incorporated into this creation.

Fine silver heart necklace

Fine silver heart necklace

 

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Show us your Workspace: treadandpedals

Contributor post by Dawn from DeeDeeDeesigns
Next we visit the workspace of Emma and Ivan from treadandpedals who make gifts for cyclists from upcycled bike tread and pedals.
Please visit their shop and heart some items, and maybe even buy a gift!
Here’s what they have to say about their workspace:

We have a home based Studio and Workshop in the Dandenong Ranges of Victoria, Australia, this is where we create all our Tread & Pedals gear.

The real magic for us happens in the workshop – welding, soldering, angle grinding, hammering, tinkering… it’s the place where we roll up our sleeves and bring our ideas from the drawing board into real life.

Like many others our house has been taken over by our work gear and we find ourselves, when not up to our elbows in bike parts in the workshop, in the house nestled among bike tires and inner tubes, cutting and cleaning, always making or dreaming of new items.

Vintage pickins – #CIJParty 2016

Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings

Vintage sellers have a love of all things old and timeless.

The memories these items invoke are amazing.

Here at Christmas in July we want to know “How do you decide what to pick?” Are there certain items you love, that are more in demand. Why do you pick what you do?

Dawn Whitehand from DeeDeeDeesigns says while I make ceramic tableware and jewellery, I also create upcycled jewellery, which I sometimes combine with original ceramic components.

The materials I choose are wide and varied, but I love vintage buttons, and have been collecting them for many years from many sources. Some I don’t re-purpose into jewellery because I want to keep them!!

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Upcycled Gray and Blue Button Ring

Leila Valois from ValoisFelts said I too love upcycling my vintage finds. I pick things up from charity shops and fairs – buckles are one of my favourite things right now.

I’ve made a few ‘fairy windows’ with them. They have gorgeous colours and designs that inspire what I felt in them. This pearlescent one had a fantasy/scifi feel about it.

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Alien UFO Fantasy Window- Miniature Painting-Needle felted brooch

Jennifer Allison from JenniferAllsion  states I almost always post vintage goodies that I would want to keep for myself (and often do…krikey!). I like to find things that I can re-purpose…give new life to…and could spend hours just browsing antique stores and garage sales for items that remind me of warm memories and simpler times. I recently found a cardboard puzzle from the 1950’s and fell IN DEEP LOVE with the graphics…knew I had to find a way to give it new life.

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Washington state puzzle piece magnet

msmadmax from madmaxshop says fashion constantly refers to the past for inspiration. Especially today when the current forecast can be seen borrowing from a previous successful trend in fashion featured two decades ago, i.e. sequins and sparkle, romantic ruffled blouses, done up denim

Wearable fashion trends for 2016 have been inspired by the trendsetting fashions of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. I like to post vintage items that can easily blend in with current fashion but still evoke a trendy look and feel of yesterday…

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80s Vintage Blouse

Dana Hamant from LilybeanzBowtique said I adore the vintage look. I love to use fabrics and designs that invoke this. Recently a friend requested a planner band to adorn a notebook she had. She wanted something “vintage-looking.” I found these vintage-style wooden buttons and knew they would be perfect. After I had created her one-of-a-kind piece, my creative juices kept flowing.

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Custom Fabric Tutus and headband set

Sue from MissIvyVintage discussed I have always loved vintage linens of all sorts…Embroidered, crocheted, tatted, and prints. I find a great deal of pleasure when I find a linen that at one time brought joy to a child. I find these linens especially charming and when I list, I hope the item will bring joy to another child. I have only this one.

Vintage handmade Childs Santa Claus Pillowcase

Vintage handmade Childs Santa Claus Pillowcase

Shelly from ShellysSelectSalvage states I have loved vintage items since I was a child. Their history calls to me and I think of all the hands it has passed through and how it was cherished before. Now I feel like I save them for others to enjoy.

I like looking for unusual items and miniatures, something that will catch the eye.

I personally collect vintage linens as I love the old smell, softness, and look. I have a huge vintage pillowcase collection and love using them on all my pillows.

I love this little guy – such a funny face.

Cow Bottle Opener and Corkscrew

Cow Bottle Opener and Corkscrew

willowvalleyvintage from WillowValleyVintage says My daughter and I are fans of Marie Kondo, so we are always looking for items that “Spark Joy!”

We love the graphics and idea behind this Balloon Pump.

Gag gift Party Decor Vintage Inflato Balloon Pump

Gag gift Party Decor Vintage Inflato Balloon Pump

Kira from TrellisLaneVintage said my love of vintage is rooted by my mother, many years of looking for and living with antiques. I love the 50’s through 70’s and fill my shop with items that catch my eye. I try to focus on items that are functional and fun!

Vintage chip and dip set,Indiana glass set

Vintage chip and dip set,Indiana glass set

Jackie Irvin from JackJacksWayart discusses that my love for drawing began at a very young age. I have been enjoying creating custom design door decor for a few years now.
I also love working with pastels painting portraits, making jewelry, chalkboards and much more.

Old World Santa Door Art

Old World Santa Door Art

Catherine Caramanica from BlkBttrflyDsgns discussed that It’s in my nature to choose items that are unusual, unique, one-of-a-kind, edgy. I love to bring eclectic offerings to the table. These boots are for a confident woman. A woman who isn’t afraid or apprehensive to wear something that stands out. They’re an outstanding pair of boots.

Tony Lama Cowboy Boots-Ladies 7B

Tony Lama Cowboy Boots-Ladies 7B

Heather from ArabellaBlossoms says buttons are always popular with sewers and crafters. Vintage buttons hold a special attraction with their beauty, originality and craftsmanship from a bygone era.

I have gathered buttons for my stash for as long as I can remember. As children our Sunday afternoons were often spent playing with my mother’s button collection. She stored it in a large tartan painted biscuit tin. My stash is now much larger than that one and it is time for me to share the love-and my buttons!

4 Large Gold Black Tone Metal Shank Vintage Buttons

4 Large Gold Black Tone Metal Shank Vintage Buttons

toysfrom70s from toysfrom70s said my wife and I recently downsized and as the old saying goes you can’t take it with you, we’re selling off our childhood memories. Sharing the love of 1970s toys and collectibles. We didn’t realize how many people also loved some of the items we have sold over the year, the notes they send tell us we’re not alone in cherishing memories and it is rather humbling knowing we’re spreading smiles across the USA with our items.

Just listed maybe it may bring back a smile to you of childhood.

1974 Vintage Growing Up Skipper Doll

1974 Vintage Growing Up Skipper Doll

Alicia Holman from MemaAntiques discussed that we love vintage items. We love the history regarding each item we obtained. This item for instance came from a home in Orangeburg SC. This was a wedding gift given to the family in the 1940’s. The female in the home kept it in her china cabinet and never used it. She wanted it to always be in perfect condition.

Her son told us how she would fuss at the children and the grandchildren if they came near this dish. Reminds me so much of my grand parents and their favorite items.

It is so much fun. All items in our shop has a story behind it or we can tell you were it came from.

Fenton Green Grapes and Leaves Carnival Glass Candy Dish

Fenton Green Grapes and Leaves Carnival Glass Candy Dish

Cher Loose from LooseChipsWoodWork says when an item reflects a memory in my heart I pick it up and cherish it… we have a rule in gift giving and buying… it is if we like it ourselves then someone else will too! (and if they do not, they will return it to us and that is okay too!) example: My husband remembers the Western Electric Company in Reading PA, before it was bought out by AT&T and he even worked there for a few years, actually using a slide rule. So this is why I sell this, in hopes someone else will find someone who likes to collect slide rules or maybe put it in their pocket and show another generation how to use one for fun…. on Christmas Morning in December or in July!

Vintage Collectible Slide Ruler and Instructions

Vintage Collectible Slide Ruler and Instructions

#CIJParty 2015 – Tutorial: Plastic Bottle Cuff Bracelet

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

 “Tutorial for Plastic Bottle Cuff Bracelet” by Dawn Whitehand from DeeDeeDeesigns

Introduction

As an Etsy seller I love making jewellery and am passionate about upcycling, so this project combines both – we are making a cuff bracelet from plastic bottles decoupaged with newspaper, decorative papers and whatever extra adornments inspire you.dawn-whitehand_002

Materials Used

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Scissors

craft knife/scalpel

ruler

PVA/craft glue

shallow dish for PVA

container of water

(for the above two I use a takeaway container – I use the lid for the PVA & the base for the water)

skewer

stiff bristled paint brushes – a range of small to medium sizes

varnish – acrylic, spray, polyurethane

plastic bottles – a range of sizes and textures

newspaper

AND a SELECTION of coloured paper, tissue paper, paper doilies, gift paper, stamps, calendars, maps, greeting cards, original drawings, children’s drawings, photocopies (not inkjet prints as they may run) and anything else you may think of!

Optional Adornments

buttons

sequins

beads

jute

ribbon

cabochons

wool offcuts

embroidery cotton offcuts

and whatever else inspires you!!

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Tutorial Directions

Got all your ‘ingredients’? What’s next….

Choose a plastic bottle that, when cut, will fit around your wrist – be creative – it doesn’t have to be a round bottle, and if it is too big this could be an opportunity to add fasteners (buttons, etc) at the end.

Using your craft knife carefully cut (away from yourself) a portion of the bottle depending on how wide your want your cuff bracelet to be. If you want your end to be rounded or curved use some scissors to trim the square ends. I kept mine square as this is easier to fold your decoupage ends neatly and tightly.

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reserved-paper

The first three layers of your cuff will be built up using newspaper strips – use newsprint as this will be covered up – unless of course you want newsprint or certain words to feature in your bracelet – in this case reserve those pieces of newspaper for later layers.

Tear the newspaper layers using a ruler, rather than scissors, or simply go with the grain of the paper and tear them manually in about 2 cm wide strips although you won’t see these initial layers in the final product it does lend a textured surface beneath your final layer which will add to the final textural finish.

As you tear the newspaper look at both sides in case there are any colours or patterns you would like to reserve for the final layer.

Next pour a small amount, about the size of a ten-cent piece, of PVA into a shallow dish. Put your brush (approximately size 8) into the container of water and then place the brush in the PVA and mix.

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Apply a generous amount to strips of paper, individually, and wrap diagonally around the plastic cuff until the entire surface is covered. (the water makes the paper more flexible and more easy to slide along the plastic). If there are any stubborn edges of paper that won’t lie flat use a small stiff bristled brush dipped in the water/pva mix to encourage it into place – until it does what it is told! The skewer can also be used as a mini rolling-pin to rill any bubbles and surface irregularities out; it can also be used to reinforce any patterns or lines in the bottle (see above picture of plastic bottle with indented lines). If you want to retain these lines they will have to be reinforced by pushing each layer of paper while still wet into the grooves. Use the entire length of the skewer to do this by holding it in the groove and turning the cuff.

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Allow to dry – it won’t take very long, but you could use a hair dryer or heater if you are feeling impatient!

Repeat the previous step three times, allowing each layer to dry, and on the final third layer we will finish off the ends of the cuff.

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To do this tear a larger square of newspaper that can be folded around the cuff end, tucked in and then folded over the ends – like a square envelope.

As before, apply the water/PVA mix generously and if need be, use a small stiff bristled brush to coax it into place.

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Now it is time to think about the final layer we want on the cuff – gather together any reserved bits of patterned newspaper you have, coloured paper, paper doilies, stamps, maps – whatever your vision entails – I have used coloured and patterned newspaper to finish my cuff, positioning the paper in strategic spots to attain the finish I desire.

Use the same method as above to diagonally wind your cuff with strips of paper and finish the ends with enveloped squares as above also…. you can repeat this multiple times in various parts of your cuff till you get the design / colour combination that you like. You can also finish with a final feature of a picture or row of stamps, etc across the centre of the cuff as a feature. Don’t worry about uneven layers as this adds to the textural feel of the cuff (unless you want a less textured look, then you can be more particular about your layers and the layout of paper strips).

Allow this final layer to dry.

To seal the decoupaged surface apply 4-5 layers of the water/PVA mix, allowing each layer to dry, with a final sealing of an acrylic, spray or polyurethane varnish – the reason this project only requires one layer of varnish is so that your cuff will remain flexible enough to put on and off.

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Once your cuff is finished you can adorn it with blingy bits….my cuff was a little big for my wrist so I sewed buttons and leather thong onto it as fasteners to fit my wrist – or any size wrist – it is adjustable!

Conclusion

Below are pics of other examples where the bottles I used fitted my wrist so no fasteners were needed. I also made a choker and ring …. the ring was made from the screw top part of the button which I removed using a hack saw as it is thicker than the body of the bottle.

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I hope you enjoyed this crafty tutorial, and have a great day with many more to come!

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For the next #CIJParty post please see main party post.