Skip Black Friday shopping and buy from local crafters we love!
As I’m sure you know already, it’s “Black Friday.” Many people have been shopping for hours now, scouring for the “perfect gift” for their loved ones. While it may be satisfying to find gifts for your family and friends, Black Friday is far from eco-friendly. How can we turn Black Friday green? We can make our own handmade Christmas gifts, or buy local! There are so many benefits of buying local— not only will you to skip the impact of buying new, but you will also support the local economy. Today, I want to introduce you to one handmade crafter that you can buy from this season– Trashy Crafter!
Trashy Crafter’s owner, Kim, explains that she’s “on a mission to re-define trash, one craft at a time.” Her shop includes paper bead jewelry, book paper flowers, fabric pennant banners, music and quote art, magnets, and tons more– all made from recycled materials. I love how each piece tells a story, too. On each of her Etsy shop pieces, she explains which materials she used to make them: sheet music, fairytale books, maps, etc. I had the privilege of interviewing Kim and learning even more about her crafty business! Read our interview with Trashy Crafter below, and then enter the giveaway!
CAGW: How did Trashy Crafter get started?
TC: I have been a crafter since I could hold scissors in my hand! My grandma was a crafter herself and she would always make Christmas tree skirts, Christmas stockings and ornaments and sell them at craft shows. I would always make crafts at my Grandmas house after my homework was done after school each day. Fast forward to college. While attending college, I was swamped with my studies and had no time to craft, so it was on the back burner, until a fateful trip to my local thrift store. I loved going to the thrift stores with my Mom, and one day while I was there, we noticed that they were throwing away tons of damaged and outdated books. The illustrations in the books were so colorful and beautiful I couldn’t let them go to waste, so my Mom and I grabbed as many as we could hold and headed home. That stack of books sat in my bedroom for a week or two, before I remembered how my third grade teacher had taught me how to make paper beads out of newspaper. “Why not make it with the damaged book pages,” I thought, and that is how “Trashy Crafter” was born. So far we have recycled 70 books by turning them into recycled handmade original book jewelry, home decor items and original recycled artwork. I have always been a huge environmental fanatic, have a love for history, and a passion for crafts. Trashy Crafter combines everything I love! It’s been such a wonderful journey, and it’s just getting started!
CAGW: What attracts you to eco friendly materials?
TC: My Grandma is really the one that got me started in that direction. In her craft supply room she had toilet paper rolls, jars, cardboard pieces, scraps of fabric from old clothing, left over ribbon, and anything else she could save for us to create things with. Being in that room was always an adventure, because I never knew what new materials she had gathered for my sister and I to build things with. In high school, I became extremely interested in environmental issues, and wanted to even at one point become an environmental lawyer. In college, I was president of the environmental club, so a heart for taking better care of our planet has long been running through my veins. Aside from the importance of reducing waste, I also love the excitement and ingenuity of working with what I find in alleys, dumpsters, libraries, thrift stores and items that are donated. It keeps me on my toes, and swimming in a pool of problem solving and constant creativity!
CAGW: Tell us about the items that you sell and why you’re passionate about them.
TC: I sell 100% handmade, recycled, one of a kind, original items. I am very strict about using only damaged and outdated books that the local libraries and thrift stores throw out. I take the books and use the entire thing, I turn the book pages into handrolled book bead necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. If I really like the images from the book pages I use them for recycled paper book flowers, artwork or home decor. I not only work with books, but I go dumpster diving and thrift storing all the time as well. When I find fun and unusual materials, I turn them into something. Recently I found some old 8-track tapes and turned them into music quote art. I have found old twig wreaths and covered them with recycled book page flowers, too. I work with what I find. Even my set up for the local craft shows and festivals I sell at are largely made up of items I find in the trash or thrift stores. My table covers are old bedsheets, my displays are made from old wood pieces and other items are from the thrift store.
CAGW: Is there anything else we should know about Trashy Crafter?
TC: I think Trashy Crafter speaks for itself. Time and time again at craft shows I am showered with love from Trashy Crafter fans that make their way out to craft show after craft show, and everyone always says that my crafts are unlike anything they have seen before. I think people really connect with the story behind the piece. Each and every item I make is a one of a kind original– once it is gone, it is gone forever. I don’t make duplicates of things, so it adds a special level of beauty I think.
CAGW: Where can people find your work?
TC: You can find me online at my website, on Etsy, and on Facebook. I am a HUGE Pinterest fanatic too– I post recycled craft ideas and projects on boards all the time. I also sell at many craft shows in San Diego throughout the year. Come out to visit me, and say hi! You can find a list of the craft shows I am selling at on my website www.TrashyCrafter.com.
So are you ready to see the prizes?!
Trashy Crafter is giving away an awesome prize pack– a recycled book bead bracelet and earring set (made out of a fairytale book) and a music quote recycled artwork. Kim made the artwork from an old wood shelf piece, sheet music, and lyrics from the song “Marry Me” by Train.
To top it all off, Trashy Crafter is giving our readers a special coupon code for her shop! From now until Monday (December 2) at midnight, you can use the code “GreenWorld” at checkout to get 10% off your total purchase! This is the perfect time to stock up on presents for family, friends, co-workers, and whoever might be on your list!
What are you waiting for? Enter the giveaway below and then head over to Trashy Crafter’s store to start shopping!
You must enter the giveaway through the Rafflecopter widget below. If you have any issues with the Rafflecopter, please contact us. This giveaway is only open to residents of the United States– sorry to all of our International readers– shipping is just insane! The giveaway ends on December 7 at 12:00 AM.