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From scrap to craft

Kendall Young Library staff teach how to ‘upcycle’ used materials into art

December 4, 2012
Jim Krajewski ( , The Daily Freeman Journal

Stacks of dated magazines are finding new use in the upcycling programs at the Kendall Young Library.

Upcycling, much like recycling, finds ways to use what would otherwise be junk to create something new. Upcycling creates craft from scrap with ideas that library staff find in a number of places.

Ketta Lubberstedt-Arjes, reference librarian at the Kendall Young Library, said she finds ideas for upcycling projects from online sources, mainly the social media website Pinterest. She also found several projects while searching for ideas for the "Stitch 'N Chat" group at the library. The first upcycling event in September had participants make pumpkins from old books.

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In October, the Kendall Young Library hosted an upcycling project that had participants create scarves from used t-shirts. Most of the non-text items that the upcycling series uses for materials are donated by community members.

"People like finding these uses for these old things they would otherwise throw away. There are so many cool things you can add spray paint or glitter to and it becomes a completely different thing," Lubberstedt-Arjes said.

The Christmas ornament that was featured at Monday's upcycling event was made from folded magazine pages, glue and ribbon. Lubberstedt-Arjes chose magazines with bright colors and avoided publications heavy on text. She estimated the ornament would take an hour to and hour and a half to create.

The upcycling series is based solely on donations and the time staff have to put on the event. While books and magazines are easy to come by at the library, Lubberstedt-Arjes said items like tin cans that were used in a previous upcycling event are donated from community members.

Once they have an idea and the materials, a library staff member will make a sample. That sample is used to promote the series and give them an idea how to craft the item. Library staff rotate on who hosts the event.

Lubberstedt-Arjes said that turnout for these events usually sees a dozen people. The turnout has led staff to start planning for events next year. Lubberstedt-Arjes said ideas for next year include a picture frame memo board, coasters made from fabric, plastic clothes lines, and letters or initials made from used books.

"If people keep coming, we'll keep offering it," Lubberstedt-Arjes said.

The library featured a Christmas tree at the Festival of Trees and Tablescapes at The Bridge this year mainly decorated with upcycled materials.



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