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Crafty in Camden!

Posted by Teresa Collenette Oxfam Fashion blogger and stylist

24th Sep 2012


The Oxfam Camden DIY store was positively buzzing with chatter and activity when I arrived there last Wednesday for the launch of ReCraft, "How to turn second-hand stuff into beautiful things for your home, family and friends." ReCraft is a brilliant book by the fabulously creative Sara Duchars and Sarah Marks, the founders of Buttonbag, a young innovative company that creates beautiful contemporary craft kits, designed and made in the UK.  ReCraft takes craft one stage further by making it into a form of recycling. All their craft projects use and are indeed inspired by stuff that might otherwise have been thrown away.  Creative sustainability…we like!


And what better way to celebrate the launch of this new book than by grabbing scissors, needle and thread and trying out a creative project on the spot, with the added enticement of cocktails and cupcakes!  There were several choices of activity but I decided to go for the penguin toy option.  This involved cutting up pieces of an old sweater to form the body which was then transformed without too many major mistakes into a fairly recognizable penguin with the addition of a couple of button eyes, as well as a felt beak, feet and wings.


It felt so therapeutic to sit down at the end of a working day and get stuck into doing something creative whilst chatting to other people all focused on the same activity.  There was much laughter and maybe a little mild cursing when things went slightly wrong, but as you can see we ultimately managed to produce a family of penguins of all shapes and sizes, some of them even accessorised and all of them certainly unique! The great thing about craft is that in most cases imperfections only add to the individuality of each item.  In this age of mass-produced goods and uniformity, unique is beautiful. At least that's what I told myself as I admired my handiwork, a somewhat boggle eyed penguin!

Everyone at the launch came away with something handmade and beautiful and I myself came away inspired! Having looked through the book, I am definitely going to give another of the ReCraft projects a try.  Anyone for a spot of découpage?!

Blog post written by Teresa Collenette

Oxfam Fashion blogger and stylist

More by Teresa Collenette