Tag Archives: Handmade

Betty modeling one of our favorite coats!

So we made THE CUTEST Upcycled Umbrella Dog Rain Coat for a Boston Terrier this weekend. I couldn’t resist snapping some photos of my one pug, Betty, in this coat. Very special thanks to one of our biggest supporters, Aaron, for bringing us these fantastic yellow and black polka dot shoe laces back from Nashville, TN! These ties took the coat to the next level and I couldn’t imagine it with out them so THANK YOU! ❤

These are just a preview, to take a look at all of the photos, check out our Flickr Set!


Nothing goes better with Phillies baseball than an Upcycled Umbrella Beverage Cozy!

Well it’s that time of the year again; autumn is in full swing, the weather is sweater-like and and we here in Philadelphia are, once again, singing the sweet songs of playoff baseball!


Partyin on Broad after the 2008 World Series with some good friends and some perfect strangers!


I am a giant Phillies fan and that is an understatement. I became one in 2008 when we won the World Series against the Rays. Now, I understand that this is what constitutes a “fair-weather-fan”, but after I saw what happened to Philadelphia when we won; the craziness and insane amount of energy that surrounded me on Broad Street whist chugging a Miller High Life 40 in front of several Horse Cops in a city that I always thought had a stick shoved up its you-know-what for the 4 years I had been living here at the time had a very large impact on me and turned me into a Phillies fan, FOR LIFE.

I began watching every game, loving every player (except Pat Burrell, I never loved him esp after seeing his “Cribs” episode on MTV and I’m glad hes gone to tell you the truth) and when we went to the World Series last year against the Yankees, me and my boyfriend Aaron went so far as to write a rap song to help pump this city up. It’s called Cheesesteaks Over Cheesecakes.

ANYWAY- so mainly I just wanted to give you some of my background when it comes to the Phillies, because (and I hate having to use this word to describe my work) Crafts and Sports usually don’t mix well, and I know I have seen my fair share of terrible “compromises”…


Phillies Quilt... actually this is kind of nice, but you get what I mean about "Sports Crafts"


So this year I wanted to do something Phillies-ish but I couldn’t think of something that would utilize the water resistant properties of the umbrella nylon in a way that was super functional, UNTIL I made Phillies Beverage Cozies from  broken umbrellas that come right off the streets of Philadelphia!



Phillies beverage cozies are made to fit beer bottles or cans!


Now our Product of the Month, these bad boys only cost $5, are handmade by yours truly and keep your hands warm and your beverages cold, from the Fox and Hound to Broad Street, these Cozies are a must have for any serious Phillies fan! Features Phillies logo, eco-fi felt and insulation. We can also make them into Pint Cozies for your Ice Cream, just send us a message with your purchase!


Also available: Phillies Pint IceCream Cozies! Just send a message with order!


Limited quantities available, get yours today on our etsy store, located here:


Should Recycling Zychal start making handbags? Weigh in to win!

I’ve been getting alot of requests lately from young women and fashionistas across the country (and Canada) who would really like to see a line of upcycled umbrella handbags added to the Recycling Zychal collection.
While I have some great bag ideas in mind, I am really struggling with the idea of adding an item to my line that does not use the upcycled umbrella nylon for it’s original waterproof/water resistant properties.

I’ve gone back and forth so many times that I figured the best way to get this situation figured out was to ask my customers, friends, readers and fans. In return for your participation, I will be giving away a custom made upcycled umbrella handbag valued at at least $50! One lucky winner will be chosen at random, all you have to do is vote in our poll and leave a comment below telling me your thoughts on your vote. The winner will be drawn on March 1st!

Please feel free to weigh in!

Saving the planet should not make you a victim of fashion!

Remember the old saying “Turn Trash into Treasure”? I do, in fact, I design by the “Triple T” as I call it. As a dumpster diver and founder of Recycling Zychal, I am constantly researching and coming up with ideas so that I can take something that would spend the rest of it’s life in the landfill and transform it into a quality product that can be used for years to come, like my Upcycled Umbrella products. On the other hand, I am also a product designer and with that comes the need to satisfy both functional needs and style needs. Form Follows Function, the “Triple F”, the other thing I design by.

Upcycling, function and style; I feel like Recycling Zychal is the only company out there producing items that are combining these three things.

To me, these ideas are what guide the new product development process. Some of our upcoming products include Upcycled Umbrella Dog Beds, Baby Bibs and Kitchen Aprons. The water-resistant nylon makes them all easy to clean, have been designed after extensive research on current and future trends and are made from broken umbrellas, of course.

While browsing InHabitat’s fairly new eco style-based blog, Ecouterre, I came across this article, 6 Clever Ways to Upcycle Orphaned Accessories into New Treasures. I hate to say it but some items are better left un-upcycled.

The main photo definitely grabbed my attention, but there’s no disguising the fact that that model has gloves on her head. They mention something about this look copying off of Dolce and Gabana. Are they really comparing this to runway design?

glove head

High fashion? nope, just a glove head

And then there’s a “solution” for a lost earring.. Shoe Earring! Of course, why didn’t I think of that? Oh that’s right because it looks like an earring on a shoe. No function, no style, no brainer. I’d take that earring and send it to the Cash for Gold people and hope I get a check for enough money to buy a new piece of jewelry at the Buffalo Exchange before I’d hot glue a stray glove to my hairband.

No style, no function, no brainer.

When trash looks like trash, why would someone want to wear it? Upcycling is a beautiful idea, and it should be a beautiful sight. I have so much respect for any company wiling to take the dive and start producing upcycled products, but I have been horrified by some of the fashion crimes I have witnessed in the world of upcycling; whether its just not worth upcycling, like my friends the Shoe Earring and Glove Head, or if its something made from overly branded packaging that is sewn together and instead of making you feel like a sassy eco-diva, you  feel more like a walking advertisement.

Ad Bag

Advertisement or Eco Couture?

I just want to make a promise to all my wonderful customers and readers and let you guys know that I will never make anything that looks like trash, regardless of where it came from or what it once was. I want to focus on the future of the materials, everything deserves a second chance AND a makeover. Most people are usually stunned by the fact that Recycling Zychal’s product line is based around the upcycling of broken umbrellas and I want to keep it that way. When form follows function, trash doesn’t have to look trashy.
What do you guys think?