Meet the Salvage Sister behind our #beautifulanduseful stop motion films

If you’re wondering who is behind the talented hands in our #beautifulanduseful videos, here’s your chance to meet the maker…. 

Charis Williams, aka the Salvage Sister, is a professional artist, up-cycler and TV expert on Kirstie Allsopp’s Fill Your House for Free on Channel 4. When she’s not running after her five-year-old son and eight-year-old daughter at their Brighton home, Charis is managing her own business, raiding skips, painting life-size dinosaurs and bringing vintage glamour to the art of reclaiming junk.

Charis Williams junkyard frame (pic by Stuart Grimwood)

Charis Williams (picture by Stuart Grimwood)

Now Charis – a self proclaimed ‘ambassador of reuse’ – has turned her talented hands to creating two stop motion films where an unloved fork and a discarded bottle appear to transform themselves into stylish home ware.

The project is part of our #beautifulanduseful photo and video competition, which  we’ve launched with our partner Good Energy today. The top prize is a year’s supply of renewable electricity and a home energy audit with Good Energy.

Charis, 32, said: ‘I love inspiring people to just have a go at upcycling, so I hope people will want to get involved after they watch the videos.

‘I’ve never worked with stop motion before so that was really interesting for me and I want to do more of it now. To create the bottle LED lamp, we actually had to film it in reverse. So I made it first then took it all apart… then put it all back together again after filming.


‘I want to show people they can have a beautiful and unique interior on a budget and save the environment too, just by making a few simple changes.’

Despite her glamorous appearance, single mum Charis loves to spend her time rummaging through skips, junk yards and charity shops in search of potential treasure.

Growing up, she learnt quickly about the value of second-hand goods. Her mum, Mrs Williams, has owned fancy dress shop Revamp in Brighton’s cosmopolitan North Laine since Charis was five years old.

‘We used to go off to places like Amsterdam together in search of 1960s and 70s clothes, platform shoes and things like that,’ Charis said.

‘I’ve learnt about bartering and my creativity and style has really been nurtured from following my mum around. But my DIY skills come from my dad. He’s a builder and decorator so he can turn his hand to anything.’

Charis Williams (picture by Stuart Grimswood)

In 2008, she took on the unlikely job of running a reclamation yard in Brighton and was shocked to discover just how much construction and textile materials were going to waste.

Charis started a campaign to raise awareness about the problem, and in 2011 she was asked to present a TV show called the New Reclaimers on UKTVhome. Her debut TV appearance impressed and soon after Charis was invited to become an expert on Channel 4’s Fill Your House for Free with Kirstie Allsop, which went on screens in July this year.

‘They wanted someone that knew about salvaging and they liked me because I’ve got this glamorous look but I’m also a bit of a tomboy,’ she said. ‘It’s something I really love doing – taking someone’s ‘junk’ and changing its purpose so it’s useful but it also looks pretty and cool.’

Charis runs her own wall art business at and you can find out more about her reclamation projects at

Follow her on Twitter at @CharisWilliams and on Pinterest at

Shoot a video or take a photo of something you find both beautiful and useful, and share it on Twitter or Instagram using #beautifulanduseful and @nationaltrust.

You could win a year’s supply of renewable electricity and a home energy audit with Good Energy. The competition closes at midnight on Thursday 12 December.

For more information about the competition and the National Trust’s energy work, visit


One thought on “Meet the Salvage Sister behind our #beautifulanduseful stop motion films

  1. An interesting article, there is a lot of pleasure to be gained by restoring old items and bringing them back into use, furthermore the materials are usually of a better quality than can be obtained today. Carry on Salvage Sister.

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