Experts in upcycling share techniques and ideas for creating while recycling
Upcycling is a brilliantly creative way to draw attention to the importance of recycling. Finding new uses for materials that had been cast aside as useless, and transforming them into uniquely personalized objects, is very stimulating for the imagination. If you are passionate about sustainability and love crafts, this increasingly popular practice is for you.
In the following list, you will find ten online upcycling courses for beginners. Even if you don’t have any experience, you can learn to transform old furniture or repair your favorite items of clothing with embroidery, crochet, or darning. Discover different materials and techniques for upcycling from home.
If you think one of your chairs needs updating, why not upholster it yourself? To do so, Argentine entrepreneur Lucía Giraudo will show you how to disassemble your chair with the right tools. Discover which materials she recommends and learn how to differentiate between synthetic and natural fibers. Explore the world of fabrics, how to care for them, and transform that old chair into something totally unique.
A home is full of upcycling opportunities. Celia and Marc, creators of the interior design studio Antic&Chic, will teach you how to restore and transform your old furniture or household items to revitalize and add character to your home. After learning the differences between restoring and transforming, you'll get down to work. You will decide on the finish, learn how to remove the original varnish, and make small repairs. You will also learn to create different effects such as distressed, lacquered or dip-dying, giving your furniture personality.
For those who love embroidery and painting, this course is an opportunity to unite your passions on a textile piece, which is Ana María Restrepo’s specialty. The designer, textile artist, and creator of the brand Amarpo will show you different embroidery techniques and how to paint onto fabric to create your piece. Follow her advice to achieve an impeccable finish and to take great care of your design.
Inject new life into your unused garments with old materials and upcycling techniques. Fashion designer Ximena Corcuera will introduce you to the world of sustainable fashion, explaining its principles and different methods. You will then have the tools to rework your clothes and experiment with what you have around you. You will also learn about new materials and sustainable design processes.
Up for a sewing challenge? Krizia Robustella invites you to create your own upcycling collection. You will begin by studying different techniques such as deconstruction, printing, embroidery, and looking at texture. Then, you will start transforming one of your garments into a new piece. Krizia, who has participated in Madrid Fashion Week, will also share tips for carrying out a photoshoot.
Sneakers, not only do they get you places, they also offer up a unique canvas for creative experimentation. Juan Pablo Bello, art director and founder of MYSNKRS Customs (@mysneakerscl), will show you how to customize your shoes, from color mixing and masking to applying paint and using stencils. Using different materials and processes, you will create a unique, durable, and quality design.
Discover the “visible mending” technique and revamp your garments with stylish embroidery. Gabriela Martínez, creator of the textile project Ofelia & Antelmo, will teach you how to mend broken, damaged, or stained pieces by hand. You will discover different stitches (running stitch, flat stitch, raised stitch, and lattice stitch) that you will use to create original compositions full of textures. Gabriela will also share tips for preserving your work.
Learn to develop your own darning style with Ellen Saville, co-founder and creative director of The Endery. Ellen will teach you techniques for mending and repairing your clothes. She'll start by explaining the different tools and materials before showing you a basic mending stitch. You will play with color and texture to develop your own design showcasing your personal style.
You can make any garment more fun by embroidering onto it. Textile artist Kseniia Guseva will teach you how to upcycle with a needle and thread. She will first walk you through different fabrics and then help you choose colors for your projects and shed light on her creative process. Under her guidance, you will learn two different ways to transfer your designs to fabric and start embroidering onto your garment.
Upcycling expert Emma Friedlander Collins, better known as Steel and Stitch, invites you to transform a pair of flip flops into cozy, contemporary slippers. To do so, she will show you how to identify the different types of yarn and hooks that you will use to create different effects. You will also practice basic crochet stitches and create a color palette for your slippers. Using simple crochet techniques, you will turn your unused clothes into unique pieces.