Posts Tagged ‘upcycling’

A Look Back at Artterro’s Eco Packaging

Saturday, April 19th, 2014

Did you know we have had over five different kind of packaging over the years?  Developing a product is a complicated process, and we’re always trying to improve and make our customers happy.

Packaging 2006 and 2007

Here are our first two packaging versions, back when our name was Arttogo (Art-to-go).  The one on the left is minimal in the extreme!  All the focus was on providing beautiful, quality materials, rather than a big fancy box.  At that point, Forrest was selling the kits mostly at community events and to friends and family.  The version on the right came about after she started working with Jennifer Conn.  Jen was then working as a freelance graphic designer, and now she is a co-owner and the Creative Director of Artterro.  The packaging was a big improvement, but still quite minimal and eco-friendly.

packaging 2008 and 2010

Here we have our redesigned inserts in 2008 (still in a reusable bag that hangs from a hook).  In 2010 we took a big step forward–we created a box that made our products look more like the special gifts they are, while still being eco-friendly and allowing customers to see exactly what they’re going to get.  Plus, it turned into a bonus project–a frame you can decorate to display your art!  Pretty fancy, huh?

You’ll have to stay tuned until Monday (aka Earth Day Eve) to see what our next big step forward looks like.  We couldn’t be more excited to share it with you.

Easy Ways to Fill Your Summer With Creativity!

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Are you kids home from school and in need of engaging activities?  Or maybe you home school and want to add a little extra creativity to your summer days?  Art projects are the perfect way to fill up long, sunny days on the deck, rainy days indoors, or vacations on the road.

Projects that can go from indoors to outdoors are ideal.   One fabulous summer project for little ones is to make fairy houses and bug habitats out of natural materials.  You can start inside by sketching a design and making a list of materials, or just improvise while you look around the backyard or a nearby park.  Then pick a location where you can imagine fairies nesting or bugs working, and make them a house with natural found items.  Here’s a paper version of a bug habitat we made with our Wool Felt Bug Kit and some other supplies (imagine what you could make with branches, stones and leaves!):

Inspiration for your bug habitat!

Our Bubble Wands Kit is another great example.  You can design and make the bubble wands inside or out, and then play with them outside for hours.

Bubble Wand Kits

Image via Magic Cabin

Art journaling is a great way to keep the creativity flowing all summer.  You can set a goal of one page a day, and throw it in a purse or tote bag to bring it along on vacations and long car rides.

The Perfectly Portable Art Journal Kit

Art journaling is great for all ages, and doesn’t require a big investment in materials.  The Artterro Art Journal Kit makes it especially easy to get started, with helpful tips and inspiring examples included.

Exploring Their Art Journal Kits

We love to decorate our gardens in the summer!  Whether you have a small patio garden or a flourishing urban farm, your already-delightful garden will be even more beautiful with some garden art.  We put copper wire and glass beads in our Garden Art Kit, which are perfect for reflecting light and adding visual interest to a potted plant.  You can also make decorative plant labels out of recycled materials and collect stones to make small garden paths.

Add some art to a potted plant!

What are some of your favorite creative summer activities?

5 Ways to Go (Creatively) Green with Art on Earth Day

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

There are hundreds of websites devoted to going green in your everyday life, and many of them write special Earth Day posts, inspiring their readers to take new steps towards sustainability.  Treehugger has a great primer if you’ve never come across this type of post.

This particular list is a little different.  Since our specialty is art of the eco-friendly variety, we decided to share some of creative ways to go green as you make beautiful works of art.  All of these ideas are designed to keep materials out of the waste stream in a useful, aesthetically-pleasing way—in other words, upcycling!

Garden Art

Garden Art for Earth Day!

1.       Mix the old with the new: Turning recycled junk into fabulous art is a great idea in theory, but it’s important to make sure you don’t end up with something that looks like recycled junk.  Try mixing some recycled supplies with some high-quality art materials.  You can transform an old plastic food container into a stylish pencil holder or vase if you cover it with beautiful, handmade paper or bright, eco-friendly paint.  Bottle caps, old wrapping paper, postcards and photographs can also be paired with new art supplies to make something unique.

2.       Nature makes life more beautiful—return the favor! Whether you have acres of land or a little studio apartment with a tiny potted plant on the window sill, your life is enriched by the beauty of the natural world.  Have you ever thought of bringing your artistic abilities into nature?  You can collect stones to make garden paths in unique designs (try Craigslist or Freecycle for free sources) or use fallen branches and tree trunks to make rustic fences and benches.  If your garden is limited to potted plants, try making your own decorative plant labels—cut up sturdy plastic containers or lids, then paint them (including the plant type if you choose).

3.       Clothes that keep on giving: When a beloved item of clothing gets a little holey, it’s easy to turn the pattern, color and material you love into something new.  Like to knit?  Cut a long piece of clothing (like pajama pants) into one thin, continuous strip of fabric “yarn,” and give your next scarf or hat a totally unique texture.  Almost any shirt or skirt can be turned into a pillowcase or tote bag with some scissors and simple sewing skills.

4.       Jewelry with a (re)purpose: You don’t have to throw out jewelry that’s gone out of style.  Lay out all the pieces you no longer wear, and pretend you’re at a bead store.  Poach individual beads and clasps from your collection, and use them to make new jewelry.  You can also transform them into ornaments, mixed-media art materials or hip clothing embellishments (think J.Crew, but much cheaper).

5.       Don’t forget your friends: If you have any artistic or crafty friends, host an art party or craft supply swap.  Chances are you have supplies that you’re just not interested in using anymore.  Maybe you have a friend who’s dying to try them!  Either ask people to simply swap items at the event, or make it into a hands-on art party, with everyone sharing their materials, know-how and inspiration.