Upcycling This Christmas

This is my handy guide to the Upcycling trend. Upcycling is all about making something lovely and useful from old and tired objects that are on their way to the dustbin.

As we all know, any self-respecting student is living on baked beans by this point in the term, with very little in reserve for presents. Christmas is all about giving and this is a charming way of showing how much you care with the added bonus of limiting the time spent on the high street!

The Sweetie Jar

This one will cost you pennies and is a great addition to a Christmas hamper.sweet jar

For this make you will need:

1. Any jar with a lid
2. Spray paint or acrylic paint
3. String, elastic bands or masking tape. If none of these things are to hand, you can just freestyle!
4. Ribbon (optional)
5. Penny sweets

How to upcycle jars:

1. Clean and dry the jar and lid. Make sure that there is not residual glue or food on it
2. Wrap the string, elastic bands or masking tape around the jar
3. Follow the instructions on the paint and cover the jar and lid in paint. Remember to do this outside and avoid getting paint on the inside or the rim of the jar
4. Leave to dry for half an hour before re-applying paint or removing the string
5. Fill with sweeties and attach ribbon or label

The Candle Holder

A little more difficult, this is nice way to give those souvenir buys a new lease of life.candleh

For this make you will need:

1. Old glass or metal bangles. N.B. Do not use plastic bracelets for this make
2. Superglue
3. An old china or glass coaster (check charity shops for this one)

How to upcycle bangles:

1. Clean the bangles and coaster.
2. Glue the bangles together in a cylinder.
3. Once dry, glue the cylinder to the coaster
4. Voilá!

The Chevron Canvas (from Jessica De Maio)

A cracking way to spice up an old and tired canvas (or print).

1. Old canvas
2. Ruler
3. Pencil
4. Masking tape
5. Paint
6. Sponge (you can be really stingy here and use a clean washing-up sponge) or small paintbrush

How to upcycle an old canvas:

1. Divide the canvas into squares lightly using a pencil
2. Then, you simply draw a line diagonally across the middle of your first square. Repeat this in the same direction for every square directly below.
3. Draw a line in the opposite direction in the adjacent column.
4. This is the tedious part: put masking tape along the edges of every other horizontal line of chevrons. If you have a steady hand then you can skip this bit.chev2

5. Paint the chevrons and allow the paint to dry before removing the tape.

6. Repeat 4 and 5 for the remaining lines. It should look something like the picture on the right

Another good idea is to black out the existing image and use a stamp or stencils or freehand to create your own image.

Of course these ideas are only really cheap if you already own and no longer want the bits and pieces used. So get creative, buy nothing new and enjoy yourself!

Written for Razz by Tamar Cranford Smith.

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