Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Upcycled Bowls, Baskets and Lamps

"Baskets" made of cable ties and vinyl tubes.

Brian Jewett makes wonderful creations using simple material. It's simple but it's also a lot of work...
Have a look at the anemone-like basket or the cactus with its red flowers made of valve handles!

On my side, I have started to upcycle a shipping pallet to make a little bench/trunk, I'll do my best to post it as soon as I finish it, maybe next week.

Bowls made of Ticket rolls.
35mm film Bowls

Friday, May 27, 2011

Upcycling a Lego brick into a USB key

I've always wanted to try this upcycling project. If you are lazy you can also buy the already-made key from the Lego store, but where is the fun?
I had an old USB key that I salvaged and kept for the day I would find Lego bricks... Now my son is old enough to play with Lego and so am I.

How to make it

I used a needle heated on a flame to empty the brick and leave just enough space for the USB key to fit, that's the most critical part. In my case, the key sticks inside the brick just by itself, but glue might be needed in some cases.

The only thing I don't have is a thin piece of Lego to close the bottom of the brick, because my son does not have any...yet. I will wait, but for now I use a regular brick.

This is other homemade USB key, I found online:
Made by Andrew

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Upcycled PET plastic

I'm not really into jewelry, but I must admit that what Gülnur Özdağlar can do is really creative and needs some obvious skills. Since 2008, she's making necklace, earrings but also brooches and buttons from plastic bottles. She also makes bowls and home decoration accessories. She's using the original color of the bottle to make these beautiful translucent creations.

Ring, necklace and brooch

Some of her work is available on Etsy and it's really affordable
My favorite bowl

How to make it?

If you want to give it a try, there's a tutorial on Instructables (posted by the artist herself) that will give you all the directions to make a bowl. Have fun!

Friday, May 20, 2011

The fused plastic bags

By Mandolyn on Etsy.com

Bag made by Bekha Worley available on etsy.com

Made by Chezlin.

It's a classic in upcycling material, and people don't stop being creative with these fused plastic bags.
The bags are fused using an iron and parchment paper on the top of the folded bags. That's the kind of project I would like to try but my sewing skills are close to none. I'll pass on this one but I love what people do and I hope to see Ipad and more computer bags made out of this technique.
Supermarket are selling shopping bags with their own fused plastic bags like Target with the help of the upcycling and recycling company Terracycle.

Interesting story:
By recycling the front cover of Newsweek magazine into an enveloppe, you could send plastic bag to Terracycle and receive a coupon to get the $6 upcycled-bag from Target free, they received 35,000 enveloppes! Here is the full story.

This is a link that will show you how to fuse the bags, click Here.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Bic Daisy Vase

Would you guess that this cute little vase is made from a Bic pen?
The daisy vases are hand blown and molded by designers Jim termeer and Jess Giffin.
It's probably not easy to make, specially to get a perfectly stable vase, but I'll have to give it a try one day!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Upcycled art

I wanted to start posting some of the cool things that could be made with recycled material and that do not have any functional purpose beside being a piece of art.
Doing art using recycled material is also part of the upcycling definition.

You know the definition?
"Upcycling is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value."

Starting with the most basic set up: a piece of garbage that a clever set-up and a lighting effect turn into art from Tim Noble & Sue webster.
Dirty White Trash (1998)

Sunset over Manhattan (2003)
He/She (2004)

Or Toby Fraley who's making awesome Robots and lamps from vintage object.

They are great source of inspiration to me, I'll try to add more art in my future posts, don't hesitate to send me cool links to upcycleus@gmail.com if you have some.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Transforming an old Mac G4 adapter into a desk clock

I've found an "old" adapter that is supposed to adapt DVI to ADC. It was still wrapped with the protection film that usually comes with Apple new products.

The Tools


The Material

How to make it

The most difficult part is to empty it because most of old Apple product, and specifically adapter, are not supposed to be fixed or opened. There's no rule to empty the adapter. Just use your imagination and a screw driver without breaking the shell. Then using the drill, just use the drill with tiny bits (and progressively increase the size of the bit until you get the right size), make a hole in the apple logo to fit the clock mechanism.


This is a cheap project, the clock mechanism can be taken from an old clock or does not cost more than $3. You can also buy a $1 clock from Ikea and take the mechanism. I would prefer to use thinner hands, they are a bit too thick and are hiding the apple logo to0 much. That's all I had in stock this week end.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Slot Chair

In the same spirit of the cardboard chair, few years ago, I designed a chair very similar to that one, but my design had some sturdiness issues, specifically at the base of the back. Rawstudio has reinforced the back using a clever design and for £195 pounds this chair or this bench can be yours!