New Recycled Shop Sign

Will I Get The New Shop Sign Finished By Christmas?

Yesterday, we sorted the christmas tree, put up decorations, stocked christmas displays, and set up sparkly LED low energy lights ready for the start of advent that began today. This included a recycled green christmas tree from St Lukes Hospice charity shop in Torquay, which we are delighted with! The slimline 6ft tree is now decorated with handmade, recycled decorations and also some magical Fairtrade crafts from Indonesia – but more about this later though!

the wood quality is a suprise!

I have been working on the boards that make up the main facia that the lettering is to be mounted on. The boards are recycled from scrap pallets, but contain lots of good grade softwood timber and some hardwoods too!
The wood quality is a surprise and i have noticed whilst preparing and preserving the timber that I do get great results once the roughness is removed. The best final results are going to be from a mixture of the pine softwoods as they have really attractive grain patterns. 20131130-152631.jpg

The current sign is a PVC honeycombe board with vinyl lettering, which was ok when we were into waste management but has got to go now we are focussed on retail. The new sign will consist of 51 made to measure, recycled timber boards. Each board is only 600mm long and they are to set side-by-side to cover a span of 3.5meters above the shopfront section and another 700mm on the return section, above our entrance. There will be a slight gap between each to allow water to drain off, as i want to prevent a build up of moisture where i can.
20131130-150749.jpgSanding the boards smooth

this will say as much about the quality of the products inside!

The 51 boards are all cut and sanded smooth with 180 grade paper then treated with a purple coloured preservative that represents the shops colour for Fairtrade products. Once dried it is finished to 320 grade paper so that when the varnish is applied it will be as smooth as possible to resist the weather. I think its vital to have a very high quality finish as this will say as much about the quality of the products inside!
Treated Boards Drying20131130-151058.jpg

So far i have 33 boards ready to fit, another 10 needing another coat of varnish, but 8 have only the preservative applied. As each board needs at least 3 coats, this is done over 6 days to allow drying time.
Whilst these are drying though, i have been researching a new supplier for the Solar Powered Lighting Display that will be used to light the sign. This is a great opportunity for us to demonstrate a new range of products that we want sell. Recently we have been asked by Boat Owners, Gardeners, and Campers for cheap Solar Lighting Kits who have a need for a quick and easy set up to use away from home. Of course, Solar Power will be free to once you have bought the kit!

Only 24 days to christmas now, So i am realising i am quickly running out of time!

New Recycled Shop Sign


LETTERS DONE! Another Step Closer

Using templates made this easier, but it was still difficult work due to the font style ‘Papyrus’ being so complicated (see logo pic at header). There are 8 character letters which were cut and prepared using firstly a course sandpaper then a fine paper after they were painted.

We have continued with the main colour for the business of Lime Green and used a vintage chalk paint smoothed to a perfect finish to make it as waterproof as possible. I tested this briefly under the tap and it runs off nicely ūüėÄ. Though just to make sure, a final coat of sealer was sprayed onto each letter to make sure.

Next stage is to cut up some pallets i have collected to make the boarding to mount the letters onto.



Hannah’s Chistmas Gift Fayre


A Wonderful Day, An Inspiring Place, And Beautiful Gifts

Set in 90 acres of lush Devon countryside, Seale-Hayne College is on the outskirts of Newton Abbot where Hannahs provides learning, care, support and real choice to children and adults with a range of disabilities.
Hannahs vision is to live in a society where people with disabilities experience the same opportunities to work, train, learn and live. To fulfil their true potential without judgement or limit: a society where disability is incidental.

The 2 day event captured the spirit of the organisation perfectly, with several stalls proudly manned by their students showcasing their impressive products. Opposite us were students of the Horticultural College Green Woodwork course selling garden related products. These included Log trays, Planters, Birdfeeders, Shelves and Boxes of original design and superb handmade quality.

The event opened from 10am and visitors were welcomed at the entrance by a 20ft recycled metal sculptured Cola Can Christmas Tree- amazing! Through the granite archway into the main square revealed the Main Staging area for live music, Artworks, Bistro Bar and refreshment stalls serving mulled wine, fresh coffee and mince pies.

Each of the buildings off the main square and beyond was host to the 90 stall holders in 20 rooms located around the grounds and a map was provided. This provided an exciting journey around the college and on the way discovering project rooms, Santas grotto, and childrens choir singing christmas carols!

We were located to the north west of the main square in The Chapel, which provided a snug place to find 12 stallholders selling their precious creations. We were showing Upcycled Furniture, Vinyl Record Clocks and various unique Eco gifts. Whilst our neighbours offered jewellery, recycled christmas decorations, beautiful childrens inspired art, amazing mozaics, garden craft products, wood carving, lavender bags and autumn inspired pottery. The great hall held the most sellers, and popular items across the site included Bags, Clothing, Blankets, Sculptures, Recycled Lamps, Housewares, personalised Plaques, Wood Craft Bowls, felt Jackets, and Glassware .

The event lasted until 4pm both days with attendance well over 2500 for the both days. With thanks to the Hannahs Charity for this superb christmas event and special thanks to Susan for her excellent organisation to bring us altogether without a hitch!

A donation was made to the charity from our profits





New Recycled Shop Sign

It really is about time we had a new sign on the shop front

this shop sign has to say we are about recycling

We have both been looking at the shop branding since we sold off the Recycling Collection Service business last year, this shop has to say we are about recycling i have been saying to Jo.
We currently have the corporate office style lettering on a plain white plastic board, well thats ok for recycling waste services but doesnt inspire excitement for customers looking for beautiful homeware, gifts and crafts!

Jo recently done a facebook post on recycling pallets into furniture, so theres a great supply of underused resource that i could use! The pallet wood i recently used to remake a metal framed table in a beach hut style with each short piece of timber a different colour. This effect would look great above the shopfront window in our shop colours of Lime Green, Berry and Chocolate Brown. These colours we use in the shop to represent the types of product we sell -Recycled(green) Organic(brown) and Fairtrade(purple)

I have begun to cut the letters from old pine furniture as the pallet wood is not wide enough, and they will be mounted proud of the boards to stand out. Jo had the idea of fixing them with bedsprings so they move in the wind, and i suggested that i could backlight them with a Solar Powered LED string.

Looking forward to seeing it now!


New Bottle Wall Project 2013

When the last storms tore down our old fence panels at home I decided to add something a little different!
The boundary fence has an odd section where the garden is terraced to the rising garden. This odd section is about the size of a door, I could have cut a door to fit but wanted more morning light to the kitchen.
We had already created a bottle wall in the garden with 400 recycled wine bottles and now are creating a variation of this that isn’t quite so dense. Fixing old bed springs recycled from an old mattress to a solid treated frame, we plan to insert the bottles Inside the springs for a totally unique feature.
The first pic shows what we plan to do, and the second shows the space filled with mattress springs ready for the bottle to be fixed in. We have found though that springs and bottle vary slightly in size, so a little adjustment and snipping is required.
I will post later an update when i have filled the spaces with bottles!



Bottle Green House Project

Inspired recently by Paignton Zoo who built a greenhouse recycled entirely from plastic drinks bottles. This is a great use of one of our most wasteful single use products, helping to avoid the problem in landfill. Imagine the water and energy gone into the production of plastic bottles, and then once its empty, discarded! it’s a terrible waste.
We have asked our lovely customers to bring in their bottles for the last few months and have several hundred now awaiting construction!





Back in 1995 Steve and Joanne Clark started recycling waste from homes and businesses in South Devon.  Some great ideas emerged from reusing these material to make new products and artworks.  Popular items at the time were CD racks, Glass Lanterns, Shelves, Tables, Clocks and Mens Ties.

Recycling waste for business became very popular and our reputation improved with support from Local Council Recycling Officers In Torbay, Teignbridge and South Hams.  Until 2012 we were recycling over 350 Tonnes of Cardboard, Paper and Textiles per year!

This year bought about changes though with Recycling Collections being taken over by our trading partners Coastal Waste in Exeter.  Now we are concentrating on the fun side of the business, recycled Art, Crafts and Giftware.  We have a real passion for Upcycled Furniture,  passing from the recent fad of Shabby Chic to a more designer led 1950s urban furniture.

Used2bee Recycling Shop is at 49 Sherwell Valley Road Torquay Devon TQ26EL