Monday, February 10, 2020

Whimsical Christmas Tree Ornaments from Upcycled Plastic

Back in 2011 an accumulated pile of plastic office folders sat on my drawing table, I'd purchased them thinking they'd last longer than paper. They did, but they were bulky, they wouldn't lie flat, papers spilled out of them. I didn't want to toss them as our landfills suffer enough waste–when a light bulb went off in my head. Why not upcycle the folders into Christmas tree ornaments? My mind churned with images, why not upcycle some of them into articulated little characters even; all I had to do was buy a marker that would dry permanently and not chip off the plastic. Easy peasy, or so I thought,

Finding THAT marker proved challenging.

I purchased several white markers all the manufacturer claimed would write permanently on plastic. But once dried, many drawings flaked off, other pens pooled out great blobs of white puddles on the plastic. Discouraged I shelved
my upcycled project until the Art Supply market provided a solution. In the meantime most of those white markets dried up during the wait.

Fast forward to 2019 I discovered these wonderful enamel pens and went back to the drawing table, all plastic folders were saved from 2011 so I got to work.  I had a Holiday show at the wonderful Red Bee Honey Barn Holiday Open House booked in December. so I  sketched out a Queen Bee character to transform into an ornament.

Happily the Queen Bee ornament was a hit and I've made more, and I'm sketching out new characters. Once the plastic folders are all used up, unless I receive some for free, or find some at a rummage sale, that's it, on to creating my illustrated ornaments from another sustainable source.

Are you an illustrator and do you create art from sustainable materials? Please share your work in the comments below, and thank you for working to help keep this planet a little greener.

My whimsical Queen Bee Christmas ornament can be purchased here:

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