Crafty Richela Recycles

I first met Richela Morgan when I stumbled upon her blog, Crafty Richela. It was about the time Richela's mother had passed away quite suddenly. As a way to sort her emotions, she wrote an eloquent series called 100 Days of Norma that drew me in.

You may have heard of Richela's book, The Green Crafter: 52 Eco Friendly Projects for Every Week of the Year. No way would she stop creating once the year was over... Richela has a knack for bringing new life to mundane supplies that the rest of us pack off to the recycling center without a backward glance... brown paper bags, milk cartons, cereal boxes... you name it.

crafty-richela-totebag

How stylish is this brown paper totebag?! Varnish and duct tape make it extra sturdy.

I asked Richela to tell us how she happened to get started on this recycling/crafting venture:

Though I've always had a tendency to make things, I didn't craft on a regular basis until my early twenties. I worked in publishing as a production/design assistant in an office where the environment was rich with creativity... lots of graphic designers and production managers with a keen sense of order and color. I started making holiday gifts and cards out of items bound for the trash can/recycle bin as a way of saving money, but I also found it satisfying to work with my hands.

I bet this smiling cow wallet would make spending more fun!

crafty-richela-wallet

Your mother had such a huge impact on your life as evidenced by 100 Days of Norma. Was she a crafter too?

My mom sewed a lot while I was growing up, from regular play clothes to my sister's senior prom dress. I used to think it was out of necessity because we had little money, but when I was writing the book, she looked at my projects and gave me advice on how to make them better. And more often than not she was right! I realized that she was a kindred spirit, and after the book came out I would call her up to discuss projects I was working on. I only started sewing paper right before she passed away, and I can imagine how happy she would have been to see the progress of my sewing.

This greeting card is part of an alphabet series that combines dishwasher detergent boxes with magazine and newspaper illustrations.

crafty-richela-finish-detergent-card

A functional journal makes clever use of coffee holders.

crafty-richela-beer-coffee-holder-notebook

Another notebook... this one with a stitched beer carton cover.

crafty-richela-beer-carton-notebook

Richela's Etsy shop tagline is completely appropo: "Little things with the big picture in mind."
Ann Martin
Ann Martin

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