How good at recycling are you; do you have a long list of ways to upcycle at home? If you are anything like me, you give it a good go. I separate out my recycling from my rubbish, I recycle plastic, try to reuse metal and I’m always donating bags of clothes and toys to charity. But how about recycling at home? I’ve recently found some amazing ways to upcycle at home, and here are my favorites…
1. Toilet Storage
Okay, so that sounds a little strange, but the idea is the same! Find a box that’s roughly the same height as a toilet roll. Next, collect up some empty toilet rolls. I’ve found the average box will hold about 12 toilet rolls, arranged in a simple 6 x 3 grid. Now you can use them for storage! I started folding up cables and cords into mine, but you can use them for almost anything. I’ve made a very cool ribbon storage system for crafting, too! This is one of my favorite ways to upcycle at home.
2. Make a Lunch Box
Ever noticed how CD holders are the perfect size for a bagel? Well I did last week. So once we’d finished off the blank CDs, I washed it out and used it to store my partner’s work bagel. He found it in his bag at work, and it became an instant success – there is a whole load of people using them to hold food now! Ours wasn’t recyclable, so it’s great to find another use for it. What inventive ideas do you have for food storage?
3. Old Photos, New Starts
Do you have a lot of wall art? It seems some people end up with hundreds of framed pictures. If you’ve decided to redecorate, or just cut down on your décor, getting rid of them can be difficult. My niece tried everything to get rid of a set of rather interesting floral prints, from eBaying them to trying to give them to a charity shop. In the end, she bought a thicker frame for them and used them as a tea and coffee serving tray. She’s had loads of compliments on them since – win!
4. Medicine Mischief
Got an old suitcase that you love? I found the suitcase from my first romantic weekend away recently. I didn’t want to throw it away, but it’s much too small to use now, and it has a very antique feel to it. So, I spent a few hours cleaning it up, and shining the metal. Then I hung it on the bathroom wall. It makes a great medicine cabinet! Just slot in some wood to make shelves, and use the suitcase fastenings to open and close the new cupboard. It’s a great reminder of our very first holiday!
5. Fix Those Holes
I don’t know what it is about fences, but they seem to develop holes so randomly. Replacing the whole fence can be hassle, so instead, start collecting marbles in a variety of sizes. Once you’ve got enough, pop the marbles into the holes. Not only will it block the hole, but when the sun catches the marble it makes a beautiful effect – and it looks great in the snow, too. Chic and cheap.
6. Keeping Cards
Do you have an old card catalogue? These big wooden units can be expensive to throw away, and difficult to sell online due to their size. Worry not, though, because if you can get your hands on one, you can give it a whole new lease of life. Simply empty the drawers, and lie a bottle of wine, spirit or beer in each one. Then label the front, and voila! An impressive private bar.
7. Arty Books
Do you have any books that you are unlikely to read again, but just can’t throw away? I found some gorgeous collections of books in the past, with stunning covers… from jewel colors to velvet and striking patterns, some book designs are just gorgeous. Show them off by fixing some long L shaped shelf holders to the wall, and balancing the books on top. They are sturdy, attractive and just perfect for a library or study.
8. Cake Wrappers
If you’ve got kids, you’ll be well aware of how much mess dripping things can make. Here’s a really easy cure – keep the cases from cakes and cupcakes, and use them on items that drip. Push through the stick on an ice-lolly, for example, or a lollipop, or use them to serve chocolate cake to little ones. They will reduce the mess, and they can just be thrown away afterwards. Much less effort than saucers!
9. Magic Mason
Do you have a lot of Mason jars? If so, it’s time to get thinking about how to use them creatively! They can hold salads and fruit salads perfectly for lunch, with layers of lettuce, prawns, strawberries, dressing… it’s easy to make, carry and clean. And you can even make great gifts with them, too. Layer cake ingredients, or hot chocolate, or make an awesome trifle. The sky’s the limit!
Can you think of any amazing ways to upcycle? I’ve loved turning something old into something new, and I’m now exploring everything in the house to try and find a new use. There’s some really inventive ideas out there…our local garden centre has an old piano as a gorgeous water fountain, and chairs repurposed as shelves and towel holders. Amazing. Let me know your best upcycle projects!