Monthly Archives: March 2013

T-Shirt Reconstruction – Big to Small

Do you have a shirt you really like, but it’s too baggy? Do some T-Shirt Reconstruction and make your shirt from big to small!

What you need

* T-shirt that’s too big
* T-shirt that fits you nicely
* Needle
* Thread
* Marker or chalk
* Pins
* Scissors

How to do it

* Turn the big T-shirt inside out
* Put the other T-shirt ontop, matching up the neck hole as much as possible, and trace around it. Remember to not trace too close! You don’t want to get marks on the good shirt, and you want to have enough for sewing allowance.
* After you’ve traced the T-shirt, fold the big one in half to make sure the lines you made match. Otherwise you might end up with uneven arms.
* Pin the shirt on the part you are going to wear after sewing. This will help keep it from slipping out of place as you sew.
* Sew along the lines.
* Flip it right side out and try it on.
* Does it fit? Skip this step: Flip it inside out again and sew in the extra amount needed to make it snug.
* Cut the excess fabric. Cut the arms shorter to match your smaller shirt, hem and sew.

– UPcycling Phoenix

T-Shirt to Dress


Make a dress out of a T-shirt!

What you need
* Long T-shirt
* Needle
* Thread
* Pins
* Scissors

How to do it
* Cut off the collar and sleeves. You might want to cut off more to make the neckline more rounded or the straps smaller. It’s up to you!
* Turn the shirt over so the back is facing up. Make a across the back side of the shirt, from where the armpit hole was. You can do either straight line or a curved one, depending on the look you want.
* Flip inside out, hem, and sew.
* Depending on your body type, you may need to hem in some of the shirt to make it more fitted. Later this week there will be a “big to small” t-shirt entry showing you how to do this.


This dress was made by arseniccupcakes

– UPcycling Phoenix

Music from Trash

The New York Philharmonic Orchestra went to the scrapyard.

They looked through “piles of crushed cars, hills of discarded tires and heaps of disembodied axles, gas tanks and bumpers” to create instruments for the show “Kraft”. The composer was inspired by Einst├╝rzende Neubauten, and you can find out more about his vision in this interview.

Have you ever made music from trash?

– UPcycling Phoenix

Slinky Birdfeeder

Springtime is the best time to add a bird feeder to your backyard. This one is targeted towards adults or older youth, but you could still make it a family art activity if younger children are supervised.

What you need
* Slinky
* Coat hanger
* Soldering iron


How to do it
* Pull the bottom part of the coat hanger, so it makes a circular shape
* ‘String’ the Slinky through the coat hanger
* Using a soldering iron, attach the coat hanger to the Slinky.
* Fill with food, hang it up, and wait for the birds!

– UPCycling Phoenix

Toilet Paper Birdfeeder

Everyone needs to use toilet paper, but what to do with all of the waste? After you’ve done “natures business” get back to nature in another way with a toilet paper birdfeeder! Here’s two different ways to make one.

Without peanut butter


What you need
* Toilet paper rolls (you can also use paper towel tubes cut in half)
* Paper hole punch
* String
* Tape
* Paper plate
* Scissors
* Food for the birds (sunflower seeds are best)

How to do it
* Make 3 holes around the roll, equal distance apart, so it makes a triangle shape. Put the string through the holes.
* At the other end, cut two U shapes on either side. This will be where the food comes out for the birds to eat.
* Affix the tube to the plate with the tape.
* Tie to a tree and fill with food.

You might want to try painting the bird feeders. It’s not only pretty looking, but it can be a science or nature project. Do different birds like different colours or patterns more?

With peanut butter

What you need
* Toilet paper tube
* Birdseed
* Peanut butter
* String
* Paper hole punch

How to do it
* Cover the toilet paper tube in peanut butter
* Roll the toilet paper in birdseed
* Punch holes in the roll on either side
* Attach the string and hang it up

You might want to add a perch for the birds to sit on while they eat. This person used sticks.


– UPcycling Phoenix

Lightbulb Flower Vase

Spring into spring with a lightbulb flower vase. Lightbulbs are things everyone has in their home. But what to do with them after they burn out? Put your flowers in them!

What you need
* Safety goggles
* Lightbulb
* Pliers
* Wire
* Flowers and water

How to do it
* CAREFULLY remove the metal conductor and bottom black cap off the lightbulb
* Take out the metal and glass tubing
* Wrap wire around the bottom part (which will now be the top) and bend part of it so it looks like a coat hanger. For more security you might want to bring the hook back down and wrap it around the bulb.
* Hang it up, pour in a bit of water in the lightbulb and add some flowers


– UPcycling Phoenix

Pinhole Camera

Michael Chrisman 2011-pinhole-photo

Toronto based artist Michael Chrisman made this amazing photo over the course of an entire year. The streaks on the photo show the suns progression across the sky.

Make some art with a pinhole camera! All you need, apart from a can or box or some other container from your recycling bin (or your neighbours, if you’re into dumpstering) are a few items you should be able to find around your home or local dollar store.

What you need
* Can or box
* Black paint
* Paintbrush
* Sandpaper
* Electrical tape
* Sewing needle if the camera material is easy to puncture, or an icepick if it’s thick metal
* The sun

How to do it

– UPcycling Phoenix

Pants with Patches

I see lots of people wearing pants with patches. It’s a good way to keep pants lasting longer by covering holes, making them warmer by adding an extra layer, or making plain pants less boring looking.

Music related patches are common, as are political ones. This one combines popular culture with an anti-racist message.

This person made a bleach pattern on their pants. I like this idea, since what often inspires me to add patches is the aftermath of spilling of emulsion fluid on stuff.

– UPcycling Phoenix