We’ve all heard of recycling, but have you heard about upcycling? Upcycling is all about refurbishing or repurposing something to make it into a more usable version of itself. A great example of how to upcycle, is to turn a single use item into something that you can reuse again and again. While it’s a great way to pass a rainy afternoon, we also love that upcycling helps us to do our part for the planet by reducing the amount we throw away.
Looking for some upcycling inspiration to get you started? We’ve listed our top upcycling ideas for the home and for the garden, and some upcycled furniture ideas for a more sustainable house. Our ideas are all super easy and can be made with what you’ve already got to hand. Get crafting today to upcycle your way to a more economical and waste-free home!
Upcycling ideas for the home
From trash to treasure, we’ll show you how to breathe new life into your unwanted household items.
Save your glass jars and bottles to use as vases
A super easy trick that costs you next to nothing is to reuse your empty glass bottles by filling them with flowers. Just rinse them out and you’re good to go. If you want to spruce them up, you can wrap the base in craft rope for a rustic feel. Glass bottles, spice jars, condiment containers, used (and cleaned!) Jar Candles, you name it, you can upcycle it.
Collect your leftover wallpaper to use on the stair risers
Ever been in that situation where you’ve wallpapered a room in your home and now you’re suddenly left with lots of scraps of paper that didn’t make the cut? Save these wallpaper ends to use on the risers of your stairs. It will brighten up your stairwell and give it some personality.
Candle jars to containers
Did you know that the lifecycle of your PartyLite Jar Candle doesn’t end when you finish burning all of the wax? As well as being made from 100% recyclable glass, PartyLite glass jar candles can also be cleaned out and used in plenty of different ways around your home. Why not fill them with pencils or use them to hold straws or party favors?
Use books as shelves
Are you guilty of owning gorgeous hardback books but never opening them? Show them off by using them as shelves! Mount them horizontally to the wall and place your favorite ornaments, plants or even use it as a bookshelf if you’re a serious collector.
Coasters out of carpet
So you’ve recarpeted your living room and you have all these cutoffs but not a lot to do with them. Or maybe you’ve not even gotten to that stage yet, but you’re unsure as to what to do with your carpet samples. Dissect them up into smaller shapes and use them as nifty little coasters.
Dye rice for a decorative filler
Create a beautiful decorative display with the contents of your pantry. Dig out the bag of rice that you have lying around and use food coloring in your favorite colors to dye it. Use it in place of glass pebbles and faux stones in your glass vases for a stylish, and cheap, filler. We love to experiment with colors and layer our dyed rice in our Clearly Creative Hurricanes. Who knew that rice could be so versatile?
Instead of throwing away the corks from your bottles, save them and create your own coasters. Cut them in half lengthwise, and glue them together to create a unique coaster collection.
Bakeware as drawer organisers
Upcycling doesn’t have to require glue and an afternoon of arts and crafts. If you’ve got a set of bakeware that you don’t use for its actual purpose, place them inside your drawers to use as drawer organizers instead. Cupcake tins are great for separating out stationary bits, and ice cube trays are super handy for holding jewelry and trinkets.
Candle Jars and Holders for your toiletries
PartyLite Jar Candles are the perfect size and shape for keeping all of your runaway bathroom accessories. Bobby pins, hair ties, cotton buds and pads and even your makeup brushes. Want storage that’s practical and stylish? Your PartyLite Candle Holders are a fun way to show off your favorite décor while also organizing your personal care items.
Upcycled furniture ideas
Looking to experiment with bigger and bolder pieces? Discover our furniture upcycling ideas for exciting ways to transform those larger items in your home.
Turn an old ladder into a bookshelf
Mount an old ladder on the wall horizontally and line the rungs with your book collection for an instant talking point in your home. This makeshift bookshelf is best achieved if you have a wooden ladder.
Or make your ladder into a shelving unit
Not a big reader? No problem. Turn your ladder into a shelving unit by creating shelves across the rungs. The perfect bathroom caddy or storage unit for your towels and toiletries.
Reupholster your stools with old, unwanted fabric
Want to switch up your soft furnishings? Instead of buying completely new furniture, upholster your stools, chairs, ottomans and pouffes with your old tea towels, clothes or curtains to switch up the feel of your home.
Create an ottoman with car tires
We feel the pain of that puncture, but before you throw the tire away, consider this neat upcycling project. Wrap your car tire completely in string, rope or thin wooden reeds to make your very own ottoman. Not so useless now!
Convert your drawers into sleek wall storage
Salvage your storage by taking the front panel of an old set of drawers and giving it a lick of paint. Hang on the wall and use the knobs as hanging hooks for your coats and bags. You can even fit your own hooks to match your existing décor style.
Upcycle ideas for the garden
Upcycling isn’t just for your house. Turn your garden into an outdoor sanctuary using your old furniture and throwaway items.
Create garden furniture from old palettes
Stack old, empty palettes into outdoor benches, loveseats and tables. These are easy to assemble, look great and cost next-to-nothing to make. Throw on some cushions and soft blankets for comfort and you’re ready to host your own garden party!
Old cans into plant pots
Metal tin cans, yep the very ones you buy your baked beans in, can be transformed into a plethora of useful items for your home. We love to strip the label off of them, wash them out, file down the edge and use them as plant pots. Spray paint and label to use for growing your garden herbs.
Use old mason jars as string lighting
From old jam jars to mason jars, save your glass vessels for your next upcycling adventure. Collect them and pair with outdoor fairy lights to create a gorgeous set of string lighting.
Make a bench out of two chairs
Got a new dining table? Keep your old dining table chairs and turn them into a bench for your front garden, patio, lawn, wherever! All you need is two chairs and some extra wood to create this thrifty piece of furniture.
Tyres into planters
Regular car tyres can be unsightly, but with a lick of spray paint and some creativity, you can makeshift your very own garden planters. Mount onto the wall or hang with some string for a lovely way to display your flowers.
Have you tried out our upcycling ideas? We’d love to see what you’ve come up with, so show us on our social channels with the hashtag #MyStyle.