December 6th, 2011 by Tom Chu
Reduce, reuse, recycle — the three R’s that all environmentally friendly people live by and the principles that we are first taught in kindergarten as children. But while few of us have lived by them, many are now making the move toward finally protecting the planet in any little way they can.
You might not be an eco-superhero. You might not make regular rounds at secondhand shops or the recycling center or even sort your garbage by plastic types. You might not even realize that you have taken steps to reduce your resource use. But if you are here reading this, there is hope for you yet, because you want to know how to upcycle items by using them for something else.
This isn’t a difficult thing to do, even for those who aren’t especially crafty. Whether you are looking for something productive for your home or just want to decorate, these 10 blogs are dedicated to showing you how.
Run by a woman who calls herself Gail, this blog is full of awesome ideas. The focus is to take items that are inexpensive, and probably on-hand, and create professional-looking items from them. But instead of them being extremely complicated and taking a lot of experience and crafty know-how, they are simple for anyone. Even kids can take part.
It is a rather nice change from the usual kitschy, cheesy crafts you see on some other blogs. Right now, Gail has a bunch of Halloween posts up, and she is good about creating ideas for any holiday on its way. Also, be sure to check out the food posts, such as the jams and chutneys. They are delicious!
RecycleCindy has run a blog for years. Originally, it was a place to simply share ideas for eco-friendly crafts using recycled materials and items found around the house. That is how it remained for quite some time. But then, in 2008, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
At that point, her blog became a two-fold effort. On one hand, you have the same information she shared before. On the other, you have a story of her brave fight against the Big C and a chronicle of how her life has changed and adapted since. A great deal of her focus is on crochet.
3. Recycle This
Run by couple Louisa Parry and John Leach from Yorkshire, England, the two have had Recycle This going for four years now. They started it up after eating some pistachios and not knowing what to do with the shells — no joke. Parry runs the majority of the blog and writes for a few others as well.
Leach covers the technical elements and is the co-founder of Brightbox, a popular Europe Rails hosting company. The blog is great for all things green living, as the two are dedicated eco-enthusiasts who grow some of their own food, use their own compost and even have chickens.
The author of this blog refers to herself as a “recovering business administrator,” a kind of description I am sure many of us can appreciate and relate to.
Rather than continue to live her life obsessed with the material, she instead set out to show what can be done with what is already within your possession or easily acquired. A lot of the posts are about her personal journey as well as her own projects. It is inspiring, especially for people who finds themselves always going a mile a minute.
Canadian writer and designer Brittany McMaster named her blog after her self-proclaimed cucumber addiction, which costs her literally “dollars and dollars per week.” She focuses on home design — many modern and clean-looking, functional designs.
She takes pictures of places she goes and posts them for others to see real-life examples of what just “works.” Many are recycled items that have been bought secondhand or made.
Julie Kundhi is a freelance writer and designer who has a special love for sewing. She uses old and recycled materials for this hobby, creating new ideas as she goes along. One of her favorite activities? Unraveling sweaters for the yarn, which she keeps in balls for use later. She is also an avid crocheter, and you can find adorable crafts she has done with that yarn.
7. Daily Danny
Most people have probably heard of Danny Seo. For those who haven’t, he first became known for the creation of a charity in his early teens, with a couple of friends. A few years later, it had become the largest teen-owned charity in the world and a platform for a lifetime of environmental work aimed at teaching “simply green” living.
He has written books, magazines, and websites, as well as done news columns, appeared on television … anything to get the word out. His blog is extremely helpful for upcyclers, as there are a ton of ideas on how to do it easily. He also has some excellent travel posts, which includes his time in Seoul, South Korea.
One of the hardest items to upcycle sometimes is paper. But it is also one of the most diverse, especially if you have an idea. Cynthia Devening has dedicated herself to creating those ideas and sharing them with the Internet world.
Her blog is all about these crafts she participates in, both alone and with her kids. If you tend to have a lot of paper laying around (and if you have children, this is almost guaranteed), then you can really benefit from checking her out.
Home Crafts Blog is run by Melissa D, an avid crafter who shows you how you can use recycled or cheap materials to make just about anything. This includes costumes, food and decorations. All of her ideas are nonprofit and free to use without credit.
10. Crochet Spot
Crochet is a wonderful way to reuse yarn. Crochet Spot is there to show you how to do it. Originally created by Rachel Choi, it is now run by herself and four other writers who love to play with yarn. You can find hundreds of patterns, which have been added since the site’s establishment in 2009. It also has full tutorials.
There are hundreds of craft blogs, and many of them have a focus on upcyled items. What are some of your favorites?
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