Upcycling question

Can anyone advise please. Apart from what I have listed here, I also upcycle ‘stuff’ - furniture, vintage items, clothing etc. What I would like to know is can we list altered / upcycled items on Folksy. Specifically, in my case, altered / embellished hats, and / or other garments and hand painted frames (which I paint in bright colours and highlight in gold, silver etc). I wouldn’t like to list anything prohibited, so if anyone could shed any light, I would be massively grateful.


This says that painted vintage items are allowed. No mention of embellished clothing/ accessories, i would think that would be ok but you can always email admin and double check.

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I have some upcycled items, such as a maple syrup bottle not that you would recognise it as such.

I think true upcycling is acceptable as good for the environment, the thing that gets me atm is bought in items embellished. This to me is not handmade as that should result in everything being made such as bags etc.

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Oh no - I’m not ‘buying in’ anything to embellish. Everything is vintage or thrifted.


The question is really how much design and your own work is put into the upcycled product. Everyone will have their own opinion on what level will make it handmade enough for Folksy.
That said, my whole shop here is based on upcycling and I have been quite careful not to list anything I have not significantly modified from original.


I upcycle a couple of things - jam-jars and old beer glasses or vases found in charity shops by weaving rush onto them to make them into posy jars, lantern jars or vases. Alan has occasionally upcycled timber from old mantelpieces or furniture and turned it into something else.


My example of upcycled


Phwoar - that’s beautiful!

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I can remember a while ago that someone on here was painting clocks, with flowers etc. I thought they were lovely. Also old spoons upcycled by engraving(?). So go ahead, upcycling is very eco friendly, even if its embellishments to an existing item, it makes that item more attractive and reusable.

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As long as you’ve made a significant change to how it looks, so it’s got your own unique design, that’s fine.

It’s also important to remember that Folksy is for original artwork/design as well as handmade. Although a seller putting their own design on a new bought in item (such as a bag or t-shirt) may not be upcycling and it may not be a handmade bag, it absolutely fits our terms of what can be sold.

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So it is ok if I go to Amazon or Ali Express and buy in a set of makeup bags. Then I buy a set of initials in different colours and if i put an initial onto the bag that makes it ok for me to sell as Folksy Handmade ??

Goodness there are a lot of sellers on here who could save themselves an awful lot of time and effort by buying in ready made the basic product they have up to now painstakingly made by hand, every stitch and nail and cut …

I doubt our customers would agree with that… even if the initial is actually made by the seller…
When the word upcyling is normally used it means taking something old and enhances it not buying something new specially. I am pretty sure most people see it as a type of recyling and good for the planet etc etc
I just googled :rofl:

It’s a process many refer to as “upcycling,” which UpcycleThat.com defines this way: “The act of taking something no longer in use and giving it a second life and new function . In doing so, the finished product often becomes more practical, valuable and beautiful than what it previously was.”

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@JOYSofGLASS No because that doesn’t meet our terms.

The definition of upcycling isn’t important because that’s not the reason something is suitable to sell on Folksy, it’s suitable due to the original design/artwork.

@SashaGarrett already shared the link to this page but it’s all in there - What can I sell on Folksy? – Folksy Support & Knowledge Base

  • Original Artwork: The item is an original piece of art (eg painting, illustration, sculpture, print) created by you. Digital artwork, decals and reproductions of your own original art (eg on greetings cards, mugs and phone cases) are allowed, even if you have outsourced the printing.

  • Original Design: The item is your own original design. For example, we allow items that have been either 3D printed, lasercut or made by a machine but these must be your original, unique design not somebody else’s or a copy of someone else’s. For items that could be considered ‘Industrial Design’, see Section 3 below. Clothing and accessories that have been designed by you but made by a tailor or seamstress may be allowed if you can demonstrate that the design is unique to you, and that the pattern or print is your own original design.

Specific examples of things you can’t sell on Folksy

3. Printed Items

Mass-produced items - like mugs, t-shirts, phone cases, cushions, keyrings or plastic water bottles - that have basic text, clip art or licensed images added are not allowed.

However, items that feature reproductions of your own original art are allowed, even if you have outsourced the printing.

Items that feature typesetting or which combine a number of elements that demonstrate original design are also allowed.

Items that feature a buyer’s own photographs must also demonstrate an element of original design.

Buying a blank mass produced bag and adding your own design, whether that’s by printing/painting/stitching or however else is allowed because it’s your own original design. We’re not saying it’s upcycling, it’s about the design.
Buying a blank mass produced bag and adding a couple of letters is not original design that is unique to the seller and does not meet our terms.

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Awww awesome - that’s pretty broad then. Think I’m going to be alright with what I do then :slight_smile:

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In that case have a look down the new sellers list a few pages. I have reported a listing twice now i think and it does not meet your terms… Thanks Kim :slight_smile:
I defined the upcycling as that was the title of the topic.
TinyArtStudio yours look fine to me, there is a very obvious input of your own original design :slight_smile:
PS I note the offending listing is still there…