Any kind of Upcycling is good but if you can use items made of plastic our planet will love you for it! Plastics can take hundreds of years to break down and unfortunately some are predicted to take millions of years. When plastic remains in our landfill or in our oceans it not only harms our marine & wild life but it begins to enter our food chain and can leak toxic chemicals into our earth. Any plastic that can be Upcycled means less in our landfills and a reduction in consumption if you can avoid buying something new, a win-win all round!
What’s in your wardrobe??? Sometimes you don’t have to look too far for products or materials to Upcycle, there are hundreds of things you can do with your preloved fashion. Convert old shirts into bags, pant pockets in to funky wall features that can be used for storage, denim can make great upholstery fabric given its durable characteristics, think cushions, ottomans and lounges, extra buttons and broken accessories can make great pieces of art. A quick search on google can bring you a bucket load of project ideas so get clicking!
Take your time…there is no point dedicating time to Upcycling something only to end up with a mediocre product that you don’t love. Many people associate recycled or Upcycled products with poor quality or a sacrifice in design or functionality but it doesn’t have to be that way. Pay attention to the detail and take the time to complete a project properly so that your new item will be one of value and become something that you treasure and want to hold onto for years to come.
Pallet Upcycling is fun and super popular at the moment. They’re versatile, in abundance and take up lots of space in landfill which makes them ideal candidates for furniture projects. My advice for pallet Upcycling would be to check the stamps on the timber before buying or acquiring pallets for your new project. Every pallet needs a stamp which identifies where the pallet has come from and how it’s been treated. The best pallets to go for are the Aussie ones as we don’t fumigate or use chemicals on our pallets. All pallets will have an abbreviated 2 letter country code on them so if you find AU you’re safe, anything else such as US, CN or EU etc will have a treatment stamp below the country code, avoid these if they have markings such as EHB an insecticide treatment, CCA which stands for Copper Chrome Arsenate or MB which is a fumigation treatment called Methyl Bromide. These three stamps you should steer well clear of regardless of how appealing they may be when they’re cheap or even free. International pallets with HT printed on them mean that they’ve been heat treated which involves no chemicals and is the safest form of sterilisation so these are good to use. If there are any other unfamiliar markings or you are unsure do your research first. Once you’ve found the right pallets for your job it’s all systems go….Enjoy!
It doesn’t always have to have a purpose. Upcycling is an artform in itself, I’ve seen some incredible pieces of art that have been Upcycled from ordinary household junk. Beautiful portraits made of junkmail, enormous sculptures made of tyres and scrap metal and smaller sculptures made of phone cords and wire coathangers, chandeliers made of spoons, pens and bike chains, wall features and murals from buttons, paint cans, bottle lids and other small objects and even walls of plastic rubbish as art installations to remind us all that it doesn’t just go away. Whatever your passion,