As a DIY-er, Left Coast liberal, environmentally conscious do-gooder I had to come across the term “upcycling” sooner or later.  It was rather later than sooner to my surprise as I found the term – not too long after I had heard or rather read it for the first time here in the US – in a mainstream German women’s magazine.

Upcycling at its best: a purse made from drinking pouches, pic:blog.nurturenatureproject.com

As for a definition, upcycling is the re-purposing of a material into a product of higher quality.  Examples of upcycling include purses made of all sorts of materials such as drink pouches or candy wrappers, coasters from wood scraps, fancy dressers from old drawers and, I guess, my recent project of making a lamp shade from leather strings and copious amounts of fabric stiffener (I also used – and ultimately had to sacrifice – my son’s inflatable pool ball. Oh well, the summer is almost over anyway).

Upcycling seems to be quite the trend around here, especially in San Francisco but I am sure the New Yorkers have their share of the movement – and apparently so does germany.

Here are some of the websites/blogs I recently looked at and thought inspirational:





Have a look, maybe you’ll find your own favorite project to be creative nd work with your hands after a day spend hammering away on the computer.

So, and now I’ll go and make cutesy little tea light holders out of old lace, balloons and – you guessed it – copious amounts of fabric stiffener.

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