Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Upcycling may be a new term for me but, is in no way a new concept.
Forever XXI Peacock Feather Cardigan, $19.80
Make your own by using a plain cardigan, you already own and
adding a cute peacock feather applique, (usually can be ironed on,
may want to sew around edges for extra hold.)
What is Upcycling?

Upcycling is a process in which disposable or discarded items are repurposed to make them valuable, useful, or simply aesthetically pleasing. Upcycling is designed to work in opposition to consumer culture, encouraging people to think of new and innovative ways to use things, instead of simply buying new consumer goods. It also benefits the environment, by promoting reuse over discarding whenever possible.
As most poor people are aware, upcycling has been practiced for centuries, and factories have long used innovative upcycling techniques to ensure that nothing they handle goes to waste. For example, grain processors often burn waste materials like husks and stems to power their plants, thereby eliminating waste and making their operations more efficient.

There are all sorts of examples of upcycling, ranging from building houses out of entirely discarded materials to turning plastic bags into yarn for knitting. Everyone can upcycle, which is part of the appeal, and people can participate at whatever level they feel comfortable with, from delving through dumpsters to salvage useful things to re-using containers rather than tossing them or throwing them out.

Under the upcycling philosophy, everything has a potential use or value, although it might take some creative thinking to figure out what that use is.
Upcycling is essentially the “reuse” in “reduce, reuse, recycle.” Many people find that once they start upcycling, it's hard to stop, and new ideas for upcycling constantly come to mind.
So, I have been "upcycling" for years and didn't even know it.
Sharing clothes with younger siblings, also known as "hand-me-downs," letting out the hem on pants that have gotten too short, saving used baby food jars to hold nick nacks or beads, using an old sheet for a Halloween ghost costume, and so much more but you get my drift.
Anyway, the point of this is that I have renewed my love for the art of "Trashique" or "Trashion" which I like to call it. I have found that you can give some of those boring old clothes in your closet a new life, by adding some lace or appliques to a t-shirt or transforming several pieces of broken jewelry into a fun new peice.
This started because I saw a shirt at Forever21 that I loved. Unfortunately, it didn't come in my size and after looking at it closer I thought, wait I could make that.
Here are a few examples from Forever 21 that I picked to show you how easy this can be using stuff you probably already own. Grab your siccors, needle and thread, some lace and ribbon, and your old clothes. Be creative and have FUN!
Forever XXI Plaid Trimmed Tunic, $19.80
Take any graphic Tee, a skinny belt and some plaid
fabric, and sew fabric to bottom of Tee.
Forever XXI Ruffle Front Tunic, $20
Take any tank or tunic and some ruffles to the front.
Forever XXI Pearl Trim Sweater, $29
Add lace, pearls and pearl buttoms to a plain sweater.
Forever XXI Side Gathered Chiffon Top, $19.80
Plain T-shirt bunch up corner and sew in place, super easy.
Forever XXI Lace Ruffle Top, $29
Plain White Tee, add lace ruffle to the front
and some trim around the collar.
Forever XXI Ruffle Front Cardigan, $32
Add some ribbon and lace to front, collar and cuffs
of a plain sweater or cardigan.
Forever XXI Chiffon Trim Sweater, $29
Plain long sleeve tee, add buttons and ruffle to
front, and ruffle to collar and cuffs.

Forever XXI Pleated Trim Tank, $19.80
Plain tank, add lots of lace ruffles, some ribbon and buttons.

Keep a look out for some of my creations as I get them finished up...

Let me know how you "Upcycle" and your ideas for any "Trashiqued" items you have restructured.

Stay Beautiful - Beauty Queens

1 comment:

  1. Hi Billie,
    Thanks so much for your nice comments on my blog - I just wanted to answer your questions about the tins.
    I print the paper on the computer and then I use either modge podge or golden gel medium (which is both a glue and a lacquer) to "stick" the paper to the tin. The trick is to add the glue both to the back of the paper and then on top of the paper once you have it down and voila - a collaged tin!