For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term Upcycyling, it’s when you take an item that is no longer of use like an old holey sweater or a broken wooden pallet and you craft it into something shiny and new. You can turn an old sweater into leg warmers or a cat bed. That broken pallet can be morphed into a raised planter box or even bookshelves.
Here is a Most Excellent upcycle that was found on Craftster. Mieljolie was looking for inspiration for a piece to donate to a silent auction at an upcoming Steampunk event. Look at her creation!
It’s hard to believe it but this hat is made up of strips cut from a remnant of polar fleece and the metal tabs that you find on cans of soda. The technique is called tabistry and you use the strips to weave the tabs together. She changed the color of the polar fleece to make the stripes. The beer goggles are made from 2 (now empty obviously!) beer cans, some leather bits and studs for decorative effects.
Ingenious I say!
Today’s “Geek Craft” might not be the usual conventional type of craft. However, it is pretty resourceful. A Fairy Garden is a miniature garden complete with structures and actual living plants. It is designed to give your green thumb a place to tend year-round and to lure fairies and with them, good luck, to your home. It’s a tiny space created and tended with love.
SweetCheesus posted this piece on Imgur last June. It’s a one year anniversary gift to his girlfriend, another Imgur user named slantedlight12. It’s sitting in an 18″ clay pot that he found at a local flower shop, and bought all the pieces and parts for under $50, and built it in about four hours. Half of that time was spent just breaking up the large pot.
It’s a nice bit of gardening and upcycling, as well as being pretty creative. SweetCheesus lives in North Carolina, so he’s got hot and humid weather most of the spring/summer. The plants came from a farmer’s market but he didn’t get the names of them.
I like this craft for it’s ease, it’s versatility and it’s “green-ness,” because it’s an upcycling project. Blondje601 wanted a nicer place to keep his comics, instead of just regular boxes, so he picked up an old metal filing cabinet from Goodwill for a few bucks.
He spray painted it black, and, using an overhead projector, he drew on two different Batman logos. When those were painted, he also painted the handles yellow. Boom, instant new custom storage.
The great thing about a project like this, is that you could do it it, for maybe even cheaper. By checking your local Craigslist “Free” section or Freecycle, you could score yourself the same kind of filing cabinet. Don’t like Batman (well, you might want to keep that to yourself so I don’t judge you), how about a red and blue cabinet for Spider-Man or Wonder Woman? Orange, black and white for the Rebels of Star Wars? You could even do lavender and pale yellow for a Fluttershy-themed cabinet.
If you don’t have access to a school’s old fashioned over-head projector, like Blondje601 did, then check with your friends. You could always use a USB micro projector plugged into your computer.
And remember, an awesome cabinet like this doesn’t have to be just for comics. Even important files and bills need a cool place to live. Really, the possibilities are limitless.
With the holidays over, school’s definitely back in session. Why not dress up your everyday look with a fun DIY Doctor Who Inspired Tote Bag made upcycling clothing? Elizabeth Hudec on DIY Ready has got a tutorial on making this fun bag using a tweed jacket, button down dress shirt, bow tie, and couple of belts (for the straps). And if you were feeling adventurous, you could probably take the leftover sleeve parts and make pockets for the inside! A-llonsy!
More Links of Interest
I have a friend who creates awesome jewelry by recycling old comics, which got me thinking . . . what else can a person make with old comics? That’s how I found this tutorial on Oh! Rubbish! Blog. It’s a super easy DIY, with great pictures. Plus, I’d bet magazines, newspapers, and old photos would probably work well with this idea too. Just think of the possibilities!
Karen Nyberg works for NASA as a flight engineer, and is currently floating around the International Space Station, orbiting the Earth every 91-and-a-bit minutes at an altitude of around 380 km. She became the 50th woman to ever go into space in 2008 when she was mission specialist on board Space Shuttle Discovery.
But you know what makes Karen so awesome? She is a crafter. And last week Karen crafted a toy dinosaur in SPACE! It doesn’t get much more geek-crafty than that.
Karen says, “I made this dinosaur for my son last Sunday, September 22. It is made out of velcro-like fabric that lines the Russian food containers found here on the International Space Station. It is lightly stuffed with scraps from a used t-shirt.” So not only is this a fun craft, but it’s also some pretty good upcycling too!
Make sure you check out Karen’s Pinterest page, where there are some awesome photos from and on board the ISS. You can also follow her on Twitter as @AstroKarenN.