Friday, 27 April 2007

The miserly customiser

Half-price heavens should be viewed through the eyes of an artist. Customising your finds to your personal taste and style will only make them more unique.

While there might not be anything screaming out to be bought on every visit, the super skinny evening gown or extra large shirt that would never fit might be made of a fantastic fabric that will look great as a headscarf or amazing as cushion covers. Even a little skill with the sewing machine might mean you can take up trousers or hem a skirt that has seen better days.

Consider upcycling old books. Hardbacks might have beautiful or quirky covers, but you’ll have to get rid of the ripped or water damaged pages before you can glue in blank paper – turning today’s trash into tomorrow’s journal or photo album. A bit of bookbinding know how goes a long way, but having a go is more fun than producing something perfect.

A beautiful frame might just need the hideous picture of dogs playing poker removed and burnt before it can home your latest photoshoped prints. Perhaps you’ve found a picture perfect for your living room wall, but it housed in a frame that almost makes your eyes bleed, don’t think I’ll buy that another time, get it now or it will be gone later and you will leave yourself plenty of time to find a matching frame.

A rickety old chair may just need the six layer of glossy paint stripped from it before it will fit in your dining room or maybe it requires a bit of basic re-upholstering with a piece of material and a staple gun. DIY never hurt anyone, but if your craft skills don’t stretch that far you can take it to a local professional, who will upholster your bargain for a fraction of what you’d pay for a ubiquitous Ikea piece.

When all is said and done, you might find that an item may just need a good wash - the phrase 'pre-loved' is all very well, but it doesn't hide the fact that you're never going to feel affectionate towards someone else's stains!

1 comment:

Marc Andrews said...

Etsy have some amazing craftsmen (and women!) turning other people's junk into pieces of art or fashion. It's really unique and good for the environment, you should set up a shop there when you start posting your "finds"!