Sunday, December 26, 2010

Upcycling? What the What?

Wikipedia states (so we know we are getting some quality information here on this blog) that "Upcycling" is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value.

I had never encountered the word upcycling prior to being on etsy. Sometimes, people seem to pile crapola on top of garbage, price it at 1000x it's worth (but really people, 0 x 1000 is still 0), and call it an original piece of art.

These are pieces that end up on Regretsy (check it out, too much fun - my goal is to one day end up on it).

There are however, people who really know how to do it right with upcycling. My attempt with upcycling was when I took vintage teacups and mugs and made soy candles out of them. Soy candles are infinitely better (in my humble opinion) over paraffin candles, because soy is vegetable derived and paraffin is petroleum derived.

(Interested? Click Here)

I personally loved this vintage retro print on the tea cup, and scented it a yummy warm chai scent.

The typical items that are upcycled are vintage clothing pieces and broken jewelry. I like looking for interesting things that you would never think would have any other function other than their original one - and someone is smart enough...or crazy enough to give it a new life.

Recycled Vinyl LP Spin Art Bowl - Melted Media - Turquoise, gold and silver
(Interested? Click Here)

I have had many a Smirnoff Vodka bottle in my possession in the past (and present). I think it would be quite suave to enjoy my vodka and orange pop (it's a drink!) out of an Upcycled Smirnoff Vodka Bottle Glass:

Recycled Vodka Liquor Bottle Beverage Glasses Set Repurposed Glass
(Interested? Click Here)
Home decor is an excellent way to display upcycled items. Some make an excellent conversation piece, like the above Record Bowl. Many however, can seamlessly be integrated into your interior design.
I particularly like items like this mirror:
Upcycled Aqua Mirror - Vintage
(Interested? Click Here)
And this decor set:
Robins Egg Blue Collection Candle Holders and Home Decor
(Interested? Click Here)

Typically some of my favourite pieces found on Etsy are vintage items that have been repurposed and upcycled to fit into a modern day decor.

Check out my Treasury on Upcycled items from Etsy.


  1. Thank you so much for sharing this. This is a very timely blog entry. My local thrift shop has literally hundreds of vinyl records on the shelf. I was just wondering the other day whay could be done with them. Love It!

    Thanks again
    sandmanglassworks on etsy

  2. Thank you so much for the article! Everything is so wonderful that has been selected and featured!

    I'm with you, I love repurposed, upcycled, recycled everything vintage or not!!

    Thanks again,
    Memory Ln. Vintage on Etsy