What is upcycling? 6 ideas to start upcycling at home

Upcycling is reusing items that are normally on their way to the trash can and turning them into higher quality products. For example, some furniture makers use wood from old buildings to make new furniture.

If you’re interested, here are some upcycling ideas you can implement at home:

Turn tin cans into planters.

You can turn any tin can into a pretty planter. Just remove the labels, poke holes in the bottom to allow water to drain, and paint the outside with a color of your choice. If you’re using old paint cans, be sure to thoroughly clean the insides with a paint stripper and rinse out the cans.

Egg carton flowers

Don’t throw away your empty egg cartons. You can turn them into beautiful artificial flowers. All you have to do is carefully cut out the cups, punch a hole in the bottom center and thread thin pipe cleaners through. Then you can paint the cups with a color of your choice. This is also a great project to do with your kids if you have any.

Old shutters

If your house used to have those old wooden shutters, the ones with the wooden slats, you can turn them into a fancy letter holder. If they’ve already been removed because of a previous renovation, all you have to do is peel off the old paint and repaint the surface with any color you like. After that, you can hang the shutters on your wall.

Storage in wooden boxes

Do you have friends who work in supermarkets or farmers markets and always ask you if you want some old fruit crates? Then you should take them up on their offer. Put them on their side and nail or screw them together to turn them into a makeshift shelf. In it, you can store your shoes or other knickknacks you might have.

Small dresser as a serving cart

If you have a small dresser that you no longer use, or if you find it at a flea market, you can turn it into a fancy serving cart or mobile food preparation station with a few new screws. You can give it a new coat of paint, replace the knobs with leather and metal handles, add brass casters to the feet, and add a large wooden cutting board to the top.

Wine cork bottle stoppers

If you’ve collected the corks from the wine bottles you’ve drunk over the years, you can turn them into beautiful bottle stoppers. Just take a few large crystals, sand the bottom flat, and then glue them to the corks with hot glue. Now you can use them as fancy caps for any bottle, wine or otherwise.


These projects are quite simple and don’t require any fancy tools. You don’t even have to have any special crafting skills. Just let your imagination run wild. Anything you can find can be upcycled.

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