General ramblings

My Big Weekend at the Great Home Hack!

March 17, 2015

This weekend I was lucky enough to be invited to be a part of London’s first Upcycling event, at the Great Home Hack!

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I was asked to present a Masterclass, and came up with the idea of showing people how and where to find things to ‘hack’ (alter/upcycle) their homes for free, or at least less.
My presentation was called “Something for Nearly Nothing: How to Hack your Home for Free” and I did one masterclass on each day of the weekend.

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It was first public outing as “Make Do and Mend-able” and I went armed with some lovely new business cards, (which I promptly forgot to hand out..!) and a small amount of trepidation!
I was more than a little worried that no-one would turn up to hear me speak.
But I need not have worried!
Both days saw a good turnout, and people seemed engaged with what I was saying, and I hope I managed to point them in the direction of some resources they may not have used before.

Aside from my talk (!!), there were very many awesome things about the Great Home Hack.

I got to meet some of my upcycling hero’s who I’ve known for a while on Twitter, but never met in real life:

  • Chris from Eco-Chic interiors was also giving a Masterclass-Chris is the master-mind of #upcycledhour every Tuesday on Twitter, which provides a real focus for the upcyclign community to come together and share their creations and ideas
  • Lynn Haughton from The Upcycle Movement, and creator of the fabulous Textile Ted, had flown over from Ireland to have a look around. Lynn is one of the contributors to my forthcoming e-book, and is as lovely in real life as she has been online and via e-mail! I am in awe of all that Lynn has achieved-she founded Ireland’s first ever upcycling event, ‘The Big Upcycle’, and has managed to make her passion into her day job-she is totes amazeballs!
  • Inma from The Old School Club is big hero of mine.
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    She has done what I would love to do! Inma had a crowdfunding campaign to get The Old School Club off the ground, and it is now a successful business, running all kinds of classes, from basic sewing to furniture painting. Inma also had the genius idea of having a creche running alongside her daytime classes, to allow young mums to come along and get their crafting fix, while their little ones have fun in the creche!
  • Emma from Turn Your Hand To had also come all the way over from Ireland. AND she was managed to carry her entry into the #upcycledhour upcycling competition in her hand luggage! She won! Here she is with her winning creation, and MaxMcMurdo, who judged the competition:
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  • Rachel from Rework London was showcasing the work of the great project she works on where unemployed young people are given new skills refurbishing furniture and electrical items:
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  • Ellie from Sprigasaurus was there with her fabulous bags made from old coffee sacks and some VERY gorgeous kids coats made from recycled textiles!
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  • And I met Donna Fenn from Remade in Britain, and was able to thank her for being such a fab interviewee!
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AND I got to meet some great people and projects that I hadn’t come across before:

  • Stuart from Stu-art Aviation upcycles bits from old aeroplanes! And they look AMAZING!GHH pics17
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  • Gary from Green in Mind had packed masterclasses showing people some of the painting techniques he uses on his furniture upcycles:GHH pics01
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  • Amanda from Love All Vintage had some drool worthy French vintage fabrics, some even complete with original darns!GHH pics15
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  • And Project Up’s pallet furniture masterclasses were sold out each day, as they divulged their secrets for pallet dismantling and re-use!GHH pics03
  • Off the Wall have come up with the genius idea of selling British designer wallpaper by the metre, so you don’t have to buy a whole roll if you want something unique and funky for your upcycling projects.GHH pics16

I didn’t manage to get round and have a chat with everyone, so apologies if you’re not on here-I’ll have to try harder next time!

It was a great event, and a fantastic opportunity for the upcycling community to come together, meet each other, swap ideas, get inspired and showcase all the fabulous re-use that is going on in the UK and beyond!
Three cheers for Max McMurdo and Brancott Estate for having the vision and the know-how to make it happen 🙂

PS. Don’t forget to hop over to the new site, Make Do and Mend-able, to check out all the new resources, and sign up for the monthly newsletter!

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