June 8, 2012

Our 1st Upcycled Creativity Challenge

In the Spring of 2012 across our Etsy Team Discussion board came a thread from Gray, shop owner of Knotsewtrashy. That post and Gray's idea soon became our first organized team Creativity Challenge!
Eight upcycled shops volunteered and each month have been asked to select an upcycled medium to inspire creativity and upcycling among our team members. We gave Gray the honor of hosting the first month's challenge, and the "musical e-waste" medium was selected as our first challenge!
Here is Gray's synopsis of our first upcycled creativity challenge...

"This challenge came to mind when I was looking at some often discarded objects and wondering, "If 20 crafters were in a room and each had 1 of these objects, how many different and amazing end results would we have?" And really wanting to see that thought process become a reality. The first object I thought this with was a discarded stereo. So the first challenge item was naturally, a stereo! The category was greatly widened to anything that makes sound or is electronic. The range of items and end results was certainly as varied, if not more, than I had originally thought. On top of getting creative and finding great solutions that are unique to the materials (bracelet closure made out of a headphone? bhangtiez that was brilliant.) we had great conversations about upcycling and our creative processes!
There were a lot of ideas for this item, personally I was thinking about magnets with the speaker parts, earring holders made from the metal "mesh" of the speakers. Others made toys, lamps, earrings, necklaces, and bracelets, a purse/wristlet, a note taking station, and speakers for an mp3 player! Picking my favorites was just about impossible.

My three favorites are.......

I love that the function of the original item is almost entirely preserved, while adding another function to the item! I'm also really into the simple aesthetic.

What a great use for the shell of an old phone and base. I need one of these to follow me around every day of my life. I can see one of these sitting next to my phone's functioning base. So simple, and variable!

And this last one might have taken the cake for me.

Okay, it's got a secret compartment. Y'all know that's awesome. And it's cute as it gets!"

Thank you Gray from Knotsewtrashy for a wonderful start to a new chapter in Upcyclers!

And thank you Upcyclers for your amazing selections!

ALL entries can be viewed on our Team's Challenge Pinterest Board!!!

Team Members be sure to check out our discussion board! The second month's creativity challenge is just getting started! M. Basile from Rinnovato selected the medium: glass jars & bottles!

Happy Upcycling!
The Wooden Bee


  1. Ahh, I love this! Such a fun challenge! Thank you for including my walkman purse in the article!

  2. Such cool items came from this!

  3. I love this idea! Especially having a different item each month to work with. What a great way to get everyones creative juices flowing and keep items from the landfill. Can't wait to see where this will go!!!
    Wonderful article...thank you so much for including my bracelet and recycled supplies.
    Thank you to everyone who has made this challenge possible!

  4. Gray had a great idea and I am so glad that it became so popular with the team! Fabulous article Bee! I loved seeing the entries. There are some very talented minds and hands at work here! :)

  5. Hi, My name is Charlotte. I'm a graduate student and just have the task to look into Upcycling industry. Can you reply to my email? I need some information from insiders. I appreciate a lot for your time. :) Thank you so much! (xuanxuan.li@pepperdine.edu)