Map paper Fairy Lights: origami lanterns by Little Lights Shop

Written by Gilbert de Rooij. Posted in Design, Lighting

Little_Lights_Shop_Map_Fairy_Lights_03 Photo © Little Lights Shop
Maps are always interesting. They look cool, have a lot of information and without them many of us would be lost when we travel. For me as a graphic designer it’s always interesting to see which symbols and other info are used. But like with so many other things, maps get outdated after some time.
So what to do with an atlas or roadmap? Well on upcycleDZINE a great lighting design was featured that makes use of an old atlas. Its called ‘Atlas Book Lamp‘ by Bomdesign. And now I bumped into a great upcycle design that uses old maps.

Decorative fairy lights out of an old map

The design is a small one, but so beautiful and fun that I just had to show it. It’s called ‘Map paper Fairy Lights‘, designed and handmade by Pippa Kate, founder of Etsy store Little Lights Shop, based in Bristal | UK. A string of 20 white LED fairy lights, each bulb inside a hand made origami paper lantern made from an upcycled vintage map.
Little_Lights_Shop_Map_Fairy_Lights_01 Little_Lights_Shop_Map_Fairy_Lights_04 Little_Lights_Shop_Map_Fairy_Lights_02 Photos © Little Lights Shop
Pippa Kate: “I enjoy all kinds of making! I have always loved to sew, draw, and create things. I also like to recycle old or boring things into something useful and exciting. The map I used is of the North of Scotland, and is mainly light blue and green in color. These lights look lovely both switched on and off, and are a great way to decorate a room.”
What a great idea to let an old discarded map light up a room looking this way.
Design by Little Lights Shop

Empty Mailbag: Original Dutch mailbag pendant by Gilbert de Rooij

Written by Gilbert de Rooij. Posted in Design, Lighting

upcycleDZINE_Empty_Mailbag_Pendant_01 Photo © Gilbert de Rooij
Here in The Netherlands a lot of people are looking for original old mailbags. Former Dutch mail service, PTT post [now Post nl], used fantastic looking bags with typo on it and three stripes symbolizing the Dutch flag. There are also mailbags without stripes, but with stripes are definitely more popular. Because they are so popular you can even buy new fabric that looks like the genuine material.

Dutch mailbag shows a piece of history

When my girlfriend asked me if I was interested in a bunch of old mailbags I was immediately excited. For me these mailbags belong to Dutch history. They tell a story because of the important purpose they had. Millions of letters have been transported using them, from love letters to invoices. Day in, day out, creating stains, little holes, marks and scratches.
upcycleDZINE_Empty_Mailbag_Pendant_02 upcycleDZINE_Empty_Mailbag_Pendant_06 upcycleDZINE_Empty_Mailbag_Pendant_00 Photos © Gilbert de Rooij
Well, when I saw the mailbags I knew right away what to do with them. Todays upcycle design is called ‘Empty Mailbag‘ and shows a vintage used Dutch mailbag upside down, symbolizing a mailbag after the job is done, empty. All mailbag lampshades and pendant lights I had seen so far, were made by cutting up a bag or using fake fabric. I wanted to show the mailbag in all its glory without changing to much of its shape. The holes I made where to let light shine through and let one look inside the lamp. The design is a pendant that casts a spot of light on a floor or table. The white stripe, one of the flag colors, is nice and bright.
If you would like to know how some people adore these mailbags, take a look at famous Dutch fashion designer Jan Taminiau. He designed several jackets using old mailbags and honored the Dutch Royal couple with a fashion show during the water pageant in Amsterdam last year. At this show he introduced his limited edition Postbag collection in the colors of the Argentinian flag.
In 2009 it was the first time Princess Maxima, now our Queen, wore a mailbag jacket design by Jan Taminiau. I think one can’t show more patriotism than by wearing that stunning jacket.
I hope to come up with some other designs using these fantastic mailbags. I’ve got another one almost finished, so keep visiting upcycleDZINE if you’re interested. A webshop is in the works!
See more photos
upcycleDZINE_Empty_Mailbag_Pendant_05 Photo © Gilbert de Rooij
upcycleDZINE_Empty_Mailbag_Pendant_04 Photo © Gilbert de Rooij
upcycleDZINE_Empty_Mailbag_Pendant_03 Photo © Gilbert de Rooij
Design by Gilbert de Rooij | upcycleDZINE

MilkChain: lampshade from milk containers by Gilbert de Rooij

Written by Gilbert de Rooij. Posted in Design, Lighting

upcycleDZINE_MilkChain_Lampshade_02 Photo © Gilbert de Rooij
I’m very excited because finally I’ve finished another upcycle design.  This new design is called ‘MilkChain‘. It’s number eleven in a series of lampshades made out of plastic milk containers. Like many of you know by now these plastic milk containers are cut into three parts, bottom, middle and top. MilkChain is made from the middle part of containers. It has some resemblance to MilkWaves, in the way it is constructed.
Every time I design a lampshade made out of these containers I determine if the design should let one see which object was used. In other words, when you look at the lampshade should you recognize the milk container or not. And in this case you shouldn’t and I hope I succeeded in doing so.

Plastic milk containers interlock and float

MilkChain has a way of floating in air and being very aerial because of its slender shape. This lampshade is 60 cm. diameter. The shape is formed by interlocking segments. These segments are made by connecting  strips cut out from the middle section of a milk container.
The lines and transparency of the material work very well together, especially when the light is turned on. The amount of light and transparency depends of course on the lightbulb that is used.
upcycleDZINE_MilkChain_Lampshade_01 upcycleDZINE_MilkChain_Lampshade_03 upcycleDZINE_MilkChain_Lampshade_05 Photos © Gilbert de Rooij
Well, like I said last time, stay tuned because there are still some new ideas I’ve got for making other lampshades out of plastic milk containers.
Please take a look at a few other photos at ‘See more photos’ and visit ‘My upcycle design‘ for more upcycle design made by me.
See more photos
upcycleDZINE_MilkChain_Lampshade_04 Photo © Gilbert de Rooij
upcycleDZINE_MilkChain_Lampshade_06 Photo © Gilbert de Rooij
Design by Gilbert de Rooij | upcycleDZINE

Beer Barrel Bedroom: sleeping in an upcycled 19th century barrel

Written by Gilbert de Rooij. Posted in Design, Furniture

Airbnb_Beer_Barrel_Bedroom_04 Photo © Airbnb
Time for another wine barrel up cycle design. You might have already seen some upcycled barrels here on upcycleDZINE like the Barrel scooter and Barrique. But compared to the size of todays featured design, those are just kid stuff. Just incredible how big this beer barrel is. It’s not a wine, port or sherry barrel. This one was used for beer.

Double or a single bed upcycled beer barrel

This is ‘next level’ upcycling where someone took a genuine 19th century beer barrel, in use until about 1995, and upcycled it into a ‘Beer Barrel Bedroom‘. The beer room arose in cooperation with a regional brewery – Pott’s.
If you would like to sleep in it you can in a village called Ostbevern, North Rhine-Westphalia | Germany. You can book your stay at Airbnb, available at the rate of $139 per night.
Airbnb_Beer_Barrel_Bedroom_05 Airbnb_Beer_Barrel_Bedroom_02 Airbnb_Beer_Barrel_Bedroom_01 Photos © Airbnb
There are a total of three beer rooms. One barrel can be rented as a double bed or a single bed. Each room has the luxury of a 32″ flat screen TV, DVD, free internet access, a phone flatrate and a shower with massage jets.  
If your looking for a special overnight stay, this is certainly interesting. I can’t help thinking how the smell is like insight that cosy bed. I definitely think it’s worth a stay in combination with a visit to the Pott’s brewery.
Made available by Airbnb

Snow Job: Chair with candy wrappers cover by Emiliano Godoy

Written by Gilbert de Rooij. Posted in Design, Furniture

Emiliano_Godoy_Snow_Job_01 Photo © Emiliano Godoy
Have you ever thought about what the recyclable logo means? Many people think that the material with that logo is going to be recycled. Wrong of course. The logo is called Mobius Loop and ‘indicates that an object is capable of being recycled – not that the object has been recycled or will be accepted in all recycling collection systems. Sometimes this symbol is used with a percentage figure in the middle to explain that the packaging contains x% of recycled material.’
Emiliano_Godoy_Snow_Job_02 Photo © Emiliano Godoy
Well, everyday huge amounts of misprinted and obsolete candy wrappings, with the Mobius Loop logo are thrown away. Mexican designer Emiliano Godoy, based in Mexico City, teamed up with Ecoist, a company specialized in transforming this material into women’s bags to work on new applications and objects. He designed this stunning chair called ‘Snow Job‘.

Candy wrappers shine like never before

“This chair uses a plastic material that although technically recyclable, is never recycled, not even in its virgin, post-industrial state. Despite this, all wrappings feature a ‘recyclable’ logo. The Snow Job takes its name from the American expression used to describe a cover-up story.”
Emiliano_Godoy_Snow_Job_04 Photo © Emiliano Godoy
The Snow Job chair is formed by two main components: structure and cover. The first is a wooden structure, and partly stainless steel, manufactured in FSC certified wood and a vegetable based, biodegradable finish.
The second component is a cover that slips on top of the wooden structure and forms the seat. “This cover is made using small pieces of post-industrial waste from the candy wrapping industry. Labels that are misprinted, or which feature incorrect or obsolete information, are recovered and cut into small sections, which are then folded into rectangular pieces and joined to form large surfaces. An internal reinforcement made from post-consumer recycled paper is used to give rigidity and resistance to the labels.”
Emiliano_Godoy_Snow_Job_03 Photo © Emiliano Godoy
One label on the back is folded in such a way that the recycling logo that appears on each candy wrapping is visible “speaking about the fact that the cover is made from recycled materials, but also about the misdirecting impression that this logo makes on the final consumer, who might think that candy wrappers are actually recycled when in fact none of them is. Although the wooden structure can be composted and the stainless steel recycled, the cover cannot be recycled or repurposed at the end of its life any more than the original labels.”
Design by Emiliano Godoy | Product by Ecoist

Crate Chairs: Upcycled storage crates by Autumn Workshop

Written by Gilbert de Rooij. Posted in Design, Furniture

Autumn_Workshop_Crate_Chairs_01 Photo © Phillip Romano
There is a lot of upcycle design that makes use of old pallet wood. It’s still quite populair and as a result some designers pretend to be using wood from discarded pallets, instead they are using new ones. And in my opinion that has nothing to do with upcycling.
Okay, they give a new function to something, but it has nothing to do with using waste or old and unused objects. And that’s what upcycling is all about, keeping objects and materials from being dumped on landfill. Hereby reducing the amount of waste.

Storage crates turn into furniture with nice graphics

Why this talk about pallet wood? Well, because todays featured design is a bit similar to pallets. It’s about storage crates, just like pallets a wooden object to move or store items.
Design studio Autumn Workshop, founded by Daniel Goers, took these discarded storage crates and upcycled them into ‘Crate Chairs‘. They made a set of 4 chairs and a bench with an ottoman.
Autumn_Workshop_Crate_Chairs_03 Autumn_Workshop_Crate_Chairs_04 Photos © Phillip Romano
Goers: “I’ve also made a bed before. But this new set of furniture really morphs the crates into an entirely new and interesting form. The design uses the printed graphics to inform the user how to interact with the storage components of the furniture. Each chair has a drawer in its base, and a compartment in its back. Plenty of room to keep those books, magazines, cat toys… Whatever you need…”
Autumn_Workshop_Crate_Chairs_02 Photo © Phillip Romano
No extra wood was used in the fabrication of these chairs. The original crates were cut down, and the cut-offs were recycled back into the structure. The only new components were a small amount of piano hinge, Masonite for the drawers, and a pin to hold the lid of the back storage in place.
Think this furniture is such a great idea. Specially with the drawers and graphics.
Design by Autumn Workshop

LUUNA: Crochet pendant lamp by Buubok

Written by Gilbert de Rooij. Posted in Design, Lighting

Buubok_LUUNA_pendant_01 Photo © Buubok
For some time now crochet has been very populair overhere in The Netherlands. And not crochet where they use a small thread, but where they use these thick ones. You’ll find several items made with this technique, like a pouf, basket, carpet or blanket.
At first glance crochet might look like knitting, but they’re totally different. The technique and supplies are different. Knitting can be handmade or by a machine. But crochet differs on two big points with knitting: crochet is always done by hand, never by machine. A crocheter’s movements are so complex that, until now, no machine has been built to master this. The second difference is crochet doesn’t make use of pointy needles, but one needs a crochet hook.

Crochet technique used with recycled material

And the featured upcycle lighting design today is a crochet product. And a very special one I have to say. The design is called ‘LUUNA‘ and is a pendant designed by Dutch design studio Buubok, based in Rotterdam. “A favorite technique of creation is knitting and crocheting. We are constantly looking for different patterns and stitches to develop our creativity and diversity of products. The best patterns are those traditional, proven through the years. We try to give them a new style using in a new context.”
Buubok_LUUNA_pendant_02 Buubok_LUUNA_pendant_03 Photos © Buubok
I really like the shape in combination with the used material. LUUNA is made from hand-cutted recycled material from salvaged fabric. For this reason, the color and thickness may vary. That’s what makes every LUUNA unique. The material is mostly cotton, but may include synthetic fibers. A nice aspect of this design is because it’s unbreakable it’s suitable in every room, even a children’s room.
Buubok: “We take upcycling seriously, so we try to consciously use all of material and do not waste leftovers. Even the smallest pieces of fabric are used. Large quantities are used to make carpets, rugs, lamps or other large objects. Smaller pieces are used to make purses, beauticians, children’s toys and home decorations. And from really tiny tiny remnants we do small nice things such as brooches, bracelets or key rings.”
Design by Buubok

DIY: I Used to be a Washing Machine! by Antonina

Written by Gilbert de Rooij. Posted in Design, DIY, Furniture

Antonina_Washing_Machine_Chair_02 Photo © Antonia
If you’re looking for upcycle design you might find several designs made from washing machine drums. Just like the colorful ‘Upcycled washing drum lamp‘ by Willem Heeffer. These drums proof to be very useful for creating upcycle design.

Chairs made out of washing machine parts

What about not only upcycling the drum but also the whole casing and other parts as well? That is exactly what Jerusalum-based industrial designer Antonina must have thought.
Antonina_Washing_Machine_Chair_01 Antonina_Washing_Machine_Chair_03 Photos © Antonia
She took an old discarded washing machine and took it apart. Then she designed three pieces of furniture to make out of using these parts. The project is named ‘I Used to be a Washing Machine’ and can be found on Instructables with complete step by step instructions. If you watch the video you can see how many parts have possibilities for creating upcycle design. And the instructions guide will show you how to make a chair yourself! Not easy, but doable.
Design by Antonia | DIY

Reclaimed Seatbelt Chair by Adam Barron

Written by Gilbert de Rooij. Posted in Design, Furniture

Adam_Barron_Reclaimed_Seatbelt_Chair_01 Photo © UncommonGoods
A seat belt isn’t an object you might think of upcycling. But there’re some pretty nice upcycle designs out there that use them. Some time ago upcycleDZINE featured Seat Belt Furniture by Nuttapong Charoenkitivarakorn. Furniture with an elegant twisting contrast, a collection consisting of chairs, stools and benches.
Today I came across a completely different chair using seat belts. The chair is called ‘Reclaimed Seatbelt Chair‘ designed by Adam Barron. When he designed this chair in 2010 he was an Industrial Design student at the University of Cincinnati. The chair is made from a steel rod frame and seat belts he collected from a local junkyard.

Craftsmanship is shown using 53 reclaimed seat belts

At UncommonGoods they had a product design contest which challenged participants to design a product using reclaimed auto parts. Adam Barron won the contest with his design that was originally a school project, in which he had to incorporate three of five Japanese design principles: humor, craftsmanship, compactness, asymmetry and simplicity.
Adam_Barron_Reclaimed_Seatbelt_Chair_03 Adam_Barron_Reclaimed_Seatbelt_Chair_02 Photos © UncommonGoods
The fantastic Reclaimed Seatbelt Chair is highly adjustable. Using the buckles on the vertically oriented seat belts lets you alter the tightness. The horizontally oriented seat belts have metal snaps that are attached to the metal frame in order to remove or rearrange as desired.
Each chair features 53 seat belts and is handmade in New York.
Design by Adam Barron | UncommonGoods

Pure-Bottle: three piece table set out of glass by Lucirmás

Written by Gilbert de Rooij. Posted in Design, Interior

Lucirmás_Pure_Bottle_01 Photo © Lucirmás
Glass is a material so close to nature because it’s made by melting together several minerals at very high temperatures. Sand [Silica] is the main ingredient, this is combined with soda ash and limestone and finally melted in a furnace at temperatures of 1700°C. In our everyday life one can’t imagine a world without glass.
Take a minute and look around you to see what items are using or are made out of glass. That’s why there’s also a lot of glass thrown away and recycled. But there’s always a better way than recycling and that’s, yes you might have guessed it, upcycling. And one of the companies that’s leading in upcycle design using glass is Lucirmás.

From glass bottle to a stylish ecological statement

This company, based in Barcelona | Spain, was founded in 2006 by Italian designer Lucia Bruni. Lucirmás has been featured several times here on upcycleDZINE with it’s original, handcrafted objects from 100% recycled glass.
This time it’s a design called ‘Pure-Bottle‘ by Lucia Bruni . “It’s a fully recycled and recyclable table set which consists of a glass, lantern and spoon, perfect to complement any dining occasion. Each table set is made from a single recycled wine bottle which has been cut in two positions, giving new life and value to the object. The lanterns provide wind protection for candles while creating a warm ambience perfect for restaurants, cafes or home settings. The glasses are simple yet durable, while making a strong ecological statement. The spoons are functional and versatile; perfect for presenting food in a restaurant, serving a salad or eating your breakfast cereal.”
Lucirmás_Pure_Bottle_02 Lucirmás_Pure_Bottle_03 Lucirmás_Pure_Bottle_04 Photos © Lucirmás
Lucia Bruni: “I new what I wanted to do after studying design. But designing is not just a matter of aesthetics. It is a task of responsibility as much as producing is. I love objects that are companions and witnesses of our daily lives. I appreciate useful and functional products which try to create an emotional bond with the user. Because I believe that this is a way to give more life to the objects.”
I think Lucirmás [Facebook] does a great job in producing sustainable glass products that tell a story and proves upcycle design can be simple, yet functional and very stylish.
Design by Lucia Bruni | Lucirmás

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