Get Creative with Upcycling

Let's face it: humans create a lot of waste. In 2015, over 34 million tons of plastic was generated and only nine percent of that was recycled. Many times the items we throw away can be re-used or repurposed.

Next time you are gathering up items to throw away or recycle, you should see if you can upcycle them. Upcycling involves repurposing an item and making it more useful than it was before. With some upcycling, you have the chance to give empty plastic bottles or an old ladder a new life!

If you are looking to start upcycling, you have come to the right place. We have compiled a list of creative ideas to fuel your next upcycling projects.

Rack it

Do you have items lying around your home that you need to store away but you are limited on space? If you have empty wall space, put it to good use by attaching a shelf or rack. However, what happens if you do not have a bookshelf or storage rack? You make one yourself!

Look around your home and you are sure to find several items you can turn into rack for your keys or a shelf to keep your massive book collection on. You can turn the following items into a sturdy shelf or rack:

  • Transform an old ladder into a bookshelf.

  • Turn folding chairs into shelves.

  • Use old books as shelves to hold small décor items and knick-knacks.

Furnish Your Place in Style

Whether you are moving into a new place or redecorating your current living space, buying furniture can be expensive. So before you invest in a new couch or table, look around at items you do not use anymore. That old suitcase of yours could be your new coffee table.

  • Old or vintage suitcases can become your new bedside table or nightstand.

  • Reclaim wood scraps and yarn to make a swing nightstand.

  • Has your child become too big for their crib? You can repurpose it as a table, shoe rack or even as a home office desk.

Reinvent Old Clothing Items

Upcycling does not just have to be for furniture and décor items. You can easily repurpose old or worn clothes into a completely new item for you to wear on a daily basis.

  • Cut off the sleeves of an old shirt to make a tank top or muscle shirt that will be perfect to workout in.
  • Make old white t-shirts colorful and exciting by tie-dyeing. You can follow this easy step-by-step guide to tie-dying old shirts that is perfect for the whole family.

  • Do you have an old pair of jeans that do not fit anymore? Turn them into a stylish skirt that does (no sewing needed!). Check out YouTuber Lucykiins easy tutorial of how she turned an oversized pair of jeans into a fashionable skirt.

If you have clothing that is not in the condition to be upcycled, do not worry! Planet Aid accepts shoes and textiles in any condition. Find the nearest donation bin to you and drop your used clothing in today.