Creative Problem Solving

At Recreate, we love the Cape Craft Design Institute and all it offers! We recently took part in their creative problem solving workshop and visited their incredible product support space.

As well as being a beautiful team building day out, we learnt the following things: Admire is a perfectionist, Katie is the messiest of us all, Vusi is the numbers guy and Michelle loves a challenge.

The greatest thing we learnt was that all 4 of us are much more in tune and alike than we think. We all chose the same patterns and similar tools to work with but we all came up with original and different ways to solve problems.

Have a look at what we got up to…










Bottle caps for coffee

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Yes, that’s right! If you bring us a mug full of bottle caps, we will return the mug to you full of coffee!

“Why?”, you ask? Well let’s start from the beginning.

This man with the beautiful smile is Phanny Mangwiro. He is a craftsman that uses discarded bottle caps to make the most exquisite products, from coasters, condiment carriers to giant works of art.


Just look at what he has made from beer bottle caps that are usually tossed before you can say “cheers”.

bottle cap craft

We know that Phanny works long hours and goes from place to place to collect bottle caps to make his amazing pieces, and so we’ve been collecting bottle caps on his behalf. Once our collection fills a big bin, we give Phanny a call and he is able to collect it all in one go. We help him save time and he in turn inspires us with his craftsmanship.

If you would like to help Phanny out, you can also drop off bottle caps to add to our collection for him at our studio in Salt River and if you bring in enough to fill a coffee mug we think you deserve a free coffee!


Custom made furniture with vintage style and contemporary functionality

We were delighted when we received a call from one of Cape Towns well known architectural and interior design studios requesting what would soon turn out to be one of our most challenging and exciting bespoke pieces to date.

The design from our client was clear. A baby compactum reminiscent of a vintage travelling trunk but the with qualities and finishes of a contemporary functional piece of furniture.

The detailed finishes included sealed vinyl wallpaper, vintage style brass corners and handles and timber beading.

Have a look at our process below.

What do you think?

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admire concentrating

michelle measuring


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Afternoon Express – Upcycling on the Up

We were invited to go to the set of the new Afternoon Express and chat to the ladies about upcycling. We had a great time. Thanks for having us! Best of luck with the show.


Read all about it here and watch it below.

How do you save water with your feet?

green design tip

Install Foot Pedals on Your Sinks!

Zem Joaquin gave Inhabitat some really innovative tips on how to “green” your living space.

One tip stood out for us at Recreate – how to cut back on water usage using your feet!

A great way to cut back water usage while making your life more convenient is to install foot pedal valves into your sink systems to control water flow with your feet! Not only can it save you money on your water bill, but it solves the whole soapy hand / turning faucets / teeth brushing conundrum with one elegant design solution – no more having to twiddle faucet knobs with sudsy hands!

Seems like pedal valves are not available in South Africa yet, but we found a “how-to” build your own on Instructables. Happy pedalling friends!

Meet the Recreate Team

Meet Katie

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The inspiration behind Recreate was Katie’s passion for transforming the ordinary to the extraordinary. Katie is a self-proclaimed hoarder of all things useless, impractical, broken and colourful and is passionate about finding new uses and functions for these treasures she finds. Our creative team leader – she’s the one we turn to whenever we are in need of a bit of inspiration and creative guidance.

Meet Admire

admire polaroid

Head of our small workshop team, Admire can be found with his hands full of odds and ends and a large smile on his face. Originally from Zimbabwe, he joined Recreate in 2010 and has kept us running on schedule and on point ever since. In his own words “Recreate is my life” and it shows in his work. All the products that come through his hands get the best treatment and his standard of quality is just impeccable.

Meet Michelle

photo developing

Recreate’s social media extraordinaire, she is in charge of making sure all our products get their final touches done and photographed to be “front page” ready for all our social platforms. She also acts as the studio manager and organizes all the paperwork, schedules… basically is our multitasker that crosses our t’s and dots our i’s. She’s the one you chat to when you call, email, instant message or poke us on Facebook, and we couldn’t ask for a better voice for Recreate.

Why did Recreate cross the road?

As you will know if you follow us on our various social media – Recreate has moved.

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Our new working studio

We love our new space and since the move we have been asked the question “Why did you move?” quite often. So we thought we’d give you a bit of insight into our “Why? When? Where?”

After four and a half  years at 368 Albert Road, we decided that a change was in order and a big decision was to be made. And so Recreate crossed the road…..

We had our shop on Albert Road next to the lovely VAMP for a few years before we realized that we needed a more workshop-like space to be able to recreate all our products. Our workshop across the road in Stowe Street was an amazing find and we happily worked between two spaces for almost a year.

The workshop space is light, quiet, calm and a perfect oasis to recreate all the treasures that we find and some that we are entrusted to bring back to life again. Slowly but surely we started falling in love with our workshop and just knew our customers would love it as much as we did.

In July 2014, we decided to move our shop space into our workshop space and create a working studio. This is where the fun began, merging our shop and work space wasn’t an easy task but it was definitely an adventure.

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Progress of our working studio

Once all the dust had settled and the paint had dried, we couldn’t have been happier with our decision to move. We closed the doors and locked up at Albert Road for the last time in September 2014 and haven’t looked back since! 

The working studio is different to our old store. It is messy here… a fun inspirational mess!



It is 20% retail space and  80% inspirational studio space where we recreate your own treasures into functional products. 100% space for you to join us drinking Deluxe coffeeworks (or tea if you so wish!)

Come and visit us at 6 Stowe Street and you will understand why we crossed the road!

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Map to new studio

Making Peace

We have a quote on our studio wall that says “where is this away we throw our stuff?”

It is an odd question, a confusing question – but have you really considered where the things we throw “away” actually go to? Where is this “away” place we talk about?

List the things you have thrown “away” today so far and consider where they might end up… not sure? Perhaps this is easier for me as I am a hoarder by nature! Let me help you… this is what “away” looks like:


Source: Two Oceans Vibe


Source: The Greentimes

There really is no “away”.

In Cape Town we have 3 landfills that have already been filled and closed. Our current landfills are already full to capacity and rapidly overfilling up to 50 m above ground level.

How crazy is it to think that these kinds of landfills take up vast amounts of acres all over the world. Many of which are filled with garbage that cannot be decomposed. Did you know that it takes more than 500 years for a disposable nappie to biodegrade.

Making Peace is a photo exhibition currently in the Company Gardens. I was inspired and a little shocked by some of the images I saw there.



One of the reasons this photo exhibition spoke to me, was of course the section all about our responsibility to be “green” for our future, our world, ourselves.


In Guangdong, China this former rice farming community is now an enormous Centre for recycling and disposal of electronic waste (definitely unable to decompose). According to the Basel Action Network only half of all this waste is actually recycled.

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Images by Jim Xu

90% of our waste can be reused or recycled.

Perhaps just for the rest of today we could think every time we throw something “away” where it may end up and if maybe just maybe there wasn’t another option?

One of the quotes I read in the exhibition was from Al Gore Jr.

“The next generation will ask us one of two questions. Either they will ask: ‘What were you thinking; why didn’t you act?’ Or they will ask instead: ‘How did you find the moral courage to rise and successfully resolve a crisis that so many said was impossible to solve?’ ”

Let’s try and keep our city, our country, our planet clean and beautiful.

The City of Cape Town partnered by the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Swiss confederation, the FW de Klerk Foundation, the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation and Action Support Centre. All to bring us a great treat. This is the first time that Making Peace is presented outside Europe where the exhibition will remain on-show along Government Avenue until 31 January 2015. The exhibition is presented in English, Afrikaans and Xhosa languages.

We are wedding ready

Happy 2015!


Cannot believe that it is already a new year. Seems like 2014 just zoomed right past us. The first full week back is almost over and we are feeling a bit nostalgic for last year and yesteryear.

Here is a flashback to September 2014, where our products got a bit of a feature on Southboundbride as part of a styled wedding inspiration photoshoot. Images by the very talented Wesley Vorster and flowers and styling by the gorgeous ladies at Leipzig.




See anything you like? Pop us an email at

Have a good Tuesday!

VISI Online

VISI online gave our new studio a bit of a mention. Read article here

We’re so excited about our new working studio and happy to see others are too.

Pop in and enjoy the creative space with us. Look how pretty it looks. Snapped by Dillon Kin Photography.


Love from the REcreate Team

German article

We’ve been featured in a German online magazine. Article focusing on recycling in design. See link here:


New Beginnings

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Winter Florals

We’re in Ideas magazine again this winter. Florals to brighten up your lounge while you wait in anticipation for spring to come around? Yes please! Untitled1

Fabric Frenzy

We’ve been very very busy here at the studio. And that’s because we’ve introduced fabrics into our store. Injecting prints and colours by local South African designers to our Recreate products has been amazing. We love how the fabrics bring out a certain… je ne sais quoi

Come in and browse through some truly unique prints and be inspired. We certainly are constantly stimulated just by walking past our fabric wall.

Our talented local designers have created some truly gorgeous prints. Have a peek at their collections.

Fabricnation, Design TeamI Spy, Maradadhi and Quagga Fabrics

We reupholster, create curtains and cushions, make up custom lampshades… basically anything you can think of we’ve done or will do in these fabrics.

Give us a ring or drop us a line and let’s get creative!

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Foreign Press

We’ve been featured over the pond, not once, but twice!

In the March edition of Dove and Ländle Magazin REcreate enjoyed a bit of a spread.

If you’re in Italy or Germany, do grab a copy from your nearest stockist and have a gander. Some brilliant stuff.

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Woman and Home

Woman and Home’s article Trash to Trend has featured us. Now available on the shelves of all major stores.


Trash to Treasure

We’ve been featured in Subaru’s magazine Drive



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