What are some of the best examples of upcycling?

. 5 min read
What are some of the best examples of upcycling?

We all are familiar with the modern-day DIY ideas to decorate our homes utilising the old products. This helps to bring out our creative sides employing all sorts of quirky ideas and practices.

The process of upcycling is not much alien to this concept of redesigning objects by transforming them into materials or products. In upcycling, the old products get modified with a second life and a new function. The entire process aims to develop the finished product that becomes more valuable, practical, and beautiful than its previous form.

It takes a couple of minutes to search for interesting ideas about upcycling the old products and again bringing them into use.

The Benefits of Upcycling

The foremost importance of upcycling the products is reducing the amount of waste that goes into landfills. The haphazard disposal of waste has contributed to severe environmental damages.

If we consider at a large scale perspective of upcycling, it contributes to the reduction of CO2 emissions. In fact, for every ton of rejected materials used again, 20 tons of CO2 is prohibited to enter the atmosphere. A report states that CO2 accounts for about 76% of total greenhouse gas emissions.

Upcycling practices promote the saving of money as the objects that no longer serve, find a new purpose, and use. It also helps in implementing sustainable ideas that offer an exciting way to get crafty.

Upcycling is mainly about preserving resources so it emerged as a means of reusing the products.

1. Make Planters Out of Mason Jars

Honestly,  you can make planters almost out of anything in your house. There is no requirement to go to the market and buy individual planters to seed new trees. You can start with almost any item, but mason jars look more beautiful and elegant for planting the small saplings.

The glass creates a regal feel and it can be decorated in any corners of the house. These beautiful green thumbs can be displayed on the coffee table of the living area. Or it can be popped in the study table to get the natural accent in the decor.

Get some soil and pour them into the jar to begin planting the seeds. For a proper drainage system add some rocks at the bottom and see how your plant evolves.

2. Turn the Old Shirts into Cushions

Upcycling and craftwork go hand in hand. If your old shirts look weird, so why not cut it into a pattern that fits a cushion. Reupholstering a cushion with an old shirt is a good way to breathe a new life into it.

It’s very easy, start with inserting a cushion inside the shirt and keep it in the torso section. Cut-off the excess fabric at the arms and waist area that you don’t require. Now, stitch the fabrics at the sides to give a final shape to your cushion.

Once you are done, it is ready to be displayed on the couch or the bed. The newly upholstered fabric of the shirt appears unconventional. It enhances the overall appeal of the decor of the home.

3. Create a Palette Wall Shelf

Palette upcycling is becoming a popular rustic trend in many homes. You can even bring such a palette shelf to the display in your house. It can be used for an array of purposes like displaying odd ends, books, souvenirs, bottles, etc.

A palette shelf in the kitchen brings out the warm shades in the kitchen and renders a natural organic feel. A conventional shelf can be remodelled with slates in a pallet like a trough to hold drink bottles. Moreover, you can cut grooves in the lower racks to hang glassware.

This gives a vibe of hey presto a wall-mounted bar fit that complements a farmhouse style interior of a house.

4. Restore a Shutter Window into Notice Board

Old shutters windows typically suited the vintage mansions. As time passed by, these shutter window frames have turned out of order. This doesn’t mean it has to be thrown away in the dump yard.

There are ample ideas to get innovative with the old shutter frames. A fantastic way to reuse the old shutters is to convert it into a notice board for your work. You can easily stick reminder paper notes on them. Simply take old wooden pegs and attach your to-do lists, paperwork, and packets, in one orderly place.

Young girl recycling cloth, using sewing machine

5. Use Copper Wire as a Candle Holder

Copper wire sounds like a common electrical element to work on average days. However, with a good pair of pliers and some patience, you can produce all types of things. A mid thickness wire will be perfect for your upcycling project.

It is not too tough to be bent but isn’t so thin that it can be easily malleable. You have to twist it to perfection to give it the shape of a candle holder. A copper wire candle holder looks adorable to hold the candle high and gives a minimalistic appearance.

6. Go for Ladder Shelving Unit

If you have an old wooden ladder gathering dust in your storeroom, then this upcycle hack is a nifty way to repurpose it. This will create additional storage space in your home. You apply a fresh coat of paint to make it appear quirky and add warmth to the decor.

A distressed wood appeal can also be created that looks equally enticing in the decor. The ladder can serve as a shelving unit in the study area, kitchen, or places. Different items like books, jars, utensils, or other items can be organised and displayed in the racks.

7. Transform a Chest of Drawer into Kitchen Island

Today many modern apartments run short of the square footage area, especially in the kitchen. It becomes difficult to accommodate all the cabinets and storage units. In such cases, there are many interesting upcycle projects that make all the effort worth it.

An old chest of drawers can be transformed into a snug kitchen island. After a quick splash of paint, you can affix a worktop and pop some casters and hooks on its side. It will be ideal to store all the kitchen essentials and serve the purpose of utility.

8. Change a Bicycle into Bathroom Vanity

There is good news for bicycle lovers as they won’t get enough of their bathroom. An old bicycle can be changed into an innovative upcycling idea doubling as a washstand, vase, and towel rack.

If you have a vintage bike, then it is a clever way to give a rehaul to the bike as well as the bathroom. A rough estimate states that 47% of homeowners in the US in 2019 took on DIY home improvement projects.

Used carpets recycled into a flower pot by sewing it into the shape of a cylinder

Final Words

Upcycling is a relatively new term and is similar to recycling which helps to reduce the garbage minimising the environmental impacts. Recycling breaks down the consumer materials into the base materials that can be remade into a new consumer material but often of lesser quality.

Upcycling is not about breaking the materials but is it about refashioning them. It simply requires old items that are ready to get transformed.

Statistica reports claims that 21% of people in the U.S upcycle their clothes, boxes, and other articles regularly.

Also read:

1) Green Business Ideas for Startup Entrepreneurs
2) How to design a business model for sustainable fashion?
3) How to Start Recycling Business In India?
4) How Do I Start An E-Waste Recycling Company?