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Upcycling: Create Beautiful Things with the Stuff You Already Have Paperback – August 23, 2011

3.5 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

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  • Upcycling: Create Beautiful Things with the Stuff You Already Have
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb
"We love Danny Seo. Don't ask us why--it would take too long! Just take our word and read his book!"

 

Kirkus, 8/1/11
“Interior designer Seo produces an idea book on how to grant junk a second life using his crafty “MacGyver-meets-HGTV” skills… A solid resource for the eco-conscious, as well as the crafty.”
 
Every Day with Rachael Ray
“My mom has a special way of beautifying our home. So does Danny Seo: What I do with food, he does design.”

 

 

About the Author

Danny Seo has been dubbed the “crafty MacGyver,” and has become the national face of eco-chic. He’s a contributor to NBC’s Today Show and many other national programs including Access Hollywood and Regis and Kelly. He also pens the syndicated column “Do Just One Thing” in newspapers nationwide. His line of organic bath and beauty products, Wholearth by Danny Seo, launched on Shop NBC this year, and he partnered with Simmons to create the “Simmons Natural Care Mattress by Danny Seo,” which is sold at JC Penney, Crate & Barrel, Bed Bath & Beyond, and many other venues. Danny is also the national spokesperson and partner with TJMaxx and designer of GreenHouse by Danny Seo. Danny lives in Bucks County, PA. Visit him at dannyseo.com.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Running Press; 1st edition (August 23, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762441798
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762441792
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.8 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #654,576 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
As an upcycler myself, I am constantly looking for inspiration and scoping out the ideas of others. With Danny Seo being such a celebrated designer, it seemed common sensical that this book would be fabulous. After all, it states "create beautiful things..." on the cover.

Granted, some ideas are unique and attractive. But I am shocked at how many of the items look so "junky." Making a picnic blanket out of old towels, hanging cotton batting "clouds" from the ceiling, and making play crowns from coffee sleeves does not an upcycler make. Most of the more attractive upcycling projects are already being done the world over, and provide no new information to the seasoned upcycler.

Flipping through the book, one gets a strong feeling that Mr. Seo was instructed by publishers to make the book thicker, and many of his projects are a result of just this. Whether this is correct or not is beyond my knowledge, but if you are new to the upcycling movement, I strongly recommend against this book. It will simply convince you that most of upcycling is taking junk and making it into different junk, rather than actually adding value, purpose, and beauty to what no longer may be referred to as junk.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was very excited to be getting this book (since I've been on a crafting kick lately). I was overall disappointed by many of the ideas in here. They range from unoriginal, to extremely unexciting. Who wants a concrete bottle shaped door stopper? Overall, the good ideas in the book are FAR overshadowed by the countless crafts that were obviously pushed to fill up space so they could sell an entire book. You're probably better off just using the internet.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I guess I expected the up cycling to be pieces of art , but they are more just something maybe a child would do. I love to recycle and have been a working artist for many years. So my mind goes to how can I recycle these objects and also perhaps put them out as my artwork. I can't imagine a designer would put out those concrete bottles or scissor cut plastic flowers as part of decor. I hope that those who are satisfied with the book are able to be a bit more creative.
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Format: Paperback
I can not sew. I do not have the patience to intricately paint. And knitting is so not for me. What i love about this book is that the author uses things we all have stashed away around the house in super fresh and modern ways. Turning cassette tape covers into a clear tissue box cover is not only modern and pretty, but it can be done in like, 4 minutes. And the paint stirrers wrapped around glass hurricanes with just these plumbing store pipe things... so easy, but pretty. I love this book so much.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book to train a leadership group of K-5th graders on the concept of upcycling. Other upcycling books contain ideas that transform trash into something beautiful, where you notice the beauty first, then the fact that it is upcycled next. Not so with this book. These crafts look like an uninspired preschooler was forced to create something. Here are some examples:

1. A towel picnic blanket. Don't make it look nice, just stitch the towels together.
2. A plastic bottle sand timer. Take two plastic bottles, fill them with colored sand, then use a cork screw to keep them together.
3. A scarf blanket: the ends didn't match and it looked like someone forgot to put away.

And those were three of the best projects.

Also, a lot of the projects required purchases in addition to or in lieu of upcycling.

Overall, this book was very disappointing. I asked for a refund. Amazon is great with refunds!

Thanks!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Uninspired. This book was meant to be a gift for my sister who is very excited about upcycling. After flipping through it I was shocked by how many people sang its praises in the reviews. I'm too embarrassed by its contents to give it to her. Here's an idea... upcycling this book into a pot trivet.
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Format: Paperback
None of the activities in this book are true "upcycling" they are just prolonging the life of garbage. This is a poorly written book that does not capture the essence of what true "upcycling" is and can be. To truly understand upcycling read works of McDonough.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Honestly, I was really disappointed in what was in this book. Most if not all of the projects are something elementary children would do, not something you'd want in your house or work. Super disappointed, and mine is being donated to the local school.
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