Upcycling can be described as the process of repurposing and refashioning old and discarded items and transforming them into something useful and beautiful. Upcycling is fast gaining traction among people who love DIY projects and care about the environment. The concept of upcycling has been in existence for several centuries, but it is only now that its full potential is starting to get realized. If you are looking for some inspiration, here are 10 upcycling ideas for your home.
#1 Old buckets/trash cans as planters:
If you have old buckets or trash cans, you can use them as planters. If there are some leaks, you can fix it with some epoxy putty, silicon sealant or other similar products. You can beautify your upcycled planters by adding a coat of paint to the external surfaces. You can use single or multiple colors and add some patterns or design, as per your choice.
#2 Mason jar candle holder and chandelier:
Mason jars can be upcycled into beautiful candle holders, tea light lanterns, garden lights, and even chandeliers. Mason jars are made from moulded glass and they can withstand the heat generated by candles and tea lights. You can also add LED lights or bulbs to Mason jars. You can use the Mason jars as it is or add some patterns and designs using paint, lace, and glitter powder.
#3 Bookshelves from old pipes:
If you have 1 cm thick pipes (metal or hard plastic), you can use it to create a rustic bookshelf. You have to use some pipe joints to give it the desired shape of a bookshelf. The upcycled structure can also be used as a shoe rack. Old pipes can be used to create several other items such as mobile stand, tablet PC stand, etc.
#4 Decorative mirror using plastic spoons:
A party at your home may have left you with bundles of plastic spoons. You can use these spoons to create a decorative mirror. The front end of a spoon resembles flower petals, so you have to lay them across the circumference of the mirror. Add 10-15 layers and you will have a decorative mirror that closely resembles the beautiful flower chrysanthemum.
#5 Doormats from old sweaters:
You can use your old homemade sweaters to create a doormat or table cushion. You need to unravel the sweater carefully and use the yarn to knit the doormat or cushion. You can knit rectangular, square or circular doormat, as per your requirement. Old sweaters will give you multi-colored yarns, so you can add shapes and designs to your upcycled doormat.
#6 Hardback as e-reader cover case:
If you have old books with hardcover, you can remove the hardcover of one of the books and use it as a cover case for your eBook reader. You can use the hardback as is or refashion it using gift-wrapping paper, lace, decorative tape, etc. You can also add some text or quote on the front and back of the cover.
#7 Storage baskets from old rugs:
Thick rugs can be upcycled into storage baskets. Once you have cleaned the rugs properly, you have to cut a rectangular piece and roll it in the shape of a cylinder. At the bottom, you can add a circular piece of cardboard, metal, or wood. You can use this to store various items such as knitting yarn, toys, clothes, etc.
#8 Pendants light from wine bottle:
You can create a beautiful pendant light using a wine bottle. You need to cut the wine bottle in half and use the upper part as a pendant light fixture. You can use a standard wine bottle cutter to cut the wine bottle. The edges can be smoothened with sandpaper. As a bonus, you can use the lower part of the wine bottle as a glass pen stand.
#9 Denim coasters from old jeans:
You can use your old pair of jeans to create cute denim coasters. You can cut simple circular pieces and use it or create ribbons and then loop them, layer after layer, in a circular motion. Denim coasters are adorable, washable and will protect your tabletop from heat and cold.
#10 Vase using old plastic container:
If you have an old cylindrical-shaped plastic container, you can transform it into a beautiful vase. You need to color some jute rope and wrap it all over the plastic container using a hot glue gun or other strong adhesives. You can use multiple colors for the jute rope, as per your requirement.
As environmental concerns grow worldwide, upcycling has emerged as one of the most cost-effective and sustainable solutions to limit waste. As compared to recycling that may require industrial machinery, upcycling ideas can be implemented at the household level. Also, while recycling may have its own carbon footprint, upcycling projects will only require your creativity and some of your time and labor. So, while you adorn your home with your beautiful creations, you will also be contributing to the cause of saving the environment.