Upcycling is not a new concept. Upcycling is and has been a way of life for people in developing countries. Raw materials are expensive so people use what they can find to create bowls, baskets, jewelry and other useful and beautiful items.
What’s old is new again, but with a twist.
Thrift is still a trend today and a big reason some people upcycle. Others enjoy the artistic aesthetic, with lots of upcycled items rivaling those found in high-end department stores.
One of the biggest reasons for the rebirth of upcycling is the positive impact on the environment. Items destined for the dump are rescued and remade into something useful.
We’ve collected a variety of easy and artistic that you could give a go:
- Cheese Grater Earring Caddy
Got an extra or old cheese grater you’re trying to get rid of? Repurpose it! Try this clever trick to transform it into stylish storage for your earrings.
- Remove the top handle of your cheese grater if there is one.
- Spray your first color along the bottom.
- Spray your second color along the middle.
- Spray your third color along the top.
- Let dry.
- Hang your favorite earrings right on there!
This is a great organizer for the earrings you wear on a weekly basis. It holds just a few pairs, and can fit snugly on your dresser, bathroom counter or even your nightstand.
- Upcycled Magazine Wall Art
Give old magazines a new life as part of your wall decor! This DIY Basic is super simple. In just five easy steps you can create wall art that is fun, original, and packed with color.
- Print and cut out a silhouetted shape.
- Tear out a bunch of magazine pages. Fold in half twice to get four small rectangles.
- Start to roll! Try to keep the magazine rolls as tight as possible. Tape the end to avoid it from unraveling.
- Hot glue your magazine roll-ups to your silhouette. Once the silhouette is covered, trim off the extra magazine pieces. This will reveal your silhouetted shape.
- Glue magazine silhouette to your wood board.
- Cookie Sheet Memo Boards
Got scratched up cookie sheets? Put them to good use as stylish memo boards. How cute would these look with some bright color blocking? You can glam up the cookie sheets with some cool tape patterns and a coat or two of spray paint – it’s that simple! And while you’re waiting for your paint to dry, why not DIY some cool gold toy magnets?
- Tape a pattern on your cookie sheets and paint with spray paint, about two coats depending on the color.
- Make your magnets by dabbing a drop of E-6000 glue on each gold animal toy and fix it onto one side of a round magnet. Set aside.
- When the spray paint is completely dry, slowly remove the tape. Slap on the dried magnets and prop up the memo board near your workspace.
Office notes have never been so much fun.
- Beer Bottle Bud Vases
( ©Alyssa and Carla; © )
Hey beer bottles, we hardly recognized you! Who knew they could transform into delicate bud vases? We’re serving up an easy way to transform your beer (and wine) bottles into beautiful vases. These are great projects for sprucing up your home.
- Wash out those bottles! If your bottles have labels on them, soak in warm water until it’s easy to peel the label off.
- Set up your workstation with newspapers. It’s crucial to work outside when working with spray paint.
- Spray your first bottle. You may need two coats if your bottle is printed.
You could stop there… or take it up a notch with a little more creativity. Here are some extra tips:
- Get your painter’s tape and start making patterns.
- Wrap some colourful thread/yarn around the bottles.
- Use puff paint to create dotted designs that pop out from the bottle. Let dry for about 30 minutes before spray painting.
- Coffee Can Wine Rack
Coffee and wine: Two of our faves together at last. Give empty coffee cans a color block makeover and transform them into a cozy home for your vino.
What you’ll need
- 4–12 large coffee or tomato cans (depending on the size of rack you want to make)
- Can opener
- Spray paint
- Super Glue
- Gloves (optional)
- Hip Shoebox Wall Art
We’re always in the market for more colorful storage… and more shoes. Who doesn’t have a ton of old shoeboxes laying around? We’re betting you’ll also want to give all your shoeboxes a brand new life by turning them into wall art and colorful shelves. We’ve got 3 fantastic ideas for you:
What you’ll need
- Shoebox Lids
- Mod Podge (for perfect finnish) or Glue or Hot Glue Gun
- Fabrics/Wrapping Paper (1/2 yard of each)
- 2 Paint Brushes
- Brightly Colored Shelves: Create a colorful place to store your favorite knick-knacks by turning shoeboxes into shelves!
- Spray paint the inside bottom of each box a different color.
- After it dries, tape it off. Paint the rest of each shoebox a different color.
- Create a shelf to go in each one by cutting apart the lids.
- Remove the painter’s tape and glue your shelves into place.
Remember: These are very light-weight so make sure it’s not holding too much.
- Fabric Panels: Covering the lids of your shoeboxes in fabrics and studs in easy way to create custom wall art. This project will turn any bland wall into a colorful focal point in your home or office.
- Cut a piece of fabric/wallpaper large enough to wrap around each lid.
- Spray paint the top and sides of each lid all white to prevent any logos or color showing through.
- When that is dry, paint the entire lid with Mod Podge. Repeat with all 3 lids.
- Place your lid upside down in the center of the fabric. Fold the sides of the fabric up and smooth flat against the sides of the box. Now fold the top and bottom pieces like a present; then fold it up flat against the top and bottom sides of the lid as well. (You may need to secure the fabric with tape or hot glue to hold it in place while the Mod Podge dries.)
- Tuck all the loose fabric ends down inside the box and secure with Mod Podge or tape. Flip your lid over – doesn’t it look great?
- Hang them on a wall and enjoy!
(©Youtube | CJSneakers)
- Sneaker Box Art Frame: CJ Sneakers has a great tip for his fellow sneakerheads who have way too many shoeboxes clogging up their closets. You can turn them into framed art easily with just a few simple tools and even simpler steps. Be sure to have fitting frame available.(MolDevA: ADD VIDEO) <iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/-G8b9bF8jBE” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture” allowfullscreen></iframe>
- Shoebox Organisers
Don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten about the other larger part of the shoebox. These could easily be turned into funky organiser boxes, for pretty much anything you can think of.
- Cut two 4″ x 4″ squares from the corner of the shoebox lid (see image above).
- Use a ruler and pen to mark before cutting.
- Slide both of the square pieces into each other so that they form a box with four walls. Attach them together by applying tape to the corners.
- Cut your decorative paper so that it is a few inches larger than the box on all sides so that it will cover the box entirely.
- Starting with one side at a time, apply a thin coat of decoupage medium to the box, and lay the paper on top. Make sure there are no air bubbles. Repeat until the entire box is covered with your paper.
- Once completely dry, add a thin coat of decoupage medium on top of the box to give it a glossy, finished look.
- Once dry, punch in the thumb tacks as desired.
- Jenga Set Necklace Rack
Have old Jenga pieces lying around with nowhere to go? Transform them into this awesome Jenga jewelry rack. There’s nothing worse than an incomplete Jenga set. Okay okay, there are a lot of things that are much worse… but it is definitely a bummer when you go to play a game of Jenga and you’re missing a few pieces. Instead of feeling sad about a useless game, here’s a way to turn it into a coat rack, necklace rack, and accessory rack. All you need is paint, glue, and Jenga!
- Cover your workspace with wax paper to protect your workspace. Glue will peel off easily, and you can squeeze paint right on the wax paper.
- Design a layout. Because all the pieces are the same width, we used 6 pieces as the hooks for our rack.
- Use painter’s tape to block off sections you want to paint. Now… paint! Depending on the color you’re using, you might need to paint one more coat.
- Let dry for at least an hour (a good time to watch a couple episodes of the new Arrested Development) and peel off tape.
- Squeeze a very thin layer of E-6000 glue on the side of your first block and attach to the next one. Continue through your design, pressing firmly and make sure to glue on all sides that connect.
- Let the glue dry for at least 5 hours. In our case, we glued in the morning, went into the office, came back, and hung up the rack!
- Festive Circular Bunting
©Aliexpress; ©DIY Network; ©Pinterest; ©World Inside Pictures
We like our garlands and buntings as easy as pie, but cutting out perfect circles is nearly impossible, especially out of a heavy fabric or paper. Again, old CDs to the rescue!
Simply glue decorative paper or fabric to CDs using spray adhesive. Use an Xacto knife or sharp scissors to cut around the CD so you get a perfect circle. Add letters if you like. Then use curtain clip rings to attach to string or fabric.
- Bubble Wrap Mailed iPad Case
With our love of staying connected, our iPads, iPhones, and the like are almost like next of kin. But it can be tough to find the right case – you want something that no one else has, but you don’t want to end up with some random case covered in flying monkeys. So, why not make your own? With a padded envelope, fabric, spray adhesive, and VELCRO® Brand tape, it’s easy and quick to customize the perfect tablet case.
- Measure your fabric to cover the envelope so that it covers the front of your envelope and about an inch on the bottom and two sides.
- For the top flap, you want to cut enough fabric that it will wrap around.
- Cut a second piece to place on the back, on top of where you’ve wrapped your fabric.
- Use spray adhesive to attach your envelope to your fabric. Press firmly and make sure to smooth out all air bubbles. Wrap around all edges and the top flap.
- To create your back panel, iron on all four sides. Then use spray adhesive to attach to the back – this will cover all raw edges.
- Add two VELCRO® Brand Ultra-Mate Black Spots.