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 you love crafts, this increasingly popular practice is for you. Learning upcycling techniques and applying them to your creative projects is the first step to reducing your environmental impact and contributing to a better planet.
In the following list, you will find 12 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 materials and techniques to practice upcycling at home with these experts and, at the end of the post, don't miss a free tutorial to learn how to care for clothes with handmade embroidery, with tips from Russian embroiderer Kseniia Guseva.
It's always better to mend than consume: this upcycling concept can also be applied to the fashion industry and, on a smaller scale, our own wardrobe. Minimizing our environmental impact and making sustainable choices is possible even in the context of clothing. How? With some small changes and a good dose of inspiration and imagination.
In this course, you'll earn to give old and forgotten garments a second chance through basic refashioning upcycling techniques and minimize your environmental impact alongside Gaia Segattini, fashion designer and founder of the brand Gaia Segattini Knotwear. As an expert in upcycling–the art of sustainable fashion–, she teaches you how to transform an old sweater into a one-of-a-kind garment with some simple modifications and custom decorations.
Upcycling is an opportunity to give a piece of furniture a second chance and live more sustainably. Furniture artist and upcycler Joanne Condon believes you can create art from forgotten furniture. That’s what she does via her furniture business, which has led her to win multiple awards and publish her own book about upcycling.
In this course, Joanne takes you step-by-step through the process of restoring a pre-loved piece of furniture through DIY techniques, from choosing the right piece to using color, texture, and pattern to breathe new life into it.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Inspired to start learning and creating? Don't miss this free tutorial below and find out how to care for hand-embroidered garments to ensure your work lasts.
Embroidery Tutorial: How to Care for Hand Embroidered Clothing
Kseniia Guseva, also known as @faimyxstitch, is a hand embroidery artist from Saint Petersburg, Russia. According to Kseniia, “embroidery makes everything better.”
She is particularly passionate about architecture–and has created over 100 city patterns; upcycling; and customizing different items, such as jeans, bags, T-shirts, and even trainers. In this tutorial, she shares a number of simple and essential tips on how to make sure your pieces last.
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