3 articles Tag upcycling

Rubbish Clearance Upcycling Classes Are Gaining Popularity In London

Upcycling rubbish clearance seems to have hit London with a splash! Everyone seems to be getting in on the fun, from those just hoping to save an old family heirloom to others who staunchly believe in using upcycling as a springboard to a zero waste society.

In fact, upcycling has become so popular in England’s capital that upcycling classes are now popping up all over the city. The mantra of the movers and shakers in this London movement seems to be, “Renew Don’t Buy New!” Rubbish clearance is no long considered “junk.” It is now the muse of a burgeoning waste free culture — and judging from the before and after photo galleries online, Londoners have discovered their creative mojo!

Before you decide to take an upcycling class, you should know that the activity is highly contagious and its “chicness” is spreading like wildfire. Among the most popular upcycling classes are those that teach participants how to upholstery and reupholstery old furniture that was being discarded as rubbish clearance. In some cases, you’d never guess how raggedy the old furniture was after the “upcycle” is complete — but of course the first thing you learn in upcycling classes is to take a “before picture” for proof!

Some Londoners who take their first upcycling class just want to save money (or make money) by rescuing their own rubbish clearance. However, many take that first class and then end up getting hooked on the tranquility these upcycling projects bring them. Some people claim it’s a zen experience. Others thoroughly enjoy meeting interesting and eclectic people. In this regard, it’s almost like a pub experience, only you have something to show for it, other than a pint breath! Some students who meet up in these classes end up collaborating on other upcycling projects together.

Upcycling rubbish clearance is also a source of pride as participants end up with a really cool object that was salvaged from an old piece of junk. They can show the “before picture” and talk about how their upcycling creation would have ended up in the landfill rotting away producing greenhouse gases and leaking toxic leachate into the ground water! They can talk about how they breathed new life and new vision into an old piece of junk. They can say they renewed the soul or spirit of the object or perhaps reincarnated it into a higher purpose!

Sometimes upcycling classes show up in the most unexpected places. Last February, the Royal Air Force Museum hosted an upcycling class with volunteers from the Loop at Grahame Park, piloted by Groundwork London and the London Community Reuse Network (LCRN). This group is funded by the European Commission’s LIFE+ Programme, not something you’d normally expect to see at the Royal Air Force Museum but it was a marriage made in heaven.

Some of the patrons who came to see the Royal Air Force Museum ended up taking the upcycling rubbish clearance class while people who came specifically to take the class ended up enjoying a museum they probably would not have visited otherwise. While participants in the class learned how to decoupage and tips on how to stencil, perhaps the greatest thing they learned was the joy of experiencing something new with a diverse group of people.

At the London Upcycling Show last November, there were many different upcycling classes offered, as well as inspiring upcycling exhibits. Rrubbish clearance that had once been thought of as useless was transformed into something that people highly desired. Afro Retro showed people how to convert Christmas jumpers, often tossed in the rubbish clearance bin after the holiday, into something more fashionable that could be worn year round. ThinkFOUND Furniture showed people how to make furniture out of scaffold boards.

The London Upcycling Show also featured unique and challenging upcycling rubbish clearance competitions with cash prizes. However, the camaraderie forged during these events meant so more more than the money prizes! Many contestants from last year are already planning the to attend the third London Upcycling Show coming up this fall and it promises to have even more participants. While some Londoners originally though that upcycling was just a fad, the growing success of events like these are proving that upcycling has staying power!

If you live in the UK and want to find an upcycling class in London or elsewhere, just Google it! The Old School Club, started by an entrepreneurial Mum, offers upcycling classes on sewing and upholstery. They even offer special upcycling classes for kids and upcycling parties for adults! London’s Obby was recently offering seventeen upcycling classes in their mix. Some people even seem to be turning upcycling rubbish clearance into a “money hobby!” Gumtree recently listed thirty-six upcycled living room furniture pieces for sale.

Many UK companies are catching the upcycling spirit as well! Clearabee is one of the best examples of this. Clearabee offers several rubbish clearance services. However, instead of taking the rubbish they clear to the landfill, or fly tipping it as so many others do, they make a concerted effort to divert the rubbish they collect from the landfill. They give top priority to upcycling whenever possible, following by resale/reuse and then recycling. In fact, Clearance upcycles, reuses, or recycles ninety percent of the rubbish they clear, giving them the best track record in the entire UK.

Using the services of Clearabee is the same as supporting upcycling, reusing, and recycling! Wouldn’t it be grand if one day our great great grandchildren read an old newspaper article from 2018 on “waste removal” and ask, “What’s that?” The London upcycling bug heads us in that direction for sure!

Gardening and DIY with Kids This Spring

When it gets to this time of year, where the weather is a bit more clement, my mind is always full of all of the DIY and garden stuff that I’d like to do and now that the kids are older and a little more able to get involved (don’t worry, I won’t let Burrito Baby hold any power tools!) I’ve been thinking about things we can do together. Luckily, my friends from the blogging world are the BEST source of inspiration, so I thought I’d share some brilliant posts with you of my favourite projects that they’ve done.

How to Make a Tardis Wardrobe

I’ve you’ve got a gaggle of mini Whovians living in your house then this guide to making a tardis wardrobe is perfect for you. Husband and I really encourage the girls to have their interests and try to indulge them as far as possible so I absolutely love the fact that Penny at Parentshaped has nurtured her daughter’s love for all things Doctor Who with her bedroom furniture.

CD Fish Bird Scarers

CD fish bird scarers

I absolutely LOVE this idea for DIY bird-scarers that Liz over at Me and My Shadow made with her daughter to protect their home garden patch. As well as upcycling and making use of old CDs, thus keeping them out of landfill, they look really pretty too. Such a great project to do with kid as you can be as creative as you like with how you decorate them.

DIY Matchbox Drawer Chest

Red Ted Art DIY matchbox drawers

Something that we ALWAYS need more of in our house is storage, so I love the idea of making ourselves some storage solutions out of other things. These cute little drawers from Red Ted Art are the perfect place to keep art supplies and school stuff, and I’ll definitely be making some of these with the girls.

Top Tips for Gardening With Children

At the risk of going a bit meta, Carolin at Mummy Alarm has put together another rundown post, sharing a whole load of other posts about gardening with kids. It’s a real wealth of information which will be useful in the months to come and I’m going to go through and read all of it with interest.

Bedroom in a Box

Dulux Bedroom in a BoxMaking design decisions can be really tricky, especially when you’re trying to stick to a theme, which is why Dulux decided to make the “Bedroom in a Box”, which Sian at Helpful Mum reviewed. She chose a jungle theme for her kids and takes us through exactly how she dealt with the makeover, as well as giving her opinion on the results.

Five Easy Foods to Grow with Kids

If you’re planning on growing veg this spring and summer with your kids, Emma at The Syders has got some excellent suggestions of what you can grow. When I was a kid, I loved nothing more than helping my grandad to pick the peas and runner beans he’d grown in the garden and I think it’s really important for kids to see where food comes from…plus, NOTHING tastes better than strawberries grown in your own garden!

Planting and Sowing

Emmy’s Mummy has got another great gardening post about how to get the kids involved with the planting and sowing stage of gardening, perfect for this time of year. They’re growing a whole variety of different fruit and veg which will be a fabulous crop once they’re all grown and ready for harvest.

Easy DIY Crepe Paper Tulips Craft Tutorial

Tulips are one of my favourite flowers (have you ever seen the black ones?!) and this tulip craft is absolutely perfect for this time of year when the flowers are starting to bloom. As Katie says, they’d be the perfect centrepiece for an Easter dinner, but I also think they’d be ideal for Mother’s Day too, especially if your Mum has allergies and can’t have real flowers.

Upcycling Rose Petals Part One – Simple Table Centrepiece

I love receiving flowers, same as most people, but I always feel a bit sad when they start to die. Roses are my faves (in fact, Sausage’s middle name is even Rose) and they start off so beautiful and full of potential, but whither away to nothing in such a short time. Recently, Sausage insisted on making me buy buying a bunch of flowers for her Dad and she chose pink roses for him. They lasted quite a while, but when the time came to add them to the compost heap, I decided to keep the petals and dry them for later use.

Drying the petals

The drying itself was a simple process, I simply pull the petals off of the stalks, spread the petals out on a microwaveable plate and buzzed then for a minute at a time until they started to feel a bit crispy. I think it took three one-minute sessions in my 800w microwave and then I spread them on an old tea towel laid flat to soak up any excess moisture. I then stuck them in a lock-tight tupperware box until I needed them.

Simple but pretty table centrepiece

The first thing I decided to use my dried petals for was a pretty table centrepiece, based on an idea I saw at Christmastime on Pinterest but never got around to making. You’ll need:

Dried rose petals

Small bundt cake tin

Boiled water

Tealights

Pretty saucer or bowl

1. Fill the bundt cake tin with the dried rose petals. At this point, you can also add a few drops of rose essential oil if you want to, but mine hadn’t arrived yet, so I didn’t.

2. Pour boiling water on top of the petals

3. Use a spoon or other pokey thing to press the petals down so that they are all submerged below the water and laying flat

4. Place directly into the freezer (it’s a good idea to put a piece of cardboard between the shelf and the tin as it may freeze together and be a total pain to try and extract

5. Once it’s frozen and you’re ready to use the centrepiece, remove it from the freezer and run the outside of the tin under a lukewarm tap to release the ice

6. Place it upside down on your saucer or bowl (it’s a good idea to measure how much water the saucer will take as it may overflow as the centrepiece starts to defrost if you don’t use something big enough). Something vintage and floral would probably look lovely

7. Place your tealight into the dimple in the bottom of the ice and light

8. The ice will probably outlast your tealights, so you may need to replace the candle a couple of times, but as the ice melts, providing you use a plate or bowl that is deep enough, you end up with a candle floating on beautiful rose petals and rose tinted water.

This photo doesn’t really do it justice as it was quite late and taken under the light above my hob, but the water and petals looked a lot prettier in reality!

I think this would make a lovely (and pretty much free) table decoration for a romantic meal for two. You can replace the flower petals with seasonal things like berries or seashells for different occasions too and experiment with scents and colours.

Just a tip – boiling the water first is quite important as it makes the ice clearer when it freezes, allowing you to see what’s inside. As an additional bonus that I wasn’t expecting, the boiling water took some of the pink colour from the petals and make the ice a beautiful pale rose pink colour. The photo below is my first attempt, made without boiling water and it did not work at all!

Part two to follow – come back to see how I get along with making my own rose-scented bath bombs!