TRASHY KIDS~Apple Stamp Art

This is a simple but totally fun art project using only a few materials with easy clean up!

2 apples,cut in half 2 different ways
paper towels
paper plates
Tempera paints-red,green, and yellow
11x18" white construction paper
smock or old T-shirt

These instructions are to make a collage of apple-shaped prints.
1. Have an adult cut the apples in half length wise and horizontally. Let them dry for about an hour so they are able to hold the paint.
2. Lay down newspaper to protect your surface.
3. Lay down the construction paper on the newspaper.
4. Pour some paint onto the paper plates in your choice of color. (I found 3 colors on a plate to be just enough so that the children have any easier time with not mixing colors.)
5. Dip an apple half face down in one color of paint.
6. Help your child blot some of the excess paint onto paper towels.
7. Press the apple onto the paper in several directions.
8. Reapply paint to the apple if your student desires to make more of the same color.
9. When its time to change colors, have your child blot the excess paint onto paper towels until no more paint comes off.
10. Repeat steps 5-8 with all the colors and apples shapes. The colors and shapes may be overlapped for a collage effect and for secondary colors to appear!
11. Help your child clean up the materials and himself.
12. Let the painting dry before hanging.

VARIATION: Use other vegetables to use for printing: sliced green peppers and mushrooms; cauliflower and broccoli florets; citrus fruits, like oranges(let dry about four days before using.) Oh! Pears are an excellent stamp choice as well!


Interview with Alex from alexkeller jewelry

Shop address-
Other sites-

What draws you to using trashion materials?
Initially, it was about saving some money and still be able to do what I enjoy. But it's also become about saving resources.

What trashion materials do you use?
I use pieces of jewelry from thriftshops - things people have donated because they didn't want them anymore. I also find a lot of jewelry at resale shops, of which there are many!
I've raided my own jewelry and am always looking for donations!
I also use recycled gift boxes and packaging.

Do you remember the first thing you made using the trashion concept?
The first thing I made was probably when I was little. My mom used to sew a lot of our clothes, and she would save the scraps for me to make things. I remember making Barbie clothes and a drawstring purse. I think the purse had an owl on it, or maybe it was a butterfly.

What are your current projects and what is on the horizon?
My current goal is to use up some of the supplies I already have! I have too much fun shopping for materials. In fact, I'm going to an estate sale today......
On the horizon, I hope to have enough jewelry to participate in some arts and crafts fairs. I also would like to have some of my work in local shops.
Further down the road, I would love to take a metal class and work with reclaimed materials.

Anything else you'd like to add?
I'm glad to be a Trashionista!


Happy Earth Day!

Enjoy and be proud of Mother Earth today and every day!
Please leave a comment about what you are doing to celebrate Earth Day 2009.


TRASHY KIDS~Lady Bug Rocks!

Lady bug rocks are a hit with my kids and I'm sure they'd be a hit with yours, too!These little buggies can be used as shelf decorations, paperweights, or larger ones can be decorative in a colorful garden! Let your kids pick their favorite color. Jordan happens to love the color purple so a purple lady bug rock for her it is!

What you'll need:

*Smooth, round or oval rocks
*Acrylic craft paint
*Black acrylic craft paint
*Black Sharpie marker
*Acrylic matte sealer spray
*White craft glue (Tacky Glue)
*2 wiggle eyes for each ladybug

How to make it:

1 Completely wash and dry all rocks.
2 Paint rocks in desired colors, allow to dry. Apply second and third coats if needed. Lighter colors will require more coats than darker shades.
3 Paint head on using black acrylic craft paint. There is no pattern needed, simply paint about 1/4 of the rock black in the front.
4 Use a black Sharpie to draw a straight line down the center of the rock, starting at the center of the base of the “head”.
5 Dip the end of a large paint brush, or the eraser of a pencil, in black craft paint. Dot on the spots, reloading with paint after every dot.
6 Once the paint is dry, spray the rock(s) with acrylic sealer spray. Allow sealer to dry completely.
7 Using white craft glue, attach wiggle eyes and let dry.


Bigger rocks are easier for small hands to manipulate. They are also heavier, so be sure that there are enough adult helpers for a group of little ones.

White and black paint can be used instead of wiggle eyes. Simply dot on white paint, allow to dry, then use a smaller tool to dot on the black.

This craft idea is one that our family has done for several years. I recently came across a great site that showed the same craft. I remembered the ones we did a long time ago and decided to post it for Trashion, too. The site link is here.



the inspiring beauty of trashion


found objects necklace by lakeeriebeachglass
vintage fabric wrap skirt by TheGarbologistsWife
sprite hood by fairytalefibers
remade high waist skirt by fisheye
linen pillow cover by ErnstandThistle
yearbook sticker pack by samann1121
make a list recycled notebooks by remaker
chocolate strawberry wrapper bracelet by CandyCalamity
cloudy day cuff by buttercupbloom


beauty. i find it inspiring. energizing. uplifting.

is there anything more beautiful than our wonderful planet, and working hard to make it well? i think not!

so imagine my joy when handmade trashion artists create. something i just adore about recyclers is their passion & love for our world. and their creative joy that bursts forth as they take trash and weave their magic, turning it into something reborn, so lovely and beautiful.

for me, one of the greatest joys of trashion-ing is seeing something renewed as newly beautiful. a re-creation of something trashed into something inspiring. it gives me hope that there is a beautiful, hopeful, greener world ahead for us.

i just love exploring the beauty of things trashion.

it's not garbage. it's the beautiful, inspiring future.
it's not junk. it's remade into treasure.

i encourage you to explore for yourself. our trashion team is full of beautiful artists, making beautiful creations. renewing the world one old wrapper, well-loved bedsheet or repurposed tire @ a time.

that's real beauty: finding the inner-beauty of something tossed away; discarded.

take a stroll in the beautiful world of trashion and be inspired.
i always am!

Submitted by kristal of rikrak - this week's guest blogger.
If you'd like to be guest blogger- contact Lori of Fisheye.


TRASHY KIDS~Recycled T-shirt Necklace

My husband happens to be a contractor in the field of paint and trim finishing. We will often recycle our old faded, holey, are shrunken T-shirts into rags for him to use with his stain. My daughter Hanna gets the fun job of cutting these shirts into rags on occasion. As I was coming around the corner to see how she was getting a long, I noticed that she had begun to make herself a bit of jewelry using some of the scraps.

Hanna often gets distracted from her jobs and usually gets in trouble with these distractions but instead of hollering at her for the distraction I commended her for her artistic spontaneity! Shhhh! Don't tell my husband.

Here is what Hanna did.

She simply cut the collars out of three different colored T-shirts and tied them in a knot at one end. She then proceeded to braid the three strands until her necklace was long enough to wear. She added about two more inches of braid (to allow room to tie off) and knotted the end. Hanna then simply wrapped the soft Cotton necklace around her neck and made a loose tie. Voila!

Hanna has informed me that these necklaces can be made into bracelets as well and can be shared with friends. Thank you Hanna for this weeks entry of TRASHY KIDS!


Got Supplies?

Isn't it a good time to grab some upcycled supplies and make something? Here are some cool finds from Trashion Team Members. Click photos for info.


TRASHY KIDS~Earth Day & Green Share!

EARTH DAY is April 22nd, 2009 and this activity is excellent for kids as well as the whole family! It is a cross promotion activity that is being distributed by Team Eco Etsy and members of Trashion.

"Green Share is the passing on and sharing of a gift of seeds and a starter planter that is given freely to classrooms, local businesses, neighbors, friends and family in celebration of Earth day. The gift can be anonymous or can help show your business or organization’s commitment to Eco-Friendly living."

There are many ways to participate in this activity. The materials needed are free and easily downloaded and printable. This is an excellent opportunity to give back to the community as well. My family is thinking about taking some of our packets to an assisted living home within walking distance of our own.

You can use seeds harvested from your own flower or vegetable gardens or you can buy inexpensive seeds from a local store such as Walmart, Lowes, garden center. We happen to reuse old planters but yogurt containers can be substituted as well. There are endless possibilities!

To access the downloadable print-outs and more detailed directions, please follow the link HERE.

And most importantly, ENJOY!


Interview with Leslie Sirag of the Creative Block!

Etsy shops: The Creative Block at and Findings at

What draws you to using trashion materials?
I've used recycled materials as long as I can remember--and I'm 64, so that's a while. I started using fabric scraps & bits of other stuff to dress my dolls, moved into recycling clothing and jewelry for costumes, and went on from there. We didn't have much money when I was young (not that we have now!) so I learned to use cardboard boxes, upholstery and carpet samples, old jeans (to patch, embroider, or make into something else), old curtains, unraveled sweaters, and whatever else came my way. My fascination with rusty objects, I think, started years later, when I was doing a lot of weaving and felting, and shows up in pieces like my Junkyard Angel: Skating on Thin Ice, which combines a rusty spring (from a car, I think), waxed linen cord (macrame), an old button for a face and 2 for skates, and some wonderful mother of pearl hands which double as wings. Can you tell I like mixing media?

What trashion materials do you use?
I'm pretty overwhelmed with getting all my latest batches of materials up at Findings, so haven't had time for much of my own work lately, but I'm repurposing some earring parts into charms for ElenaMary's flower charm swap and have pulled a couple of junk watches to use as cases for something or other. I'm also considering combining some of my new vintage metal settings with some scrap glass and seeing if I can fuse something interesting. I've also recently been reworking old, sometimes felted, sweaters, and have sold a couple of pieces at craft fairs but don't have any on The Creative Block yet.

What are your inspirations?
Some of the dolls there began with old stuff, though--Sister Mary Inocencia started with a sprinkler fitting that reminded me of a nun's cowl, and Emma from the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory is built on a textile bobbin, as is Claims Related to Bast, while August was inspired by a bunch of keychains in the shape of boots. You never know what will trigger something new.

What are your current projects and what is on the horizon?
Right now I'm having a lot of fun listing my latest finds at Findings, sometimes with some ideas about what I think they might become, and of course saving a few pieces for my own use if I ever have time again.


Upcycle Exchange - Swapping Green

Emily of Candy Calamity recently interviewed Autumn Wiggins of the Upcycle Exchange about her innovative new trashion project:


Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I've been a die-hard indie crafter since 2001! I started out developing a microbrand for my sewn goods called String Theory, and quickly got caught up in the momentum of the handmade movement. In 2005, I began organizing Strange Folk, a grass roots craft show in the burbs of St. Louis that has grown exponentially, drawing a crowd of over 10,000 attendees last year. I was interested in exploring the environmental impact of our growing genre, and began writing for Crafting a Green World in 2008. After compiling research on the subject, I presented my findings and ideas as a speaker at both Craft Con and Maker Faire 2008. Articles for Etsy's Storque Blog and Craft: Magazine followed. I propose that cottage industries can be an effective vehicle for upcycling; that by working together we can eliminate waste, reduce pollution, and curb overseas mass production. I'm confident this can be made a reality by the creative utilization of the internet, and after designing websites for 15 years, it's very exciting for me to be in the thick of developing user interfaces for this purpose.

What is an upcycle exchange?

It works just like a recycling program, except that it specifically addresses the relationship between buying and selling merchandise. The basic concept is that a seller requests items they use to make things, and the customer collects said items for the seller. The seller then offers incentives such as discounts on merchandise or free give-aways to customers that submit said items. The terms of the exchange are facilitated through the internet or the merchandise itself.
Now, that's a broad explanation with a lot of possibilities. It makes sense as a model for sustainability, but not in the current climate of industrialization. Companies that depend on countless middle-men and factories overseas are incapable of adopting the concept effectively. Due to society's varied tastes of consumption, what is really needed to make repurposing viable is equally varied creative interpretation. The handmade movement is not a passing art fad, but a renaissance of trash. It's up to us to maximize the usefulness of an overwhelming abundance of durable goods that the world has inherited from ignorant predecessors. In the long run, industry will need to adopt greener methods for producing raw materials, and maybe technologies that enable micro-manufacturing can trump the ugly trend of faceless labor.

How did you come up with the idea to organize this?

I got the idea while reading a book called Cradle-to-Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things by William McDonough and Michael Braungart. Most crafters may not realize the term "Upcycling" was actually coined in this book. They talk a lot about futuristic concepts dealing with "material flows"; that everything man-made would be either 1. compostable 2. infinitely recyclable (which many things, like paper and most plastics, are not) OR 3. Upcycled in an orderly fashion. The first two are technologies on the horizon. The third seems very far-fetched to most people. in fact, many things certified as Cradle-to-Cradle are a combination of all three, most being products that are used long-term(like carpets, office chairs, even a concept car by Ford) and can be disassembled once their use has ceased. I thought, what about domestic goods? There are so many things that our modern lifestyle requires. The complexity is maddening, and the only way that everything can be sustainable is for everyone with enough imagination to make it so.
I'm reading this book, thinking the whole time they obviously aren't aware of the indie craft underground, which has since become a mainstream phenomena. I saw it as solving an equation for X, and had a strong feeling that I shouldn't keep it to myself. Though the solution was easy, writing the proof was difficult . Even though my ideas for facilitating upcycle exchanges in many forms have been met with enthusiasm, it seemed that I would have to take it further and formulate a workable platform. That's why I created "The Upcycle Exchange" specifically as a program for St. Louis. It's meant to be a model and a way to work out bugs in the system before we launch (short for Local Upcycling Coops) which will be an open-source type project to promote community driven upcycling efforts.

Having hosted your first upcycle exchange is there anything you would do differently?

I was actually floored at how well it went. The compiled list seemed to make sense to everyone. People were happy with the coupons, and were bringing in some really nice stuff. Many mentioned they would have not discarded these things otherwise, but were thrilled about the idea of their clutter being made into something new. There was some concern beforehand from vendors about requiring minimum quantities in order to get the discount. I was pretty adamant that NOT having minimums was a cornerstone of the concept. You just have to trust that most people would willingly donate a reasonable amount, and overwhelmingly, they did.
That said, I think it's important for volunteers to be familiar with the list and the vendors, as well as sorting from the get-go. Also, all participating vendors should lend you at least 2 decent sized tubs, boxes, or laundry baskets that are clearly labeled with their name. I found it helpful to tape individual vendor lists to their containers as well. The cool thing was that people would bring their stuff in all kinds of bags and boxes which allowed us to sort out things like fabric,buttons, ribbons, paper, and other practically universally requested items. In the end, there was such and abundance that even non-participating vendors were invited to take home some treasure. Only a few scraps remained.

Where can people go to learn more about organizing an exchange in their own area?

I think I have a pretty good system for collecting and compiling lists in place. Also, once you start collecting things, I found a really great way to both sort for individuals and create collections of commonly requested items for the vendors to choose from at the end of a show. I'm going to start working on publishing guides on how to do this on starting this summer. Until then, I'd be happy to go through the basics with anyone who would like to start their own program before then. Just e-mail me at Also, I'm releasing the "U" symbol on The Upcycle Exchange site under a Creative Commons license for anyone to use or remix, and will have high-res graphics available for download, but will be happy to serve them up via e-mail for now as well. I think the upcycling symbol should be as recognizable as the recycling symbol!

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

There are many other possibilities for this such as distributing "Upcycle Bins", having drop-off locations, and I'm sure many other avenues I'm not thinking of. Events seem like a good place to start though. Sure, the economy sucks, but we can pretty much do all this for free, and give consumers more incentive to buy handmade goods. We've got a lot of work ahead of us, but I think we can actually save the planet by making things :)