General ramblings


When I first signed up for the Waste Watcher’s challenge, I bombarded poor Emma from the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust with all kinds of upcycling and recycling ideas for workshops and things. She bravely agreed to meet with me to discuss all my crazy schemes, and together we came up with the idea of an Upcycling workshop to run during The Rubbish Diet, to encourage people to look differently at their rubbish.

So, what is Upcycling?

According to Wikipedia, “Upcycling is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value.”

And why is it different to Recycling?

According to Wiki answers: “The main difference between upcycling and recycling is making something of equal or better value without downgrading the original material or creating more pollution during the process. For example the quality of recycled paper is lower than that of new paper and the same holds true with recycled plastics.”

So now you know.

I like to think in very basic terms, that Upcycling is usually something I can do in my own home. And recycling is not. I am sure there are many many flaws with that definition, and the Upcycling purists are probably jumping up and down in a rage, but it makes sense inside my little brain, so that is what I am going with.

Anyway, back to the point of the blog! Emma and I recently ran our very first inaugural Upcycling workshop, in Warminster Library on Saturday morning. Many many thanks go to the staff at Warminster Library for allowing us to use this great space for free, and for helping us to publicise it-I hope we weren’t too noisy..!

Emma and I scratched our heads for a little while about what would be a suitable project. It had to be something that could be acheived in relatively short period of time, and not use too much in the way of things we might need to buy.

And this is what we eventually decided to go with:

magnetic memo board1It’s a magnetic memo boardsΒ  made from a biscuit tin lid! I realise that this sounds a bit rubbish (pun intended…) but I think they look pretty cool.

I am so pleased to say it was a resounding success!

We had 20 people-young and old(er), and everyone seemed to really enjoy it.

I will post a ‘how to’ tomorrow, as no doubt you will all be desperate to have one of these beauties hanging on your wall…

…but for now, here are some photos from the workshop to wet your appetite!


Receiving instructions from Emma!

A very talented pair of Upcyclers..!

A very talented pair of Upcyclers..!

...and another..!

…and another..!

...and another!!

…and another!!

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  • Reply Antonia March 5, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    Many thanks for a lovely morning. Am now hoarding all my tins for future projects. Am thinking Beano decorated treasure tins for boys…

    • Reply Jen March 5, 2013 at 5:07 pm

      Sounds fab! Thankyou for coming. Hoping to repeat the experience soon πŸ™‚

  • Reply Disobedient Child March 4, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    Looks great! I agree, simple is best. It inspires and empowers people to try things for themselves. I absolutely love it when people get back to me after a workshop and say they/their kids have been making more of the things I showed them at home πŸ™‚ These magnet boards look brilliant πŸ™‚

    • Reply Jen March 4, 2013 at 1:41 pm

      Thankyou! We were really pleased with them πŸ™‚ Hopefully will be able to do some more workshops too, which will help spread the Make Do and Mend message..!

  • Reply joelleharris March 4, 2013 at 6:07 am

    Thanks for your definitions….I struggle with what terminology to use! Remade, recycled, upcycled…. and a Lovely simple project to get people thinking!

    • Reply Jen March 4, 2013 at 7:55 am

      Thanks Joelle!

  • Reply Jo aka Kiwijo March 3, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    Brilliant, sometimes simple is good.It means people arent too overwhelmed by taking on new ideas and something quick as well means littler ones dont get bored. Hopefully people will have left thinking about what they could ‘upcycle’ when they got home. Nice one. :o)

    • Reply Jen March 4, 2013 at 7:55 am

      Thanks Jo-it was a really fun way to spend a Saturday morning πŸ™‚

  • Reply sarah@everydaylifeonashoestring March 3, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    Sorry we couldn’t get there but glad it all went well. See you at Trashed?

    • Reply Jen March 3, 2013 at 8:49 pm

      Thanks Sarah. Yep! I’ll be there πŸ™‚

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