Eco Craft

Eco Craft

For those of you who think that recycled crafts have to be made out of bent toilet paper tubes and rolled up newspapers—and have no place in a home other than perhaps the kids’ rooms—guess again! In her book Eco Craft: Recycle, Recraft, Restyle, Susan Wasinger presents some super stylish eco-friendly designs made out of recycled materials that could actually make your living room more swanky than dumpy. Though hardback, Wasinger’s book is even printed with eco-friendly materials, and the crafts inside are sure to place both artists as well as designers.

Each project is mapped out with vibrant, full color illustrations, step-by-step instructions, and easy to follow tips and tricks. Though some pages have an earthier, rustic feel, others have a very modern, clean-cut appeal. With so many perspectives and artistic visions in the book, people from all walks of life are likely to find something to match their own style.

Wasinger begins the book with her own brief description of sustainability. She basically stresses how instead of guilt-tripping ourselves, we should do just what we can, and make use out of everything we buy. She calls herself a “re-psycho,” and stresses how important it is to think of anything as being reusable rather than trash.

Then she launches right into the projects. They are arranged in four chapters: Decorate, Create, Illuminate, and Celebrate. Even her chapter titles are more fun and fancy rather than promoting a green feel, but make no mistake; most of these crafts are as green as it gets.

The first project of the book is how to turn old sweaters into rugs. Fun, right? Not only is it a great way to use up all those sweaters with the holes in them—I never know what to do with them myself; you can’t donate them with so many holes, and I absolutely refuse to throw them out!—it’s also a really pretty project that yields a soft, homey rug. You can see pictures of the finished project here.

One of the swankier projects she has is one of the most simple ones, and it’s featured on the book’s cover. It’s the simple process of using old bottles and painting them to become new vases. The way Wasinger depicts the project, however, helps the artist create something very beautiful and modern—far from the bottles’ original life.

My favorite projects she highlights, however, are the lighting ones. Such amazing creations! From lamps and lanterns to full chandeliers, these are extremely creative (and sometimes very time-consuming, though I would wage worth it) projects that would really jazz up any space. Wasinger’s book is a fantastic blend of style and green living, a perfect gift for any homemaker, designer, or environmentalist.