What a great DIY project idea for recycled frames. I ran across this mirror frame made from smaller bits of recycled frames today at the Anthropologie page while I was checking out their recycled eyeglasses necklace (causing quite a stir with its $498 price tag). I want to DIY something like this for myself, but now I’m having copycat dilemmas. Keep reading to find out why.

It even comes in this super fun crate packaging that screams “DIY me when I arrive” – and is a bonus if you decide to purchase the frame from Anthro for $424 (yikes). 
As for me…I would prefer to try a DIY version for myself. I also shared it with Lucy at Lucy Designs because this is right up her alley – I’m sure she has a fabulous stash of old frames to chop up. I mean, have you seen her latest dragonflies???  Or her fun ‘EAT’ sign made from recycled frame bits?
And there’s something about the layering of those little recycled frame bits that also reminds me of this ‘must try’ Peace sign made by Designs Adrift.  
I want to DIY both of these projects. I don’t know if I ever will, but I have certainly added them to my Pinterest ‘must try’ board. Have a look at the board if you need a good laugh today…like there is any chance I’ll ever get to all these projects! Do you have one of these boards, too?
Now here’s where my dilemma comes in. I’ve been seeing a lot of blog posts lately about ‘copying’, like this article titled “Making It Your Own”, or this one called “Copycats & Copyright”.  I would guess that I’m not alone when I say I’m inspired by seeing the creations of others. Sometimes I can just sit back and enjoy, blissfully knowing that I’ll never try something like that. Other times I am moved into action and want to try my own version of something I’ve seen. I do it for my home or for my friends. I don’t sell my creations. Yet. It doesn’t mean I won’t in the future. So my question is, does this make me a copycat? Am I breaking the cardinal rule of the handmade community?
I’m really curious to know what you think on this subject. Is it okay to take inspiration from others to DIY your own? And where is the line drawn when it becomes ‘copying’? Aren’t we all inspired by something else? Are there really ‘original’ ideas that did not spring from some source of external inspiration? 
Yes, I think I will try both of the projects above. I also want to try one of Lucy Design’s dragonflies. She sells her dragonflies, but she also shares her how-to tutorials now and then – something I really admire. And when I approached Designs Adrift directly to ask a bit more about his process, he was happy to share. So what makes these artists (both sell their creations as a living) so willing to share, where others are uber protective of their creative process? 
As for Anthropologie’s $424 frame, I don’t feel bad for DIYing that one – because I’m quite sure that they already took their inspiration from somewhere (someone) else. 
Wanna weigh in with your thoughts?
Until next time…
Mike

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