A little “upcycling”

Craft made from recycled materials seems to be everywhere at the moment, and I’m loving it. This week I created my own origami earrings out of a recycled children’s book.

My new origami children's book earrings. Scroll down if you'd like to become the owner of some!

My new origami children’s book earrings. Scroll down if you’d like to become the owner of some!

I remember how excited and amazed I was the first time I saw a Wozwaste stall at a local market.  This innovative group reinvents rubbish from toothbrushes to tyres into useful and funky everyday goods. Rubber wallets made from old tyres, handbags made from old advertising banners and soap racks made from old toothbrushes are just a few of the items I marvel at every time I see their stall. I think the fashionable term is “upcycling”.

Many other quirky crafters are creating fabulous stuff out of old junk. Cutlery transformed into jewellery, mobiles made from old books and old teacups used to hold candles are just a few of the recent ideas that come to mind. Yes, I do like visiting markets.

I have been making origami earrings for a while now – creating jewellery out of paper cranes and twisted wire got me through winter a couple of years ago – but the other day I decided I was ready to change it up a bit.

For my paper cranes I always use genuine Japanese origami paper because it is super thin, of great quality, full of intricate patterns and comes shaped in a perfect square. However I have a few other, slightly simpler styles that I sometimes use, like this basic square fold.

In a bid to be a little more retro-cool, I ventured out to a local op shop the other day and picked up a couple of children’s books with paper of ideal weight for origami (as I’m sure you can imagine, thick stuff doesn’t fold so well).

The Two Giants and Cinderella - I'm sorry I had to cut you to pieces!

The Two Giants and Cinderella – I’m sorry I had to cut you to pieces!

I then cut the books into perfect little squares all of the same size and similar colours.

These funny-looking giants are barely recognisable in the finished product.

These funny-looking giants are barely recognisable in the finished product.

I then went about my business as usual – folding the squares into a cute little origami piece, then gluing them flat, and varnishing twice.

The pieces in process

The pieces in process

I’m pretty excited about making more in all different colours and styles.

Do you have any ideas on what I should use next time?

The three pairs pictured here are now all for sale at my Etsy store. I would be absolutely delighted if somebody took them home! Or, if you prefer a different style like paper cranes, other options are available made to order via that Etsy link.

Please let me know what you think!

The finished product. Head over to http://www.etsy.com/shop/mherbie to purchase these or another pair like them.

The finished product. Head over to http://www.etsy.com/shop/mherbie to purchase these or another pair like them.

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7 responses

  1. Pingback: Origami earrings | Cutting Corners

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