When Kris Tetis looks at a lampshade, she sees it not for what it is, but what it can become – a funky headpiece, or maybe part of a quirky alter-ego costume.

In this “throwaway” society, where items are discarded as quickly as they’re bought, Ms Tetis is committed to preserving wearable art.

“This is my way of taking care of my brain, heart and soul,” she says. “You don’t have to spend a lot of money to immerse yourself in art.”

You’ll probably find Ms Tetis rummaging through op shop gems, working out ways to upcycle them, and admiring the quality and effort gone into producing those vintage pieces.

And if she’s not at an op shop, she’s probably in costume “pretending to be someone else” or wearing pieces that reflect her mood to a tee.

Ms Tetis will be one of two people running clothes-making workshops in the lead-up to the Melton South Dream Big Festival.

The workshops, aimed at helping teenagers create fashion pieces from recycled material, will run over the next few months. And Ms Tetis is asking those who can sew, knit, design and get crafty to help mentor the youth.

“The older community has so many skills – there are seamstresses, leather cutters, crochet experts – and to have that one-on-one experience rather than watching a Youtube video is invaluable,” Ms Tetis said.

The workshops will run from 4-5.30pm every Wednesday in May and June at the Melton Uniting Church Op Shop, 16 Brooklyn Road, Melton South. Workshop dates for June to September will be released soon.

For more information, email redreamfashion@gmail.com.