If you want a home that’s uniquely your own, upcycling can give you a one-of-a-kind look. It’s an eco-friendly, creative way to repurpose old items into something new and interesting. Whether it’s a wine crate, a soup tin or something else you consider “trash,” you can turn it into treasure with a little ingenuity.
So where should you start? Check out these nine DIY crafts to create something cool and chic.
1. Wine Crate Window Boxes
Do you buy your wine by the crate? Hey, no judgment here! Whether you're a collector or a sommelier in training, you can add rustic charm to your windows by repurposing the boxes you’d otherwise use for storage.
You'll need a few tools for this craft, including a drill and a tape measure. You'll also need screws and some L brackets to hang your new boxes, and of course, paint to decorate your planter. Once you complete it, you can welcome guests to your home with a flurry of blooms.
2. Matching VHS Planters and End Tables
Are you looking for a place to set your stemware? Why not create a sleek and stylish end table out of old VHS tapes? You can create shelves for storing your updated Blu-ray collection or your favorite pictures of your nieces and nephews.
Living area décor looks stunning when it all coordinates, so if you have an extensive collection, use your old VHS tapes to make shadow boxes to hang on your wall, too. Everything from a simple stem vase to a succulent will look lovely in these displays.
3. Tool Caddy Pot Rack
When you whip up spaghetti, do you have to dig through a stack of pots to find the correct one for your sauce? Clear the clutter by upcycling an old toolbox into a pot rack.
The handle makes the perfect surface for hanging your wok and saucepans alike. You'll only need some metal paint and firm mounting hardware. You can also hang some fresh herbs to dry on the repurposed rack to complete the Italian country kitchen look.
4. Windowsill Soup Can Seedling Starters
Are you planning your spring victory garden even as the snow falls? Whether you've ordered your seed packets or saved and dried some from the veggies you eat, you can sprout your seedlings on a sunny windowsill. Why spend a fortune on planters when you have the material you need in your recycling bin?
Wash out old soup tins and use them for planters. You can leave them plain, but where's the fun in that? Decorate them with ribbon and buttons. Alternately, cut paper in the correct size to fit the finished can. Have your children decorate the pages, and glue their artwork to your seedling starters.
5. Trash Can Planters
Are you looking for a striking entryway planter, but you're not willing to part with the cold, hard cash for one? Why not upcycle an old trash can?
If you have a sizable container, you can use small trees for an elegant look. Alternately, you can plant annuals in seasonal hues, opting for holiday decor in the winter months.
6. Transformative Table
Do you have a small dining area or kitchen that needs a table — but you can't find one to fit? Why not make a homemade one using a discarded window and shutter set or wooden pallet?
You can make it custom to suit your available room. But be sure to wear your safety gear when using electrical saws!
7. Paint Stick Drawer Organizer
How do you find a spoon when you've fixed a hot bowl of soup? Don't let your meal go cold while you dig through overflowing utensil drawers.
Get organized on the cheap by making a paint stick drawer organizer for pennies. Do you have unusually shaped utensils like an oversized rolling pin? You can customize your container to fit them.
8. Mason Jar Lantern
Sometimes, you don't want to turn on the overheads. You might not even want to switch on a lamp. However, lanterns give an old-world charm for those times when you want to set the mood for a romantic evening.
All you need is an old mason jar and a tea light candle. Opt for electric versions if you have concerns about flame. You can project interesting shapes with cutout paper, or paint a rainbow on your wall by adding glass stain to your jar.
9. Discarded Shirt Pillow Cases
A speedy way to update the look of your living space is by adding new throw pillows. However, these can cost $20 or more at department stores — apiece. If you have a sewing machine, you can upgrade your family room every season of the year by transforming old shirts into new cases.
Don't stop with pillowcases. If you have an old set of sheets, you can use the fabric to stitch coverings for small windows. You can also make pet toys out of discarded bits of cloth and some catnip or down.
Upcycle With These DIY Projects
With these nine projects, your home will sport an original look that displays your creativity and skill. The best part? You’ll divert waste from a landfill and keep more green in your wallet.