Upcycling: Turning Trash Into Treasure
We all have junk hanging around our house. Sometimes, we don't even know why we're keeping it. "One day," we often say to ourselves, "I'm going to find a use for this limited-edition Altoids tin."
Luckily, there are a million ways to repurpose your odds and ends, and Becky Striepe knows roughly half of them. As the editor of GreenUPGRADER and the crafter behind Glue and Glitter, Striepe has loads of creative ideas for "upcycling," which is the environmentally-friendly practice of turning old waste materials into useful new items. Best of all, she's agreed to share some of these upcycling methods with us.
Scroll down for some of Striepe's favorite creative ideas for repurposing those old shopping bags, wine corks and t-shirts.
This idea comes from GreenUPGRADER. With just a pair of scissors and an old t-shirt made from jersey fabric, you can throw together a no-sew scarf that's soft, elegant and easy on the pocket book.
Tin Can Succulent Planter
You always have the option of recycling them, but sometimes your old tin cans are too interesting to discard. This tutorial from Glue and Glitter teaches you how repurpose an especially eye-catching tin can as a planter for your succulents.
Wino Cork Board
Got a big bowlful of wine corks? Of course you do! Why not turn them into this wine cork cork board? It's perfect for tacking up notes and reminders. Becky at GreenUPGRADER made the one pictured above, which also features two hooks for hanging your keys.
Mason Jar Lantern
Forget about dimming the lights — use a homemade Mason jar lantern to set the mood at your next intimate dinner party. This upcycling idea from Glue and Glitter needs only a tea light, some twine, an old mason jar and (your least favorite) coffee beans.
We would never have thought to make our own gift packages from cereal boxes, but why not? Gift wrappings and trimmings can be expensive, and this tutorial at GreenUPGRADER provides a template for crafting nifty pillow boxes at a fraction of the cost.
Hanging Herb Planter
What do you do with mesh produce bags after you've eaten all the oranges? Save them? Throw them away? Stuff them under the sink with the hopes of bringing them to a recycling facility? If you keep a garden, you might want to think about turning them into these hanging planters from Glue and Glitter.
There's probably an ugly painting sitting in your garage right now. Since it'll probably never be on display anywhere else, pick up a can of chalkboard paint and turn that atrocious artwork into a space to scribble to-do lists, grocery lists or reminders.