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Friday, May 24, 2024

Miss Shopping? How to Upcycle Items in Your Home

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Want to experience the joy of shopping without going over budget? Most homes are full of unused or forgotten items ripe for upcycling. It’s a creative process that helps to reduce waste and conserve resources. Here are some tips on how you can start upcycling today.

What’s the difference between recycling and upcycling?
The difference between recycling and upcycling is the treatment of the source material. Recycled items are discarded, broken down and transformed into something new. Upcycled items are refurbished or reimagined, creating a totally different product.

Can every item be upcycled?
An item’s upcycle potential depends on its condition. It must be able to sustain cutting, shaping, or other forms of manipulation. You need a solid foundation to ensure longevity. Check for severe damage such as cracks or tears that may weaken the item’s integrity.

What materials do you need?
Once you’ve decided what you want, it’s important to research what you’ll need. Gather everything upfront before starting the upcycle process. If you’re upcycling clothes, you may need scissors, measuring tape, and a sewing kit. Furniture could require paint and brushes or a saw and drill.

What are some household items anyone can upcycle?

  • Glass jar – Can be turned into a flower vase, candleholder, soap dispenser, or used as a homemade gel air freshener.
  • Plastic egg carton – Cartons can be used to organize and store old ornaments, jewelry, or buttons. They can also be repurposed as a planter for your home garden.
  • Tissue box – Reuse as a plastic bag dispenser or a small trash receptacle for your car or home office.
  • Fabric/clothing – Turn old towels into new wash cloths or cleaning rags. T-shirts can be turned into pillowcases or used to make face masks.
  • Newspaper – Use to clean windows and glass tables or as packing material instead of plastic bubbles or foam.
  • Wooden pallets – Create a coffee table, bed frame, wall art, or nightstand.
  • CDs – Vintage CDs can be used as colorful coasters, hanging wall art, a chandelier or window display.
  • Old suitcases – Large suitcases can be used as a bed for your pet or add dividers to create a doll house for your kids.
  • Tires – Can make rugged patio furniture, as well as tire swings and flower beds.


  • How to Start a Backyard Compost Pile
  • Recycle Your Electronics the Right Way
  • What You Need to Know About Microplastics

Photo credit: eclipse_images

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