Thrifty By Design

Published November 23, 2015

authorDenise Corcoran loves crafts and her enthusiasm for crafting and upcycling is contagious.

If you’ve ever attended one of her “Crafternoons,” held throughout Vancouver at various locations, you’ll know first hand what I mean.

Corcoran’s workshops see participants of all ages and skill levels learn how to make things from unorthodox materials. Her passion is to turn junk into new and funky items. From refinishing furniture found at the local dump to repurposing discarded items such as corks, there is no limit to what a bit of time and know-how can create. Simple corks are transformed into beautiful pieces of jewelry. Burlap is sewn into eco-friendly lunch bags as well as small decorative accessories.

The ideas are endless and the results are very rewarding when something creative and useful is produced from a discarded item – not to mention when materials are prevented from ending up in our landfills.

You may have seen Corcoran as a featured panelist at the recent Craft Council of B.C. talk entitled Craft: The Environment and Our Community. She is also a regular contributor to North Vancouver-based, writing DIY tutorials featuring local resources and organizations.

Born and raised in North Vancouver, Corcoran recently launched a book through publisher Lark Crafts, Raw Crafts: 40 Projects from Hemp, Jute, Burlap and Cork. I recently had an opportunity to view the book and came upon some of really interesting ideas for crafters of all ages.

Materials such as jute and burlap are featured prominently with projects ranging from small to large in scale. All crafts are beautifully laid out and well-photographed with easy instructions.

If crafting is your thing then be sure to attend one of Corcoran’s Crafternoon sessions.

She partners with the North Vancouver City Library as well as other organizations throughout the North Shore and Vancouver. You can view her schedule of upcoming craft sessions as well as purchase a copy of her book for $19.95 on her website,