repurposed materials

20
NOV
2013

Light installations made from waste at the Lumiere Festival

Last week the incredible Lumiere Festival lit up the city of Durham, UK.  The festival showcased stunning light installations by artists from all over the world. One of the works on show was Litre of Light by My Shelter Foundation, a Filipino charity that has brought light to... Read More →
31
OCT
2013

Musical manuscript art installation by Susie Macmurray

This summer, Susie MacMurray exhibited a new work at Fabrica gallery in Brighton, UK.  ‘Resonance’ is made up of thousands of musical manuscripts ranging from traditional hymns to modern jazz which are suspended from the ceiling of the gallery which used to be a... Read More →
28
OCT
2013
Two dog sculptures made from antique lace by textile artist Donya Coward

Textile terrier sculptures by Donya Coward

A while ago we featured the work of Nottingham artist Donya Coward who makes work of art from Victorian antique embroideries, fabrics and haberdashery and vintage Nottingham and French laces.  We couldn’t resist sharing these adorable freestanding Jack Russell Terriers.  As... Read More →
21
OCT
2013

Jelly mould scented candle by Ines Cole

Simple and unique  – we love this scented candle by Ines Cole made from a vintage jelly mould. The mould is hand poured with organic soya wax and lightly scented with natural essential oils in Limeleaf and Ginger.  It can also be hand washed and used as a jelly mould after... Read More →
17
OCT
2013

Reclaimed car windscreen art by Brian Smallwood

Brian Smallwood is a Nottingham artist who reclaims car windscreens and turns them into works of art.  Over a million windscreens are scrapped each year.  Smallwood purchases them from eBay and scrap dealers before cleaning them up and painting on to them with acrylics – an... Read More →
10
OCT
2013

Sari silk upholstered chairs by Meb Rure

Istanbul design firm Meb Rure have created a family of furniture made of American white oak with upholstery made from balls of recycled Nepalese yarn.  The colourful balls are made from saris create a lovely spongey seat for a chair and footstool – perfect for brightening... Read More →
08
OCT
2013
Upcycled Vinyl Record Tiles

Tiles cut from vinyl records

A few months ago we blogged about Disc O’Clock’s laser cut vinyls clocks.  They have recently brought out a new product – decorative tiles made from cut records.  Made in Italy, the tiles come in a range of retro style geometric designs and fit together to... Read More →
30
SEP
2013

Creating the Vintage Look book by Ellie Laycock

Out this month is a book by Ellie Laycock, Creating the Vintage Look: 35 ways to upcycle for a stylish home.  There are some great projects to experiment with at home, some of which are really very easy.  A few favourites include the silk scarf cushion, vintage tin clock and... Read More →
18
SEP
2013
Degross for Heal's Upcycled Lighting

Lighting at Heal’s made from upcycled chemical bottles

Great to see more upcycled pieces appearing at Heal’s.  This new cut glass lighting collection by DeGross for Heal’s is British made, crafted from upcycled amber glass chemical bottles and finished with brass fitting.  As well as a table lamp, wall lamp, floor lamp... Read More →
28
AUG
2013

Bic biro chandeliers by Lucas Munoz

Proving humble objects have more to offer than first meets the eye, these lights and chandeliers are all made from Bic biro pens.  The Spanish designer Lucas Munoz took his inspiration from the 1920’s Charleston fringe and combined it with an iconic 20th-century object... Read More →
23
JUL
2013

Jewellery made from found objects by Jasmine Matus

Jasmine Matus is a contemporary jeweller and maker from Sydney.  Experimenting with concepts, materials and scale, her pieces often juxtapose unconventional materials, pairing precious metals with plastics, paint, wood, felt and found objects.  She says “Jewellery is... Read More →
19
JUL
2013

Laser cut vinyl record clocks by Disc O’Clock

I have been dubious about the upcycled vinyl record clock, but it looks like Disc O’Clock have a lot more to offer than most. Made in Italy, clocks are crafted from scratched records donated by partner DJs and are intricately laser cut into awesome silhouettes.  Purchase... Read More →
15
JUL
2013

Kinetic sculpture crafted from toothpicks by Scott Weaver

According to artist Scott Weaver, an estimated 3,000 painstaking hours have gone into creating this unbelievable sculpture made entirely from toothpicks.  The detail (not to mention the fragility) is almost impossible to fathom.  But it gets better – the work entitled... Read More →
07
JUL
2013

Postcard hanger chandelier

The ceiling light you can upcycle over and over.  This three tiered Page Chandelier allows you to clip on book pages, post cards, tickets, photos or anything that takes your fancy and illuminate them from inside.  Very easy to update whenever you fancy a change.  You can purchase... Read More →
27
JUN
2013

Lighting made from upcycled tin cans for Helsinki diner

Back in 2011 we featured the Heinz Lamp by Dutch designer Willem Heefer.  The designer has now produced a series of lamps for the Midhill Diner in Helsinki which belongs to top Finnish chef Hans Välimäki.  Heefer had 334 cans collected and cleaned before transforming them into... Read More →
17
JUN
2013

Paulo Goldstein makes repairs a design feature

Last year, Brasil born designer, maker and artist Paulo Goldstein began a collection of works called Repair is Beautiful.  Salvaging broken chairs, lights and other objects, Paulo takes a Da Vinci-esque approach to fixing things, making the repair mechanism a design feature of... Read More →
03
JUN
2013

Robots made from obsolete objects by Andrea Petrachi

Robots made from dolls are not usually my thing. In fact, it’s the kind of upcycling that gives me nightmares. However, there is something strangely endearing about these characters by Andrea Petrachi, first spotted on This is Colossal. The Italian artist uses old razors,... Read More →
27
MAY
2013

Furniture made from skateboard decks by Deckstool

Deckstool exhibited their work at Grand Designs Live earlier this month.  They are a Pennsylvania company who make furniture from recycled skateboard decks.  Each piece of furniture retains the unique scratches and graffiti of the original board. Decks are even held together by... Read More →
20
MAY
2013

Artfully assembled rubbish by Tim Noble and Sue Webster

It was whilst working for Gilbert and George as students in the late 1990s that Brit artists Tim Noble and Sue Webster  began experimenting with the assemblage of household rubbish.  Born out of this was their first shadow sculpture ‘Miss Understood & Mr Meanor’ which is... Read More →
15
MAY
2013

Wood pallet lamps by Factory Twenty One

These superb pendant lights are made from recycled wooden pallets by East Sussex based company Factory Twenty One.  There are five different shade colours and six different elastic colours to choose from.  Purchase on Etsy here! Images via Etsy zp8497586rq Read More →
13
MAY
2013

Painted teabag installation at Rolling Greens

Tea Sunburst is part artwork-part retail merchandising which makes use of 3000 teabags dipped in paint.  The installation adorned the homewares department of Rolling Greens in Hollywood last year.  Very clever indeed.  Via Los Angeles I am Yours Images via Los Angeles I am Yours... Read More →
07
MAY
2013

Lampshades decoupaged with vintage papers

Loving these beautiful lampshades by Australian upcyclist Rachel Burke and founder of Patturn.  She uses decoupage to apply vintage maps, dress patterns, sheet music and comic book pages to the shades which are made to order or available to buy here on Etsy! Images via Patturn... Read More →
02
MAY
2013

Homeware made from Thai rice bags at Habitat

Great to see this exclusive range of products at Habitat which are made of bright and colourful recycled, traditional Thai rice bags.  This includes the Tung 5-pocket concertina planter in blue or yellow (£12), Tung storage box (£20-£22), Tung round strawberry planter (£15) and... Read More →
30
APR
2013

Repaired buckets by Cordula Kehrer

According to the children’s song, the response to ‘there’s a hole in my bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza, dear Liza’ is ‘with a straw, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry’ – a make do and mend principle taken literally by German designer... Read More →
18
APR
2013

Landscapes carved from books by Guy Laramee

The intricacy of this work is exceptional.  Remarkably, these atmospheric landscapes are sculpted from old books.  The series named Biblios is by multi-disciplinary artist Guy Laramee who says of his work, “So I carve landscapes out of books and I paint Romantic landscapes.... Read More →
17
APR
2013

Lighting made from found objects by Louis-Marie Planquette

These whimsical lights by French designer Louis-Marie Planquette are made from objects found in flea markets and antique shops, “…created from recycled objects‚ in an atmosphere of simplicity‚ humour‚ poetry and balance.”  His works are inspired by... Read More →
12
APR
2013

Nespresso capsule jewellery by Old Gold Berlin

A brilliant example of imaginative reuse – Nespresso coffee capsules made into jewellery by Old Gold Berlin.  As they’ve discovered, the tiny pearlescent cups are far too pretty to throw away and when manipulated into various shapes can take on the appearance of... Read More →
27
MAR
2013

Furniture made from shredded magazines by Jens Praet

‘Shredded’ is a range of furniture made from shredded Elle Decor magazines by Belgian designer Jens Praet.  With the help of clear resin and moulds, the finished material not only boasts an attractive and unique colour and pattern, but a hardness and durability... Read More →
18
MAR
2013

JHBeulah vintage button accessories

On a recent sunny Sunday I found myself at Marcos & Trump on Columbia Road, Hoxton where I came across some gorgeous jewellery pieces by JHBeulah. Throughout her university studies Jemima Beulah worked with some prestigious tailors and witnessed a substantial amount of waste... Read More →
14
MAR
2013

Art made from matches by Pei-San Ng

Chicago artist Pei-San Ng likes to make things in modules.  Her work often involves using hundreds of identical everyday objects as pixels to create an image, word, symbol or icon.  The matches used in these works are designed to tease the viewer.  She says, “When you look at... Read More →
12
MAR
2013

Richard Stankiewicz at Centre Pompidou

Still en vacance à Paris (now covered in a blanket of snow) I came across the intriguing work of Richard Stankiewicz in the Centre Pompidou.   The artist is an American sculptor who began creating work in the 1940s whilst in the US navy.  His assemblage sculpture is made of... Read More →
03
MAR
2013

Carved crayon sculpture by Pete Goldlust

You wouldn’t imagine a humble set of Crayolas would easily cross over into the realm conceptual art.  Pete Goldlust subverts the crayon’s association with child’s play to explore themes to do with human nature, action and psychology.  Each crayon is a hand... Read More →
01
MAR
2013

Jewellery made from vintage finds

Cate Wood has been designing jewellery with collected objects since 1992.  Naturally drawn to old, worn and weather-beaten things with a story to tell, she transforms vintage finds into unique one-off jewellery pieces.  Leather, buttons, keys, brush bristles and horsehair are... Read More →
11
FEB
2013

Creatures crafted from broken electronics

These charming creatures are all made from broken electronics and machine parts, mobile phones and salvaged scraps, cleverly put together by Rhode Island artist Ann P. Smith whose work has been exhibited across the United States.  Her portfolio includes goats, birds, jellyfish,... Read More →
07
FEB
2013

Zac Freeman assembled junk portraits

Zac Freeman‘s portraits are made of assembled found objects, disposable goods and leftover junk.  Each work offers the viewer a realistic portrait from a distance which on closer inspection emerges into a fascinating collection of objects.  The ephemera chosen is key to... Read More →
05
FEB
2013

Art and sculpture installation by Tadashi Kawamata

Japanese artist Tadashi Kawamata creates giant amorphous structures from found materials that he installs in public locations.  Structures made from wooden crates and boxes appear to engulf the buildings or flow out of them, transforming materials that are easily overlooked into... Read More →
23
NOV
2012

Reclaimed signage by Tom Fruin for Brooklyn’s Wythe Hotel

Found signage is made into new signage for the very cool Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn.  The ‘Hotel’ sign is by artist Tom Fruin who often uses found or discarded objects and materials in his work.  He also created a piece for the outside of the hotel – Watertower,... Read More →
22
NOV
2012

Art made from toilet rolls

You wouldn’t let the Andrex puppy into this art gallery. Trans-layers I and Trans-layers II are beautiful art installations made from the humble toilet roll by Hamburg based Turkish artist  Sakir Gökcebag, with surprisingly majestic results. Gökcebag frequently uses... Read More →
21
NOV
2012

Bags made from tent textiles

Love these products by Field Aesthetic Manufacturing Co made from upcycled military tents.  The upcycled unisex bags can adjust into a shoulder strap or back pack. The handmade, water resistant apron has an adjustable leather neck and waist strap along with a bib, dual waist... Read More →
20
NOV
2012

Sculpture built from recycled computer parts by Babis Panagiotidis

Hedonism(y) Trojaner is a sculpture by Germany-based artist Babis Panagiotidis, a modern day Trojan horse made from recycled computer keys and cables. Just like the Trojan horse in Greek mythology, the sculpture reminds us that technology is something which appears to have... Read More →
16
NOV
2012

Billboards turned into urban gardens

Stephen Glassman of Urban Air believes billboards could be turned into lush bamboo sky gardens.  He has designed all the elements of a unique system which boasts water misting and climate monitoring capabilities.  Glassman has collaborated with Arup engineering and billboard... Read More →
06
NOV
2012

Pet beds made from upcycled iMac monitors

These cats look right at home in these upcycled iMac pet beds – another brilliant creation from Atomic Attic.  They have reused the entire iMac including the original speakers which are placed at the rear to prevent the bed from rocking.   They come with a removable machine... Read More →
05
NOV
2012

Jewellery made from bottle tops and biros by Plastic Seconds

Plastic Seconds is a playful range of limited edition jewellery that’ll get you noticed.   Designed by Maria Papadimitriou, all the materials used are found objects such as biro lids, lego and plastic bottle tops that cannot be recycled.  Check out more of her amazing work... Read More →
03
NOV
2012

Thousands of bottle caps decorate a house in Eastern Russia

Olga Kostina is a resourceful Russian pensioner from the village of Kamarchaga in the Siberian Taiga.  Using 30,000 bottle caps, she has adorned her home in murals depicting traditional motifs and woodland creatures.  She uses a textile technique called Macrame to fabricate the... Read More →
26
OCT
2012

Tiger sculpture built from reclaimed timber

This amazing sculpture was built by the incredibly talented Gábor Miklós Szőke out of reclaimed timber as part of the Hello Wood art camp in Hungary. 200 architects, designers and makers made projects for eight different Hungarian communities based on the socio-economic concerns... Read More →
25
OCT
2012

Reclaimed fabric toy characters by Katkaland

Katkaland is the playground of Katka Hubacek from Quebec, Canada. These wonderful handmade creatures are influenced by a childhood spent drawing princesses, dressing her doll Blanka and feeding her imaginary animals. Her education in Scenography and Costume Studies provided an... Read More →
23
OCT
2012

Furniture made from upcycled boat sails by Dvelas

With the weather in the UK less than inspiring, dreaming about lounging on a sunbed is a happy distraction.  This is all the more appealing when the loungers are made from redundant boat sails.  DVELAS Living Sails is a Spanish company that recovers sails that are so deteriorated... Read More →
17
OCT
2012

Fashion items crafted from old t-shirts by Nunalab

  Nunalab is the brainchild of Ursula Alvarez and Mariela Bazan.  Their collection of fashion and home accessories are handmade by more than seventy Peruvian artisans using upcycled cotton jersey collected from t-shirt factories around Lima.  They work with small strips of... Read More →
16
OCT
2012

Reclaimed fireproof trousers for Christopher Raeburn AW12 collection

The Christopher Ræburn label was launched in 2008 and became known for garments made from re-appropriated military fabrics, proudly ‘Remade in England’.   For AW12 the new Scorch/Freeze collection includes hero garments made from re-appropriated fireproof fireman’s trousers... Read More →
13
OCT
2012

Jewellery made from cherry pips by Studio Tord Boontje

Further findings from the Shoreditch Design Triangle at last month’s London Design Festival include the lovely Cherry Rocks jewellery collection which were on display at Studio Tord Boontje.  These chains of cherry pips are combined with Swarovski crystals to be worn around... Read More →
11
OCT
2012

Cloud art installation made from lightbulbs

CLOUD is a large-scale interactive installation by Caitlind Brown for Nuit Blanche Calgary. The project was made using more than 5000 illuminated and burnt out light bulbs.  Viewers were invited to participate in the installation by standing underneath and pulling the metal... Read More →
09
OCT
2012

Classical cabinet adorned with thousands of dominos

The Super Design Gallery at last month’s Super Brands London  featured a selection of items that demonstrated some supreme international design talent. Dominocabinet Number 5 (above) is by Dutch designers Atelier Schelling & Borsboom, a limited edition of six which took... Read More →
13
SEP
2012

Jewellery made of material found on the streets of Melbourne

Roseanne Bartley is an Australian jewellery artist who uses found materials collected from the streets, laneways and parklands of Melbourne to make her pieces.  She carries a small pack of tools on her travels and pauses along her journey to drill and thread the fragments with... Read More →
11
SEP
2012

Steam punk at the Paralympics 2012 closing ceremony

You couldn’t miss the convoy of steam punk inspired vehicles at the Paralympics closing ceremony directed by Kim Gavin.  These crawling giant sculptures made of scrap metal heralded the Festival of the Flame and were put together by art collective Mutoid Waste Company.  The... Read More →
02
SEP
2012

Art with x-rays and film negatives by Nick Gentry

Nick Gentry‘s latest work follows on from his redundant media series of portraits on floppy disks.  Profile Number 7 (pictured above) comprises vintage film negatives, x-rays and oil on acrylic sheets.  The haunting photographic imagery can only be seen on close inspection... Read More →
29
APR
2011

Jam jar lights

Another wonderfully simple reuse idea. These charming jam jar lights from LampGoods are made from vintage jars – a perfect addition to the country cottage interior.  Buy them on Etsy now! Images via Etsy Read More →
18
APR
2011

Broken china made into jewellery

In the likely event of a riotous tea party (royal wedding here we come) broken crockery is usually deemed pretty much useless once its shattered into tiny pieces. But not according to Laura Beth Love, creator of Dishfunctional Designs. These unique jewellery items are made from... Read More →
07
DEC
2010

Paper rose made from dollar bills

An expensive genre of upcycling perhaps, but I couldn’t resist! PaperAffection on Etsy make durable origami jewellery, hairgrips and ornaments. This Money Rose is made of five $1 bills. Images via Etsy Read More →
07
DEC
2010

Canopy of white umbrellas by Organelle Design

Another gem in Organelle Design’s portfolio is GO! Gallery – a collaborative project which involved creating a temporary gallery in a forgotten courtyard at the heart of Vancouver’s Chinatown. A sculptural umbrella canopy hung above the chosen site to create an... Read More →
07
DEC
2010

Pendant lights made from coat hangers by Organelle Design

First, a look at Organelle Design, a small independent design studio based in New York and Vancouver. Amongst various design projects, they make organic inspired furniture and lighting such as the fabulous Hangelier light, pictured here. These form part of a series of pendant... Read More →
12