About Me

My photo
A writer by predilection, an aunt by blessing and a friend by choice, Shelley has spent many years journaling before sitting down to draft her first novel. She has a B.A. in English discourse and is currently working on her third romantic-suspense, the title of which will be announced soon pending publication. Shelley is a member of the Romance Writers of America as well as her RWA state chapter of the Maryland Romance Writers.
"I love story-telling. It's a way to live an experience through the eyes of a character." - Shelley N. Greene

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

U is for UPCYCLING #AtoZChallenge

Hi and welcome to the final week of my A to Z Blog Challenge – Scrapbooking Edition!

This blog sprint has been a challenge in many ways. I’ve been drafting the posts sequentially, but there have been moments where I’ve wanted to cheat and go out of order. That happened last weekend. I was supposed to working on the T is for TEARING post (a technique that is new to me), but I kept working on pages for the following letter.

It is evidence that I’ve been subconsciously looking forward to today’s letter – U is for UPCYCLING.

Upcycling is the reuse of discarded objects or material in such a way as to create a product of a higher quality or value than the original.

Upcycling is great because there are materials and inspiration everywhere you turn.

Multi-media and marketing make pop culture images available at your local grocery store in the form of facial tissue and cereal boxes, which gives you a dual purpose for your money.

I’ve even seen new movies promoted on tea containers.

I used this BEAUTY AND THE BEAST image on my movie page.

I like to save the little spiritual messages that come as tags on my tea (as seen in the P is for PUNCHES post).

These beautiful Nutcracker Suite-esque ballerinas came off of a Godiva chocolate package. I’m looking forward to using them on a Holiday page in the future.

As an avid recycler and tree-hugger, I love saving objects from the trash bin and giving them a new home in my scrapbook pages.

One way I utilized upcycling recently is with a perfume page. I’d mentioned in my K is for KEEPSAKES post how I scrapbook the clippings from magazines for beauty products. Every decade or so I come across new make-up and fragrances.
Recently I’d come across an advertisement for a London based perfume company which offers a line of natural scents, and I made a plan to check them out.

(It’s funny, just when I don’t think I’m not that girly, my Libra-ness kicks in.)

I made a jaunt to mall and sampled the product line. A sales lady helped me peruse, and the marketing for the perfume included little square cards that listed the scent’s name on the front and the fragrance’s notes (the ingredients: i.e. lavender, mint etc.) on the back.

They gave me little paper promos to take home! You know I was tickled pink by this. This company knows how to sell to scrapbookers, to say the least. J

One technique that I hadn’t illustrated but I use frequently is the hinging of paper using packing tape. I do this to adhere dual-sided paper elements and to create pull-to-open areas. Any clear packing tape works, but I particularly like the kind they sell at the post office. It’s inexpensive, thick and durable, and stays clear when adhered.

I cut the tape to the width of the paper square and position it where it’s spaced properly (able to be opened in coordination with the other page pieces). Once in place, I add a clear corner to hold the square closed.

I then included parts of the magazine ad, and the company name from the paper test strip.

In addition to using the squares, I added a green bow that came off a bag of mini-scones from Panera. (Note: Neither the bow nor the pastries went to waste during the drafting of this post.)

After I got all of my elements in place, I added my upcycled bow to the corner.

I’m proud of how the page turned out. I even included a little pearl next the scent I liked best, although the Red Rose layered with Grapefruit (the saleslady’s suggestion) smelled heavenly, too.

Used gift cards and fancy boxes also make great upcycling materials. The cardstock is pretty and perfect for frames and die cuts.

Images from flyers and leftover tissue paper works well, too.

I warned you that I was going to go nuts with this letter, right? Lol. I thank you for hanging with me throughout my exploration of UPCYCLING.

We’ve posted on twenty-one letters so far, which leaves only five left to go. It’s been a challenging-exciting-educational blog sprint, and I can’t thank you enough for going on this journey with me. As always, if you’d like to leave a comment, please do so. I get a little busy mid-week, but I so appreciate you taking the time to comment, and I strive to reply each one.

I’ve met fellow AtoZ bloggers with fun, entertaining themes, so if you are so inclined, please check out their pages, you can find them with the search word “A to Z Blog Challenge.”

And if you are able to stop back by tomorrow I will have another letter waiting for you – V is for VELLUM.

See you soon!

-         SNG


  1. I can't throw anything away because I always think - "How can I use this on a scrapbook page?" I have a wall of bins lining the back of my craft area that are meant to hold small objects like screws and nails. I put all my upcycle items in them for "someday". WeekendsInMaine

    1. Hi Karen! I love that mindset. "Waste not, want not." :)

  2. Great ideas. I don't scrapbook as much as I would like now, but i do have saved things for later use. Find me here. LINK

    1. Hi Susanne! Thank you. I will check out your page - I love books and writing. :)

  3. I like this idea of Upcycling and using discarded objects in a way to create higher value than the original.
    I have kept so many things as part of my child's, baby book. Things that I hope he'll enjoy like the balloons from the hospital, a baby bracelet, every card that he posted from holidays in in his first year (which is a lot). My mom has sent him St. Patrick's day cards and Valentine's cards and I'm all like "Mom, he can't even read yet, he's seven months"-So cute.
    U is for Unleashing travel books.


    Btw I like your profile: "An aunt by blessing, friend by choice."

    1. Hi Trin! So nice to meet you! Aw, those memories (baby books and moments w/ children) are the best. That is so sweet - "He's seven months." And they grow up so fast! My nieces are my world, I'm so lucky to be their aunt. Thank you for the comment. I will check The Global Dig - unleashing travel books sounds awesome!

  4. I have done this more than once and my mom was the Queen of this! She created Faberge inspired eggs and knew how to take off the paper part of anything to just get the image so she could "wrap" it onto the egg without any seams. I have saved the tinfoil from eggs or chocolate and used that on my cards and scrapbooks

    1. Hi Birgit! Wow, Faberge eggs is such a creative idea! I bet that came out gorgeous.

  5. Scrapbooking, decorating or art, I am always on the lookout for ways to reuse and upcycle things. Thank you for the ideas.

    Find me at My Frgamented Journey

    1. Hi Lorig! Thank you for checking out my post. I love your blog name - I will stop by! :)