While I have not consumed art through the forms of virtual exhibits and recorded performances yet, I have had the chance to make my own art throughout quarantine more than I typically would while having in-person obligations. It started out small scale, sketching and coloring like I typically do in my free time. A few different nights, my roommates and I have gathered to do a Bob Ross paint-along together. Of course, after a while, as most people do, I hit a creative roadblock. I struggled to think of new ideas or even things I could do to build off previous activities I engaged in. Enter upcycled art. It continues to pop up on the various social media feeds I scroll through daily. The best part about this art form is that not only do you get to engage in the creative process, but you also help the environment by using old materials that would otherwise be thrown away. Below is a list of a few upcycled art projects that I find particularly interesting. I have not attempted all the projects yet, but they are on my to do list.
- Homemade Shrinky Dinks
(image courtesy of pinterest)
For those unfamiliar with Shrinky Dinks, they are essentially just sheets of thin plastic which you can draw on and then stick in the oven to shrink and use to make various accessories. However, what most people do not know is that the same form of plastic used to make Shrinky Dinks is also commonly used in takeout containers in the form of plastic lids. Plastic #6, which is not the easiest to recycle, can be used to make a homemade Shrinky Dinks. All you must do is cut up the plastic, draw your design, and pop it in the oven for 1-2 minutes at 350 degrees (Note: Times may vary. Please keep an eye on your creation).
2. Paint and Reuse Glass Bottles
This project is straight forward: Rather than throwing away glass bottles, remove the label and decorate it with glitter, paint, gems or whatever your heart desires. For flat designs, I suggest using Mod Podge to seal in the design. The great part about this project is that once your bottle is finished you can use it for a variety of things, such as storage, a soap dispenser, or as a vase.
3. Planters from Plastic Water Bottles
This project is like the previous one, except this time you are using water bottles to make a simple starter pot for a small plant. All you need for this project is empty water bottles, scissors, and supplies to decorate the cutout plastic with. You can use either the top or bottom of the bottle for this project. Just be sure to poke holes in either the bottom or the cap of the bottle, so that way when you water your plants, the excess water can drain.