4 Upcycling Projects for Your Home

Reader Contribution by Bobbi Peterson
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Spring has officially sprung, which means its housecleaning season. Out with the old, in with the new, right? Rather than throwing away perfectly good materials, you could upcycle them instead. This way, you’ll be keeping trash from the landfill, while sprucing up your home. Take a look at these four projects to get the creative juices flowing.

1. Cereal Box Organizers

Since we’ve only just begun, let’s start with an easy project. Brightened up with colorful washi tape, these cereal box organizers are a cinch to make and they look great in your home or office.

To start, take two cereal boxes and cut them at an angle, from a top corner to midway down. Then bind them together with some regular tape to make the next step easier. Now you’re ready to start wrapping with washi tape!

Starting at the bottom, wrap the boxes in washi tape, changing the pattern each time you go around. To finish the edges, trim the tape close to the box and cover with some contrasting tape, folded lengthwise. And there you have it, a colorful organizer just waiting to be filled!

Photo by Adobe Stock/ckimballphoto.

2. Mason Jar Lanterns

These cute Mason jar lanterns are great for nights where you just want to sit and unwind on the back porch with a good book. These lanterns are as simple as placing a tea light in the jar and hanging them on hooks.

But it you want to get a little craftier, you can tint the jars before you hang them up. Take some Mod Podge or Elmer’s Glue, mix with some food coloring, then paint the outside — or inside — of the jar with the mixture. Turn it upside down, and let it drip dry for at least an hour.

To finish, heat your oven to 175 degrees F and bake for 10 minutes. Turn the jars over, and bake for another 20 or 30 minutes. When they’re done, the glue will turn semi-transparent and glossy.

Find even more unique, creative ways to reuse your Mason jars around the house.

3. DIY Greenhouses

As it turns out, you can make a greenhouse out of some pretty surprising materials! If you have some old storm windows lying around in the garage, fasten them together to make an attractive mini-greenhouse.

If you have enough of them, you can even fashion a greenhouse out of plastic bottles fixed to a frame. These greenhouses can be anything from simple open rooms to enclosed — and bottle-coated — sheds.

Photo by Peter Murdock via
The Kitchn.

4. Reclaimed Wood Decorations

If you’re really serious about upcycling, there are tons of projects you can do with reclaimed wood. Reclaimed wood has several distinct advantages over modern lumber. For one, you’re decreasing your dependency on our shrinking forests. It’s also far more durable and stronger than anything you’re likely to come across nowadays and, because the wood is so old, it has quite a bit of character.

Reclaimed wood is super versatile. To start simple, try fashioning reclaimed beams or planks into floating shelves. More experienced woodworkers may want to try their hands on larger pieces of furniture, like a reclaimed wood platform bed. Whatever the project, you’re sure to be impressed with the results.

Discover more ideas for adding warmth and charm to your décor with these 6 Reclaimed Wood Designs from Houzz.

Upcycling an old object into a fashionable new one is a rewarding experience. It engages your creative side, all while reducing your dependence on stores and keeping junk out of the trash. After working on a few projects, you may even have a new hobby on your hands! Create useful items for your home, interesting elements for your office or unique gifts for friends and family.

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