Saturday, 11 June 2011

Upcycled Fridays #2 : What to do with old newspapers and magazines

This week has been super crazy - hence the late posting of Upcycled Friday which is actually being posted on Saturday - BAD POLLY.
We had a 'pre-Ofsted Audit' this week to prepare our school for Ofsted in the Autumn term.  I wasn't seen on Tuesday however I got a phone-call from the Head Teacher on Tuesday evening.  Apparently the Inspectors hadn't seen enough 'good' or 'outstanding' lessons and asked to be directed to teachers who would show them this.  So I KNEW I was being seen on the Wednesday and had to pull out a great lesson.  It was thankfully - not outstanding because my class are over enthusiastic and however hard I tried I could NOT get them to hold their hands up without calling out.  The Inspector was really impressed with my lesson though - he told me that I'm an extremely skilled teacher who is enthusiastic and engaging.  Apparently I'm 'peppy' - whatever that means.  However I just need to work on my classroom management skills.  That's ALWAYS been my problem.  I find it very hard to keep classes quiet and not because they're off task - they're always trying to answer the questions that I'm asking.
Anyway - after that - my body has kind of collapsed in on me and decided that I need to sleep sleep and sleep as well as make my nose run faster than an Olympic sprinter and create a hacking cough that is waking me up.  I slept from about 5:30pm to 9pm last night - went to bed and slept solidly through to 4am.   That's a lot of sleep.

Right - enough background to why I'm so useless - here's this week's Upcycled Friday - and what to do with those old newspapers you have collecting up.  I tend not to have many newspapers lying around as I read most of my news online - however I do love my magazines and I have piles of them all over the place.
This idea was influenced by this dress:
This was designed by a young girl called Yuliya Kyrpo who I am proud to say I know!  When I taught at a school in South-East London she was in my tutor group and in my English class - in fact I was her tutor for about 4 years. She is a lovely young lady and ridiculously talented and driven.  This dress won a competition for recycling the Metro newspaper - a free newspaper in London.  Gorgeous isn't it?

Make some wood:

This is designed by Mieke Meijer and looks pretty sturdy to me.  You can see designs created from this here , and I think this should be the way forward with old newspapers!

Make a gorgeous winged origami bowl - created by the awesome talents of Francene Levinson - all from upcycled magazines.

Turn headlines into art - great work by A J Bocchino.

Make some cute little gift bags - I'm totally making these because I hate buying wrapping paper but I think wrapping presents in newspaper sometimes doesn't look that great.  So making gift bags looks a lot more thoughtful - this blog post from What-cha-ma-craft-it includes a really great tutorial.

So do you have any ideas to share?
What are you up to this weekend?  I'm off to Deptford Market in a few hours (in the rain by the looks of things) then photographing Arun Ghosh and Dimbleby & Capper tonight.  I know both performers and to see them on the same bill is so exciting.  Both are so ridiculously talented and I feel very proud to know them - cannae wait.  Just hope I have some energy later.


  1. Sometimes I look at all the amazing things people make and am blown away by the patience and precision required to produce the works of art - because that's what they are, I suppose.

    Lovely to look at but quite overwhelming to think about doing myself. Except the gift bags - now that's something I could do!

    Hope you find something great at the market.

  2. love that dress Polly, what a talented girl...inspired by your peppy teaching no doubt!
    thanks for newspaper bag tute link...I'll definetely make some of these and lastly have fun and happy snapping tonight x

  3. Well done on the Inspector feedback :o) Love that paper dress its amazing! And who doesnt love a cute gift bag :o) Scarlett x

  4. The dress and bag are utterly brilliant. Like Kylie, I'll deffo be looking at that tutorial - genius idea. I once made a bowl made from folded magazine pages (sorry, can't describe it any other way). Have a great weekend!

  5. Congrats on your fab Ofsted report - would have liked to have had you as a teacher I'm sure. I have far too many magazines and not enough skill to make most of these ideas - yes that dress is amazing - but will definitely check out the giftbags tute. Otherwise, I can make origami envelopes, so they sometimes get made out of old mags


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