We Are the Upcyclers Interview No.1- Kristen Wulff from the Knotted Nest

Artist Name, Location- Kristen Wulff - Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Business- Knotted Nest Knotted Nest's Etsy Shop, Knotted Nest Online, and Knotted Nest's Blog

What is your craft?
I make repurposed housewares and accessories. Items ranging from table runners, coasters, and passport covers, to buntings and bags. I am currently excited to be working on some new products as well. In the next month I hope to have wallets and pillow covers added to the Knotted Nest roster. I am also a visual artist, so whenever possible I like to make small mixed media pieces and sell them alongside my crafts.

Do you have a favorite medium or item to make? I am most comfortable working in front of a sewing machine. Whether it’s sewing coasters or working on a detailed machine embroidery piece, I could sit there for hours. I love the vast possibilities of working with fabrics, but also the forgiveness of stitches. You definitely have to be willing to take out stitches every now and then.

Tell us how you got your start upcycling and creating. I’ve always given handmade gifts and appreciated items that are unique and made locally. I began selling my wares just over a year ago after receiving so much positive feedback from friends and family. I’ve always loved the inherent history in second hand materials and the challenges of finding new uses for them. I am also concerned about the waste that our society so quickly produces and work hard to limit my contribution to it.

What brings you inspiration?  So many things…..train rides, vintage floral prints, gardening, catching up with crafty friends, tree houses, narwhals, getting lost, language, weathered books, and textile art.

What’s your #1 tip for finding upcyclables? I think that to see the full potential of an upcycleable you have to look beyond its current incarnation. I’ve bought curtains that are hideous as such large pieces, but are gorgeous when mixed with other fabrics into quilts or table runners. For me, it’s about keeping an open mind and using one’s imagination.

What things do you do to market your business? I have a blog and a Facebook fan page. I also try to stay involved with the Etsy community through the online forums. They are endlessly informative and a great place to learn about marketing from fellow crafters. I participate in as many local craft shows as I can to spread the word about my company. I have, in the past, advertised on blogs as well. They are often quite affordable and can be really helpful in reaching new audiences.

Any advice for newbie artists/crafters/upcyclers? My advice would be to jump in. If you try to have everything sorted out before you start, you never will. There will be hiccups along the way, but the only way to learn is to throw yourself into it and go from there. I often remind myself to not be married to an idea. Sometimes what you initially thought would be brilliant just doesn’t work. You have to stay open to change.

Where the magic happens- Kristen's home studio

If you could jump into a Delorean and find yourself in the year 2020, how would your business have changed? How would it be the same? I would love to still be participating in craft shows. It’s great to meet the people that purchase my products and I feel like I can learn something new from every show that I am a part of. As for change…I have been thinking a lot about branding lately. I would love to have a clearer vision of my company’s aesthetic. I find that logos and branding in general can be very challenging and I hope to work on that in the future.
Knotted Nest will be taking part in the New Bloor Festival and the Queen West Art Crawl. Knotted Nest products can be found at these lovely retailers: The Rage, Kid Icarus, Queen City Emporium, Rare Funk, and Cube Marketplace.

Interested in becoming a featured upcycler on Mostaza Seed? Email inquiries to sbradac@mostazaseed.com


  1. My favorite has been knitting lately, but last weekend I busted out my sewing machine in hopes of finishing some DIYs (eventually they will get done! lol). I love the wallet you posted above. It's got me thinking I need a new one. :)

    Thank you too for your kinds words on my blog. I hope you have a wonderful day.

    Bre @ http://theredbungalow.blogspot.com

  2. Thanks for this Stephanie! Love your blog and can't wait to read about more Upcyclers.

  3. Oh this makes me want to break out the sewing machine.


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