Happy Upcycling Day

It’s Britain’s second National Upcycling Day!

The desire to be  innovative  and environmentally consciousness has led to upcycling in nearly all areas of life.  The “Upcycling Revolution” is the result of a desire to contribute positively to our planet and also be the owner of a unique, one of a kind product unlike any other. This has led to a shift back to handmade artisan craftsmanship.

40% of Brits say they have tried their hand at upcycling and a further 1 in 5 upcycle on a regular basis according to research carried out by classified website Gumtree. However, 40 per cent who don’t upcycle say the biggest obstacle to upcycling is not feeling creative enough, whilst a third don’t know what to upcycle. There are however,  lots of blogs and also workshops to help you. In my area  (Sheffield 11) please get in touch about upcycling workshops.

It is amazing what a lick of paint or varnish and a needle and thread can achieve! Sometimes a power tool can be put to good use too.

And if you don’t want to upcycle your own stuff, then why not give or sell it to someone else and avoid landfill?


Recycling Vs Upcycling?

Recycling is the process of taking waste, generally consumer materials – plastic, paper, metal or glass – breaking it down and turning it into a reusable product.


Upcycling involves turning an unwanted product into a better quality product. It’s about prolonging  a products life, but also the desire for bespoke items. For example, when we had small children, and our shower cubical started to leak, we moved the shower cubicle to the garden rather than the tip, where on its side it was a safe large cold frame for plants, but with reinforced glass, we didn’t have to worry about our children’s footballs causeing unsafe broken glass.


There are also a plethera of other terms that can really be used interchangably: restoring, reclaiming, remaking, repurposing, reusing, reviving… Let me know if you can think of others, especially if they begin with the letter r.

I love making things from the lovely hardwearing fabric of denim jeans (which may just be outgrown or have a stain or wear in one place) and men’s shirts.

My Upcycled Apron: made from a pair of jeans and a shirt

My Upcycled Apron: made from a pair of jeans and a shirt

These are available to purchase


I also love getting around moth holes in woollen clothes by “fulling”- washing at a high temperature to shrink them . I can then use them as the batting in a quilt, as in my Bronte Challenge Quilt 

I can also turn them into a different garment, as with the wool tunic I made for an upcycled garment challenge.

I would love to here about how you save money and get creative with upcycling, on any day of the year.


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