Vinyl records to earrings, nuts and bolts to framed art - artists around the world are innovatively transforming discards to art! Here is our pick of 5 inspiring artists that upcycle junk into masterpiecesAlthough most of us aren’t happy to admit it, we all have our secret junk-drawers. You know, that one drawer in your desk that is completely unorganised and the sole purpose of which seems to be accumulating more and more trash that you won’t get rid of. Once a year when we find ourselves in spring-cleaning spirits, we tackle the dreaded sanctuary and start sorting out the accumulated orphans – pens that no longer work, lids off mason jars, bits of old wrapping paper and random tools. Have you ever studied these seemingly useless items and wondered if they could be fashioned into something usable or even better – something fun and decorative? Art can be found everywhere, so why not in the odd bits and pieces from your junk-drawer? If you don’t believe it can be done, check out these artists turning discards around and selling some of the funkiest recycled items on the internet!

The Kang

Perhaps you thought that old metal chains and extra cables have no afterlife, other than a possible bit role in 50 Shades of Grey? Luckily for fashionistas, designer Kang has a more edgy imagination! A Singapore based craftsman, Kang recreates accessories from unconventional materials. In his hands, trash and discarded pieces get a new lease of life; vinyl records, nuts and bolts, chains, bottle caps and trash bags turn in to funky, androgynous adornments. This talented, self-taught artist feels strongly about upcycling and even creates customized products for clients.
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Junk to Funk | Here's how some people are rocking recycling
An funky upcycled creation from Mountain girl clothing

MountainGirl Clothing

Do you have a bunch of old band T-shirts you can’t seem to part with but they’re simply too washed-out and scruffy to wear? Or maybe you’ve got a boring, plain black hoodie that’s super comfortable but just doesn’t look the part? There are plenty of ways to upcycle your old clothes; you could turn your old jeans into a stylish new purse or a trendy pillow; you could turn your old tank tops and tunics into a nice overskirt for your next Yoga lesson [Read: Upcycle old T Shirt to Yoga wear]. The possibilities are endless, but if you want to learn from the best, you should check out MountainGirl Clothing. MountainGirl is the Queen of upcycled clothing for women. Whether you’re looking for a sexy open-back top or an eye-catching new hoodie using your old band shirts, MountainGirl will sort you out!
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Junk to Funk | Here's how some people are rocking recycling! Featured above: Plastic Classics by Jane Perkins. Click through to read more at
“Plastic Classics” by Jane Perkins

Jane Perkins

Ever looked at your child’s bedroom and wondered how on earth he/she managed to collect so many teeny tiny figures, Lego pieces and other plastic fantastic toys? Ever felt like throwing at least half of them out? Well, don’t! Give Jane Perkins a day to sort through old Barbie combs, plastic animal figurines, beads, marbles and Lego and she’ll come back with a colourful, textured portrait of your favourite musician, a reinterpretation of a classic painting or an eye-catching flower. Forget about water colours, paint and pencils – Jane knows how to create stunning pieces of art using nothing but the annoying little plastic toys you injure your bare feet on every time you step into your little brother’s bedroom!
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Michelle Reader

Now that we’ve finally shed the evidence of a week’s worth of Christmas cookies from our midriffs, we can look forward to a whole new dieting regime after the Easter holidays. Who can possibly resist all those delicious, brightly wrapped and sparkling chocolate eggs? When you find yourself surrounded by a sea of shiny purple, red and golden chocolate wrappers on Easter Friday, think of artist Michelle Reader – she would have a field day with the debris of your yearly chocolate extravaganza. Michelle’s artwork comprises household and industrial waste, found objects and bits and bobs she picks up at local charity shops. With her found treasures she creates fun sculptures and installations celebrating the unpredictability of recycled materials. Go on, send her your sweets/chocolate wrappers and Fanta cans and have her turn it into a sculpture of yourself or your pet!
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The Forkwhisperer

A new trend has slowly been sneaking itself into the jewellery collection of many women with a passion for unique accessories. These women are no longer looking for precious stones or diamonds to adorn their rings and bracelets with; instead they opt for the jewellery to stand out with vinyl features, computer and Lego pieces and even recycled paper. The Forkwhisperer from Michigan however, has chosen an entirely different medium with which to create some original bling, namely antique sterling silver forks. If you’re looking for a unique toe ring to draw attention to your manicured toe-nails, the Forkwhisperer will hook you up!
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DeWill Designs

If you have a little workshop or even just a tool box, you’re probably one of those people who save every screw, break disc and pieces of scrap metal just in case you might need them some day. The Spain-based artist DeWill is one of those people. He sees the potential in scrap material and knows how to translate it into beautiful, whimsical sculptures, candle holders and even lamps. He has used old break discs to create the wise eyes of his owl sculpture Julie, an old washing machine drum to fashion a romantic garden light and old iron rod bars to make legs for his Fantasy Bird Gertrude. With more than thirty years’ experience as an artistic welder, DeWill has designed and created everything from furniture, railings, gates and incredible pieces of art.
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Roxanne is a German/British Journalist/Author based in Spain who shares our passion for all things old and quirky. [With Singapore inputs from Arti, the in-house marketing wiz at Secondsguru with a passion for all things vintage and flair for cooking!]




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