6 Easy Upcycling Ideas From Unwanted Items Around The Home

Back before upcyling was popular, my dad was the absolute king of re-purposing old unwanted and useless items. He never threw anything away, and always found a use for it. One of my favourite things I used to hear him say was that rusty old nails would hold much better than new ones. He hardly ever bought new nails! He used to use a crowbar for taking out old nails from unwanted wood and put them in a jar for later. Dad was full of upcycling ideas.

6 Easy Upcycling Ideas From Unwanted Items Around The Home

My dad used to make gates, chicken houses, wood windows and he even made my mum a kitchen cupboard and unit from reclaimed wood he found on his travels. His sheds used to be like a treasure trove for unwanted things. My playground as a kid.

As I grew up around the upcycling culture, it’s always in my thoughts. For a while, I’ve been thinking about getting some kind of wood table for using to take blog photos outside. Well Mr B found a beautiful upcycled table made from an old electrical cord reel. It’s beautiful and perfect, one of a kind! It just goes to show you can turn anything into furniture.


Mum was very thrifty when we were small. Both she and dad didn’t have a lot of spare income, so mum was into her charity shop finds. She would find random clothes that she would turn into playsuits for us. I’ve seen her make my school nativity outfits from spare curtain fabric she’s had around after making curtains. She was also used to knit our school jumpers and play clothes from any spare wool she would find. Now she is into making play jackets for my girls and crocheting blankets for picnics, for the girl’s car seats and to pop on the beds. It keeps her busy!

We live in a world with so much stuff all around us, that most of the time there isn’t a need to keep buying new. Altering old things to suit your style is much more environmentally friendly. As they say “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”

upcycling ideas with glass jars

There are many creative ideas around suggesting how you can upcycle unwanted items Pinterest is a goldmine for ideas. Like this one here. But today I’m going to share with you a few easy upcycling ideas that are pretty simple to carry out.

  1. Wine corks – Turn unwanted wine corks into bottle stoppers. All you need is a glue gun and some crystals.
  2. Tin cans – These make beautiful pots. Clean and file down any sharp edges. Next to turn your can into a pot that is cute, use wallpaper cut to size to decorate the sides, fixing with glue or tape.
  3. Jars – I clean out all jam and pasta sauce jars to use as tealight holders. Or I fill them with pebbles or shells from the beach and use them as decorations.
  4. Old teacups – I have used old teacups as planters for my succulents, or I’ve seen somewhere you can use them as holders for your homemade candles.
  5. Paint buckets – A friend of mine has turned one of her old paint buckets into an ice bucket for her beer bottles!
  6. Tissue Box – Turn your old tissue box into a desk organiser. Use patterned paper to cover the box to your style, and you can add in toilet roll holders for the different compartments inside.

The purpose of upcycling is to reduce waste. Why do we upcycle? Well, it’s become hugely popular due to a poor economy which has recently gone into a recession due to the coronavirus pandemic. In recent times we also have a greater understanding of our environment and the need to preserve it.

So get on and get creative! I’d love to hear your upcycling ideas!

rachel bustin
Thank you for sharing

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