I love to craft using whatever I can find, whether that's in a craft shop, second hand shop or, well, just something laying around! I make and sell a mix of new and upcycled items and one question I always get asked is 'What is upcycling?' Simply put, it's reusing something that's served its purpose and uping its value in some way; this could be in terms of money, usefulness or decoration. Got an old book that's been scribbled in? Use the pictures for gift tags. Got a load of used postage stamps? Decorate a notebook. Today I had a stall at Elsecar Heritage Centre and decided to dedicate it all to upcycling.
It's amazing what you can do with goods past their best or intended use. There are loads of great ideas on the internet and I've added some links to my favourites below. This is something I've always done, but I've only recently found that upcycling is what it's called!
Some of my favourite things to make are greeting cards, gift bags and gift tags like the ones on my stall today. I'll always find something to make, I even upcycled the displays. I covered shoe boxes with pages from a falling to pieces dictionary to act as 'shelves'; covered box lids with maps and music sheets to make little stands; and made price signs by cutting letters out of books and sticking them together to make words.
I had some lovely comments (thank you!) from customers and visitors to the fair who loved the uniqueness and creativity of my stall as well as liking the idea of things not being wasted and finding a new life. I also loved the feedback that people hadn't seen anything like this before and it's not what they usually find at craft fairs - I love the idea of creating something different.
The fair itself had a great choice of crafts and stalls ranging from cupcakes to cardigans, chairs to chutneys and candles to crocheted owls (lots of talented crafters here in Yorkshire!) If you're ever near the Heritage Centre when there's a fair on do call in, they're always full of interesting things. In fact there's one next Sunday 28th July that's vintage and craft...and I have a stall there too!
So, now more people know about upcycling. And hopefully some are inspired to try it too!
If you want to see more about upcycling, take a look at these sites:
This post was kindly shared on Common Ground's linky party. Have a look at the site as there are other upcycling ideas there too!