Interior designer Seo (Simply Green Giving, 2006, etc.) produces an idea book on how to grant junk a second life using his crafty “MacGyver-meets-HGTV” skills.
The author has long been fascinated by trash. In junior high, he filled his school's display cases with garbage he’d collected around the building in an effort to draw attention to the longevity and abundance of human-generated waste. Seo now makes his living “upcycling”—i.e., turning one person's garbage into another's eco-friendly functional item—and he opens with some helpful advice on what tools are most essential for accomplishing this task. He then offers nearly 100 upcycling ideas, arranging them into sections for decorating, entertaining, gifting, kid-friendly and nature-oriented projects. For each, the author provides a list of supplies and simply stated directions. A few of the more adventurous projects will require some time and effort to gather the materials needed, such as the Wine-Cork Bath Mat and the Carpet-Sample Patchwork Rug. Most others call for items that readers likely already have, such as the Soda-Can Sequined Tote Bag or the Bathroom-Towel Picnic Blanket. There is enough variety in taste, functionality and skill level for most everyone to find a project to attempt. What is lacking, however, is a dedicated section expounding Seo's philosophy and methodology in project design; such information would have been useful in inspiring newcomers to discover their own upcycling opportunities.
A solid resource for the eco-conscious, as well as the crafty.