“Vladimir” or “Pallet Mirror” by Karl Zahn is made using two partially destroyed shipping pallets. “The scars on the lumber tell a story of its travels. While the form is reminiscent of old victorian french mirrors, its origin is far from gold leaf” -Karl Zahn
Parquet Table by Bouf. Easy shipping and assembly. Good design but also great do-it-yourself idea…...
Moss terrariums are fun and easy to create and maintain. Decorate your moss terrariums with precious stones and twigs you find. Above are do-it-yourself moss terrariums created with vintage listerine bottles found on Bottle Beach, Brooklyn and moss from Upstate New York. Bottle Beach is a great place to find old bottles. If you are not afraid to dig through Brooklyn’s vintage garbage:
“Keep the moisture in. The moss will use the CO2 provided by the decomposing and dead plants in the soil. Sometimes, there’s algae and seeds from other plants in the mini-ecosystem, which will overgrow the moss over time [...] Seal the jar off completely making sure, that there’s enough moisture in it. Try to supply the jars with enough light without exposing them to direct sunlight”
- from experienced moss terrarium owner, Henry K Miller
You can always use old wine bottles and jars, or buy ready-made moss terrariums. Below: Moss terrariums at Cog and Pearl.
Antonello Fuse coat hangers made from old recycled chair backs.
Above: Moth from various leaves, acorn, rose hip, sticks.
It is autumn and acorns, pine cones, sticks and various seeds are available outside. These are some wonderful illustrations instructing on how to make toys from found natural materials. (Поделки из природных материалов)
Some materials to think about:
Snake from acorns, string and acorn caps:
Cat from deergrass, sticks and maple seeds:
Above: Bear from pine cones. (ha-ha)
DIY hedgehog from pine needles and pine cone.
Donkey from acorn, sticke, peaunut, maple seeds.
Goldfish from acorn, oak leaves, maple seeds.
Owls from pine cones.
Sewing table made from two broken chairs and I suppose, an old surfboard. Redesigned by Robert Kalin, founder of ETSY.
Jerko is an environmental cleanup movement with head-quarters in Gowanus Canal DIY slavaged, solar powered, rainwater harvesting house boat. Jerko the Gowanus Water Vacuum house boat floats up and down the Gowanus Canal, cleaning water through biological filtration. (Gowanus Canal is one of the most polluted waterways in New York City, if not the world)
Read about Jerko the Gowanus Water Vacuum on Half Nomad:
Photographs of Jerko the Gowanus Water Vacuum were discovered on beautiful blog by photographer Elizabeth Weinberg:
I found these beautiful greenhouses made from upcycled old windows on HAUTE NATURE. I recently have seen a bunch of gorgeous old windows in the garbage. ...
Unconventional artsy birdhouses made from odd objects and milk crates. I saw them on Reference Library and fell in love with ever since!
Pillows from recycled old wool sweaters, jackets or shirts. (Image from Katy Elliott)
Sofa cover from reused jeans fabric. (Image from Design Milk)
This mug by lenni08 reminds me of where I grew up. There are many birch trees in Russia — it’s considered the national tree.
This necklace made of birch bark by bettula is inspired by the discarded and unusual. You don’t have to think very hard to figure out which tree is my favorite.
When I was growing up, people in Russia did not have a lot of money to buy new wares, so they made belongings out of other objects. To this day I think it is pretty cool to see objects and materials being reused, like this rotating bike wheel pot rack by plaidclad
These beautiful and valuable bits and pieces almost disappeared into the garbage pile forever! Get inspired to recycle by the digit recycled leather necklace by mainichi and shift key typewriter vintage pendant necklace by PreciousPastimes.
This neglected dresser was salvaged and restored by rubyrhino1 and made into a vintage masterpiece. It reminds me of our summer dacha in Russia.
Read full Design Squish guest Curator post on Etsy:
Read Richard Louv talk on the importance of tree houses and climbing trees:
Above: Shelving/vase system displaying thistles, dried plants and exotic flowers.
Daniel Goers is a local Brooklyn designer, architect and artist who has a show right now called Scrap Ecology at Brooklyn coffee shop K-Dog in Lefferts Gardens. All pieces are made from reclaimed materials except some lighting components. Daniel has been collecting scrap materials and remaking them into beautiful designs and sculptures for some time now. His other great project is in collaboration with artist Jennifer Wong called Birdtown. Fifty birdhouses were built from recycled materials and installed in Fort Greene:
Above: Daniel Goers and Jennifer Wong.
Above: Birdhouse from Birdtown.
Scrap Ecology aims to rearrange the raw materials of our urban and natural environments into objects with new meaning and purpose. These materials include abandoned shipping pallets from Red Hook, wood cutoffs from carpentry projects, recycled packaging, discarded architectural samples, donated plant stems and foraged specimens from Prospect Park and the mountains of Harriman State Park.
Why reclaimed materials?
New York is a great place to find raw materials to build with. every day the streets are filled with “trash” that can be so much more. But maybe the best reason is that material is free. The reclaimed material also tends to have more character.
Do you enjoy living in New York? Would you if you had an opportunity move somewhere where there are more trees and less garbage?
Of course, New York is a great place to be a designer but my sculptures do hint at the desire to be closer to nature. I would love to live in a barn in the mountains but in the meantime I will work to bring nature to people’s homes here.
Above: Lamp made from glass jar moss terrariums.
Why do you think using reclaimed materials is popular today?
It’s just marketing for many people. I like to believe that myself and many other designers simply see some intrinsic value and potential in the waste around us. What was once a shipping pallet can become a hundred new things, so why cut down another tree? More people come to this realization and the ‘green’ movement will become less about marketing & more a part of the collective conscience.
How to make sofa out of pillows?
This cusioned sofa by Christiane Hoegner “uses the smallest element of a sofa - the little pillow on top - as main component. Usually used to adjust and customize your personal comfort level, it is now multiplied and piled up to the shape of a sofa” - Christiane
Dad pillows by Christiane Hoegner made from button up shirts. Great idea for DIY project and a way to reuse old shirts!
Another beautiful pillow inspired sofa and stool:
Hanabi by MottoWasabi can be freely transformed according to different needs and seating situations and it is also possible to form a sofa by combining several Hanabis together.
Cafe America is an upcycled galvanized steel chain-link chair with stainless steel rod and fasteners by Grain. The chair flat-packs for efficient shipping and storage. Handmade in the Pacific Northwest, USA.
“Man can better set up in a small house than in a huge castle.” - Leo N. Tolstoy
“With the loved ones you can be happy even in the smallest of places.” - Leo N. Tolstoy.
Old bathtubs, shipping crates and barrels are great “upcycle material” for DIY planters.
Above: Old barrels as planters in San Diego, California.
Bathtub garden baskets in Williamsburg, Brooklyn:
Below: Shipping crate as garden planter.
Chair redesign by Jetske Groot. Jetske finds old chairs, carefully disassembles them and recycles them into new chairs that reflect their past history. Jetske calls her series “Multiple Family”
Scrap wood chair. (Perfect DIY idea)
Skateboard wheels rotating table. (Great idea for reusing skateboard wheels)
Button toy. (Great idea for reusing buttons)
Future Perfect is a good new design store in
Williamsburg and East Village, New York.
Lamp made from scrub pads and chandelier made from
plastic spoons by Daisuke Hirawa.
Tiago Sa Da costa creates bowls and lamps out of natural material - cork.
Hand knitted recycled cotton and leather bags by Lana Williams
Colorful, environmentally friendly wood blocks by Miller Goodman.
Scrap Lights made of recycled cardboard.
Reused shipping crate wood for shelves, glasses and cups from grandma’s garage, flea market or thrift store and a few handmade ceramic bowls.
Image found on beautiful blog by Anna Rikje, photographer and musician from Germany currently living in New York City - I Truly Like That.
I see a lot of old beautiful bird cages in the garbage. I think I threw out a few as well a long long time ago. What I did not know is that they can be transformed into beautiful lamps. This re-purposed bird cage lamp above is by PSPCA ( Philadelphia Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). The curtain will naturally diffuse the light acting as a lamp shade!
How to hand build your own well!!! (in Russian): www.kolodec.ru
I was excited to find these great “Recycled Banner Golden Mean Messenger Bags” DIY instructions a la Freitag bike messenger bags. (Can be made under $5 !!!!!!!!!!!!!). Comfortable, light, tough billboard sign material (waterproof). To view instructions please visit: EEIO Golden Mean messenger bag instructions
In stores, nice bike messenger bags can be $200. Making your own not only saves money but also is good for environment. I just saw a truck driver discard a big piece of truck tarpaulin and now it is lying on the street waiting to be made into bags.
Black Pine Books makes these beautiful high-quality, affordable alternatives to more mass-produced journals. Recycled papers are utilized when possible and all items are entirely hand-made.
Moss and Khaki notebooks are made from recycled paper and have light gray paper( 80 pages). They are saddle-stitched (also known as staple-bound)
The Dusk (Navy) journals have hand-sewn binding, heavy dark blue cover stock and the inside has a narrow-ruled, blue lined paper (80 pages). Comes with the option of a hand-made band, which helps keep the book flat when not in use.
Flower baskets made from old apple and wine crates.
Reusing plastic and wooden shipping crates as shelves and drawers.
Above: Apple crates from Bailey’s Home and Garden
Reusing plastic crates as chairs and coffee tables.
Reusing shipping crates as baskets for bikes.
Above: Bike photographs from Bakfiets en Meer blog - City Cycling News and Opinions from Amsterdam.
Above: Shipping crate as bike basket. Image from Toronto bike blog - Globe Revolution - Inspiring Everyone to a Cycling Lifestyle
Above: Chairs by StudioMama