FAQs about the 2019 Challenge.

Hi All, I hope you all are as excited as I am to begin! I know many people had questions so allow me to address a few of them here as I know others might be wondering the same.

Before I start answering your specific questions though, I would just like to just reiterate first and foremost,  please remember to TAKE A BEFORE PICTURE of the items/garments you will be upcycling. Any submissions without a BEFORE photo is automatically disqualified.

Recommendations for taking BEFORE and AFTER photos:

  1. Take on a solid color backdrop / wall – preferably white or a neutral color. For example:

2. Also if using garments, I do strongly suggest the wearer model both the before and after in the same location for the BEFORE and AFTER PHOTOS. You are free to submit more pictures /action shots in a different locations if you like. You may also crop the wearers face if you prefer, but we must see how well the garment fits on the whole body.

3. If you are using non garments please also photograph on a white or neutral background. Before photo must include all the elements that you’ll be using to create your finished project: For example:


4. Photos must be well lit, and of high resolution. No specific dimension.

5. Flat lays or garments modeled by dress forms using neutral backgrounds are also fine.


Okay now unto your Community Questions: The most requested one was about Instagram, so let’s dive right in.

Since we’re focusing on following your upcycling journey this year, I chose Instagram as the main way to share on social media because it’s just easier to use and re-share photo and video content. I’m sure this is a new social platform for some of you, so below are a few articles that might help:

1. How to use Instagram:


How to Create Instagram Stories


How to Create Instagram Stories People Love to Watch

How to Improve Your Instagram Photos


How to Use Instagram Live


To start your journey, I would recommend and unboxing IG video / IG TV video or the use of  IG Stories for video our picture posts. Here’s why:

1. Kits are new this year and we want to definitely highlight those as much as we can.

2. Videos just get better traction and views.

3. When you tag a person or business in the video, or Stories post, its super easy for them to reshare to their audience. (which in turn means more views for you.)

4. Videos allow your audience to see more of you, it humanizes you, people can relate to you and are more likely to interact with your content.

Now I know all of this might sound overwhelming, and it can be… But the idea here is just for us to have fun doing this together. You don’t need a studio, you don’t need any fancy equipment, you don’t need a script (and to be honest, real time reactions are actually more compelling than scripted video), you don’t need to be 100% glammed up, all you really need is a smart phone that takes video, the IG app, your kit, a goal and a positive attitude.

SIDENOTE: If you’ve gotten your box already, or will get it before July 01 – YOU CAN ALWAYS OPEN YOUR BOX NOW AND PRE-RECORD YOUR REACTION VIDEO AND THEN UPLOAD IT COME JULY O1! =) That way you have more time to brainstorm your action plan as it pertains to the contents of your box! 😉 

If you’re new to IG, and you don’t quite get the hang of it yet, photo posts are good too. Just be sure to tag the relevant businesses and use the relevant hashtags as it pertains to your post.



Use IG Stories / Video and IG TV as well as picture posts too! We still want to follow your journey, and discover how creative you can be.


Here’s a few video ideas to consider throughout your journey. This list is not limited so please feel free to come up with your own approach:

  1. Unboxing Video
  2. Rummaging through closets
  3. Going to the Thrift Store
  4. Sharing your Thrift Store finds
  5. Sharing items you’ll use for your project
  6. Just a video of you sharing your thought process
  7. Sharing your frustrations
  8. Sharing your joys
  9. Sharing your fears
  10. Sharing what you’re enjoying so far
  11. Sharing what excites you the most about this challenge
  12. Sharing what Upcycling means for you
  13. Sharing the story of what got you into Upcycling
  14. Sharing the new things you’ve had to learn/do to participate in this challenge
  15. Sharing a video of you picking your patterns
  16. Sharing a video of you seam ripping
  17. Sharing a video of you matching fabric
  18. If you’re sewing for your child or family a member, share with us how they feel.
  19. If you designated just a few minutes a day to sew, tell us about that.
  20. Share your inspiration board
  21. Engage your audience by asking for feedback and then sharing and tagging us in those answer posts .


2. Who is judging the entire contest?

Guest Judges will be judging the contest. They will be revealed at a later date.


3. What types of posts are you looking for throughout the contest? 

The theme of this years contest is focused around following the journey of your project from start to finish. So think of it as sort of a reality show. Share with us your frustrations, your excitement, your vision board, your trip goodwill, your trip to the closest…pretty much anything that has to do with your thoughts and actions around your upcycling project, feel free to share that. These shares can be via photos / video posts, instagram stories, and even using IGTV. Once you use the appropriate hashtags we’ll be able to find you.


4. Can we make multiple projects throughout the month and submit just one or one completed outfit for our entry in the grand prize for those with kits?

Yes. However, we must be able to go back to your Instagram feed and see progress posts of your grand prize entry.


5. Can some of our weekly posts be about upcycling projects that may not be our final submission?

Yes. You are also free to share old posts in reference to what you are doing or thinking about doing for the project you will submit.


6. I was curious as to how you’re picking the weekly prizes? Is it based on progress shots/stories or are they all chosen at the end when entries are submitted?

Weekly winners will be chosen by IG audience and revealed on the Saturday of that week during the Live Weekly Broadcast.  At the beginning of each week, Candice will ask a prompt,  or a question, or a riddle (something fun) and contestants will have a week to answer or share via their posts. First prompt is scheduled for June 29, 2019 via live IG broadcast.


7. What are the guidelines for the projects? Is there a recycled content requirement, does it have to be an upcycled piece of clothing 100% or can you use fabric as well?

Your finished project does not have to be 100% upcycled. You can incorporate new fabric/hardware in your finished project. You have full creative freedom of what you will make, so it can be a garment, accessory, household item, pet accessory etc; but it must be something you sewed together.


8. As international participant I do not have any sign ups or deadlines besides the month July right?

Correct. As an international participant you will just play along for the weekly prizes. There are no set deadlines.


9. When is the start for posting on our journey and do you want anything that has to do with our journey? Like thought process, things we consider and reject?

Sneak peaks are welcome from now until July 01, but official start date of the challenge is July o1. On and after July 01 you can post any and everything. you want. Also please see Question #3.


10. Overall Look, Craftsmanship, Creativity and/or Wearability. I know these will be the overall qualities that you evaluate in the contest, but could you explain them more…. give examples of former submissions that would really score high in that category. I am trying to improve the quality of my submission this year and this would help me.

Those 3 specific points are geared towards garment projects. If you are doing a garment project, here are a few questions to help guide you as it pertains to each evaluation of your FINISHED and SUBMITTED pictures:


Overall Look: 

For Garments:

Does your outfit go well together paired with it’s accessories?

Is this something you or the wearer would be proud to wear outside of the house?

Is your outfit designed well for the wearer? 



Did you get adventurous and use different types of materials?

Sewed fabrics you’ve never sewn before?

Did you try /discover new techniques?

Did you pair different types of fabrics together?

Did you incorporate different mediums together? Hand embroidery? Cross Stitching? Fabric Paint? Trim?

Did you turn an “old” item into something completely unexpected?



Are you paying close attention to details of your project?

Do your seams line up? Are there puckers? Is there symmetry?

Is your topstitching straight?

Did you press your project properly?



How does your finished project fit on the person wearing it? Is it too big? Is it too tight? Is it sagging in some parts?

Is it a comfortable wear?

For more reference, please.take a look at the projects and the judges comments of our 2018 Winners HERE. They all 3 scored very high in these criterias.


For non garment projects, we just ask that you photograph it well, including before, after and detail shots (same as garments).

Please see OFFICIAL RULES for picture requirements if all submitted projects.





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