Our current way of living is based on an unsustainable amount of consumption, a good deal of which is unnecessary and creates a huge amount of waste. It’s also exploitative of other people and depletes our planets resources. Watch the great film ‘The Story of Stuff’ for 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns.

Much of what we buy is transported long distances and eventually ends up in landfill. But what’s the alternative – we all need things, and most of us don’t wish to live a hair shirt wearing, fun and beauty-deprived existence?

One solution is to make, reuse and ‘upcycle’ things ourselves, and in doing so to revive some of the lost skills of our elders – sewing, knitting, embroidery, stained glass, natural home made cosmetics and other forms of craft. In this way we can have the best of both worlds – beautiful and individual items, without costing the planet. See ‘Remade in Brixton’ for some inspiration.

In 2012 we ran monthly craft sessions on knitting, sewing, and making home made herbal beauty products.

Plans for 2013

In 2013 we will continue our regular knitting sessions, held on the last Saturday of every month in the Star pub, Chester Road, N19. Sessions run from 1pm-4pm and beginners and children are welcome.

This year we will also be teaching children at the Holly Lodge after school club to knit, and we will run several workshops on sewing, vegan making, and cosmetics making at Highgate Newtown and Holly Lodge community centres.We also hope to hold a ‘Restart Party’ where anyone can come along with broken electrical equipment and get it fixed for free. See our events page for updates, and please post any ideas or links below.


One thought on “Making

  1. Our next session is on Saturday 28th April, 1pm-4pm, in Highgate Newtown Community Centre sewing room.
    We’re going to make plant labels, and here are some of our ideas so far. Please add any you think of.

    Old wooden blinds
    Aluminium cans to emboss
    Sea shells
    Sticks and wood
    Empty plastic milk/cosmetics containers
    Wood and outdoor paint
    Pebbles and paint
    Take away containers
    Wine corks
    Old pots

    We might need:
    Wood glue
    Wooden skewers
    Chop sticks
    Hammer/nails/drill/ screws
    Laminating machine
    Permanent markers
    Sand paper
    Soldering iron

    Lots of clever ideas here for making labeled markers that can be used for both outdoors (in the garden) and indoors (for house plants). Many are quite inexpensive to make using simple supplies that you probably already have around the house, you’ll find a few utilizing recycled items like soda cans, old spoons and vinyl blinds or smooth rocks right from the garden. Have fun!

    Clay: Cute! You will need polymer clay, armature wire, stamps (to press into the clay for the herb names) and acrylic paint for the lettering.
    Chalkboard Style: Made with wooden paint stirrers, chalkboard paint and labeled with a white china marker (grease pencil) & nope, it won’t wash off in the rain.

    Polymer Clay: Cute! Project similar to the one above but with some differences.
    Glass Tops: Made with glass aquarium pebbles, sticks, raffia, glue, fruit and vegetable illustrations (free printable via pdf).

    Metal Spoons: Repurpose a few large spoons, magazine clippings (with pictures of vegetables and plants), glue and polyurethane.
    Stamped Spoons: Requires a metal stamping kit and permanent marker. A few of these swirling around the net but I think this one’s the original DIY.

    Labeled Stones: Find several flat, smooth stones, and label each one with the name of a plant using alphabet stamps and dye-based (permanent) ink.
    Painted Stones: These super-easy but functional and reliable labels require only a few large, smooth stones, acrylic paint, and a waterproof marker.

    Soda Can Tags: If pretty isn’t your thing, make these tags with soda cans, wire and permanent marker.
    Terra Cotta: Made by painting broken pieces of a terra cotta pot and attaching to metal stakes.

    Vinyl Blind Slats: Easy peasy! Just label the plant name onto the slats with permanent marker and they’re good to go.
    Printables: These are editable and come in two different sizes. Download is in .doc format.

    Copper: Made with 36-gauge copper sheets, 12-gauge wire, a paint marker and clear enamel spray.
    Juice Can Tops: Made with juice can tops & bottoms, a wire coat hanger and embellished with pretty beads.

    Stamped Clay: Simple yet lovely! These are made with polymer clay and rubber letter stamps and then baked to harden.
    Engraved Aluminum Tape: The tape is wrapped around plastic knives and then “engraved” with the plant name using a dull ballpoint pen.

    Wine Corks: A hole is drilled into the bottom of a cork and then a bamboo skewer inserted. Write the plant name on the cork with a permanent marker.
    Recycled Plastic: Tags are made with strips cut from plastic lids (from ice cream pails, etc.) then marked with an old school DYMO label maker.

    Rustic French Style: Made with small pieces of wood, bamboo, raffia or string and labeled with a felt pen or Sharpie.

    Posted by saraayech | April 2, 2012, 10:04 pm

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