Even though Earth Day 2013 has technically come and gone, we at MyChelle strive to give back to our planet year-round. We always avoid putting toxic ingredients in our products, we reuse our bottles and tubes, we recycle – and we adore “upcycling” unused household items to create new decorations and gifts.

Take a tour of the MyChelle offices, and you’re bound to see some things typically found around the home – but used in unexpected ways:

Riley Conrath, our Marketing Coordinator, has given an old vase from a thrift store a new life by filling it with this season’s beautiful tulips.thumbnail-1

 

 

 

 

thumbnailRamona Roof, MyChelle’s Marketing Director, has turned an unused window frame into a delightfully unique piece of office décor.

 

 

We also love finding upcycled gift items in boutiques and online; the ability to showcase recycled materials in a pretty and interesting way makes a product so much more fun to buy, as it adds a “feel-good” factor.

sxstk-1-6-stack-combo-1-fro

 

Green Sewn is a great resource for elegant “sustainable style.” We absolutely love these colorful bracelets, which were delicately handwoven out of authentic vintage saris. Pearls, crystals and gold chains add extra glamour. One tip: These babies tend to sell out quickly, so get ’em while you can!

 

holstee_upcycled_walletThis upcycled wallet, found on the Mint Design Blog, would also make an amazing gift for an eco-conscious fashionista. The wallet was made of plastic bags that were collected from around the streets of Delhi, through an Indian non-profit dedicated to providing fair wage employment, education, and healthcare. Each wallet is completely one-of-a-kind, which makes it an especially thoughtful gift for a special occasion.

 

 

 

Sean-E-Brown-Recycled-Wall-Art-Deserted-Island-620x798If you’re shopping for someone artsy, definitely check out these pieces by Philadelphia-based artist Sean E. Brown. His Andy Warhol-inspired artwork was all made entirely out of recycled candy wrappers! The results are stunning and slightly weird, in the most beautiful way.

 

 

 

 

 

photo 1And lastly, this upcycled gift idea comes to us from Elle Brown, the daughter of someone on the MyChelle team: She recently received this adorable charm bracelet, which features upcycled Barbie doll shoes. It just goes to show you what a little creativity can get you! You could just as easily recreate the bracelet for someone in your life, using an old charm bracelet and any tiny items that reflect their style and interests. Unique gifts like these, which obviously show a great amount of thought and time well spent, are so much more personal and heartfelt than run-of-the-mill keepsakes… and they help to reduce waste, which in turn gives back to Mother Earth!

Have you ever upcycled an item to make a gift, either for someone else or yourself? If so, we’d like to hear about it! We are always on the hunt for new sources of inspiration – and we love to hear back from our readers and fans! Drop us a line in the “comments” section below, and you’ll be automatically entered to win a free gift from MyChelle!*

* Sorry – Free gifts are only available within the Continental United States.

By Liana Orenstein