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Upcycling Celebrations: A Use-What-You-Have Guide to Decorating, Gift-Giving Entertaining

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Don't just recycle, Upcycle! Now every party and holiday of the year can be an opportunity to create things that are fun, uncomplicated, eco-friendly, and budget conscious. Eco-lifestyle expert Danny Seo shows how to take ordinary things (bottles, plastic bags, tennis balls, old plates) and magically transform them into festive decorations and one-of-a-kind gifts. So whethe Don't just recycle, Upcycle! Now every party and holiday of the year can be an opportunity to create things that are fun, uncomplicated, eco-friendly, and budget conscious. Eco-lifestyle expert Danny Seo shows how to take ordinary things (bottles, plastic bags, tennis balls, old plates) and magically transform them into festive decorations and one-of-a-kind gifts. So whether you're making dramatic party favors for New Year's Eve, giving a unique birthday present, planning a Summer BBQ, or setting your Thanksgiving table, Upcycling Celebrations gives you easy, step-by-step instructions for creating extraordinary things by using the stuff you already have.


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Don't just recycle, Upcycle! Now every party and holiday of the year can be an opportunity to create things that are fun, uncomplicated, eco-friendly, and budget conscious. Eco-lifestyle expert Danny Seo shows how to take ordinary things (bottles, plastic bags, tennis balls, old plates) and magically transform them into festive decorations and one-of-a-kind gifts. So whethe Don't just recycle, Upcycle! Now every party and holiday of the year can be an opportunity to create things that are fun, uncomplicated, eco-friendly, and budget conscious. Eco-lifestyle expert Danny Seo shows how to take ordinary things (bottles, plastic bags, tennis balls, old plates) and magically transform them into festive decorations and one-of-a-kind gifts. So whether you're making dramatic party favors for New Year's Eve, giving a unique birthday present, planning a Summer BBQ, or setting your Thanksgiving table, Upcycling Celebrations gives you easy, step-by-step instructions for creating extraordinary things by using the stuff you already have.

30 review for Upcycling Celebrations: A Use-What-You-Have Guide to Decorating, Gift-Giving Entertaining

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tamara

    A few fun crafts, like old light bulbs and champagne cork cages being turned into hot air balloons. But mostly, this was definitely a book about upcycling and NOT a book about eco-friendly crafts. Using 200 new chopsticks to make one trivet? Really? The thing with upcycling is that it often ignores the "reduce" part of the three R's. You really shouldn't have 50 bars of hotel soap that you can turn into soap confetti. You really shouldn't have 100's of plastic bags that you can turn into party b A few fun crafts, like old light bulbs and champagne cork cages being turned into hot air balloons. But mostly, this was definitely a book about upcycling and NOT a book about eco-friendly crafts. Using 200 new chopsticks to make one trivet? Really? The thing with upcycling is that it often ignores the "reduce" part of the three R's. You really shouldn't have 50 bars of hotel soap that you can turn into soap confetti. You really shouldn't have 100's of plastic bags that you can turn into party balls... Just sayin'.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Amy Adams

    When I picked up this book, I thought it was going to be crafts and decorating ideas that relied completely on upcycled materials. I also thought it was going to help me take crap laying around my house and transform it into something beautiful and new. However, many of the ideas required you to pick up supplies from a craft or home improvement store. And none of them left me with that "Wow! I can't believe this was ever a piece of trash!" feeling. The instructions are written in a paragraph for When I picked up this book, I thought it was going to be crafts and decorating ideas that relied completely on upcycled materials. I also thought it was going to help me take crap laying around my house and transform it into something beautiful and new. However, many of the ideas required you to pick up supplies from a craft or home improvement store. And none of them left me with that "Wow! I can't believe this was ever a piece of trash!" feeling. The instructions are written in a paragraph form rather than a list, and there are only pictures of the final projects--none of the steps involved in making the projects. While most of the project steps are self-explanatory, it would've been nice to have a few pictures to help out along the way. The author also tends to toot his own horn throughout the book. It's in that humble-brag sort of way. You know, as if the author is saying, "Oh, please excuse the mess in the background of the pictures. They were all taken at my beautiful sprawling ranch in California, and the maid hadn't dropped by yet that day." (Note:the author doesn't actually say this. It was just sort of the general feeling I got as I worked through the book.) I was disappointed with and underwhelmed by this book. I don't see myself actually using any of the projects within its pages, and I'm glad I checked it out from the library instead of purchasing it!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Stacy

    I enjoy crafting and prefer to use materials found around the house. My daughter, who is 9, is a huge crafter. Keeping her in new supplies would be expensive and wasteful. But, I can give her a book like this and she will have beautified a dozen things by the end of the week. I love that these projects require few pieces and have three steps or less. I haven't made it yet, but I plan to try a citronella locket when summer stuff hits the shelves and I stock up on candles!! I enjoy crafting and prefer to use materials found around the house. My daughter, who is 9, is a huge crafter. Keeping her in new supplies would be expensive and wasteful. But, I can give her a book like this and she will have beautified a dozen things by the end of the week. I love that these projects require few pieces and have three steps or less. I haven't made it yet, but I plan to try a citronella locket when summer stuff hits the shelves and I stock up on candles!!

  4. 5 out of 5

    NiaDwynwen Thomas

    Someone upcycle this book! Because its just a piece of trash. With the exception of the Halloween chapter, there's nothing in here I would ever want in my home. Did you know that you can cover coat hangers with felt to make felt covered coat hangers? Did you know that you can use plastic bags to make ugly plastic bag-like gift wrap? Or that Starbucks cups can be used to make crappy vases? If so, no need to read this book. Someone upcycle this book! Because its just a piece of trash. With the exception of the Halloween chapter, there's nothing in here I would ever want in my home. Did you know that you can cover coat hangers with felt to make felt covered coat hangers? Did you know that you can use plastic bags to make ugly plastic bag-like gift wrap? Or that Starbucks cups can be used to make crappy vases? If so, no need to read this book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Allyson

    Ugh. Where do I start. I’ll start with the positive: there were about half a dozen absolutely brilliant upcycling ideas in here that I totally love. BUT...there are some real stinkers in here. Just dumb ideas that don’t work, like turning crisps bags inside out as balloons. Just, no. Same for the coffee bag turned gift bag. Or the plastic spoon tulip arrangement. Can you not, though? And we never, never, EVER use books as furniture. Please stop. You’re killing me. Good ideas: page 100: lovely up Ugh. Where do I start. I’ll start with the positive: there were about half a dozen absolutely brilliant upcycling ideas in here that I totally love. BUT...there are some real stinkers in here. Just dumb ideas that don’t work, like turning crisps bags inside out as balloons. Just, no. Same for the coffee bag turned gift bag. Or the plastic spoon tulip arrangement. Can you not, though? And we never, never, EVER use books as furniture. Please stop. You’re killing me. Good ideas: page 100: lovely upcycling Page 117: totes brill Page 128: great project for kids Page 178: creepy but ok And I’m always down for anything involving Altoids tins.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Diana

    I love books, I love crafts, I love using materials I have on hand to create beautiful decorations for celebrations...but I HATE THIS BOOK! He talks about attempting to be kind to the planet, but the end results are so hideously ugly (with the exception of a few projects) that they will just end up in the trash after you're done...which means the garbage is back in the garbage...which isnt' helping anyone. You truly can make some beautiful things from trash, and your truly can re-use and upcycle I love books, I love crafts, I love using materials I have on hand to create beautiful decorations for celebrations...but I HATE THIS BOOK! He talks about attempting to be kind to the planet, but the end results are so hideously ugly (with the exception of a few projects) that they will just end up in the trash after you're done...which means the garbage is back in the garbage...which isnt' helping anyone. You truly can make some beautiful things from trash, and your truly can re-use and upcycle almost anything...just don't do it with this book.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ligaya

    Wow, how did this get published? An ultimate waste in physical resources, this book on upcycling is a hard pass. Nothing new or clever here, but a whole lot of ugly. I'm not sure why (until now), but I have stayed away from Danny Seo media. Is his tone too much humble brag or pretentious? Glad I flipped through the ebook version and didn't waste any gas or time getting to a library or bookstore. Wow, how did this get published? An ultimate waste in physical resources, this book on upcycling is a hard pass. Nothing new or clever here, but a whole lot of ugly. I'm not sure why (until now), but I have stayed away from Danny Seo media. Is his tone too much humble brag or pretentious? Glad I flipped through the ebook version and didn't waste any gas or time getting to a library or bookstore.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Eddie Castlow

    It's good. I have flipped thru better Every thing in it is kind of basic and most of it comes off cheap looking. There were a few things but nothing that made me say I need to do this It's good. I have flipped thru better Every thing in it is kind of basic and most of it comes off cheap looking. There were a few things but nothing that made me say I need to do this

  9. 4 out of 5

    Faranae

    This is just a humble-bragging craft book, with hideous results and poor instructions. The photographer's talents are wasted. Oh, and there's at least 3 projects that are actually dangerous. The things I read to complete my own book challenges... This is just a humble-bragging craft book, with hideous results and poor instructions. The photographer's talents are wasted. Oh, and there's at least 3 projects that are actually dangerous. The things I read to complete my own book challenges...

  10. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    Interesting enough to flip through, for the pictures. Most of the projects thought didn’t catch my eye and required going to the craft store. In addition, as someone who cares about the environment, a lot of the projects don’t seem “green” - use of styrofoam, aerosol sprays, etc.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Denise Kruse

    Disappointing. Not much worthwhile in here.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Veronica Smyth

    Very cool and great ideas!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Tessa

    There were a few ideas that I love: using old glass bottles as a mold for candles, using metal lids as floating candles, the glass bottle menorah, and the white pillar candles with leaves in them. (Hmm, apparently I only like his candle projects.) But the smug holier-than-thou tone of the book really rubbed me the wrong way. He self-righteously instructs people to use the sand in their shoes for a project because taking sand from the beach causes erosion...a few pages later, he talks about how h There were a few ideas that I love: using old glass bottles as a mold for candles, using metal lids as floating candles, the glass bottle menorah, and the white pillar candles with leaves in them. (Hmm, apparently I only like his candle projects.) But the smug holier-than-thou tone of the book really rubbed me the wrong way. He self-righteously instructs people to use the sand in their shoes for a project because taking sand from the beach causes erosion...a few pages later, he talks about how he made a project using sand he collected from the beach.

  14. 5 out of 5

    NayDoubleU

    Neat Some pretty neat ideas. More holiday themed though so not as useful as id like it be. Found 3 projects ill tweak though

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sage

    It’s not upcycling, just straight up garbage.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Vickey

    I legitimately enjoy upcycling (reusing, making do with what I already have, making things work for me) because I am a hippie and it makes me feel good to reduce waste. I was excited to see this whole book about upcycling at the library but was pretty disappointed by the projects within. Many of them involve taking recyclable stuff and making them un-recyclable so you'd have to throw them away when you were done with them. Covering compostable grape stems in glitter is a particularly egregious e I legitimately enjoy upcycling (reusing, making do with what I already have, making things work for me) because I am a hippie and it makes me feel good to reduce waste. I was excited to see this whole book about upcycling at the library but was pretty disappointed by the projects within. Many of them involve taking recyclable stuff and making them un-recyclable so you'd have to throw them away when you were done with them. Covering compostable grape stems in glitter is a particularly egregious example. Other projects pretty much asked you to buy things to make them, which defeats the purpose. Making a trivet out of 200 brand new chopsticks for example, or making plastic flowers out of disposable plates. If you went to the trouble to wash them wouldn't you just reuse them? If not you just have to buy new disposable plates for your next party. I would consider making recycled crayons using a candy mold, the hot-air balloon ornaments from light bulbs, and the tie dyed wrapping cloth and tablecloth from old sheets but that's all. The rest seem wasteful.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Cookav

    Upcycling: the process of transforming by-products, waste materials, useless and/or unwanted products into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value. In this book, old and unwanted items are made into clever and creative decorations designed for holidays. I absolutely love the art of upcycling. The idea that you can take something that's at the end of it's days and turn it into something not only pretty but useful is incredibly interesting. I found some of the p Upcycling: the process of transforming by-products, waste materials, useless and/or unwanted products into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value. In this book, old and unwanted items are made into clever and creative decorations designed for holidays. I absolutely love the art of upcycling. The idea that you can take something that's at the end of it's days and turn it into something not only pretty but useful is incredibly interesting. I found some of the projects in here pretty, but because they are party decorations I don't see much use after they have been used. I also thought that some of the projects were cute, but others just seemed like rushed projects that didn't have much of a real point, like coating grape branches with glitter. I still thought the book was alright, and I might even try some of the projects in the future.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ava C

    Upcycling: the process of transforming by-products, waste materials, useless and/or unwanted products into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value. In this book, old and unwanted items are made into clever and creative decorations designed for holidays. I absolutely love the art of upcycling. The idea that you can take something that's at the end of it's days and turn it into something not only pretty but useful is incredibly interesting. I found some of the Upcycling: the process of transforming by-products, waste materials, useless and/or unwanted products into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value. In this book, old and unwanted items are made into clever and creative decorations designed for holidays. I absolutely love the art of upcycling. The idea that you can take something that's at the end of it's days and turn it into something not only pretty but useful is incredibly interesting. I found some of the projects in here pretty, but because they are party decorations I don't see much use after they have been used. I also thought that some of the projects were cute, but others just seemed like rushed projects that didn't have much of a real point, like coating grape branches with glitter. I still thought the book was alright, and I might even try some of the projects in the future.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Krista

    I've read other books by Danny Seo and I remember feeling the same way. I love some of the projects (branchlers, citronella pendent, watch pendent, tie dye wrapping paper) but most of them seem silly (plastic ware tulips, banners etc.). My overwhelming feeling when reading the projects (the instructions seem very thorough) is that it's not upcycling if you reuse one token item but purchase the rest of the required tools. I've read other books by Danny Seo and I remember feeling the same way. I love some of the projects (branchlers, citronella pendent, watch pendent, tie dye wrapping paper) but most of them seem silly (plastic ware tulips, banners etc.). My overwhelming feeling when reading the projects (the instructions seem very thorough) is that it's not upcycling if you reuse one token item but purchase the rest of the required tools.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    There are some really cool ideas in this book that I can't wait to make use of. There are also plenty of "eh" ideas that might fit someone else's aesthetic sense and supply closet better than mine. All of the directions seem pretty straightforward and easy, but to really test them out I'll just have to make something. Will update soon. :) There are some really cool ideas in this book that I can't wait to make use of. There are also plenty of "eh" ideas that might fit someone else's aesthetic sense and supply closet better than mine. All of the directions seem pretty straightforward and easy, but to really test them out I'll just have to make something. Will update soon. :)

  21. 5 out of 5

    Marcia

    Danny Seo is my hero, and this is another great craft book filled with upbeat, upscale, upcycling. This series is well designed and fun. All of the projects are so simple that the results seem fool proof. We'll see! He has definitely made me look twice at everything I throw away or toss in the recycling bin. Danny Seo is my hero, and this is another great craft book filled with upbeat, upscale, upcycling. This series is well designed and fun. All of the projects are so simple that the results seem fool proof. We'll see! He has definitely made me look twice at everything I throw away or toss in the recycling bin.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    A few good ideas most of them I wouldn't go like plastic bag christmas balls... I'm all about recycling and reusing but it has to be classy not trashy! I don't want to have my own trailer park christmas. It's a fast read and there are a few that I might do but not worth buying the book, check out at the library. A few good ideas most of them I wouldn't go like plastic bag christmas balls... I'm all about recycling and reusing but it has to be classy not trashy! I don't want to have my own trailer park christmas. It's a fast read and there are a few that I might do but not worth buying the book, check out at the library.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Laurajean

    Terrifically imaginative ideas for upcycling everyday items. Contains many craft ideas for upcycling everyday items. I was happy to find honest-to-goodness decorative ideas for styrofoam and plastic grocery bags. It's now on my wish list. Terrifically imaginative ideas for upcycling everyday items. Contains many craft ideas for upcycling everyday items. I was happy to find honest-to-goodness decorative ideas for styrofoam and plastic grocery bags. It's now on my wish list.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Gabriella

    Upcycling is great, but I didn't like most of the ideas in this book. There were two or three ideas that I liked, but a lot of them weren't very cute and didn't seem worth the effort or supplies to make them. Upcycling is great, but I didn't like most of the ideas in this book. There were two or three ideas that I liked, but a lot of them weren't very cute and didn't seem worth the effort or supplies to make them.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Marilyn

    This book got me really thinking for our TIki TOur party. The ideas he had really inspired me to think of new ideas that suited the theme. Because he uses simple methods for the crafts everything is do- able.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Trish

    This book wasn't that great. There were only a couple good ideas. This book wasn't that great. There were only a couple good ideas.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Some cute ideas for upcycling. Higlights for me: denim napkins, chalkboard trick-or-treat bags andglobe candy bowls.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    A few fun ideas, some weird, some not so useful, but I appreciate his creativity..

  29. 4 out of 5

    Christie

    Some cute projects, but most are just silly. Balloons made out of plastic bags are not my thing!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    I bookmarked the hell out of this book. Ready, set, craft!

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