Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Upcycling

I'm have found myself perplexed on occasion by many of these DIY people who are greening the world by saving the cardboard from the recycling pile. I mean, some stuff I see is cute. Other times they have taken sleeves from one thing and created a Frankensteinian outfit by sewing them onto another shirt or using them as leg warmers (leg warmers! Can I bow out of environmentalism if it means wearing legwarmers? I think every woman who was in high school in the 80s should get a pass.)

This just floored me: a toilet paper tube covered with wrapping paper to corral an extension cord. Really? I don't have that kind of time. Also, my extension cords come with a handy self-corall-er (that little plastic doohickey that plugs into the female end). Then I put them in a plastic shoebox so they won't slide off the shelf. I suppose what I should have done is saved all my shoe boxes ever so that I could have wrapped one up in card making scraps all fancy like and used that for storage.

You should play along. Go forth, find a ridiculous DIY "upcycle" project. Leave a link in the comments so we can all point and laugh.

PS: I think number 6 might be child abuse.

10 comments:

Laura said...

I'll play along. I buy these cheddar bunny crackers from Annie's for my daughter and it says to recycle the box and use it as a bookmark. Huh? It's a big freaking box!

drea_dear said...

But you could use the box for making flat-folds. I have a stack of empty graham cracker boxes in my garage that someday I *will* cut down for finishing projects. Yeah, right.

Wow, finally a use for all those great tights that...oops, I threw away when they were stretched out or running and I couldn't wear them anymore. Who keeps nylons and tights for nostalgia?

I didn't find any other links, probably because I only click on ones that would actually be useful, like covering old paper towel tubes in wrapping paper, putting magnets inside them and using them to stop drafts.

Kristen said...

A pair of tights as an emergency fanbelt? Sorry, that's a bit too 'MacGyverish' for me. Besides, that's why I have a.) a cell phone, and b.) AAA.

Redwitch said...

OMG I've seen it all now! How on earth have people got time to think these things up? Let alone make them.

I am at this moment looking at my coffee table which has a camera lead on it permanently, uncorralled. Shock. Horror.

BTW I need the leg warmer pass too.

Donna said...

The Treehugger website missed a use for pantyhose.

http://www.makingfriends.com/recycle/recycled_tights_frisbee.htm

Make a Frisbee! Oh. My.

doris said...

Today I've learned that for some people, there truly is too much time. For instance, the person who thought up the cd snowman project you can find here:

http://www.allfreecrafts.com/christmas/cd-snowman.shtml

You'll need to scroll down a bit, but there it is. I think I'll run right home and recycle a cd in just this way! Or not.

mainely stitching said...

I don't have a link because I saw this before I read your blog post, but there was a stunning example of a tablecloth made from used artificial sweeting packets. Uh huh. Like a million of the dumb things. Doesn't anyone else have an issue with storage, or is that just me? I don't even have room for the stuff I need, let alone a years-long sweetner packet collection.

I'm with you on the legwarmers. Bad memories there....

Stephanie said...

Oooh, I definitely want to play. Check out this site full of 'handy' tips for upcycling your household items:

http://www.purdue.edu/dp/envirosoft/housewaste/src/reuse4.htm

Particular favourites include:
- re-using old belts to make collars for your pets;
- using carpet remnants to line your winter boots;
- attaching lone earring(s) to your lapel (to make a brooch, in case that isn't clear why you would do such a thing).

riona said...

Okay, I confess: I am one of those people who finds time to do a weird recycling project:
I make GS fire starters all winter long to use for my charcoal barbecues in the summer by filling carboard egg crates with dryer lint and pouring melted candle ends into the egg cups. You tear the finished fire starters off one cup at a time for lighting your charcoal grill ... it is not nearly as smoky or as malodorous as commercial fire starters ... also there's no flash back like you get when someone uses too much of the commercial liquid. Of course, this is all counter-productive because charcoal barbecueing isn't actually good for the environment.

I also use the clear plastic egg carons as mini-glass houses for starting seedlings for my herb and vegetable garden.

Miriam said...

I am also perplexed, but mostly I can't get past the amount of time and energy people seem to have for these ideas. Where does it come from? I'm lucky to get enough sleep, let alone repurposing toilet paper thingies. I might just be frazzled at the moment.

All people alive in the 80s get a leg warmer pass. And jellies. You seen the sweatbands at American Apparel? I will never understand why people are bringing that decade back.