Recycle, Upcycle or Repurpose?

Do you ever wonder what the difference is?


Convert waste to a usable material or product

  • Make paper by hand out of lint or recycled cotton
  • Use a tin can to create a desk tidy

Example:  In photo 4 above my handmade paper includes lint, lengths of jute from a damaged ribbon and lavender buds


Re-purpose something from its original state so that, when complete, it is of a greater value than before.

  • Paint or decorate old furniture
  • Make picture frames out of reclaimed wood

Examples:  In photo 3 above I made my ‘New York Garden’ out of scrap copper, wire and beads. The stand was made from two rusty screws and an offcut of steel.  The fascinator in photo 5 above, was for a client in the music industry and included a vinyl record!   


Use an item for something else before it goes through any processes.

  • Cut up fabric to sew something new as Maria did in The Sound of Music when she made clothes out of curtains
  • Make a holdall out of denim jeans

Examples: I used one of my mother’s vintage nightdresses and tulle, or netting, to make the wreath, shown in photo 2, that would look beautiful in a boudoir!   I made the textured heart, seen in photo 1 above, having saved the tiniest offcuts of assorted ribbons

Find out how I can help you put unwanted items to good use.