Get creative and repurpose your old junk into something useful, inventive, or just darn right pretty. It’s easy, inexpensive and will save you money on buying something new with these upcycling ideas. Plus the upcycled look is totally in right now.
Transform old dresser drawers
Sick of staring at an outdated chest of drawers? If you don’t want them on display anymore, but don’t want to just bin them, consider how you could reuse them. Give preloved furniture a whole new lease of life with these upcycling ideas.
Use those old drawers as planters. Here’s how:
- Simply drill a few big holes using a ¼” drill bit in the bottom of the drawer for drainage
- Add a layer of rocks at the bottom of the drawer
- Add soil mix
- Add your seeds
- Water daily and voila!
Or how about using your old drawers as a sandwich station? Pick a drawer, give it a new lick of paint, secure it to the wall, and use horizontal wooden poles across the drawer to fasten in some cling film, tin foil and sandwich bags. This little gem will make the morning sandwich-making mission a whole lot simpler and, well, a bit of a novelty. Source: www.curbly.com
Make a jewellery stand
This next one is a little out there but for a quirky accessory to add to your dressing table it’s a bit of fun and a great way to reuse that rusting cheese grater.
- Decorate with pretty jewellery!
Source: Kasey Steinbrinck
A cereal box into a magazine holder
Magazine holders are massively expensive for what they are (let’s face it – just a few bits of cardboard!), but a simple and cheap alternative could just be lying in your recycling bin. That cereal box? Perfect if you want magazine or paperwork holder upcycling ideas. Here’s how:
- Cut off the top flaps of the box
- Cut the sides – first measuring about 2 inches horizontally then diagonally at 8 inches long, then cut horizontally to reach the end of the box
- Do the same to the other side
- Decorate as you wish using old scraps of wallpaper perhaps, or by painting.
Make chalkboard placemats
If you’re looking for a way to both entertain the kids and reuse old placemats, then this upcycle could be the one for you. It couldn’t be easier – here’s how:
- Paint with chalkboard paint
- Get some chalk and get the kids scribbling
Upcycle an old frame
If you’d like a new way to display your photos then don’t just frame them. Grab a large frame and transform it into a washing line of memories. An easy way to update your latest snaps. Here’s how:
- Take out the glass, and boarding
- Nail in string with pegs on across the frame
- Peg your favourite snaps
A t-shirt into a shopping bag
Want something to lug your shopping in, or take to the beach? Don’t throw away your old t-shirts – instead make them over with this upcycling idea for a shopping bag:
- Cut off the sleeves
- Cut a semi-circle around the collar area
- Turn inside out and sew up the bottom
Baby gates into laundry drying racks
If you no longer need a baby gate, but still have a mountain of washing to dry then this could be the perfect upcycling idea. The slated bars work well as a clothes drying rack. Try this technique for mounting on the wall.
- Use a large hook to secure your baby gate to the wall
- Use a washer and wingnut to make it foldable
- Mount a ledge in the middle to secure in place when folded at an angle
- You can also use baby cot bars
Source: Erica-NW Edible
A bookcase into a dollhouse
One of the simplest upcycling ideas, but one that could save you a bomb. Grab that little old bookcase and revamp it into a dream dollhouse. You don’t need much to give it a new lease of life and provide your princess with hours of fun.
- Cut wrapping paper to fit the back of the bookcase and stick in place
- Use cardboard to make doors and stick coiled string onto cardboard for a rug
- Add dolls’ furniture and dolls
- Enjoy playtime
An iPad case from a bubble padded envelope
Customise a padded envelope into your very own iPad case without the need for any fiddly sewing. If you’re looking for functional upcycling ideas this is great as you can make to your taste using your favourite fabric.
- Get a bubble padded envelope (10.5in x 11in.)
- Measure the correct size for your case, cut along one side, leaving the back layer a few inches longer to create a flap
- Line the envelope with fabric (you can use an old t-shirt)and secure using glue
- Apply the next piece of fabric so it covers the base of the envelope front and back
- Cover the flap with your third piece of fabric
- Add a ribbon to fasten
Weave magazine coasters
Have you got a pile of old magazines that just seems to be growing? With this upcycling idea you can reuse your magazines and make them over into coasters. All it takes is a bit of weaving and the effect is brilliant!
- Take a magazine cover and fold in half lengthways
- Fold in half again
- And again
- Bend into a V shape
- Add another piece in the opposite direction to lock into the corner
- Continue and start weaving
- Check out the step-by-step guide with pictures here