10 Upcycling Ideas For Your Home

10 Upcycling Ideas For Your Home
  • Opening Intro -

    Upcycling is a term that describes taking trash or some other discarded product and converting it for a new use.

    The term came into vogue during the 1990s, by taking the words “up” and “recycle” to create upcycle.


Two important advantages with upcycling is keeping discards out of landfills and making use of a product to create something you want or need.

Here are some upcycling ideas for your home:

1. Side table to a pet retreat. Don’t throw out your old living room furniture yet. The side table may not match what you have coming in, but it can do new duty as a pet retreat. Place a comfy pillow inside and your pet will have a new place to rest.

2. Old toys, new tricks. Your children are no longer playing with some of their toys. Instead of discarding same, looking for a way to reuse them. Take a once favorite plastic animal and drill holes through it to use as a toothbrush holder. Your kids will find new interest in the toy as well as in brushing their teeth.

3. Book spines to bookmarks. Old books routinely get tossed and that seems shameful. What you can preserve are the spines, turning these into bookmarks to use for your newest books.

4. From filing cabinets to a desk. Who uses filing cabinets these days? With so many documents stored electronically and paper invoices a thing of the past, those cabinets can go empty. If you have a matching pair of two-draw cabinets you have the makings for a table. Use a slab of plywood that can bridge the (cabinets) posts and drill holes to secure with screws.

5. Turning beds into an arbor. Your kids have outgrown their bunk bed. Now what? The frame of the bed minus the lower portion can be converted into an arbor, providing shade on the bottom and an arbor on top.

6. Repurpose old funnels. Old metal funnels may fetch money for scrap, but they can also be repurposed and reused as candle holders. Simply place them on the base, fit with a candle and light.

7. Keep that old chest of drawers. You’ve had a chest of drawers in the family for generations. Now, one or more drawers has broken with repairs prohibitively expensive. Pull out the broken drawers and place inside one or more baskets to hold toys or other personal effects.

8. Dresser draw to a bathroom shelf. Before you throw out that chest of drawers, keep the one drawer that is in the best condition and turn it into a bathroom cabinet. Insert a dividing shelf and hang it on the wall. You’ll gain much needed cabinet space.

9. When Legos are no longer used. Your children have outgrown their Legos, but countless pieces remain. Find an 8×6 Lego piece, attach a Lego hook and you have the makings of a key holder. Glue the back of the Lego to a wall to secure.

10. Toolbox to planter. That old toolbox has seen better days — its latch may be broken and the hinges rusty. Besides, your husband has long since upgraded to a tool cabinet. Turn that toolbox into a flower box and hang it outside of a window.

Upcycling Rocks!

The trend toward upcycling has caught on — there are literally tens of thousands of ideas for repurposing what you own. So, the next time you hold a garage sale and something doesn’t sell, consider how it might be upcycled for a new purpose.

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Categories: Home Tips

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".