Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Superheroes & Upcycling

Our upcycled superhero cigar boxes are quickly becoming a best seller.  We’re thinking about allowing preorders before a box is done, and offering made-to-order requests for groomsman gifts.  Here’s what’s being made now:

Topher, one of two of our layout artists, is quickly outdoing himself with this one.  Green Lantern looks like he’s going to step right off of this box.  Thus far, he’s only planned the cover.  Stay tuned to see what else he does with this masterpiece.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Unrolling New Beads

…or rather rolling them up for the new year.

The first batch of beads being offered is here and available in our shops on Etsy, Ebay and Storenvy.  Unlike the beads we’ve made in the past which were designed by cutting and rolling random strips from magazines – these beads are made with strips that are measured and counted to make a specific style of bead.  It’s really quite amazing how many types of beads can be designed from just rolling strips of paper every which way. 

It’s been a little over a year since I started ReInnovations.  My bead rolling obsession began during a visit to San Francisco.  I was working on a campaign at Forest Forever.  A month before I had bought a paper bead bracelet at Whole Foods, and thought it was the most amazing piece of work.  When I was in San Francisco, a man tried to sell me a box that he said contained a laptop.  I gave him some cash – he looked like he needed it pretty bad.  He gave me the box.  I then began to regret taking the box because I realized if there was a laptop in it – it was probably stolen. I was relieved to find that the box was full of magazines.  I had been meaning to start making paper beads, and now I had the incentive to do it.  Those first beads looked really rough.  But after a year – I feel I’ve really gotten it down.

Before I began upcycling paper into beads – I was upcycling coffee bean burlap from local roasters in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  I used the burlap to make messenger bags with a cooperative project called Basement 6.  I plan to pick that project up again in the near future.  I’d also like to begin experimenting with making wrapper bags within the next year.

For now though, it’s all about the beads.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Rolling Up: A New Line of Beads

Early next year the artists at ReInnovations are going to begin rolling out a variety of paper beads into the Ebay, Etsy and Storenvy shops.  Thus far, there are over 30 different kinds of paper bead designs planned for the New Year.  The beads will be available in small orders or in large wholesale lots.  All beads are made by upcyling magazines, junk mail, comic books and old torn up books.  We've been posting to our local Freecycle network to collect the material needed.

One of our favorite beads are these container beads.  They aren't quite finished because they need a stretch cord through the center so they can be opened and closed easily.  These beads are made up of two parts and can be opened, so that you can store something inside.

Container beads are great used as necklace pendants.

 Container beads take a lot of strips to make.  These beads used 36 strips of paper.  However, you can use more if you want a bigger container bead. 

These beads were rolled for a special request order.