Starting with T-shirts

The Phoenix Centre in Buckie was the venue for the first series of upcycling workshops, with a warm and welcoming setting. We got under way with something for absolute beginners, to lay the foundations for more advanced activities. We started with preloved T-shirts, trying out simple ways to transform them into a triangled scarf with fringes. No special skills were required – just cutting, pulling, beading and overhand knots to secure beads. It was an enjoyable process for everyone involved.

T-shirt fabric has properties that make it an excellent source of upcycling potential. It’s easy to cut, doesn’t need to be hemmed and stretching it only makes better.

Next came survival bracelets, where we learned how to apply simple weaving techniques, using yarn that we cut out from T-shirts, after first laying them down flat and then cutting strips out horizontally and stretching them.

We followed by drawing feathers out of denim, embellishing them with some old pieces of beads and sewing buttons.

We rounded off this series of workshops in the Phoenix Centre with fabric flowers sewn together with the help of scrap fabric, leftover ribbons, old beads and buttons and re-used laces, matching favourite colours for a special day out.

One of the group made a poppy to add in to the huge array gathered together onto a vast “waterfall of poppies”, each individually made from wool or fabric and donated from many crafters from round the UK, to be suspended from one of the buildings by the War Memorial in the town square. This initiative to replace plastic poppies by handcrafted ones, made from more natural materials, both reduces plastic and brings an added personal dimension of care and involvement.

We have really enjoyed the visits to the Phoenix Centre, and the great interest from the participants to make something new and learn new skills and to look at waste material in a new light, and the very pleasant and welcoming staff and environment.

Project supported by Moray Leader.


From Cycle Tubes to Statement Necklace

We round off the series of workshops by looking at how to turn cycle tubes into a simple statement necklace.

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Moving on to plastic

After a successful start transforming T-shirts, our online classes moved on to plastic, to turn them into jewellery pieces.

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The Land and the Sea: costumes in a transformation process

With a physical exhibition now delayed by lockdown to December, we are bringing you a preview online.

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T-shirts Transformed

It was quite a change of plans for the project as we had got up to full speed on practical workshops, with excellent feedback from the various sessions and further venues and groups all ready to go.

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Online upcycling classes – welcome!

A brief welcome to set the scene for online classes on the way.

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Moray Reach Out workshops with trainees

We had two sessions with trainees, to introduce some of the techniques in making use of pre-loved items and everyday materials.

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Open Day with drop-in workshops at Moray Reach Out

We prepared a range of activities, with a number of displays as well for inspiration, from upcycled jewellery pieces to items created from yarn from pre-loved T-shirts. We also had one of the specially created costumes with us, with its bright spring green colour.

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window display at moray reach out

Upcycled costumes on display

Our costumes made from waste materials are now ready for display. They will appear tomorrow (Monday 17th) late morning in one of the large windows of Moray Reach Out in Church Street, Buckie.

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plastic from bottles sewn into the fabric

Busy working on upcycled costumes

When constructing an art-wearable piece of garment from pre-loved and discarded materials, the process itself flows and grows organically.

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Buckie Christmas Kracker

The annual Christmas Kracker is an event to look forward to, and we were delighted to be there for a creative collaboration with Moray Reach Out at their Yarns and Crafts Centre. There was a keen interest from young people, and sometimes very young, along with their parents, to see what could be done with upcycling t-shirts.

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Doodling in 3D with Moray Wellbeing Hub

We tried out 3D-printing pens, using filament recycled from used plastic (from old food packaging and old bottles), to draw the hot thin plastic by hand into simple shapes from nature - feathers, butterflies and dragonflies.

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