Upcycled Crafts: The Downside of Upcycling

December 14, 2013 at 11:39 pm Leave a comment

For today’s blog I’d like to focus on something that comes up a lot in any kind of crafting, but is especially pertinent in upcycling: the leftovers. Whether it’s the end of a busy craft night or a single piece of work that we’ve been crafting, there are always leftover crafting materials to contend with, sometimes even the project itself has to be dealt with. A recent example we’ve encountered at the store was a tree we made for Mini Maker Faire this year. Ruth found a real tree branch and we laboriously cut out paper leaves, paper grass and rocks from paper pulp. Everyone was tasked with bringing in real rocks to decorate it, and we diligently foraged for rocks worthy of our tree. And all our hard work paid off! The tree was a hit at Maker faire, and we proudly displayed “him” in the store afterwards.

PaperTree112
A few months later, we noticed little holes along the trunk of our tree.  After further inspection, I saw small, neat piles of what looked like sawdust on top of our paper grass at the base of the tree. Some sort of bug had infested our precious tree! We were torn – we didn’t want to say goodbye to the tree, but we didn’t want to keep it because of the possibility of termites. What to do?
We were concerned and puzzled about what to do at this point, because the entire idea of upcycling revolves around reusing materials that might otherwise go into the landfill. Even though the tree had bugs residing in it, we still had to dispose of it responsibly. As I said before, this is an issue we are confronted with time and again after craft programs, where there are leftover scraps of paper, plastic and cardboard. With little scraps, it’s easy to scoop them up and put them in the recycling bin. Recycling the tree wasn’t an option.

 

PaperTree11 Current state of our tree.

At the moment, we still haven’t decided the fate of our little tree. We did take off the leaves and pulp rocks to reuse in another project, however the branch and grass still remain. So all you crafters out there, please be conscious of what you use, and where it may end up if your crafting goes awry. To us here at Recycled Reads, it’s just another part of living an environmentally conscious way of life.

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Entry filed under: Crafts.

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