If you’re anything like me, you’ll think upcycling is among the best things in the entire world.
I combined my love of altar making and the art of upcycling to make a sweet little sacred space to perform magick and the like.
Here are some ideas for your very own upcycled altar:
- Old jam jar lid painted black with a star on top.
- Cardboard decorated with ribbon, rhinestones, and old buttons.
- Teacup saucer with a star in the center.
- Pringles can lid with a star etched into the center. (backing this with a bright colored piece of paper doesn’t look half bad)
- Take an old comb and place the stick-handle part into a cylindrical shape. (toothbrush travel cases and toilet paper rolls work well, but the roll should be cut a little to fit the comb) Wrap it with ribbon, and top with a knife of sorts. Pocket blades, antlers, horns, and even a whittled piece of wood will be fine. Decorate as desired, and make sure the ‘blade’ won’t fall off.
- A large kitchen bowl or terracotta pot can easily be redecorated and adapted to use as a cauldron. For the kitchen bowl, you can paint it black, leave it alone, or just glue a few things onto it. Mine was spray painted black and trimmed with little white moon-glyphs. To add a handle, drill holes into the side and attach wire or metal securely. Terracotta pots are similar, but have to be treated with more care when moving and drilling.
- Take a bunch of stones and glue them securely into a plastic or glass bowl. You can do the same on the outside, or leave it as it is.
- Melting down crayons into coca-cola bottle caps, acorn lids etc. can be an endearing addition to your altar. You can pick the perfect colors, add sweet scents, and place the herbs you wish to use right into the mix.
- Crafting your own statues is so much fun. You can create gods and goddesses out of felt, scrap fabric, old tees, and even rags. Give them personality and stuff them up with intention. If your ‘statue’ is of a deity with specific symbols, you can add those onto them, and keep sachets of their herbs/plants inside of their little bellies.
- Get some clay or play doh and shape out the statues yourself! They can be faceless like mine if you don’t feel confident on their features, or they can be simple ‘goddess’ or ‘god’ statues with no real identity.
- Patch together old tee shirt scraps, rags, and scarves
- Crochet/knit an altar cloth using leftover yarn.
- Weave a natural cloth using things outside like willow tree branches and long plant leaves.
- Dress up a blanket using paint or embroidery. You can even make it a little guide for where to place certain items.
Most of the elements can be easily represented by things found just outside, but making a unique plaque for each is more exciting. I place each little representation on these four podiums:
A large, flat stone with the Earth symbol painted onto it. Using a steppingstone or a boulder is a nice little way to incorporate Earth into your altar. I place crystals, salt, and other Earth-y things onto this during rituals and spells. Taking a shoebox lidand tracing a circle out to work as the plaque as good as well.
I took a burnt piece of wood and smoothed it down a bit. My friend is a good wood-burner, so she helped me get a nice fire symbol onto it. Jars full of burnt paper, wood, etc… are excellent representations for an upcycled altar.
I took a bag of feathers from my crafting drawer, and picked the most realistic looking ones. I glued them onto my fabric-covered disk into the shape of the air symbol. It’s light, which I feel is quite fitting ;) Placing a bird picture, a woodwind instrument, or even your wand here is a sweet idea.
I use a really big seashell from my trip to the ocean as the representation of water. I didn’t draw a symbol onto this one, because I really like the shell and how it looks without it. Instead, I place a little slip of glittery paper onto the seashell that has the symbol glued onto it.