You may have heard the word used before, but you still might not have a clear idea of what it means: so what is upcycling all about? As the name suggests, it’s another form of recycling that can be very useful and money-saving. To upcycle, you would take an old, worn out item and repurpose it. This repurposing usually involves making the item better in some way. You can upcycle discarded items that you’ve happened upon or even things in your home that might still have life in them with a little freshening up.
Upcycling has an emphasis on beautification and making the upcycled item more attractive or nice to look at. For example, using a torn shirt as a rag isn’t really considered upcycling, but taking a torn shirt and sewing it onto some other piece of clothing is. The point of upcycling is to avoid throwing away things that can serve a better purpose elsewhere. Upcycling is not a new concept and there’s nothing wrong with reusing whatever you can for as long as it can serve a useful purpose! Are you looking for some fun upcycling ideas that you can put to action? You might be surprised at the things you can do!
What can I upcycle?
Do you have some old pillowcases that you don’t know what to do with? They might be too worn to use in the bedroom, but they can be transformed into some awesome garment bags! All you’ve got to do is cut a slit in the stitched end of the pillowcase and then a hanger can slipped through. This will make it easy to keep your nice shirts and other clothing items wrinkle-free!
If you’ve always got extra wine bottles hanging around, you can upcycle them into beautiful vases! The possibilities are endless: you can paint the bottles any color you want if you’d like or you can use a glass cutter to open them up to hold even bigger flower arrangements. It’s super simple to accomplish this feat and it makes for very stunning home decor.
It can be hard to part with old clothing we love that has become damaged or too small but when you upcycle, you don’t have to lose it! You can take your favorite t-shirts and repurpose them into sleeveless crop tops if holes are a problem. You might also take those same shirts and make them into a skirt or preserve the graphic parts and adhere them to your favorite denim jackets or vests. You could create cool bracelets or headbands from the strips of a tattered t-shirt. If you want a new pair of shorts for summer, take the legs off of your least favorite pair of jeans for a quick fix that costs you nothing! Do you have a shirt lying around that’s too big for you? With a good pair of scissors, you could have a super cute and casual tote bag to use!
Why do you still have that cumbersome world globe from elementary school? Maybe it’s because you could make some lovely decorative bowls by cutting the globe in half! You can bet your friends will be impressed.
Everyone loves a good mason jar, and they’re great for storage and quick drinking cups. You know what would make a mason jar cup even cooler? A lid with a straw! All you’ve got to do is cut a few holes in the lids of your mason jars and you’re ready to sip in upcycled style. Mason jars also make the perfect indoor planters, so you can have all your favorite herbs right at your disposal. They’ll bring a bright little hint of the outdoors inside.
Are you into jewelry? You can make a really beautiful pendant from the text or illustrations in your favorite book! All you’ll need is a crafting blade to cut out the text or photo you want to use, some glue and a glass pendant to adhere it to. One you find some string you like to hang it from, you’ve got a brand new necklace!
Do you have a ton of wine corks lying around? Believe it or not, they’ll make some amazing stamps! Just carve away the designs you want to be stamped and get an ink pad. You can use them to decorate all kinds of stationery!
Ok so some of these ideas might seem a bit quirky, but the idea is just to get you thinking. The list of upcycle ideas out there is endless and you won’t know what you can accomplish until you start experimenting on your own. The beauty of the upcycle is not knowing what to expect but still getting a beautiful end result. Once you get into your own groove, you’ll be addicted to it! Upcycling is one of the best ways to be thrifty and get the most out of everything you’ve got!