Friday, June 26, 2009

Upcycling/Recycling 4

Deb's Designs began as an effort to work through my fabric scraps. I have been sewing since 8th grade, and I now carry an AARP card, so I have quite a stash! Due to my short attention span, I gave up quilting and sewing for weddings. I get much more excited about projects that I can finish in a day or two!

Growing up in a "thrifty" family, I learned early to repurpose--baby food jars were used for storage in my dad's shop, scrap wood was used to make toys and clocks, outgrown clothes were used for quilts and pillows--it was a challenge to see how to use an item for something other than its original purpose. I've never quite gotten past the concept of re-making instead of replacing, so now I enjoy upcycling potential trash into useful and unique accessories. I'm happy to know that now I'm in the mainstream that is catching on to the idea of recycling /repurposing /upcycling. It's so much more fun to create something original than to purchase something mass-produced!

Loose Buttons is another wonderful shop that Up Cycles. Here are her comments on her shop.Blessed with a creative mother, I began sewing at the age of 7 years. I have to credit my sprit of reperpousing clothing and other items to my mother. My mother raised us alone, so we learned how to survive stylishly, with what we had. That ment learning how to sew.

Mom, taught me how to take an old garment and give it new style and life. She would say, what you save in redesigning (todays term, Upcyling) you can buy a new pair of shoes to go with the design. Wow! Party Bounus in our house. New Shoes!!!!!

Upcyling really isn't new, it has been around for along time. Mom would tell us stories about WWII when everything was rationed. She and her sisters would take their old cloths and rework them, tearing a used garment apart sleeve, yokes, collars etc. and re work them, sometimes making a new garment. Fabric wasn't plentiful in those days nor was the selection great. You had to use your imagination.

Starting a shop at Etsy was a turning point for me in my creative life. While I enjoy many creative crafts, I don't care to keep everything I make. I needed a way to move the items I create. Wha La! Etsy to the rescue. My pricing at Etsy is built to move the items that I create. I still work a day job, Etsy is more of a hobby for me, but what I earn allows me to stay well supplied in materials. I love Etsy!


  1. Wonderful shops and interviews! I love the idea of turning literal trash into treasure! My daughter loves cheetos, she'd adore that bag!

    It's so wonderful that both these sellers learned at such an early age! I only wish everyone could be taught how to upcycle so young.

  2. Great Post....It's so nice to see people re-purposing items. There is always something that can be done with what other people call trash...

  3. I love to reuse it. Call it what you will, but if it can be upcycled/recycled repurposed, it's more fun!

  4. Snack food bag-bags - now there's something really up my alley!


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