If you see a used wine cork lying around, do you see it as anything other than something to be tossed in the garbage can?
If you're Denise Corcoran, you see jewelery, or a carrying tray.
Corcoran, who runs Thrifty By Design, is passionate about crafting and "upcycling" — taking items from garage sales, thrift stores and even recycling depots and making them into usable gifts and products.
For years she has been teaching "crafternoons" and upcycling workshops all around the Lower Mainland, and now she has released her first book Raw Crafts: 40 Projects from Hemp, Jute, Burlap and Cork.
"Look in your recycling. Everybody's got some sort of cardboard box in there, and maybe there's a mason jar, you don't need a lot of time or money or expertise to create something awesome," Corcoran told host Sheryl MacKay on North by Northwest.
Here are six craft ideas from Corcoran, using all sorts of "raw" materials:
1. Wine cork jewelry
"Wine cork jewelry is simple, low cost and looks awesome."
2. Burlap bunting
"Bunting's all the rage these days. Create your own custom garlands using upcycled burlap and paint or Sharpies."
3. Burlap & cork keepsake display
"Old frames and reloved cork boards with a layer of burlap create quite the stunning keepsake display"
4. Jute macrame planter
"Combine jute with an old glass container for an easy peasy macrame planter. Use it for succulents or event candles. Also reuse old buttons or jewelry for added funk."
5. Lavender sachet
"Stitch up a lavender sachet using repurposed burlap then fill it with loose lavender. Use paint or Sharpies to add some flair to the sachet."
6. Wine cork tray
"Troll your local thrift store for an old frame or tray then add wine corks to it."
To hear the full story listen to the audio labelled: North Vancouver woman pens book about making crafts from 'raw' materials