Actually I grew up upcycling before the word was even vogue. Coming from a family of 6 kids and being the youngest my parents were upcyclers as well. This was just natural to them as they were born in the early 1900’s when things were never thrown out. It just was unheard of. I remember watching my grandmother make rugs from old clothes, mittens from old sweaters. She would sew them on her old Singer Sewing machine. My mother had a sewing machine which she only used for patching. I taught myself how to sew by making Barbie doll clothes from worn clothes. I still have that old machine and its wooden case but I now use a more modern one.
Other upcycles which I have sold quite a few of are my sweater mittens. Every thrift store I walk into I look for wool or fleece sweaters with birds, animals, nature embroidered or as part of the fabric. I try to incorporate those parts of the sweater to make the mittens unique. I also make them warm and I’ve had nothing but positive feedback from them. I also started to make leather mittens from old leather jackets and hand paint wildlife pictures on them to make them unique as well. This winter I started to make bomber hats with animal or bird patches to match the mittens I sell.
I started selling on Etsy just over a year ago and I’m a member of a few teams. I feel I’ve done well with my sales and it motivates me to create more. The Oh Canada Team is a great group of Canadians and are the most positive team I’ve been on. They are helpful, giving great feedback to our shops, pictures, items. Giving suggestions of other things we might want to consider making.
On another note, just recently I found the art of felting. I have taught myself using a You-Tube video and have purchased wool roving from fellow Estians. I hope to create my wildlife feltings as life like as I can. My most recent project is a chipmunk. The same animal I tried to tame all those years ago.
It’s sad that we live in a world that tosses away so much without a second thought. We need to teach our kids the art of upcycling. So much money would be saved, the world would be a cleaner place and our children’s creativity would make them more aware of their environment.
My favourite quote;
"One should either be a work of art, Or wear a work of art" ~~~~ Oscar Wilde
My website and blog: thebackyardbear.com