Postbox Poppies: WA woman's Anzac Day upcycling challenge

A Western Australian woman has devised a creative way for families to give thanks from the safety of their own homes this Anzac Day.

Vicky Pellowe was hard at work establishing her new business from her home near Fremantle when the COVID-19 crisis put a serious dent in her plans.

"I had just started my own eco-friendly party business - The Eco Party Bird," Ms Pellowe said.

"The main idea behind the business is to make items from existing things or items that can have multiple uses post-party, so no single-use plastic, no balloons, et cetera.

"I'd just got started and had a whole storeroom full of amazing finds from charity shops ready to upcycle, second-hand buys from Gumtree, local 'buy-nothing' groups on Facebook and then lockdown happened. No more parties."

While processing the news and figuring out her next steps, Ms Pellowe said she was saddened to hear that Anzac Day commemorations were off the cards.

"That broke my heart to think of the elderly not being able to march and attend public dawn services that they usually do each year."

Inspired by social media posts encouraging 'minutes of silence' to be held at the ends of driveways, the idea of 'Postbox Poppies' came to mind.

"I thought it would be amazing for everyone to line the streets with upcycled poppies, to show their support and remembrance for Anzac Day 2020."

An Anzac Day poppy created from egg cartons, just one of the eco-friendly ideas from the creator of Postbox Poppies.

An Anzac Day poppy created from egg cartons, just one of the eco-friendly ideas from the creator of Postbox Poppies.

Participants can create their own poppy - or multiple 'blooms' from items found around the home, which can then be displayed on fences, mailboxes, or balconies. A Facebook group and Instagram account have been established to share ideas and submissions from around the country.

The Mandurah RSL is also open to the public from April 20 till April 24 between 9am and 12pm for anyone who wishes to collect poppies to display at their homes.

Ms Pellowe said she was keen to see people think outside the box with a challenge that demanded creativity and resourcefulness.

"The beauty of this challenge is that you don't have to leave your home to take part," she said. "Postbox Poppies is a challenge to get creative and make poppies out of items you already have or essentials you will naturally buy within the next few days, like food packaging.

"There's no need to go to the shops and buy special craft supplies, no need to go out unnecessarily, just take a look around your personal space and get creative.

"By making poppies together, families can talk about the importance of Anzac Day and future ideas for recycled crafts.

"What may have normally been thrown away or put in the recycling bin, can now be used to make a beautiful 'Postbox Poppy'."

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