Reloved | The Creative Guide to Upcycling your Home
Reloved is the exciting new magazine at the heart of thrifting, shabby chic and upcycling. With an emphasis on breathing new life into old, forgotten objects, it brings a hands-on approach to this thriving pastime.
We love these clever woollen vase covers handmade in Ely, Cambridgeshire, which are even more eco-friendly when used with an old plastic bottle as the vase! Each unique felted design is created from upcycled old cashmere and wool jumpers, blankets or boiled wool combined with shredded silk scarves and waste from sari production. The covers are then decorated with free-motion embroidery, and finished with an individual slate or sea-glass button made
from finds collected on the beach.
More styles are available to buy at www.thefabricvasecompany.co.uk.
Created to be affordable yet durable, Presiman Designs Chalk Effect Furniture Paint comes in 11 beautiful colours, from on-trend greys to vibrant red, blue, yellow and green, and they can be mixed to produce a rainbow of shades too. With a carefully selected blend of minerals to create a perfect finish, these budget-friendly paints come in 500ml (£9.50) and 1-litre tins (£14.50) from the Presiman Designs shop on Etsy.
Looking for a quick and easy way to achieve a rustic, weathered paint finish on your latest project? Vintage Rocks Interiors new Texturising Talc allows you to achieve this in just a few easy steps – you simply mix the talc into their Chalky or Liquid Kohl Paint and mix until it is thick and forms peaks. Then apply with a stiff brush, stippling and stodging as you go to create a
rough texture. Leave to dry, then paint a layer of unthickened paint in another shade over the top. Once dry, you can lightly sand to reveal areas of texturised paint beneath. Have fun experimenting with different colours and layers to get the perfect look!
• £9.95 for 250ml from www.vintagerocksinteriors.com, plus you can also find a handy video tutorial featuring Paula from Fairy Chic Emporium demonstrating how to use it.
Upcycling is part of Almie Louis’s daily life, turning unwanted materials into decorative and beautiful pieces. On her blog she provides aspiring arts and crafts enthusiasts with inspirational ideas for transforming discarded items into masterpieces – all through the virtue of recycling. www.grandrecycler.com
Upholstering is a time-honoured skill and has been practised by artisans long before the current upcycling trend came along.
At the family-run A Little Furniture Shop in Shrewsbury, upholstery expert Mark Swain brings 30 years of experience to restoring antique and vintage sofas and chairs, tackling everything from Danish teak mid-century pieces to original G Plan chairs.
‘All our sofas and chairs are stripped back to the frame, with the frame repaired if required, and are then reupholstered in high quality fabrics, which also comply with modern fire regulations,’ explains Mark’s partner and shop manager Heather Maskill.
‘We prefer to use natural materials and often use British wool. All our fabrics have a good abrasion test, as we like to make sure our furniture will stand the test of time. Finally, the facings and piping are all hand-stitched on.
‘We’ve been running the shop for 17 years now and each piece we produce is individual and unique; we pride ourselves on attention to detail.’
Visit the shop or find out more at www.littlefurnitureshop.co.uk.
Trash becomes treasure as the star of quirky artworks using found materials
‘I love sifting through bags of unwanted goods or broken jewellery, looking for interesting items of exactly the right colour. Other people’s discards are my treasure!’ laughs artist Jane Perkins.
‘I will use any materials of the right size, shape and colour, including toys, shells, buttons, cutlery, beads, jewellery and curtain hooks.’
Jane crafts her quirky, colourful pieces entirely from found materials, and although shocked by the scale of waste in our society, these ‘throwaway’ items were not chosen to make an eco-statement, they simply chimed with her brand of creativity. ‘I like art with humour or an element of the unexpected.
I use recycled materials because they express something of me. I love the infinite colours and shapes – every shade of every colour is out there in plastic!’
While doing a degree in textiles, Jane produced a collection of hand-stitched brooches made from found objects, which eventually sparked the idea for her larger-scale pieces.
‘While making the brooches, I collected lots of materials which were too big and wondered what to do with them,’ she says. ‘Then the idea of making them into a portrait just came into my head. The first large portrait I made was of the Queen. Halfway through I had a sort of eureka moment – I looked at the work from a distance and knew it was going to work and that this could become my direction.’
Choosing well-known people and works of art to recreate is deliberate, allowing the viewer to ‘get the joke’ when they see such familiar images made using unexpected materials.
After starting with portraits, Jane began reproducing famous paintings, such as Van Gogh’s Sunflowers and The Great Wave, after Hokusai. ‘The organic shapes of the sunflowers lend themselves perfectly to reinterpretation using plastic dinosaurs and animals, and the 3D image echoes the thick nature of the paint which Van Gogh squirted directly from the tube.’
More recently she’s been inspired by wildlife, and says one of her favourite pieces to date is King of the Beasts, a powerful lion portrait with a mane made from hundreds of plastic animals. ‘I’ve always been inspired by Picasso who tried so many different media,’ she says. ‘I love his sculptures from found objects, particularly Head of a Bull, made from a bicycle saddle and handlebars. If he had an idea, no matter how quirky, he just had to go for it.’
• Find more of Jane’s work, together with her blog, at www.bluebowerbird.co.uk.
Flea Market Style
Authors: Emily Chalmers, with words by Ali Hanan
Publisher: Ryland Peters & Small
Price : £16.99
We can’t resist looking around a flea market, car-boot sale or charity shop in the hope of finding some hidden treasure, or a unique piece to upcycle and add style to a room.
Whether it’s an old mirror in need of a spruce up, silk scarves which can be turned into cushions or old tins to create an eclectic display, there’s always something that can tug at the purse strings.
Split into two halves, the first part of this book focuses on the useful things you’re likely to come across in chapters focusing on furniture, ceramics and glass, lighting and kitchenware. Part two of the book enters the homes of flea market stylists and reveals how they have upcycled and put their collections together in room-centred chapters covering relaxing, sleeping, cooking, bathing and work spaces.
First published in 2005, this revised edition has been updated with today’s interior style in mind. As the authors say, ‘beautiful things never go out of style’ and this book encourages you to champion the imperfections and marks left by previous owners, such a coffee-cup ring on a side table, or dent in a cupboard door and to embrace them as endearing features.
‘A great little stash-busting project, this necklace would make a beautiful gift to0′ says Sophie.
You will need:
• Fabric strip with a small pattern, 10 x 60cm (4 x 24in)
• 8 x 25mm (1in) wooden beads
• Basic sewing supplies
• Sewing machine
• Thread to match your fabric
• Silver embroidery floss
• 1m (39in) ribbon
To celebrate 90 years at the forefront of sewing inspiration, Simplicity has launched a gorgeous collection of gifts and accessories featuring vintage pattern artwork. The wrapping paper features the classic Simplicity pattern illustrations, and would be perfect for a decoupage project – especially for a vintage sewing table!
• £8.99 for a pack of two rolls, from www.simplicitynewlook.com.