Learn about the art of upcycling

Summer is a great time for projects. Long days provide plenty of time to tackle projects of all shapes and sizes. Plus, if you have a school-aged child in your life, projects help fill the long hours of the summer to avoid the dreaded “I’m bored” being uttered.

Upcycling is a growing trend, spurred through websites like Pinterest, which takes everyday items or materials that would otherwise be discarded and transforms them into useful or decorative items. Projects range from the simple, like toilet paper roll wall decorations, to the complicated, like turning wooden pallets into Adirondack style chairs. With this wide ranging spectrum of difficulty, upcycling projects are great for beginners and those with lots of experience. Stop by Kendall Young Library to check out one of these books to help you get started, or simply for inspiration for your next project. Or stop by the library for our Upcycling Series or Stitch ‘N Chat to get some hands on experience!

Upcycling: Create Beautiful Things with the Stuff You Already Have by Danny Seo; photographs by Jennifer Levy. 745.5 SEO

With a focus on being eco-friendly, this book guides readers to simply look around them for materials for their next project. Everyday household items serve as the raw materials for the crafts in this book. Full color photos help provide great step-by-step guidance.

Upcycled Accessories: 25 Projects Using Repurposed Plastic by Tracie Lampe. 745.57 LAM

Are plastic bags and packaging taking over your house or apartment? Lampe’s book will guide you through the process of fusing plastic into a working material, and then using it to create a variety of household items, from aprons to makeup pouches. Never throw away a plastic bag again-upcycle it into something for your home.

Playing with Books: The Art Of Upcycling, Deconstructing, & Reimagining the Book by Jason Thompson. 686.3 THO

We love books here at Kendall Young Library. However, after some books have lived a long and happy life, a great way to celebrate them is to turn them into something new. Jason Thompson creatively transforms books from one piece of art into another.

Jewelry Upcycled!: Techniques and Projects for Reusing Metal, Glass, Plastic, Fiber, and Found Objects by Sherri Haab and Michelle Haab. 745.5942 HAA

In this book, no type of material is safe. Metal, glass, plastic, fabric, and found objects are all used to create one-of-a-kind jewelry and accessories. Don’t recycle anything until you’ve checked this book to see if it can be reused to make a fabulous personal statement.

Upcycling Celebrations: A Use-What-You-Have Guide to Decorating, Gift-Giving & Entertaining by Danny Seo ; photographs by Laura Moss. 745.5 SEO

Are you tired of buying plastic party decorations only to throw them out after each party? This book will guide you through the process of making personal decorations and other entertaining essentials. From New Year’s Eve party favors to lanterns for that summer BBQ, find out how to create your own decorations, party favors, and more that won’t just end up in a landfill, plus save you money.