Creative Secondhand Crafting

Our teens are doing a Make-It project this week with duct tape, which got me thinking about using items in unusual ways. Lately, there seems to be an entire spate of “upcycling” projects – that is, taking something that you might toss out and using it to create something new and hopefully improved. Again, what’s one man’s trash could be turned into another’s treasure – with the right amount of glue and glitter. (Well, let’s take it easy on the glitter, shall we?)

The books listed below are just a small selection that might encourage you to try your hand at transformation. Just think, if you do a great job, you might have Christmas gifts taken care of for the year!

1000 Ideas for Creative Reuse: Remake, Restyle, Recycle, Renew – Garth Johnson

Awesome Projects from Unexpected Places: Bottle Cap Tables, Tree Branch Coat Racks, Cigar Box Guitars, and Other Cool Ideas for You and Your Home – edited by Noah Weinstein

Building with Secondhand Stuff: How to Re-Claim, Re-Vamp, Re-Purpose & Re-Use Salvaged & Leftover Building Materials – Chris Peterson

Creative Recycling in Embroidery: Add Texture, Meaning and Individuality to Your Work – Val Holmes

Eco Books: Inventive Projects from the Recycling Bin – Terry Taylor

Jewelry Upcycled!: Techniques and Projects for Reusing Metal, Glass, Plastic, Fiber, and Found Objects – Sherri Haab

Remake It: Recycling Projects More from the Stuff You Usually Scrap – Tiffany Threadgould

The Salvage Sisters Guide to Finding Style in the Street and Inspiration in the Attic – Kathleen Hackett

Scrap Craft Project Book – Nicki Wheeler

Secrets of Rusty Things: Transforming Found Objects into Art – Michael deMeng

Sewing Green: 25 Projects Made with Repurposed & Organic Materials: Plus Tips & Resources for Earth-Friendly Stitching – Betz White

This Old House Salvage-Style Projects – Amy R. Hughes

Upcycling Celebrations: A Use-What-You-Have Guide to Decorating, Gift-Giving & Entertaining – Danny Seo

Upcycling: Create Beautiful Things with the Stuff You Already Have – Danny Seo


And, since it was the inspiration, here’s a few books on crafting with duct tape.

Go Crazy with Duct Tape – Patti Wallenfang

The Duct Tape Book: 25 Projects to Make with Duct Tape – Jolie Dobson

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