Reduce, Reuse, Re-Craft!

By Ashley Owens

Everyone knows the saying “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure” — well, I take that saying  literally! We all know what recycled means but very few know what “upcycled” means. Wikipedia defines upcycling as “the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value.”

While shopping at Lowe’s one day I saw that they were about to throw away perfectly good cut pieces of wood and plexi-glass. I looked past what they were and saw the beauty and potential in them, and that’s when I realized that they were throwing away great materials for a really cool picture frame. To my surprise they gave me all this “trash” for free!

As my love for upcycling grew, I started thinking of more creative things that use “trash”. With a craft room filled with piles of fashion magazines, I started to think of ways to use them instead of throwing them out. Ripping and folding the pages one by one and gluing them together created a really interesting fruit bowl. I decided to take it one step further and continued the pattern up, and before I knew it I had made a flower vase out of a magazine! I have now transitioned from folding magazines to folding books.

Every so often I take a trip to the Goodwill Outlet and stock up on old Reader’s Digest Condensed Books. Taking the number of pages into consideration, I then start mapping out my pattern. Hours later, I have a beautiful piece of art that was just laying in a throwaway bin.

You can find my upcycled crafts at or you can visit for all kinds of upcycled craft ideas.

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