Ok, so now you want to know, “What is upcycling?”  A friend asked if that was an excuse for hoarding, and my tween daughter thinks I’m just trying to be cool using that term instead of “recycling.” (cue the eyeroll. . .)

For me an object that is upcycled has taken on a whole new life of its own.  What I love about upcycling is that it’s all about creativity–how can I use something in a new and artistic or functional way?  It doesn’t mean just reusing something–“upcycling” encourages, or almost challenges, me to see how far I can stretch an item’s capabilities.

upcycled bed spring as vase

Recently, I cleaned out my shed to make room for a work space.  Way in the back, I have been saving my Granny and Pop’s old metal bed springs.  I had attempted to throw them out when a friend reminded me that surely someone on Pinterest would have an

idea for them.  They are a beautiful bluish green color, and she was right–they have made several lovely items, including a vase filled with dried hydrangeas from my garden.

Next time you’ve got something you don’t want to part with for sentimental reasons, think outside the box.  I’ve seen old shutters hold dishes or photos, ladders hang parallel to the ceiling for pot and pan storage, and picture frames and old window screening transform into beautiful jewelry displays.  Matter of fact, when my old pronged gardening rake broke off the handle, I hung it up and used it to hold tools in my new workspace!

upcycled for tool storage

So keep recycling–it’s good for the environment, but try upcycling–it’s good for the creative spirit.

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