Week Five Baby-Step Creation: Upcycling Grandpa Gerald’s Spanners

About a year ago my Mum and Dad made the heart-string pulling decision to put our family’s holiday shack up for sale. A once lovingingly hand-created collection of well-used rooms was now a world weary house, and none of us had the time, money nor passion to do it up. It was time for someone else to have a crack at making their own family memories.

A recent part of this process has meant going through everything to either salvage or leave behind. My brother was keen on the fishing rods, squid jigs and power tools, whereas I looked around the ancient shed and saw nothing that would fit into my vision of the modern townhouse I saw in my future. But at the core of my existence I’m essentially a sappy, nostalgic hoarder so I grabbed a handful of rusty spanners and they took up residence in the boot of my car for about a month with no meaningful future.

And then I started this blog and it left me with a challenge rather than a problem.

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Upcycling is such a buzz word and it’s really only in the title to hook in the hipsters. Just jokes. Actually not really, but please keep on reading even if you’re wearing a tiny beanie on a 40’C day. In all seriousness, recycling/upcycling/insert-your-own-prefix-cycling is a pretty rad thing to do, and you can end up with some unique craft pieces in the process.

Not much to it really,  a couple second hand interesting-looking items and a medium in which to show them off.

Not much to it really, a couple second hand interesting-looking items and a medium in which to show them off.

I’m really interested in making art a big part of my new creative streak, but not being one that this comes naturally to I thought I’d experiment with putting the spanners in a raised wooden frame. Note: hot glue gun in the picture – see I told you I’d found it.

So I had some real struggles with the hot glue gun sticking to the rusty parts. Ended up just letting them fall as they wished.

So I had some real struggles with the hot glue gun sticking (or not sticking) to the rusty parts. Ended up just letting them fall as they wished.

In all honesty the hot glue gun was of NO assistance. But fortuitously as they’ve fallen together in a single direction, and I think I might buy a few paint colours and add my Grandfather’s initials to one side. Although I kind of like the asymmetrical look so I’ll mull it over for a while yet.

Now I also have a second upcycled mini project, and this has come about as my partner’s kinetic watch broke (the one I gave him all those years ago for his 21st birthday), and he had to have the mechanisms inside replaced. He gave them to me and suggested that I make something with the gears left over. This is a real simple one too – it’s gorgeous on its own, and all I’ve done is scavenge another necklace’s chain and repurposed it for the watch gears.

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It is beautiful in its own right, and now I have a one-of-a-kind necklace with a fair bit of personal history.

So that’s it guys – have a look at the world around you, and think about the things you’ve been holding onto for sentimental value (especially those bundled away in boxes or cupboards) and proudly display them for all to share in their beauty and for your to share their unique stories.

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