Thrifty By Design was born one fateful day in August 2008, I bought an old Singer sewing machine at a garage sale in Gibsons, BC for $10. My $10 included the sewing machine plus a lesson on how to use it. Just the basics but that was everything since I knew nothing about sewing. I didn't take any home economics classes in high school - I was an art nerd. I knew all about silk screening and photography but cooking and sewing were one big mystery. Even now I struggle!

I ♥ my Singer... It may be old but it's darn trusty. It keeps working and working AND working. The belt and the plug were replaced but otherwise I haven't spent much more than my initial $10 investment and I've put a lot of mileage on it.

I started my blog soon afterwards to keep friends posted on my crafty adventures. I had moved to Gibsons at the end of 2007 away from my family and friends to see what coast living would be like. My time in Gibsons really started me on my TBD path... Crafting, refinishing furniture, blogging, thrifting, hitting the Share Shed at the dump for anything worthy of an update.

2009 brought a lot of change and upheaval to my life. Throughout it all, the crafting and upcycling fed my soul. First I made things for myself then for friends and coworkers. I even sold a few pieces in local stores for a bit. And now I'm organizing a bunch of Crafternoons throughout the city. Kewl!

Over the years TBD has become one big crafty adventure - I've given numerous upcycling workshops, written DIYs for my blog and other online publications, been on TV and radio... And I just authored a crafty book called Raw Crafts: 40 Projects from Hemp, Jute, Burlap and Cork for Lark Crafts. Through all of this, the icing has always been meeting so many awesome peeps through the Crafternoons, events and writing. Who knew crafting with 'crap' could be so life changing!

Crafting and upcycling really are a great way to be creative, to try new things and to meet FAB new peeps. Maybe you should join me for a Crafternoon sometime!

My name is Denise Corcoran (aka Thrifty By Design). I'm a community catalyst, crafter extraordinaire and upcycler of things based in North Vancouver, BC. My passion is to turn 'junk' into new and funky pieces. From refinishing furniture found at the dump to repurposing discarded items like wine corks into jewelry, there is no limit to what a bit of time and know-how can create. And save from the landfill.

Sharing my enthusiasm for crafting and upcycling, I facilitate 'Crafternoons' throughout Vancouver where participants of all ages and skill levels learn how to make things from unorthodox materials. I was a featured panelist at the Craft Council of BC talk called 'Craft, The Environment & Our Community'. I was also the BC Champion for the fourth annual Culture Days, a national, nonprofit 3-day event promoting culture throughout Canada. In addition I am a Creative Expert for the Salvation Army Thrift Store sharing thrifting tips and simple DIYs.

Recently I authored a crafty book called Raw Crafts: 40 Projects from Hemp, Jute, Burlap and Cork for Lark Crafts filled with fun DIYs that's available online.

Download my Thrifty By Design CV at

Want to keep in the loop on fun DIYs, crafty happenings and more? Keep up to date by visiting my blog, You can find info about upcoming workshops, events and my writing gigs. Plus I post easy peasy DIYs!

And be sure to follow the Salvation Army Thrift Store blog and social media channels for my feature tips and DIYs.

Find out what my TBD participants and partners are saying about me. I'm feeling the love - crafty peeps are da bomb. They definitely make the world a brighter and happier place.

Get to know my crafty peeps, FAV haunts and more. And if there's someone or somewhere kewl I should know about - let me know! Send me an email at

Join me for an upcoming TBD Crafternoon. Find my listing of upcycling workshops, events & general crafty happenings here.