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Upcycled Crafts: A DIY Project You Can Do In Your Garage (Part 1)

Feb 07, 2022
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While in the process of tidying and organizing our homes, we sort our stuff into three categories: keep, donate or throw. For the ones we keep, we store them neatly in our cabinets or display them on our shelves. For the ones that we should donate, we would love for our stuff to find a new home. And for the ones that are going straight to the dumpster, well, they may be a lost cause already. But, we only add to the millions of tons of garbage that go to the landfill. One environmentally sound option we can do is sort the “throw” category, filter out what really needs to go aka damaged beyond repair, and those that can still be upcycled.
What is upcycling?
Essentially, upcycling is “the activity of making new furniture, objects, etc. out of old or used things or waste material,” according to the Cambridge Dictionary. In the last decade, the term upcycling is getting more attention, and rightly so. Upcycling is a great way to reduce waste. More and more people are now more conscious of the waste materials that they produce on a daily basis. Upcycling is also a way to personalize and make unique things out of the mundane or even of sentimental value.
Why upcycle?
To summarize it into three reasons, upcycling benefits us environmentally, economically, and psychologically. Think of the production costs and raw materials used to produce a new product. Mass-producing a certain product either gets sold or worse, left in the warehouse for so long. Not only do we squander money and resources, but we also produce massive and unnecessary wastes. To put it into perspective and numerical value, each year the unused clothing has an estimated value of around $40 billion, and $190 million worth goes into the landfill. And on a more personal level, upcycling helps us psychologically. It is fulfilling to get creative with our hands, especially when we finish a project. Not only do we get a confidence boost, but we also feel relaxed while getting lost in crafting and not minding about our other worries. Upcycling is a therapeutic process.
Sample Upcycling Materials
Natural Materials. Step out of your house and everything you see can be used in creating unique pieces. Take a walk in your garden or local park. Look at the ground intently and you will see twigs, rocks, acorns, leaves, flowers, pinecones, and more. Using natural materials will brighten up any room and it will feel like bringing the outdoors inside your living space. It is especially calming to see a bit of nature inside our house now that the global health crisis has forced us to stay put at home. Papers. We all know how versatile papers can be when it comes to crafting. Ever since we are toddlers, we enjoy making fun of things out of a piece of paper. Now that we are older, we can still get the feeling of joy that we had when we were a lot younger. Plus, papers are the easiest material to work with. One, we have tons of them at home. From the daily papers that we read (or only buy for the daily crossword puzzles) to the magazines that we collect since we were teens to old maps, paper napkins, old notebooks, and more. Fabrics. Do you still have your favorite jersey that you wore in high school? Or that old jacket that was left by your ex-boyfriend? Or that Sunday dress that you no longer fit into? Or that old coat that you bought with your first paycheck? It is hard to let go of articles of clothing that have sentimental value but we do not see ourselves wearing them again. Recreate, reuse and upcycle the fabrics into something unique that you can use or display. Fabrics add that oomph with their texture and patterns. You can workaround even with fabric scraps, and not by the yards. Do not worry if you do not have sewing skills as there are a lot of crafts that can be made with fabrics even without using a needle and thread. Others. Everything you see around the house can be potentially used in your upcycling projects. It may be an old, tarnished necklace or empty mayonnaise jar–absolutely anything that you own. All you need is to get your creative juices flowing.
Tip: Use a workbench for your projects
Tons of craft ideas are lined up. And what better way to finish the projects than to use a reliable workbench. Never underestimate the practical use of a good workbench. One, when the worktop is wide and stable, all your materials are just within reach and you do not need to worry about the small items falling off your radar. Second, having a built-in drawer helps a lot in storing your most used tools, especially if you will be working multiple days or even have to postpone it for a few more days. If there is a drawer near or attached in your workspace, you do not need to think of where you put your tools the last time you used them. It is convenient and time-saving.
FLEXIMOUNTS WB201 DURABLE WORKBENCH WITH BUILT-IN DRAWER
Designed with high-quality craftsmanship, the durable frame of this workbench is made of cold-roll steel. It has a convenient built-in storage drawer that is embedded in the worktop. The pull-out drawer provides seamlessly integrated storage space for your workshop supplies. The modern design blends in perfectly while keeping your belongings out of sight and neatly put away. The work surface is free of scratches and chips due to its material, and it is made of 1-inch thick rubberwood that is sealed with varnish. As it is understandable that garage workshops tend to be on the heavier side of activity, and the materials and tools used are mostly made of metals and carry heavy weight, protecting the worktop is a feature that is made especially to last the wear and tear of things. Garages often have uneven flooring. So, to enjoy a stable work surface, the workbench has adjustable feet to make it easy to level the workbench as deemed fit. The WB201 is an all-purpose workstation that is suitable for many purposes–both commercial and personal. It is fit for use in your home space, garage, warehouse, mailroom, basement, workshop, or office.