Sep 1, 2014

The Beauty of Upcycling

Upcycling is the new recycling. It’s a cheap, fun and creative way to turn trash into treasure—whether it’s turning newspaper into mulch or creating new socks from old woolen jumpers. Here are some crafty tips for turning everyday items into stylish, usable pieces.
  • Take a walk around your home and look for items you’re considering throwing out, or that you’re simply bored and tired of. With a bit of creativity, you can give them a fresh look and a new purpose.
  • If you don’t have any old or pre-loved items around the home, visit flea markets and antique fairs to buy vintage items. Garage sales are another great place to find items to upcycle—keep a look out for photo frames, solid wood furniture, bowls, glassware, maps and old books.
  • Make sure the item you’re looking to upcycle is worth the effort—furniture needs to be structurally sound and electrical items need to have all their wiring intact and be safe to use.
  • You can change the function of items completely with upcycling. An old suitcase can be upholstered into an ottoman, or some glass bowls can be used to hold jewelry or used as bookends, or even smashed and turned into beautiful artwork.
  • Sometimes it just takes a spray of paint to turn something old into something new. You can also sand back, oil or decoupage materials to give them a new look. Use your creativity and if you have kids, get their ideas and inspiration.
  • If you don’t have experience being crafty, see if there’s a local course you can take such as sewing, knitting or woodworking. You may even find upcycling workshops in your city throughout the year.
  • Upcycling not only makes your home more sustainable, but can also reduce clutter. Turn beautiful jars into storage for kitchen items, or use vintage door handles on your cupboards for a whimsical feel.
  • Before you throw anything out, consider whether it could be upcycled. You may like to keep a box in the home to store smaller items that you can rummage through when you’re looking for inspiration on your next upcycling project.


Do you like to upcycle? Visit our Pinterest board ‘Recycle & Renew’ for even more ideas!