Rustic Birdhouse… But What Did It Used2bee?

Say I’m the only bee in your bonnet Make a little birdhouse in your soul

                                                                          -They Might Be Giants 1989




These little tree decorations are all made from recycled materials, but what are the materials?


There are 3 items that go to make up each one


The main body, the roof, and something to hang it up with


There is also a nail perch, but i will give you that!


Ok, so whats your guesses






Here are the Answers….

The main body is made from pallet wood

The roof is made from tin cans

The hanging wire is made from electric cable


Thanks for playing

These are available in our Torquay shop TQ26EL

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Recycled Ant Sculpture…But What Did It Used2bee?

Ant Figures Made from Recycled Materials


 …but what are they made from?

Steves iPhone Pics 13th April 2014 115

what do you think?….


There are 3 different items used to make these Ants bodies, antlers and legs.


The objects are drilled, glued and then spray painted different colours to finish


Each Ant measures around 12cm long and about 5cm high


The body of the Ants were found and used outdoors


The legs were made from something found in a bedroom


The Antlers were made from something used everyday all around the home


Hmmmm! puzzled…have a think…

Sooooo! ok whats your guess? 3 objects made the ants… 1,2,3…..


The Answers Are….


Golf ballsBODY- Golf Balls
wire coat hanger

LEGS- Wire Coat HangersElectric cableANTLERS- Electrical Cable Copper Wire


Did you get it right..?

If you love these Golf Ball Ants you can buy them now!

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Newspaper Garden Beds

This is a great idea for a community recycling scheme!
Does it give you any ideas to revitalise a run down community space, school garden project or maybe at home?
Many small recycling schemes like this would be eligible for grant funding from The National Lottery, Wrap, or Government Regeneration Schemes.

Gone Pickin'

Who else has seen these awesome and monstrous garden beds in New Acton?! I love the messy and seemingly infinite folds in the old newspaper – such a neat way to recycle the stuff! Why use newspaper in the garden some of you may be asking (I asked that myself)?

Newspaper Garden Bed

Well apart from being visually awesome, the newspaper is great for the plants! The newspaper helps stop those pesky weeds from getting into the garden (blocks light, crushes them under the sheer weight of all that paper!) and is also really effective to retain water for the plants to grow. The more water that can be held, the less we need to use to keep them alive! It’s a win for aesthetics and for the environment.

Newspaper Garden Bed

I love pickin’, Herbs xxx

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How To Make A Wind Generator From Scrap

Colourful Homemade Wind Turbine
Colourful Homemade Wind Turbine

Using a few simple tools, you can set up a homemade wind generator. This device will help in reducing your dependence on other energy sources. This in turn means more savings down the line.

Required Tools and Materials

Treadmill motor
Hose clamp
6 bottles (2 liter)
1 inch pipe
Zip ties
Metal bicycle frame
Welding tools

One of The Thing You'll Need
One of The Things You’ll Need

Mount The Motor

Use the welding tools to modify the motor so it is centered on the bicycle pedal’s axle. Before you do this, remove the pedal. Use scaffolding if necessary. Put the motor housing in place by welding a pipe. Make sure the welded material connects the frame section up to the motor housing.
To ensure this homemade wind generator works, double check the motor housing. Make certain the motor is fastened. If it isn’t, the housing will spin along with the axle.

Recycle a motor from a scrap treadmill
Recycle a motor from a scrap treadmill

Create the Blades

Get the bottles and secure plastic with the zip ties. Set the spokes so the wheel will spin when the wind blows. Make a cut on the bottle (2 inches) in a spiral manner. Punch a hole and set the zip ties here. Put in another zip tie if there are spaces left.
Make sure about 30% of the wheel is covered with the blades.
Slice the blades so they don’t hit anything when they start spinning. With this homemade wind generator, you can take away the rest of the bike’s components; they are not necessary and will only take up space.

Make Plastic Turbine Blades
Make Plastic Turbine Blades

Mounting the Generator

Position the generator high up. Use the scaffolding or ladder if necessary. A pole is the best option. Now set the wires to the power location. You can use batteries. However they can present problems. Number one, they can overcharge. Secondly, it might run the motor and not get a charge.
If you’re going to use batteries, install a heat sinker so it won’t overcharge. If you’re not sure how to set this up on your homemade wind generator, talk to an electrician. Don’t try installing the batteries if you are unsure.

Tips and Warnings

These treadmill motors can be found in a variety of places. Your best bets are the apartments near colleges. These are usually just placed by the dumpster. You can get one there. The Web is also a good place to look for treadmill motors near you.
Be careful when using welding tools and equipment. Follow all the instructions. If you’re not sure how, have a welder shape the pipes for you. Do not stand near the blades when they’re running.
If you are having trouble mounting the generator, have some of your friends help you. This will prove especially useful if you’re going to use the scaffolding.
If the blades move too fast, they might fly off. Double check to make sure they’re installed properly. Wrongly installed blades won’t just fly off; they might shatter and explode.

These homemade wind generators require more work than most DIY projects. However the payoff can be substantial, so it’s worth giving it a try!


Buy A Book! – Dan Martin “How to build a wind turbine”


FINALLY! The Proof That Organic Food is Better For You!

This is great news! But if you already love organic fruit and veg, you probably know this already!

A study conducted by an international team of experts at Newcastle University, has proved that organic crops are up to 60% higher in antioxidants compared to non-organic. This proves once and for all that eco-friendly farming really does improve the nutritional quality of our food.

This is the largest ever study of its kind and shows that there is a substantial nutritional benefit to choosing organic produce rather than food made from conventionally grown crops. The study concluded that by switching to organic fruit and vegetables, the additional antioxidants that you receive is equivalent to eating between 1-2 extra portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

As a result of this extensive study, increased cost may no longer be a reason not to shop pesticide free. With more nutritionally dense fruit, vegetables and cereals, you can end up getting more for your money by switching to organic.

The study also proves that organic crops have significantly lower levels of cadmium, the toxic heavy metal. Like mercury and lead, cadmium can be extremely damaging to people who are repeatedly exposed, even at very low levels.

Where Can I Get Cash for My Old Furniture?


Pile Of Junk Furniture by Raumlabor

Raumlabor is from Berlin and specialises in large art installations in unusual media. Amazing! Unless you live next door, maybe! It is actually a building enclosure with the door that can just be seen front and centre; look closely!

Soooo! It is very possible to recycle any of your old furniture into something different and useful, but if you really, really, really have to get shot of it then the most obvious thing is to take it to the tip(recycling centre) or give it to charity. WAIT! You can get money for it!!


£10 Trade-in Offered By Our Little Shop!

Yes! We do want some re-usable furniture to upcycle, recycle into something new and we are prepared to give you £10 back on anything you buy in the shop worth £30 and over! You will love what we have done with some of the items bought in so far… Sewing box, record cabinet, lampshade, coffee table (with damaged top), side table (with loose leg) and more. These have been refurbished or repaired or re-used elsewhere and put up for sale again.
Dont be shy, just come in and find out more, have a look around!


Great Upcycled Sewing Box

Theres always eBay I suppose, but who can be bothered with that hastle! Picture, description, fees, fuss, hastle, bad feedback aarrrghh! I always found that Gumtree is a lot better as it is free, just as popular, and more friendly!

There are still good second-hand furniture dealers in most towns, some offer cash on collection, some will sell your items for a commission, usually about 30%-50% of the sale price. Some useful information on this can be found at Answers

Auction Houses can be a great way to sell more valuable pieces, but it is difficult to know what is in current demand unless you do your research. The auctioneers will normally charge a commission too, but this is around 15%, but also you may have to pay a fee if not sold at some so make sure of the terms before you submit your items. More expert advice and insider information can be found at Antiques Trade Gazette

Come in and see us, show us what you have to trade in and you only need to pick £30 worth of lovely things like: gifts, clothing, furniture, soaps, incence, coffee, chocolate, fairtrade craft, rugs, lighting, cards and glassware.

Here are some more pics of some furniture we have upcycled:





Wow! 5 Recycled Decor Projects that Burn Bright with Creativity


Impressive Garden Hide-Away

A truly beautiful home is organic, inspired with our experiences in life, treasured memories, our own blood sweat and tears.

Our busy busy lives: long hard careers, to pay the mortgage, run the car, to feed the family, chase the dream!

Let beauty in the simple things give the most pleasure.


A Fallen Tree makes for a Memorable Bathroom!

We live our lives dominated by the consumer mainstream of corporate conformity, but delve deep! You CAN find your true self, and a torrent of individual creative passion awaits…


Pebbles and Shells from Your Favourite Beach

We invest time, effort, commitment in the things we LOVE. In turn this fills our lives with purpose, calmness, and understanding to the point of fulfillment. It is not a goal to attain, but a way of life.


Love in the Spotlight: Pallet Bed, Inviting Cottons, Deep Pillows, Upcycled Downlight

It is the human spirit that inhabits a home and makes it whole. You may fill your home with things, but it is you that brings it all to life and makes it special.

“Shape clay into a vessel;
It is the space within that makes it useful.
Cut doors and windows for a room;
It is the holes which make it useful.
Therefore benefit comes from what is there;
Usefulness from what is not there.”
― Lao Tzu


Eclectic Mix of all that is Recycled

Find more inspiration with our Facebook page
Also: inspiration borrowed from:

Your Home Is Lovely

Pallet Furniture Diy

Inspiration Green

Denim Jeans: 5 Unusual Things Made From Repurposed Jeans


1. Where designer Jeans Go to Die!

Swedish designers Polytuft were responsible for this beautifully hand finished rug and is sold in sizes 140 x 200 cm or 160 x 240 cm from £399
The design was made under the slogan “Recycle” and laid in the patch-work style using discarded jeans, featuring high stability and durability.


2. Nudie Rag Rug

Conceived as part of the ‘post-recycled jeans initiative’ by swedish label nudie jeans, a series of scandinavian influenced denim rugs are produced with the remains of the company’s worn-out and destroyed pants.

Developed by cutting the worn textiles into jagged sections, the fabric is then rolled-up and sewn together.
Made in turkey, the rugs measure 2000mm x 1500mm and will be available exclusively at the nudie jeans house in L.A and concept stores around the world from 2012.


3. Who Likes My Wide Brimmed Chapeau?

Susan Moorhead is the designer behind this denim clad sunhat.
Susan just loves denim, loves recycling, and Ioves hats, so this sunhat is an obvious design for her. The plaid lining adds and extra point of interest.


4. Tuff Cuff from Mean Jeans

These trendy recycled jeans cuff wrist bracelets are a great accessory for a Rock Chic or Cyber Punk look.
Made from the waistbands of damaged jeans, this is is one of our most popular products right now, selling on our ETSY store at only £5.95.


5. Denim Do Over: I Got This Covered!

This chair was featured on Susans recycling blog ‘Denim Do Over’
Susan started by cutting 3 old pairs of jeans she had into many useful things to use in the home, and ideas have grown into a full time hobby!
We have made something similar too with a 3 piece corner suite bought at auction in 2011. This was a wonderful centrepiece at our warehouse reception room until it was sold later that year!

Also try these sites for useful ideas:

50+ Things to Make From Old Jeans

5 Really Useful Things To Make With Pallets


Top 5 Useful Things You Can Make With Recycled Pallets

Beginning our promotion on recycling pallets we have picked some great projects for you to make, if your up to it! The event runs throughout July 2014 at our shop in Torquay Devon UK TQ26EL, and will feature all of these items and more, for you to buy.


1. Large Single Shelf Unit

This is a really simple idea and quite easy to do, but will take a lot of effort with sanding down the wood. You will need a long light weight pallet strengthened across its width by 4×2 timber instead of the usual blocks.

Cutting this timber about 17cm from both ends will give you the shelf frame which will need to be filled out with scrap pieces of board.
Like to buy one?


2. Open Storage Boxes

Superbly simple idea and easy to make, these really useful boxes are made up entirely with the wider 14cm planks stripped from common EU pallets.
Make up a box frame with these 14cm planks but you can use the narrower 7cm ones for the base underneath. To make life easy make sure your box width is divisible by 7cm.
Finish off the box by either cutting handles, or attaching odd things to each end, like horse shoes, as featured in the above picture.


3. Stunning Wall Light

How impressive is this? Customise it to your own decor and taste.
It is made by building a support box frame that fixes to the wall with vanity panels either side to hide the electrics. You can then arrange the differing planks to the front in any design you wish. This must be PAT tested for electrical safety before you install though.


4. Standard Braced Garden Gate

These can be expensive items when bought from any hardware store. This one pictured is a design sold at B&Q for £35 but they can certainly cost up to £150!
This is made using 6 or 7 of the narrower 7cm planks spaced for a standard width of 90cm. You will need extra pieces top and bottom, and another mitred for the bracing.


5. Nestbox: Small House for Small Birds

Great looking garden item for attracting Sparrows and Tits to nest in your garden. I think this is probably the most difficult out of the 5 to make as there are different shapes to cut to make it fit together.

The design is approved by RSPB and the plan can be downloaded from their website:

If your not up to the DIY then buy one here:

Please visit the website regularly to see new recycled products we add every day. You can also get great ideas for recycled arts and crafts on the facebook page:

Why Dont Cyclists Learn To Drive?


Not Cool! Cyclist Cunning Stunt!

A York cyclist outraged by the bad behaviour of his fellow bikers has captured their dangerous moves on a head-cam and created a montage of the incidents (see link below) which include this guy removing his jacket whilst cycling! Also featured are jumping red lights, cutting up motorists and using mobile phones while pedalling. And how many cyclists do you see not wearing safety helmets?


Cycling Top Tip: Always wear a helmet!

Yeah! But….Some cyclists own cars, right?

Dont get me wrong, this is not about blaming cyclists! I love cycling, I own a Giant MTB, its zero carbon and i love riding anywhere i can on it, especially getting off road.
And…get this: the vast majority of cyclists drive cars too, in fact 83% according to the National Travel Survey, but have a preference for using a bike to travel for work and for recreation. If you regularly ride a bike this will probably make you a better, more considerate driver.
Do most drivers automatically assume cyclists dont drive? or understand the rules of the road? Does this attitude lead to incensed road rage aimed at cyclists?

Take cover, here comes the red mist…

Carlton Reid, blogger for had this example to give: “Do you have a driving licence?” The driver of the Fiat Punto had taken exception to the fact I had been in front of him at traffic lights, on a bicycle. When he overtook me he asked why I’d blocked him at the lights, and then came out with the driving licence question. We didn’t get into a long conversation (ironically, by slowing to berate me he was blocking all the cars behind him) but, wild stab in the dark here, he probably assumed that my sole means of transport is my bicycle and that a cyclist couldn’t possibly be a motorist as well.

If you cycle daily on the road, i expect you notice the impatience of many people when they get behind the wheel. Impatience that is aimed at all road users, not just bikes, caused by careless acts: cutting in, driving too fast/slow, not indicating or watching traffic lights/signs. Maybe this reaction is worse on the road due to human nature, time pressures, crowd mentality or some other psychology. I would passionately debate that the effect of heavy traffic, busy roads, long delays triggers the ‘fight or flight’ mode causing irrational and unsafe behaviour in many of us…for some cyclists maybe having an accident when no-one else is to blame!

Dont brake too hard in the rain!

Edmund King, president of the AA, often likes to point out that the “two tribes” mentality is corrosive. He cycles and he drives: “Because I work for the UK’s leading motoring organisation, some people assume I must drive everywhere. I don’t. Like many other drivers, I weigh up the options and take the best mode of transport for a particular journey.” Sir Chris Hoy has retired from cycling and taken to racing a Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 but he still also cycles around his home city of Edinburgh, on errands no longer for Olympic training. Cyclists and motorists are not from different planets. “Them and us,” in reality, doesn’t exist.

So, should we be looking at ways to help the cyclist become more safe?

Danish design company TNO is working on exterior airbags.

In the Netherlands, where bicycles are ubiquitous, approximately 200 cyclists are killed each year after being struck by a car. If a car is going faster than 25 mph the collision is usually fatal. Suprisingly, helmets don’t help much during an impact of 12 mph or greater.

TNO looked at the impact points at a vehicle’s front end, concluding that automatic braking and external airbags positions at the bottom of the windshield would reduce the severity of crashes dramatically.

Using information from a camera mounted on the rear-view mirror, the system preps for a collision, and deploys an airbag to cushion the rider’s impact on the windshield.

For Volvo drivers this is nothing new, as the V40 (from 2013) already has this feature, but the technology won’t be making its way across to British shores yet.

To help cyclists learn to drive: 6 Top Tips For Modern Road Safety(yep! Drivers too)-

1) Keep your distance and allow time to stop in emergency
2) Be aware of other road users around you
3) Be seen in low light conditions
4) Clear signals
5)Expect the unexpected
6) Keep your cool!

Read more:
Outraged Cyclist/Daily Mail –
Carlton Reid
Urban Times Cycle Helmet Debate –
Wired Cycle Airbags –
TNO Automotive Tech Projects –