Thursday, August 8, 2013

Up-Cycling Is Awesome

Recently I had been making Barbie quilts and pillows to sell at our local Farmer's Market, and that made me wonder if there were some patterns online to make Barbie beds. I had wooden beds in mind, but what I found was an article on making a bed from ordinary items like rectangular baskets and garden edging. The article called it up-cycling, which is basically a fancy term for recycling, re-using, refurbishing, and so forth.

This was exciting because I  have been doing that my whole life. When I was very young, I painted an old wooden crate that had a divider in the middle and I used it for a refrigerator. I saved chocolate syrup bottles, egg cartons, orange juice containers, and whatever I could find and made myself some food to put in my fridge. Then I took a box and made a stove complete with four burners drawn on with permanent marker. I had lots of fun with my homemade kitchen even though it wasn't as fancy as the pre-made one my daughter had when she was small.

As an adult my love of re-using things never diminished. I save almost everything from cards to cardboard. When my daughter was about five, I used large sheets of cardboard to make jungle scene for her birthday. My husband also brought me home brown paper from work that I crinkled to make vines.

One of my favorite up-cycled items, however, was an old washtub which I turned into a planter complete with an attached watering can. I also have several smaller tubs, which I painted, and turned into planters as well.

So, after reading the article,  I was once again struck with the urge to creatively recycle. I set off to the thrift store in search of the aforementioned basket but all I could find were round baskets or baskets with large handles. As I roamed the remaining aisles,I spotted a small brass rack, possibly a cd rack, that I knew would make a perfect Barbie day bed for my daughter's Barbies. And even better then that, it was only a dollar forty nine. I quickly snatched it up and headed for home.

Once home I asked my husband to remove the little divider handle that held the cd's up and then I set about to make a small mattress, quilt, and pillows. Having been formerly into patchwork quilting, I had heaps of fabric and batting scraps to choose from. It turned out quite well and the only thinig I'm sorry about is that I didn't find a few more cd racks just like it.

Do you up-cycle? If so, what is your favorite new creation. And if you have never up-cycled before, what are you waiting for?

Signing off for now with wishes for a bright and beautiful day!

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