Need ideas on how to upcycle items at home? Try these DIY projects and create decorative pieces to get your home looking sustainably chic.
Search, click, add to cart, check out. It’s so easy to shop these days. Lockdown? No problem. You can now purchase items from around the world and have them delivered to your doorstep with the click of a button. Online shopping is great when you can’t travel, but the satisfaction of creating something yourself is even better. We’ve got fun ideas for you: try upcycling items for DIY fun at home while reducing your carbon footprint!
Give a little extra love to pre-loved goods
Upcycling involves breathing new life into objects. So the first thing you need to do is pick out pre-loved and unused furniture, old paintings, used packaging or pots and pans lying around at home. Or check out online groups such as Green Warehouse and Re-usable Objects where you can give away or adopt pre-loved items from the community to upcycle.
Next, gather up the tools and items. We’re talking about old paint and brushes or leftover wrapping paper lying in a corner of your storeroom. Everyday items such as tape, glue, scissors, sponges and hole punchers are the perfect tools for your upcycling project. You don’t have to rush to the nearest craft store to buy materials. But if you need extra supplies, head to Art Friend or neighbourhood hardware shops to stock up. Once you have everything, it’s time to get to work creating useful household items via upcycling.
9 upcycling ideas for fun DIY projects
1. A natural way to go green
If you have a green thumb, this one’s for you. Give unused tin cans a lush makeover – they’ll become a new home for your potted plants and flowers. Simply paint over empty cans with solid colours or patterns. Next, finish off with varnish to seal the paint and protect it from the elements. Remember to create holes at the bottom using a screwdriver for drainage!
2. Hello, furniture that’s good as new
Want to give old furniture a facelift? You can easily make it look brand new by sanding down worn surfaces and picking out your fave colour for a fresh coat of paint. Tip: add on stencil or sticker decals to match the theme of your room. You won’t even recognise it when you’re done!
3. Make a standout statement
Here’s a cool idea. Pin an old drawer on your wall – it’ll double up as artwork and additional shelf space. We love a good space-saving home hack! Line the interior of the drawer with wrapping paper for a pop of colour, and consider stacking a couple to create a statement wall.
4. Cheers to one-of-a-kind drinking glasses
We’re talking about crafting unique drinking glasses from old bottles. First, pick an empty bottle of your favourite drink. You’ll also need a glass cutter and sandpaper to cut and finish the edges. And there you have it: your new drinking glass.
5. From one painting to another
Bored of the artworks on your wall? Why not reuse these canvases to create a new piece of art with added texture? Run your brushes over an existing canvas painting that you’ve fallen out of love with. The design’s totally up to you. Tip: keep the textures of the painting underneath for an edgier look.
6. Personalise your furniture
For more upcycling ideas, try reupholstering an old chair with new or recycled fabric to transform it into a statement piece. You can even add a dash of nostalgia by using fabric with symbolic motifs or pre-loved garments that’ve accompanied you on good memories.
7. From bottle to table
Make your own wine cork coasters – because you can never have enough drink coasters. Depending on the size you want, cut the corks into halves (for a cup coaster) or leave them intact (for bigger pot coasters). Use a glue gun to glue the corks together and line the finished product with lace or ribbons if you’re feeling fancy.
8. Calling all makeup junkies
After you’re done shoe shopping, keep those shoeboxes. They’re great for extra storage. Create a luxe-looking makeup organiser using scissors, spray paint and a glue gun. Go wild with the design! Who knows, your friends may start ordering one from you when they see your creation.
9. Kitchenware… in the bedroom?
It’s all about how you reuse items. Who would’ve thought a cheese grater could have another purpose in life? Slap a coat of paint on it and use it as an earring holder (embellishments optional). That’s your jewellery organisation, sorted.
So the next time you feel the urge to splurge on retail therapy, take a look around your home for upcycling ideas and inspiration. You may be surprised by what you can find! Plus, you’ll be saving money and doing your part for the climate.