Guest blog: Obby talks about the importance of upcycling, and where you can learn how.

Obby is a collective of eccentric and interesting creators who are keen to teach you all that they know! Crafting things and learning new skills is a way to enrich your life, not only in the immediate sense, but it gives you a chance to slow down, chill out and spend some time offline. With this mantra, Obby provides lessons from cooking to pottery to help learn with our hands and create beautiful things, and so naturally we are delighted to have them as our guest bloggers this week! Read on to find out more about the importance of upcycling and all of the exciting ways you can get involved. Over to Obby…

Obby on Upcycling

The environmental benefits to upcycling are huge! You minimise the volume of discarded materials and waste being sent to landfill each year and in turn, you reduce the amount of new materials needed. Therefore causing a reduction in air pollution, water pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and often a conservation of global resources.

It’s a no-brainer and you can upcycle anything. Whether it’s an armchair, a vintage dress or a t-shirt you’ve worn so much it has holes in, any fabric you no longer want can be turned into something beautiful. Whether you’re a seasoned crafter, or very new to the concept of upcycling, we’re here to help with all your upcycling endeavours. Here are a few tips, classes and websites for you to get started on your upcycling journey.


Hoooked make beautiful yarns out of recycled t-shirts which you can turn into macramé wall hangings or planters. Obby has a whole host of Macramé classes from all sorts of well-known teachers across London. It’s a fabulous technique to learn and who doesn’t want to fill their home with hanging plants?!


The Ragged Life, who also lists their classes on Obby, teaches rag-rugging which although sounds a little out-dated and shabby without the chic, is anything but ‘rubbish’. The idea is that you take a couple of old t-shirts, or choose from the colours already there, and turn it into a gorgeous photo-frame, cushion cover or get started on a bathmat. The finished results are incredible, and the classes are laid back, suitable for all levels and a great way to get started on your upcycling journey. Come along to their class through Obby and you’ll also get steak frites for lunch!

Obby’s top tip # 1:

Keep it neutral, using beige and white, for a cushion cover that will look amazing on your white bed covers’

It’s one thing learning how to upcycle a couple of old t-shirts, but when it comes to changing up the ‘past it’s best’ dining table, things start to get a little daunting. Any upcycler’s secret weapon is Annie Sloan chalk paint. It’s the only paint of its type, which dries with a gorgeous chalky finish and is perfect for the shabby chic look you are trying to achieve. On Obby we have Annie Sloan Chalk Paint classes, taught by experts. Take a kitchen chair, or a buffet with you, and learn how to use the incredible paints to the best of their ability. It’s always better to have a little knowledge than go in completely blind.

Obby’s top tip # 2:

‘Why not check out websites like or for second hand furniture that you can upcycle if you don’t have anything of your own’

Upcycling isn’t something you have to get your hands dirty for to take part in. Companies like Juta Shoes, make incredible shoes for you to buy, using offcuts of leather from local factories. By using these offcuts, it saves them being binned, and sent to landfill. Added bonus that they look great as well as doing their bit to save the planet.

Obby is an online creatives collective. It’s your go-to website for craft workshops and experiences in London. From embroidery to pottery, Obby works with a hand-selected group of makers and creators that teach other their talents.

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