The Art of Upcycling
Discover ways to reuse and reinvent items you no longer need.

Leisure Pursuits

9321884_mThe average American produces 1,600 pounds of trash a year. Much of that could be recycled and other pieces could be upcycled. Upcycling means taking something and repurposing it.

These days it’s easier than ever to share fun ideas on how to upcycle items for your home and yard – doing something good for the environment while creating a cool new piece of decor.

Here are a few ideas to get started.

Dressers and Cabinets

Have an old dresser sitting around? Consider making it into a bathroom vanity (see image number three), or use it in the garden as a fun, multi-dimensional planter.

You can even turn a vintage television into a cabinet!


Today’s suitcases are lightweight and easy to roll, but yesteryear’s suitcases have a charm that just can’t be denied. Luckily, there are many ways to reuse old suitcases. Turn them into a side table, a medicine cabinet (see number 11) and much more.


Old ladders have many uses in the home and outside. Use one to display photos or quilts (see number eight) inside, or as a handy plant holder outside.

Wine Bottles and Corks8833687_m

For those who love a good bottle of wine, the resulting “trash” can turn into treasure. Use the corks to make a hot pad for pots, to make mini planters and many other uses. The bottles can be turned into beautiful lights, borders for flower beds and more.

Organizational Tools

Many household items can be repurposed to help get you organized. A cupcake tray can become a jewelry holder, a shoe rack can organize your pantry and empty toilet paper rolls can be used to organize spare cables and cords. Use an empty tissue box to dispense plastic bags or a desk organizer for select kitchen items.


Whether you have clothes that don’t fit, that just aren’t “you” or that have worn patches, you can turn clothing and other cloth items into any number of things. For example, turn old jeans into a throw rug, or make toys or throw pillows out of any unwanted fabric. Get tons more of ideas for upcycling fabric on Pinterest. In fact, is one of the best places to discover upcycling ideas. Search under many categories, and “pin” the ideas you like or want to try later.

Get Creative!

Upcycling is the arts and crafts project that won’t cost much on supplies but provides a big return. Not only will you be helping the environment, you’ll be expressing yourself and gaining new, fun items for your home or to give as gifts. Explore the links below to discover more ideas.


Upcycling –

“The Cheap Life” with Jeff Yeager