4 Ways You Can be a Creative Upcycler

4 Ways You Can be a Creative Upcycler
Creative upcycling

Some people have asked me how I teach people to upcycle. I provide the tools, the materials, and a conducive place for people to share their ideas.  I don't like to tell people what they should make because if I tell them that they won't own the process and value the item they have created. By making the decision to upcycle their trousers into a bag or a skirt, they will take pride in what they have made and, of course, use it! After all, upcycling is the process of prolonging the life of the garment and making your mark on it. 

So how can you become a creative upcycler?

#1 Look at things differently

A skirt is never always a skirt.
It can be a tube top, a bag, a clutch or even a pair of shorts if there is enough fabric. Here are a few ideas from participants from the Restyle Your Wardrobe Workshop. Trousers into skirt? Dress into bag?

Upcycling Workshop by Agy, Singapore

#2 Look at a garment like an artist.

You might not need to drastically upcycle a garment. Treat it like a blank slate and use that to create a masterpiece. Add your colours to it. Here's one of my favourites using batik dyes.

Batik Upcycle by Agy

#3 Make it simple

Being creative does not mean having to have a complex idea. Make it simple!
 “Creativity is more than just being different. Anybody can plan weird; that’s easy. What’s hard is to be as simple as Bach. Making the simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity” – Charles Mingus
You could just be adding cute buttons or pom poms, or even cutting the hemline to update a look.

Upcycling with Agy

#4 Try out different techniques

I sometimes find that I get stuck when using the same technique, but once I discover new ones I end up with a lot of possibilities. Not into sewing? Why not do some simple embroidery, or even using dyes? I converted this swapped dress using batik dyes and made it into something unique.

Shibori Upcycling by Agy

What tips do you have for keeping your projects creative?
Comment below!

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  1. Great suggestion on the batik dying. I usually skip the white shirts in thrift shops because of possible stains - now I will look at them differently knowing I can dye them.

  2. Such good tips. Thank you.