Upcycling – 7 Awesome Ways to Get Started!

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Last Updated on January 17, 2020 by Katherine

Upcycling is a great way to reuse your old things and make them new again!

7 Awesome Ways to Upcycle Your Old Things

Upcycling can be as simple as using an old wooden crate to create a new planter!

So, full disclosure, I meant to publish this in January, but obviously, here we are in February. This post was meant to be a sort of new year’s type of house cleanse, and it still is (though it’s usually after most of us have given up on our resolutions). Also, this isn’t so much as a decluttering as a repurposing of your existing stuff. This is what it meant by “upcycling”, just in case you were wondering what that word meant (I know I was when I first encountered it).

Let me explain what I mean.

Did you know that you can often re-invent your things? Think of an old bookshelf that is no longer in a style that you feel suits you or your home. You can take that old bookshelf and change it to something that will suit you and your home. It won’t cost you either if you know where to look for tutorials to do it all yourself. Maybe just a bit of time, elbow grease and a few inexpensive items to get the bookshelf of your dreams.

So instead of going out and spending money that you don’t want to spend or, as I do, curl up and cry because you can’t afford what you want, let’s look at ways to upcycle what you got into something you want!

If you don’t have the items here, you can pretty much find the supplies at Walmart or the Dollar Store and some of the pieces you might be able to snag at a second-hand store.

Little Knick-Knacks

This section is all about small things, most of these you can easily replicate in a few hours over an afternoon, and they don’t require a whole lot of elbow grease or insane amounts of sanding.

Lotion Bottle Phone Holder

I saw this when I did my google search for this article, and they are ADORABLE. Grab a used lotion bottle, some fabric, and some mod podge and get it done. You can check out the full tutorial from Make It & Love It. My favorite bit? The handle makes it possible to hang your holder off your power cord at the outlet, super cool! My next empty lotion bottle is going to become one of these! I will post pictures as soon as I have one, promise.

Eyeglass Case Sewing Kit

Upcycling an old eyeglass case can be a cool easy project!

I found this one on Tea Rose Home; if sewing isn’t your thing, you can probably think of using this to store other items. It’s just a neat way to reuse an old case you have lying about (I have several lol).

Baking Sheet Message Board

Have a few of these lying around? Check out this sweet tutorial from Mom & Wife to turn that into a super cool magnetic message board.

Cheese Grater Earring Holder

Cheese graters are easy to upcycle!

Upcycled Wonders has this cute idea (as well as several other in the post) to take an old cheese grater and jazz it up a little to do business as your new favorite earring holder.

The Big Stuff

This section is about projects that are relatively easy to complete but are a bit larger in scale, so you might want to pace yourself throughout a few days or so. Upcycling large pieces of furniture can seem daunting, but they are a great way to add a fantastic custom piece to your own home!

Sewing Machine Table

Upcycling an old sewing machine can net you a neat looking table!

My mother has one of these old antique sewing machines. However, I highly doubt she will let me use hers for this, so I’ll have to find an old sewing machine in a thrift store at some point, but this idea is cool! Rustic Craft has a beautiful gallery of upcycled designs (several options for your sewing machine legs). The metal base is attached with screws, so you merely detach them from the old machine and then use screws to connect it to your desired slab of wood.

Ladder Bookshelf

Ladders can be upcycled too!

I fell in love with the simplicity of this design. A Pair & A Spare has a great tutorial, you can use an old ladder (you will want to sand it down a bit, particularly if it has some paint on it), some pine boards, l-brackets, and a drill and you can have a unique bookshelf. If you can’t find wood to match your ladder, a quick option is to paint everything the same color.

A “Cratey” Coffee Table

Old crates can be given a new purpose with a bit of upcycling!

My Anything & Everything has the tutorial. You just need four crates and a few other things and you can have a beautiful coffee table that looks awesome and has some built-in storage! The best part, you can stain this to whatever color you need to match your decor.

Final Thoughts

So I hope these ideas have at least started the creative juices flowing. These are by no means an exhaustive list, check out Pinterest and YouTube for amazing DIYers who have heaps of ideas for things. I love the idea of reusing old stuff and making it new both from an economical and environmental standpoint. These projects are not expensive, the most challenging part of them really will be taking the time to complete all the steps, but it can be rewarding when you create something and add it to your space. You also get the side benefit of keeping something out of the landfill!

If you liked this content, let me know in the comments down below. Also, please share this to Pinterest or your other favorite social media platform. Until next week, stay crafty my friends!

Upcycling is a great way to reuse your old things and make them new again!

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