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The Art of ReUSE

Apr 21, 2011

by missbatch

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

In honor of Earth Week, we’ve teamed up with Green Is Universal to promote the sustainable practice of upcycling through the Art of ReUSE contest. Contestants entered hundreds of resourceful projects that bring new life to anything from used gift cards to soda cans.

Shown above is the Vintage Fork Place-Card Holders project by basilicusjones, a beautiful and classy way to reuse silverware. Want to make your own? Find the how-to here.

Dino.jpg

Made from a used wool jacket, this LEFTZ Stegasaurus by ArtTales would make a fun gift or a fuzzy companion on your desk! See instructions here.

Wallet.jpg

You may recall our How-Tuesday post on how to crochet an eco-friendly tote bag. This entry by shearmoresheep also utilizes one of the most prolific pieces of trash: plastic bags. Learn how to make your own upcycled wallet here.

Coaster.jpg

It’s hard to believe that this coaster and trivet are made from upcycled cereal boxes, looking as modern as they do! This project was submitted by Etsy seller alittlehut, and you can learn how to make your own here.

green_fringe_dress.jpg

For the more ambitious upcycler, how about a fringe party dress made from used jersey fabric? Entrant WearTheCanvas created a detailed how-to that includes a video showing how the dress moves when you dance! See instructions and video here.

For more ideas and how-to’s, check out the contest finalists, and all of the creative contest entries here. Be sure to tune into NBC’s TODAY Show on Friday, April 22 to find out who wins!

Earth Tones on the Blog

Plush Stegosaurus in Jade Green with Golden Yellow Accents Handmade with Upcycled, Recycled, & Eco Friendly Materials
Plush Stegosaurus in Jade Green with Golden Yellow Accents Handmade with Upcycled, Recycled, & Eco Friendly Materials
Sold
Knitting needle watch -- for medium wrist
Knitting needle watch -- for medium wrist
Sold

140 comments

  • FleaMarketGal

    FleaMarketGal said 6 years ago

    Love! Reuse and Repurpose is my motto

  • bittersweetdesign

    bittersweetdesign said 6 years ago

    This contest was so much fun. I enjoyed the challenge - and am thrilled that I was voted into the Top Ten. It was a blast to see my Tab Top Pet Collars on the TODAY SHOW on Tuesday. Good luck tomorrow to the Grand Prize Winner - who ever it will be!

  • designlab443

    designlab443 said 6 years ago

    Great items! I try to make most of my items with upcycled materials! It's good for us all!

  • frommylifetoyours

    frommylifetoyours said 6 years ago

    The card holders are awesome

  • SeaGlassJournal

    SeaGlassJournal said 6 years ago

    The imagination and ingenuity within the Etsy community is inspiring! Thanks for sharing. Gary

  • hattieshouse

    hattieshouse said 6 years ago

    In this day of mass consumption it is so important to find alternative uses of everyday items. Thank you to all who make this their personal art mantra!

  • houndsome

    houndsome said 6 years ago

    Love the fork Place Card Holders! From linear to a reuse organic form, even better than the original product intention.

  • Iammie

    Iammie said 6 years ago

    The dinosaur is so cute. :)

  • OhFaro

    OhFaro said 6 years ago

    Great article. I love to reuse and recycle!

  • halfmoonroad

    halfmoonroad said 6 years ago

    LOVE the Impala necklace!!

  • JewelryByJLy

    JewelryByJLy said 6 years ago

    Love this post! Go Green!

  • VintageEye

    VintageEye said 6 years ago

    Fabulotastic & green! Love these ideas! :)

  • NaturalAmber

    NaturalAmber said 6 years ago

    Love the idea of reuse and recycle. I like to recycle clip on earrings (vintage ones) it's very rewarding to bring life back to something that was "tossed" and "forgotten"

  • ethniquetrendy

    ethniquetrendy said 6 years ago

    great!

  • Metamorphosi

    Metamorphosi said 6 years ago

    I wish that it will soon be possible to allow not US resident to these contests. I a, sure you will make it possible. Great contest!Happy Earth Day tomorrow!!

  • TheBloomingThread

    TheBloomingThread said 6 years ago

    that plastic bag wallet is so cute! its almost looks like rafia? love!

  • LittleBirdWallArt

    LittleBirdWallArt said 6 years ago

    Great Article! I love the forks in the top photograph!

  • NaturalCharmPhotos

    NaturalCharmPhotos said 6 years ago

    I really love the cereal-box trivets. I'm going to have to try that! :)

  • pamwares

    pamwares said 6 years ago

    happy earth day to all! Great article! the impala necklace is awesome!

  • simplyworn

    simplyworn said 6 years ago

    not only is reusing the way to go... but sometimes the finish piece is so much better than its original design fun...to...be...clever!

  • BasilicusJones

    BasilicusJones said 6 years ago

    Too bad I didn't make the Top 10, but it was great to be a part of the contest. I love my place card holders.

  • AshNjojo

    AshNjojo said 6 years ago

    This is an absolutely amazing article. I love the plastic bag wallets. I clicked on this blog post because I saw the placeholders made out of forks! One of my girlfriends has a ring made out of a fork with a stone in the middle...it's beautiful! Ya'll are so talented!

  • PoetryofObjects

    PoetryofObjects said 6 years ago

    Great creativity!

  • bhangtiez

    bhangtiez said 6 years ago

    awsome selection........luv reuse & these are amazing pieces......

  • bearpawrustics

    bearpawrustics said 6 years ago

    This is great. I see I am not alone in my love to reuse found and throw-away items in my art.

  • overthemeadow

    overthemeadow said 6 years ago

    Love this post! It's great to see beautiful things made from discarded or unused items. Reuse, upcycle, repurpose... it's the greatest! :-)

  • MetroGypsy

    MetroGypsy said 6 years ago

    Very cool!

  • JessieKatz

    JessieKatz said 6 years ago

    Great contest and a great post! And I love the coaster and trivet made from cereal boxes. Thanks for everyone who voted for my gift card earrings in the contest, can't wait to hear what happens tomorrow. Good luck to everyone else in the top ten!

  • MarleyLondon

    MarleyLondon said 6 years ago

    Nice!

  • EighteenDecember

    EighteenDecember said 6 years ago

    The plush Stegosaurus is sooo adorable!

  • FluffyFlowers

    FluffyFlowers said 6 years ago

    super proud of our Plush Team member ArtTales! :)

  • suegrayjewelry

    suegrayjewelry said 6 years ago

    there is so much talent here and so many great ideas!!!

  • cjbcollectibles

    cjbcollectibles said 6 years ago

    Great article. It so great to see people reusing items for great new products. All of my items on Etsy are vintage glass and home decor items for the modern home. Why decorate your home with factory-produced garbage when vintage items are so much more interesting and come with great stories. www.etsy.com/shop/cjbcollectibles

  • kathyjohnson3

    kathyjohnson3 said 6 years ago

    beautiful items! i think they all deserve a blue ribbon! very creative and inspiring!

  • MegansMenagerie

    MegansMenagerie said 6 years ago

    This is such an awesome post! I love when people can reuse their things and make something so incredible with them!

  • VintageMarketPlace

    VintageMarketPlace said 6 years ago

    all about the upcycling and repurposing!!!

  • WoodlandCottage

    WoodlandCottage said 6 years ago

    We especially love the silverware card holders! Thanks for sharing such great ideas!

  • RedorGrayArt

    RedorGrayArt said 6 years ago

    beautiful .. great post .. my whole shop is based on that idea ~

  • HelloShoes

    HelloShoes said 6 years ago

    I love and admire the creativity of using recycled art . Its all so beautiful:)

  • ohbabydotcom

    ohbabydotcom said 6 years ago

    Love the upcycled items :)

  • fbstudiovt

    fbstudiovt said 6 years ago

    I share everyone's love of the post and heart the other sellers who feature reuse and recycling in their shops (so do I)! And I especially love the how-tos included here. I would adore seeing more of those links in these posts!!!

  • KristyLynnJewelry

    KristyLynnJewelry said 6 years ago

    Love the concept! Adorable items, so clever! Thanks for sharing!

  • dmtgun3

    dmtgun3 said 6 years ago

    Great!I love Place Card Holders...

  • Kokolele

    Kokolele said 6 years ago

    ````♥ Lovely Items!

  • collectiblesatoz

    collectiblesatoz said 6 years ago

    Great ideas. I am always repurposing. Thanks for sharing.

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage said 6 years ago

    Love the way items can be recycled and reused!

  • RetroChalet

    RetroChalet said 6 years ago

    Kudos to you from Etsy Recyclers Guild Team!

  • JudiPaintedit

    JudiPaintedit said 6 years ago

    I love the forks!

  • RomanceCatsAndWhimsy

    RomanceCatsAndWhimsy said 6 years ago

    Love the plastic bag wallet - there is no way that you could tell - very cool article.

  • jdfootloose

    jdfootloose said 6 years ago

    How awesome! I also saw an upcycled bathtub turned Couch!

  • 2TrickPony

    2TrickPony said 6 years ago

    this is a wonderful idea. and a lovely collection of recycled-upcycled crafts.

  • marjudesignsforyou

    marjudesignsforyou said 6 years ago

    Lovely ideas. Im also a recycling person, think twice before throwing anything away.

  • RootsJewelry

    RootsJewelry said 6 years ago

    This is so great!

  • Parachute425

    Parachute425 said 6 years ago

    Good job everybody. Kudos.

  • LoveButtons

    LoveButtons said 6 years ago

    Wonderful entries - I love the plushie dinosaur! :)

  • ArtTales

    ArtTales said 6 years ago

    I love seeing all the great creations! Great job everyone :))

  • abbydid

    abbydid said 6 years ago

    I am a proud owner of one of those ArtTales dinos and it is STUPENDOUS!

  • TheEverlastingPosy

    TheEverlastingPosy said 6 years ago

    What creative fun!

  • tigersanddragons

    tigersanddragons said 6 years ago

    Those forks are fabulous! I have a shopping bag made out of crocheted plastic shopping bags, I always get comments whenever I use it.

  • tigersanddragons

    tigersanddragons said 6 years ago

    All the stainless steel we use in our designs is salvaged/reused/upcycled from scrap that was on it's way to the smelter. We buy imperfect scraps from companies that made large stainless steel counters.

  • theroyal

    theroyal said 6 years ago

    so many useful lovely things made out of "junk".. maybe people should adjust their thinking and refer to waste instead as materials. maybe then we might have less of a garbage and sanitation issue on our hands.

  • DandelionJewels

    DandelionJewels said 6 years ago

    It's easy being green on etsy!! Happy Earth Day!

  • ProjectElixir

    ProjectElixir said 6 years ago

    Great article. Where I live close to Seattle, we are all about upcyling and reusing. Thanks for this insight!

  • dragonflymystdesigns

    dragonflymystdesigns said 6 years ago

    Great article!! Gives me a few ideas on reusing some of my things!!

  • TheScarfTree

    TheScarfTree said 6 years ago

    What ingenious things you are doing! I love the fork placecard holders and the cereal box coasters! Very creative and show what can be done! Very creative!

  • trashbaggs

    trashbaggs said 6 years ago

    some of my favorite things! of course!! thanks for sharing!!

  • trashbaggs

    trashbaggs said 6 years ago

    some of my favorite things! of course!! thanks for sharing!!

  • trashbaggs

    trashbaggs said 6 years ago

    some of my favorite things! of course!! thanks for sharing!!

  • trashbaggs

    trashbaggs said 6 years ago

    sorry! it froze...didnt mean to multiple post. my bad!!

  • rebourne

    rebourne said 6 years ago

    Keep highlighting us upcyclers please! This is great!!

  • SkateBetty

    SkateBetty said 6 years ago

    I love seeing anything & everything about upcyling. Thanks for representing!

  • gilstrapdesigns

    gilstrapdesigns said 6 years ago

    I love all of these and especially that cute little dress. Thank you

  • IMGirl

    IMGirl said 6 years ago

    I am loving those fork place holders!!

  • PaleHorseStudios

    PaleHorseStudios said 6 years ago

    delicious and timely, i love reclaimed materials!

  • SimpleJoysPaperie

    SimpleJoysPaperie said 6 years ago

    Great reuse article!

  • girliepains

    girliepains said 6 years ago

    odd!

  • edithandlulu

    edithandlulu said 6 years ago

    Cool ideas. I've been making jewelry with buttons for the last few years. Love to see other ways people are upcycling and recycling.

  • LittleWrenPottery

    LittleWrenPottery said 6 years ago

    Some really beautiful ways to recycle here, very imaginative!

  • thevelvetheart

    thevelvetheart said 6 years ago

    These are great ideas!

  • StainsInPanes

    StainsInPanes said 6 years ago

    Cool, love making old new again!!

  • julessabjewelry

    julessabjewelry said 6 years ago

    Love the recycling... I've recently become a convert to the recycling of metals. I'm even building my own forge out of old car parts... YAY!

  • Giedrecraftideas

    Giedrecraftideas said 6 years ago

    Smart and bright ideas!!! I like it!!!

  • ShaeJus

    ShaeJus said 6 years ago

    love this

  • DUSKtillDAWNvintage

    DUSKtillDAWNvintage said 6 years ago

    Great ideas! Very inspiring! Rather than throw everyday objects away, why not reuse them and make fun crafty items.

  • DUSKtillDAWNvintage

    DUSKtillDAWNvintage said 6 years ago

    Great ideas! Very inspiring! Rather than throw everyday objects away, why not reuse them and make fun crafty items.

  • artdemix

    artdemix said 6 years ago

    Hip hip hurrah for the recycling Revolution! Brilliant............

  • thebeachhousegallery

    thebeachhousegallery said 6 years ago

    That's basically my whole approach, reclaimed, up-cycled, FOUND. My jewelry designs completely reflect this...love the tea pot & saucer. Can't wait to find out the method! Thanks! Inez Dunn

  • ReCulture

    ReCulture said 6 years ago

    Heck, Yeah! Why do it any other way?

  • VinylAffliction

    VinylAffliction said 6 years ago

    Reduce Reuse Recyle, Repurpose, upcycle it's the only way to go.

  • shop1848

    shop1848 said 6 years ago

    Wonderful finds!

  • mimisrecycledesigns

    mimisrecycledesigns said 6 years ago

    Great post! Love the dress!

  • JenMcLamb

    JenMcLamb said 6 years ago

    I love seeing these creative ideas! The forks are awesome - the three R's are the basis of my ECO JEWELS (TM) recycled jewelry line. Coupon code this weekend only: EARTH11 - check me out!

  • HouseOfMoss

    HouseOfMoss said 6 years ago

    Thanks for the great ideas! I especially love those coasters!

  • TimelessVintageTable

    TimelessVintageTable said 6 years ago

    Love to up-cycle! Come see our Sac Team Etsy Mother's Day sale. Coupon code this weekend "WeLoveMom" for up to 25% off! > http://www.sac-etsy.blogspot.com/

  • oppning

    oppning said 6 years ago

    As vintage lovers we love re-using. Actually we don't really re-use, we just "use again" old, vintage objects in their original purpose. But I admire people who have ingenious ideas in diverting an old object into a whole new purpose. This is excellent !

  • compostthis

    compostthis said 6 years ago

    love love love this! perfect.

  • lulikucreations

    lulikucreations said 6 years ago

    EVERY BODY SHOULD GO GREEN AND RECYCLE, IF EVERYBODY DID IT THE EARTH WOULD BE SO MUCH CLEANER, INSTEAD OF DESTROYING OUR PRECIOUS PLANET, GREAT IDEAS BY THE WAY ;)

  • treeandsap

    treeandsap said 6 years ago

    Great article, I will try to reuse and repurpose more often

  • TheMillineryShop

    TheMillineryShop said 6 years ago

    That wallet id great! All fabulous stuff.

  • sofisticata

    sofisticata said 6 years ago

    Great article!! Love the forks place cards!! I love to repurpose ;) These are great ideas!

  • chocolatevanity

    chocolatevanity said 6 years ago

    So true... one man's waste is another man's treasure.. Go recycle!

  • TheWindowArtisan

    TheWindowArtisan said 6 years ago

    Very inspiring. I can't wait to have a bit of time to fill my scrapyard. Loved,loved the cereal box trivets! Thanks , Sue.

  • hellerdesign

    hellerdesign said 6 years ago

    Re source, Re use, Re cycle - it's where it's at......all the best in the world of the used and discarded! Love the forks!

  • SoVeryCharming

    SoVeryCharming said 6 years ago

    Wonderful!!! I'm a true believer - almost everything in my shop has at least one re-used component. ;)

  • MysticalRaindrops

    MysticalRaindrops said 6 years ago

    Reusable things makes it handy for those of us on a budget.

  • miahsdreamfuljewels

    miahsdreamfuljewels said 6 years ago

    really love those fork place card holders...i absolutely love to repurpose things.

  • artsykat

    artsykat said 6 years ago

    Like the forks!

  • stepbackink

    stepbackink said 6 years ago

    Very nice ideas to repurpose items.

  • Jaclynscollections

    Jaclynscollections said 6 years ago

    I like the thinking outside of the box! Very fun and cool.

  • kanekl

    kanekl said 6 years ago

    Wow those are some really great ideas. The place cards, and plastic grocery bag purse are my favorite.

  • ostaART

    ostaART said 6 years ago

    How can you not to recycle nowadays. My recent favorite is recycling and remelting cat food cans and making jewerly out of cast aluminum

  • IMadeYouLookSC

    IMadeYouLookSC said 6 years ago

    I so love those forks and the wallet!!! Reused items are beautiful

  • klosti

    klosti said 6 years ago

    Great ideas and inspiration!

  • adrianaallenllc

    adrianaallenllc said 6 years ago

    Great ideas!

  • lulouandada

    lulouandada said 6 years ago

    It makes me so happy to see people reusing in such creative and interesting ways!

  • PoetryofObjects

    PoetryofObjects said 6 years ago

    I love the great vintage fork place card holders...what a creative idea!

  • piecesofelises

    piecesofelises said 6 years ago

    Thanks for the how tos :-)

  • chachingck

    chachingck said 6 years ago

    Up cycle, reuse, recycle is all just a fancy name for not wasting anything. If you could see your own weekly footprint of personal waste, it would truly shock you.. Thank you easy for helping us be more aware of how beautiful reuse can be.

  • chachingck

    chachingck said 6 years ago

    Up cycle, reuse, recycle is all just a fancy name for not wasting anything. If you could see your own weekly footprint of personal waste, it would truly shock you.. Thank you easy for helping us be more aware of how beautiful reuse can be.

  • chachingck

    chachingck said 6 years ago

    Easy, oh cripes!

  • chachingck

    chachingck said 6 years ago

    Easy, oh cripes!

  • chachingck

    chachingck said 6 years ago

    Etsy

  • CityGirlinaYurt

    CityGirlinaYurt said 6 years ago

    Great ideas, and perfect timing- upcycle in the earth day spirit

  • urbandon

    urbandon said 6 years ago

    Wonderful stuff! Keep it up.

  • RenewStudios

    RenewStudios said 6 years ago

    Thanks for posting my key necklace! :)

  • RenewStudios

    RenewStudios said 6 years ago

    Thanks for posting my key necklace! :)

  • GiftCreation

    GiftCreation said 6 years ago

    Interesting and great look!

  • MammaEarthCreations

    MammaEarthCreations said 6 years ago

    Supherb!

  • ScrappyTudeStudios

    ScrappyTudeStudios said 6 years ago

    Beeeeautiful!

  • MishaGirl

    MishaGirl said 6 years ago

    I never would have guessed the wallet was made out of brown plastic bag. Terrific idea!

  • TiTiLI

    TiTiLI said 6 years ago

    Go Green!

  • Insolita

    Insolita said 6 years ago

    I love those name holders!! Upcycling FTW!

  • RescuedRemnants

    RescuedRemnants said 6 years ago

    Your singin' my song!! Green Living with Attitude!

  • misty714

    misty714 said 6 years ago

    This is the story of my life! I am so used to using things for that which they were NOT intended, that when I catch myself using an item in the proper way, it shocks me!!! LOL

  • beadazzledjewels

    beadazzledjewels said 6 years ago

    This is awesome! It's always fun to see how other people reuse everyday objects. I read a story once about a family of two who only put out one whole garbage bag of garbage in a YEAR! They recycled and reused everything. It's very inspiring to see other people who care about the planet!

  • rosebutton

    rosebutton said 6 years ago

    Fab! I love the forks and the dress!

  • AmbieandAshiesArt

    AmbieandAshiesArt said 6 years ago

    love this!

  • aslighttwist

    aslighttwist said 6 years ago

    hey yeah

  • PearsPalette

    PearsPalette said 6 years ago

    That stegosaurus is so adorable! A great use of something old!

  • KKchildrendesigns

    KKchildrendesigns said 5 years ago

    So awesome! Loved it!

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