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ReMake It!: Giving Garbage A Second Life

ReMake It!: Giving Garbage A Second Life
Arts & Culture

Win a copy of designer Tiffany Threadgould's new book; a how-to guide for turning scrap materials in useful items.

Dave Pinter, PSFK
  • 16 march 2011

Designer Tiffany Threadgould recently published a new book called ReMake It! which is a how-to guide for turning typically discarded materials into useful items. Drawing on her long time interest in creative recycling and her years serving as Design Director at TerraCycle, the book shows how to reuse materials like shopping bags to paint can lids.

What inspired you to write a book about creating new uses for recycled materials?

My career is all about taking garbage and transforming it into new. I’ve created a line of recycling kits, also under the ReMake It name, with this same spirit – creating easy DIY projects and helping even the not-so-crafty people become a designer. My thesis in design school was called “Trash Nouveau” – a study in bringing garbage back to life. I then started RePlayGround which educates people on recycling and I work for TerraCycle where anyone can collect various waste streams, earn money for their favorite charity, and we turn that waste into new products.

Who is Remake It! intended for?

ReMake It is targeted towards young adults. It’s totally appropriate for anyone aged 8 and up and that includes grown ups, too.

What was your process for selection projects to include?

I started by making a list of all of the common types of garbage that people discard. I’ve been ReMaking things from garbage for over a decade so by the time my publisher (Sterling Publishing) and I sat down to pick projects, I had over 200 ideas in my collection. We had the same vision for the book and wanted it to be used as a project encyclopedia for garbage – giving at least one solution for all common discards. We then categorized it into materials – paper, plastic, fabric, metal, glass, and miscellaneous junk pile – and made sure we had a good selection for each category.

The book seems like a great tool to engage school children in learning craft techniques. What important lessons do you feel come from remaking things?

Absolutely!  The underlying message of the book is to make people more aware of the garbage they create and ways they can give it a second life on their own. It’s getting people back in touch with their crafty self. This book is a tool to ReMake things. Using the energy that has already gone into creating something and creating shortcuts for new projects – using the oval opening in a tissue box as a picture perfect frame (project 15), or the leg of a pair of pants into the yoga mat bag (project 59). ReMake It is here to change the way you look at your trash. Pretty soon you’ll stop seeing waste, and start seeing all of the potential it can become! Grab a book, get going and start ReMaking It!

PSFK is giving away a copy of the book to one lucky reader. Leave a comment with what you’d most like to recycle and we’ll randomly select a winner. Make sure to sign in with your email address. The deadline to enter is midnight Sunday March 20th.

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