Monday, 18 October 2010

Guest Folksy Blog Feature 18th October 2010

Upcycle and recycle have become the bywords this year, although the idea of taking something that’s old or that has been used a certain way and then turning it into a completely different object is not a new concept. When I was very young I remember my own mum making santa’s and crackers from loo rolls, using old cards and making gift tags (something I still do today) and the list goes on.

A lot of Folksy sellers are finding interesting ways of reusing and reinventing something out of nothing, make do and mend seems to be the most popular phrase on the planet right now!

I discovered recently through a link with the Daily Mirror online a group of 6 ladies calling themselves the Skip Sisters (genius!) who hale from East Dulwich (my birth place and home for many years) in London. The name says it all and the old saying “where there’s muck there’s brass” is perfectly illustrated with these canny and inspiring women. If youre brave and dont mind getting mucky have a look in the next skip you see - you never know what you may find! (Just remember you need permission to take anything out!)

How do I recycle/upcycle? Well I advertise (at no cost) around my neighbourhood for any unwanted clothes, or anything else I might fancy, in fact if you think about it many of us take clothes and other items to the charity shop, so why not become your own charity shop? I’ve had objections, and if the clothing items are not too good then just use the zips and buttons - they all have a use! Jumpers and cardi’s are good for cushions.

I think people are your main contact, we all have stuff we want to get rid of! Put an ad in the Free Ad’s, lots of papers have them, post a note in your newsagents for very little money or even your local library will give you a small space for nothing.

When do most of us feel the most creative? Christmas time that’s when! We all (I’m sure) have a go at making our own decorations in one form or another, me included. I sometimes baulk at the price of a single decoration (although beautiful) and I think “I could do that”, and these days I do! I have written a post on my blog about wrapping gifts and making them look not only stunning but personal to - please take a look and be inspired. There will be a lot more to come on the run up to Christmas.

I make my own crackers, without the “bang” as its much more fun to say “bang” when you pull it! I cover old boxes (small ones i.e. oxo or spice refill ones) and make them into tree hangings, I don’t buy card holders I just hang them on red or green ribbons around the house (much more festive), I use tissue paper or make my own gift wrap (see blog) and its very addictive making your own! I print all my own cards, make tablecloths out of sheets, placemats out of pillowcases, coasters out of just about anything, even tried using plastic bags in the past, although not good for really hot cups!! Make mini Christmas trees using decorative paper in the shape of a cone, they don’t need decorating if the paper is good and can look really stunning lined up along a mantelpiece. Socks made into Christmas stockings are an old favourite, and always take embellishments off of old Christmas and birthday cards, some of them can be quite stunning. Even old decorations can be given a new lease of life with a bit of glitter!! Pick up pine cones in the late summer/autumn and spray away! Why pay for a cone when they fall off trees?

Just think outside the box and you will be amazed at how creative you can become!

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