Toncie Well is part of a community centre scheme recycling items for Christmas presents. He turns old shoes and boots into gardens.
Toncie Well is part of a community centre scheme recycling items for Christmas presents. He turns old shoes and boots into gardens. Patrick Woods

One person’s trash is another’s Christmas present

WHAT do you get if you take an old shoe, fill it with soil and add a seedling?

If you're Toncie Well or his daughter Najiye you not only get a beautiful potplant, you also get a Christmas present that comes from the heart.

The talented pair will be among a number of artisans taking part in a one-day event organised by Nambour Community Centre next month to help people tap into their creativity, make some interesting Christmas gifts and make some friends in the process.

The "maker's space" is a chance for people to turn their old, unused items and materials into hand-crafted presents.

There will be at least 10 different gift-making areas including soy candles, snow domes, gift boxes, crochet handicrafts and pendant making.

In Toncie and Najiye's case it will be a simple as planting gardens in old shoes and boots.

Toncie said he had found succulent plants were best but just about any plants worked, as long as they were "hardy, cute and don't grow too big for the shoe".

"The day isn't about experts showing you how to do things but people sharing their ideas," he said.

"We just want to show people some creative ways to make nice things.

"And we will welcome people adding their own little twist to what we are doing."

As well as craft, the day will include music, a mobile cafe, face painting, a separate play area for children and live performances.

Carey Shaw, families worker from Thriving Families, said that while the focus would be on fun and creativity, it would also help ease the burden of Christmas gift-giving.

"Families are under pressure to consume and we need to flip the script and start thinking about ourselves as contributors and not consumers," she said.

"Humanity is creating so much more waste than the earth can absorb. That is why we need families and community to come together and create and re-purpose gifts for each other and ourselves."

The workshop will be held at Nambour Community Centre, corner of James and Shearer streets, from 3.30pm-6.30pm on December 3.

The workshops are free and no bookings are necessary. Just bring the items you want to repurpose.

For more information contact Toncie Well on 0412 765789 or email toncie@hotmail.com.


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