5 on the fly: tips for making recycled art masterpieces

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by Sarah Halfpenny

Art and sustainability come together in the world of recycled art. Your creations can be used as gifts, displayed in your own home or entered into exhibitions. If you’re ready to embark on a creative journey that’s not only artistically fulfilling but also eco-conscious, these five tips will help you get started…

  1. Delve into your recycling bin

Start with a treasure hunt right at home – your recycling bin is a veritable goldmine of artistic potential. Gather materials such as cardboard for sturdy canvases, empty containers to reshape and repurpose, old magazines to create intriguing collages, newspapers for papier-mâché and worn-out fabric for sculptures. These everyday items are about to be reborn as the building blocks for your next masterpiece. The more diverse your materials, the more eclectic your art can be.

  1. Collage creations

Collage is an excellent entry point into recycled art. Snip out intriguing images, words, or patterns from old magazines and newspapers and arrange them into captivating compositions. Create thematic collages that tell a story, an abstract masterpiece that stirs emotions, or even a personal mood board filled with inspiration.

  1. 3D sculptures

Venture into the realm of 3D art – begin with a sturdy cardboard base then layer on papier-mâché for texture, wrap fabric over wire frames or pile different coloured plastics together. Sculpt whimsical figurines, abstract forms, or even functional items like bowls and vases.

  1. Upcycle textiles

Revive old clothing and linen by transforming it into textile art. Cut fabric scraps into intricate shapes and stitch them together to create vibrant tapestries, decorative pillow covers, or even intricate quilt designs. The rich history of your clothing can be a part of these new artistic expressions.

  1. Reimagine timber

Wooden pallets, timber offcuts and old fence palings can be repurposed into rustic masterpieces. Disassemble them and use the wood to construct frames for your artworks, or an artwork in its own right. Whether you’re painting landscapes, creating photo collages, or designing abstract wall art, discarded timber adds warmth to your creations.

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