For as long as I can remember we’ve been turning discarded things into something that’s unique, useful, and hopefully pretty too. So when my Upcycle Sharin’ friends suggested we make a collage to encourage people to #stayhome and upcycle, I was all for it. And let me tell you, I had sooooooo much fun finding rusty, dusty, broken bits to turn into scrap metal letters for my “UPCYCLE” sign.
Pretty cool right? I had to really think outside the box for this one too. Some of the letters like the “C” and “L” were pretty obvious, but the “Y” and the “E” had me scratching my head.
And don’t even get me started on the “U” and “P” in UPCYCLE. I could have used another horseshoe for the “U” but that still left me scratching my head about that “P”. Clearly, I failed 😀 But a rusty arrow counts right?
Either way, I wanted to share how we made the sign before quickly going into the benefits of upcycling and introducing you to some of the best upcycling blogs out there. Just in case you need some more inspiration to use what you have 😉 Okay, before we get to all the good stuff, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. And don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll never miss a post!
The Scrap Metal Bits I Used
As I mentioned the “C” was a no brainer. We have loads of old horseshoes lying around. We’ve used some in our craft projects like this “LUV” sign and the others are scattered throughout our garden. Iron rust is really good for the soil and our fairies love it too 😉 The “L” was straightforward too. Just an old nail and a rusty hinge. BTW if you do have rusty screws or nails lying around you definitely want to see how to upcycle them into these beautiful creatures.
We also have soooooooo many old ceiling tiles in our upcycle stash, so that worked for making a “UP” arrow. Simply cut the tile with a pair of tin snips and sand any rough edges.
For the “Y”, I finally decided to use my “Rusty Nail Muti” paintbrush. She wasn’t going to last too much longer anyway. I cheated a little by cutting a “V” shape from a ceiling tile scrap to finish the “Y” off. A rusty corkscrew would have worked too.
And that left the letter “E”…… Ahhhhh that “E”. Goodness me. That was a nightmare. I finally settled on the garden fork we had left over from when we made this concrete doorstop. Originally I was going to cut one of the prongs off but shelved that idea after trying to saw it off for ½ hour. I don’t mind flexing my muscles, but the saw didn’t even make a small dent. I’m convinced that garden fork is made from kryptonite 😀
So my “E” has an extra line thingy and I’m okay with that. It’s rusty, and I finally found a use for that old fork. I could never stand to see something with even a tiny bit of life still left inside it thrown away.
Other scrap metal letter ideas
Now, I realize not everyone is going to want to make an “UPCYCLE” sign, so I searched high and low on the internet and found the most amazing photographer, Steve Lovegrove, who went to all the trouble to mock up some rusty, scrap metal letters. I popped off an email, and within minutes this incredibly talented human being offered to share his pics. Which means I can share them with you so YOU can get some other ideas for making scrap metal letters.
Okay, let’s quickly make a backing board for all those scrap metal letters and finish making our sign.
Making the sign using scrap metal letters
Once I had all the scrap metal letters, I measured how long the whole “word” would be and cut some old pallets up to make a backing board for the “UPCYCLE” sign. Pallets always come in so handy when making a sign.
In a previous lifetime, some of the pallet bits I used were painted a bluish color so they all got a quick sanding first. Just a word of caution. Whenever you work with pallets, make sure to wear the appropriate safety equipment. Especially if you can’t see any markings or stamps that will help identify where they’ve been or how they’ve been treated.
After putting the pallets together, they were stained with Blue Thunder Unicorn SPiT.
I love my Unicorn SPiT. The colors are so vibrant, and that gorgeous wood grain is still visible after it’s applied.
I sealed the Unicorn SPiT with a clear polyurethane gloss sealer and positioned all the scrap metal letters…
…..before screwing them in….
….. or attaching them with fishing line.
And then we have that “E” again. Mmmmmmm. Not only is the fork heavy, so the fishing line won’t work, but that metal is
&^$@*!$ fudging hard. Ask the hubby. He broke two drill bits making holes in that one for me. But hey, she’s up, and I’m happy. The hubby, maybe not so much 😀
If you’d like to make your own scrap metal sign don’t forget to pin it for later.
The benefits of upcycling
Did you know that when you recycle a tin can, you save enough energy to power your laptop for 3 hours? Just imagine how much energy you’d save if you upcycle it instead. When we upcycle, we reduce landfill waste and get to save a few lives too. Not only does that crisp packet someone threw away yesterday take 100’s of years to decompose it also ends up poisoning our marine life and damaging our ecosystem. And for me, nothing beats that feeling I get when I know we’ve done our bit to help sustain our planet. She’s the only one we’ve got.Almost anything can be upcycled into something unique. All it takes is a little imagination.
Besides saving the planet, upcycling means you get to make really cool things that are unique. And you push the boundaries of your imagination too. Upcycling encourages creativity and innovation and makes us put our wacky out-the-box thinking caps on. Always a good thing in my books 😉 So whether you’re making something yourself or you buy upcycled goods from someone else, you’ll always know that it’s a creative, one-of-a-kind piece filled with history and love.
And if you really want to be inspired and to make your own one-of-a-kind pieces, then you’re going to love these upcycle bloggers.
Upcycling bloggers that inspire me
Homeroad is a master at repurposing thrift store finds into unique and unusual home decor.
Dukes and Duchesses share loads of DIY decor and upcycled projects with sprinkles of delicious recipes mixed in between.
Salvage Sister and Mister always make the best with what they have, and they love sharing their tutorials and tips.
Birdz of a Feather is a husband and wife team who loves to breathe new life into things, but their true passion lies in showing others how to do the same.
Junk Journal chronicles her thrift store journey and shares how to fix, clean, and sell all those junk finds.
Christina Faye Repurposed is passionate about saving old, worn-out furniture that’s destined for a landfill and giving them a new lease on life.
Duct Tape and Denim specializes in furniture and thrift store makeovers that are absolutely gorgeous.
A Fresh Squeezed Life believes that it doesn’t matter if it’s a quilt or a refinished piece of furniture; all you have to do is “fresh-squeeze” it until you love what you see.
If you love bringing nature inside, then Simple Nature Decor has a whole bunch of tutorials that will show you how to use natural objects to make your home and garden beautiful.
And last but not least, DIY Idea Center has some great upcycling craft tutorials from all over the world that are sure to get those creative juices flowing.
Oh, and if you’re looking for more upcycling ideas, we’ve got you covered. Disclosure: Clicking on the links below means we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry, it won’t come out of your pocket, and it helps us come up with more amazing craft ideas to share with you 😉
Or if you want to learn more about upcycling
And as always, wishing you a wonderful, crafty week filled with lots of love. Thank you for popping in for a visit. Please stay safe; we’re all in this together.