Thursday’s Unique Picks – Scrappy Do!

Greeting to you all from my little nest in SnOw Hio!

Sure it would be a good day to curl up by the fireplace with a good book, but it is Thursday and I have a blog to write...

Great 1977 children's book, "What can you make of it?" found in Bountiful Books & Papers on etsy.

Today’s Unique Picks may have started out as just a bunch of scrappy bits and pieces, but these great etsy sellers have made some love out of nothing at all (if you will). When I say nothing I may be exaggerating just a little bit. These creative sellers have taken often dismissed or discarded vintage scraps and repurposed and upcyled them into some quite unique pieces!

Don't have your own vintage junk? Well, you can find a delightful selection of Dorothy's "junque" to fill your drawers and upcycle into masterpieces, in Surrender Dorothy etsy shop.

Just to clarify these buzz words if you are not familiar…

Repurposed: “To give new purpose or use to… <repurpose the archived material>” as defined by the Merriam- Webster online dictionary. First known use of this word was in 1984. How about that?

 Upcycled: " is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value" as defined by Wikipedia (one of my never fail sources for information). The first recorded use of this term was in 1994. This word has not yet made it into the official Merriam – Webster Dictionary, but I bet its coming.

I guess in some cases some upcycled items can also be considered repurposed.
My excessive nerdiness can be quite exhausting some days.

The truth of the matter is, that upcycling and repurposing really isn't a new concept though. Throughout history people have been creating useful things out of other items. We just now have some snazzy words to describe this process.

Image found on PBS's website. Check out the link to see what it appraised for...

This is actual depression era repurposed upcycling in action, that I saw it on an episode of Antiques Roadshow, a few months back. This is a cigar box that was lovingly converted into a functioning mandolin.

Fast forward to today...newly upcycled finds in all shapes and forms from etsy sellers

Wearable Upcycled

Found in Lovely Nest Designs etsy shop. A sweet little jacket delightfully detailed with vintage lace.

What a shades of cream. Slip into this former vintage slip transformed into a gorgeous dress from Velvet Ruby on etsy.

Vintage knitted afghan upcycled and repurposed into a cozy cape from SAXIIB on etsy. I once attended an auction and the auctioneer was commenting that someday someone would appreciate all of these old afghans. Ta Da! He was right.

Accessorizing upcycled with repurposed...
or vice vresa. You know what I mean.

This adorable vintage clutch from In Love Again's etsy shop, is given a unique one of a kind touch with applied cuttings from a vintage Children's book illustration.

This striking cuff bracelet, found in Lena Sekine's etsy shop, was handmade using a combination of vintage 1950's men's kimono fabric and silk screened handmade Japanese washi paper.

Even the littlest ones can get in on the upcycled vintage accessory action. The sweet little booties were crafted from a reclaimed embroidered vintage linen tablecloth. You can find these in LeilaBadblood's etsy shop.

Are you bookish? Even if you aren't an avid reader, you will be delighted by this great find from The Lint Balloon on etsy. This handbag has been upcycled from a vintage book.

That sweet little book bag is kind of my transition into upcycled repurposed home decor and decorations... but before I share anymore picks from etsy... I had to show you this.
Yes, Pottery Barn has been at it again with their 'pick it for you' vintage finds.

New on the Pottery Barn Website. Book Bundles...hmmmm...Where are the covers? $39. How can they do it for so little? (sarcasm). I am just waiting for them to block me from their website.

In case you missed my blog post on Etsy Vintage vs. Pottery Barn Vintage, you will find that they are trying their best to get in on the vintage selling trend. And with this new listing...well, it doesn't claim that these are repurposed or upcycled, but these bundles are described as "authentic vintage books and turned them into art objects by removing their covers and binding them together". Exactly what I was thinking when I saw this "art objects". Not to mention that these stacks of vintage paper are, "Purely decorative; contents and titles are not important". This just gets me all fired up, especially when there are folks that are actually making lovely and unique art objects using vintage books...and they tend to know the titles of the books.

Now this is an actual Art Object created by Lisa Occhipinti, was found in The Shop House on etsy. I love this "Bookmobile" that was created using a 1943 book. Even though this book was upcycled into a piece of art, the seller actually knows the title and has included a brief summery of the novel. Novel idea.

Pretty and playful! This large upcycled wreath was created from an adorable illustrated vintage children's book. It can be found in PhotographicAmy's etsy shop.

What a cozy reading light! This is a bright idea From mostaza seed's, etsy shop! It is a vintage tea cup turned into a decorative light.

Here are a few upcycled bits and pieces to decorate for special occasions...

These adorable little crown shaped confetti were upcycled from vintage wrapping paper scraps. These are from Jardin de Papier's etsy shop.

My shop, The Unique Bird's upcycled holiday offering.

Let's just say that this heart shaped vintage fabric garland was kind of the inspiration for today's post.

Over the summer I picked up a bag of little vintage fabric scraps at a tag sale and wasn't really sure what I was going to do with some of the tiny scraps. It turns out that they were just the right size for cutting out little hearts for garland. To top it off...or back the vintage fabrics up, I actually used some lovely bright red suede that I cut from a vintage skirt!

I am pretty excited with the way they turned out, and REALLY excited that I was asked to make some of these garland for Sobo Style! Sobo is a unique store in Central Ohio that specializes in old and new home furnishings and gift items. The icing on the cake though, is that I have been asked to sew up another batch for their great shop! Sew I better get back to work on that.

I hope that you have enjoyed today's great upcycled and repurposed finds!
Take a peek in that junk drawer. I am sure that the upcycled possibilities will be endless. Even the smallest scraps do make some pretty great items!


  1. Isn't it wonderful to upcycle and recycle? Beautiful picks!

  2. So many wonderful items! Thanks for including my wreath!

  3. Thank you so much for including my Bookmobile in this great post!

  4. I love upcycling & repurposing especially when you have limited materials...because you have to get pretty crafty and creative. Sometimes that leads to some pretty unique pieces!