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Published on August 11th, 2009 | by Becky Striepe

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Upcycling Inspiration: Recycle LACMA

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When the Los Angeles County Museum of Art announced that it was deaccessioning part of its textile collection, artist Robert Fontenot was on the scene. He hit up three separate auctions and acquired 50 pieces, almost half of the items the museum was getting rid of. The resulting work is sometimes arty, sometimes functional, and all beautiful! He embroiders the accession number into each finished piece.

The project is still a work in progress, and I just love this quote from his artist’s statement: “Although each item has not yet been used, each item can have a use.” Yes! I think that can apply to materials in a much larger sense, and his work is a fantastic reminder that old pieces can take on a whole new life with just a little bit of love.

Want to get your upcycle on? Thrift stores and even the back of your closet are full of textiles that can take on a whole new life! Here are a few ideas to get you going:

You can check out more of Fontenot’s amazing textile work at the Recycle LACMA blog to get some inspiraton. For more of his work, take a peek over at Dictionary of Earthly Delights.

So, seamsters and seamstresses, I know you guys have done some awesome fabric upcycling of your own. Tell us all about it in the comments!

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About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .



  • http://kraftykatina.blogspot.com/ Cerise

    This is so freaking cool! Thanks for sharing this great project. I think my favorites so far are the skirt tent and dog bed.

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