Upcycling Household Items: From Useless to Useful

Upcycling records

Shrie Bradford Spangler (CC BY 2.0)

Ever heard the saying one person’s junk is another person’s treasure? Who knew it could be so true! The new Focus Features film The Boxtrolls takes that idea to whole new level. It inspired me to find out more about upcycling. Looks like there are plenty of ways we can use upcycled items; we can use them to decorate, or to help improve our daily lives.

Upcycling: Light Em’ Up!

upcycling light bulbs
Flaming Lightbulb by kreezzalee (CC BY 2.0)

Just because your old light bulb burns out, doesn’t mean it’s lights out. You can upcycle it into an oil lamp, vase, concrete wall hook, or even a terrarium! Let your imagination soar and anything can become a lamp such as: cheese graters, buckets, mason jars, baskets, and even hats! Get creative and turn old bike wheels, tea cups, wine bottles, or flashlights into chandeliers.

Upcycling: Jars! Jars! Jars!

Upcycling mason jars
Mason Jar Flowers by Jinx! (CC BY 2.0)

I love taking leftover pasta and honey jars and upcycling them into other things. Like light bulbs, upcycled jars can be turned into almost anything! They also make lovely vases and storage containers for anybody looking to spruce up a room or in need of some extra space. Out of gift bags and wrapping paper? Take an old pasta jar and upcycle it into a gift jar; fill it with souvenirs, trinkets, and tissue paper and voilà! Not only do upcycled jars make great storage containers, but they also make wonderful containers for ingredients or treats.

Upcycling: Decorations

Upcylcing posters
Woman’s Work by JAXPORT (CC BY 2.0)

Sometimes your upcycled materials don’t have to serve a function other than adding a unique or personal touch to a room. Old glass bottles make excellent vases. Don’t throw out your old door or dresser; upcycle them into a birdhouse or vanity. Take those old newspapers and magazines and turn them into ornaments, mobiles, or even trendy collages!

 What are some of your favorite everyday uses for upcycled items? Tell me about them in the comments section below!