Upcycle Progress: Layers

I was very intrigued when I heard the first project we would be working on was going to involve upcycling. Upcycling is the process of creating something out of waste materials or products for a better purpose. I thought this challenge would be fun since it puts constraints on what materials we are allowed to use. The first step in my design process for this projects was picking a material. After looking around my house, I gathered a pile of random materials that I thought could be useful for this project. I had scrap wood, cardboard, glass bottles, jars, cans, coins, and some fabric. There was only one problem, I only had a small quantity of every material and I didn’t really want to look through dumpsters. This is when I began to narrow down my list to glass and cardboard, two very different materials. I had five mason jars but my cardboard was not in good shape. I noticed there were a lot card boxes outside of the bookstore at the UMC and began taking a couple home everyday.

Beer holder(1)

I began thinking about how cardboard and glass could interact with each other in everyday products. My conclusion was that cardboard is often used to hold glass in place for transportation such as a 6 pack of beer. After some brainstorming, I came up with the idea of making mason jar planters that have unique stacked cardboard forms around them.


I really like the aesthetic of stacked or layered materials. I think when it’s done correctly, it produces a very appealing curvy and natural feel.

Cardboard furniture(3)

I’m currently in the process of creating some forms in Rhino that I can later bring into the laser cutter to make all the necessary pieces.


  1. https://yellowimages.com/stock/kraft-paper-6-pack-beer-bottle-carrier-mockup-halfside-view-high-angle-shot-13018/
  2. https://www.curbly.com/15952-make-it-diy-metallic-geometric-planters-in-5-minutes
  3. http://www.nordwerk-design.de/gallerie/
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Upcycle Progress/ Design Process

2 Comments. Leave new

  • Ibrahim Alhajji
    February 1, 2019 4:15 pm

    I like the idea of using mason jars as planters. It is simple, useful and beautiful. Also, I like the chairs and the table made of cardboard. Adding color to the design might makes it look nicer.

  • William Benson
    February 1, 2019 1:06 pm

    Andre – I realy like the idea of layering cardboard to create something novel. I am a little confused on what you are making specifically. I think it would be cool if you create something that could support a lot of weight.


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