Spartan Upcycle Store recently hosted the second upcycled crafting workshop in SSRC’s education center. The class focused on creating “book wreaths” out of books, magazines, maps, and cardboard discarded at SSRC’s Drop Off Center.
Sarah Heckaman, head of the upcycling program, also brought plastic flowers, buttons, and gems from the Spartan Upcycle collection to act as center pieces for the wreaths. Ladies from around mid-Michigan gathered to cut, roll, and staple together their springtime decorations and learn a little about the importance of upcycling.
Upcycling is the process of reusing old or abandoned materials for something new. The Spartan Upcycle Store’s supplies are often pulled from SSRC’s Drop Off Center bins or are donated from the Surplus Store if an item is not fit for resale. Sarah and her team then set out to repurpose the discarded materials into higher-value objects fit for sale. The book wreath, a favorite amongst SSRC staff, is one way the upcycle team recovers some of the thousands of books and pounds of paper that SSRC receives. Other projects have included paper flowers and junk journals.
Recovering goods and repurposing them promotes sustainable innovation and creativity while extending an object’s life by adding more value to it. The extra perks of this upcycled project are that there’s no need to purchase a new, potentially non-recyclable wreath, and when you lose interest, it can easily be recycled and processed into a new paper product. Unique and handcrafted, these wreaths make great wall art that double as conversation starters—how do we look at unwanted materials? How can we creatively and resourcefully manage our waste? If these questions spark your interest, join us for a future upcycle workshop!
To get notice of upcoming workshops and other events, sign up for the Surplustomer newsletter or follow Spartan Upcycle Store on Facebook. Also, mark your calendar for the Spartan Upcycle Store Pop Up Sale. Swing by on June 18-19 and stock up on all your upcycled crafting essentials.