Wednesday, February 8, 2012

upcycled decor (part 1)

I had fun in the studio recently, with a bit of freestyle creativity, mainly using upcycled objects.  If you aren't in the know, upcycled stems (obviously) from the word 'recycled', but, instead of just reusing the object or turning into another one similar to it, you are actually giving it a NEW use, a new life, and raising the value of it.  You take something that would normally be trashed or recycled through conventional means, and give it a new creative life, and a value!  It's one of my favorite things to do, and really shows some of the heart behind Artful Mayhem Studio, creating beauty without rules or guidelines.

The Chandelier
I've saved my crusty abused paintbrushes over a long period of time to someday give them a place of honor---- now, with a found metal object they've become a chandelier! I just tied each one on with clear fishing line, and kept adding more until I had the right balance.

Colorful Tchotckes (you know, 'chotch-kees')
These trophies were found in a pile in someone's yard, ready for the bulk trash truck.  A bit of spray paint, and voila!  Fun sculptures!

They live on a shelf above the sink (shelf was $1 at the thrift, I just painted it black!)

Graffitied Memo Board
This was a perfectly fine little brown memo board... but I'm not a fan of brown wood, so it got some spray-painted layers for a funky touch.  Perfect attitude for the studio!

Unconventional 'front door' signage.
This piece of foam core started life as a church sign for events.  When that event was over it was doomed for the trash, until I rescued it.  I LOVE painting on these sturdy signs, and have used them for my booth for events as well.  A front and back side for the door of the studio keeps people in the know about the day, and is made with spray paint, stick on vinyl that I cut to size, paint, and some stickers (also spray painted cause they were animal print before).
OPEN!  (but please use the side door, lol)

Indoor welcome signage!
Paint and sharpies on more scrap foam core boards.  My daughter painted most of the bottom ones, I just wiped some wet stencils on top for more layers, then added the words.

The Art Wall
Of course the 'stuff inside of frames' thing gets done a LOT, but this is my take on it.  All of these are found frames, either curbside or at the thrift for $4 or less.  Some were donated by my amazing friend Cindy, and were so vintage and pretty I hesitated to spraypaint them!  But we did it any way.  These will feature art from various students, and be used to show off upcoming projects and workshops.

This is the 'waiting' area.  Almost all art is from my daughter when she was 3-5 years old.

Doorpane memo board
This 6-foot wooden pane came out of one of our back 'French' doors.  There are 2 doors, and while only one of them actually opens, there was only one of these panes.  Weird.  So out it came, and got wrapped with miles of some fishing line, and now hangs on the wall of my office for me to fill with random pretty things!

Scrap wood shelves.
I actually got the brackets for these shelves off the curb too, and the wood is leftovers from projects of mine and my friend Dana.  I don't really care that the main board is warped, as it still works!  Free shelves plus free paint.  Of course the jars are just upcycled too, I asked friends to save me their empties for a few weeks.  They now hold loads of lovely paintbrushes and other supplies.  The ones with the tins above the kitchen sink are just small boards (1x6's) that I got off the curb, we just used small pieces of the wood to make the 'brackets', since they won't hold much weight.

And the little ones above the sink:

Part 2 will come next week, I have quite a few more things to share with you! Make sure to subscribe or follow the blog so you'll get the early update!
I hope you enjoyed seeing all the little projects! Which one is your favorite?


  1. looks AMAZING!! =)

  2. Wow love your post, how inspiring to see new life in to these old objects, perfect...x