It’s a known fact that humans are too wasteful. Luckily, thifting and repurposing are beginning to emerge as a hot trend and favorite past time again. Everyday is a great opportunity to use recycled and thrifted items to craft with. Exercise your creativity while being resourceful with these fun crafty upcycling ideas!
Upcycled Window Chalkboard
Chicken Wire Frames
These shabby chic chicken wire frames by Duct Tape and Denim are great for organizing your jewelry. She uses them in her craft fair booth, but you could use them at home as well. All you need are some frames, chalk paint, and craft chicken wire to quickly make this thrifted project.
Recycled Tin Can Planters
This fun recycled tin can planters project is a great way to show kids how to be Earth friendly with their crafting. Clean the cans before hand, then let kids have fun decorating the cans with silly faces. When they are done they can enjoy learning how to take care of their own plant.
Upcycled Hanging Vases
Recycle your jars into gorgeous upcycled hanging vases. Darice’s black metal canning jar neck clip fits perfectly on the top of most jars, letting you turn almost any jar into a beautiful hanging vase. Recycle linen napkins and other fabrics to decorate the glass with.
Recycled Globe Lamp
Globes never go out of style, but they do become outdated geographically. Turn an old thrift store globe into a one of a kind globe lamp! You don’t need any technical electrical skills for this DIY project. Use a lamp kit to convert almost anything into a unique decorative lighting source.
DIY Yarn Bowl for Knitters
This DIY yarn bowl is a great gift for knitters, or just a cool craft to make for yourself! Find a sturdy wood bowl at the thrift store, draw a design on it, then use a jigsaw tool to cut it out. When you are done you can use a wood burning tool to add designs to the bowl if you want to decorate it.
Recycled Clock Purse
Turn an old clock into and adorable retro-inspired recycled clock purse. Combine the face and legs of an old alarm clock with a wooden purse box to create this upcycled accessory. It also makes a fun storage piece for jewelry or craft supplies.
Upcycled Chair Planter
Transform an old chair from the thrift store into a beautiful planter for spring. Use outdoor paint to refresh the chair before adding the plant to the seat area.
T-shirt Turned Tote Bag
Cities nationwide are starting to ban the use of plastic bags. Practically Functional shows us how to upcycle those old t-shirts into fun and functional tote bags.
Hidden Storage using Books
This idea is a clever way to salvage what’s left of damaged books to create innovative storage. Glue the book binding to a wood box to hide knick knacks and other items in plain sight on your book shelf.
Broken Mirror Dresser
Turn an old dresser into a fabulous new piece by adding mirror bits to it! Ms. Bingles shares exactly how she created this fantastic dresser using mirrors and grout. What an incredible transformation!
Golf Ball Ladybugs
How adorable are these little garden ladybugs? These cuties will never fly away. Art Drops teaches how to upcycle old golf balls into delightful ladybugs. For best results, use a primer on the golf balls before you start painting them.
Upcycled Glass Jar Containers for Organizing
Upcycle glass jars into beautiful containers that are perfect for organizing. Clean the jar well, spray paint the lid, and then add a decorative knob for the perfect finishing touch. These jars are great for organizing bathroom items, craft supplies, desk items, and so much more!
Tea Pot Bird Bath
Combine a tea pot with plates, bowls, and serving cups to create this upcycled bird bath. You can also use this fun piece as a cake or cupcake stand instead. Use primer and spray paint to quickly paint this piece and to give it a cohesive finish.
Bunny Planters Made from Plastic Bottles
These planters are perfect for Easter or any time of year! Upcycle discarded plastic bottle into adorable bunny planters that are perfect for spring. The Darice Acrylic Paint Set has all the colors you need to make this cheery project.
Upcycled Side Table
This beautiful side table started out as a lamp! This ingenious upcycle from Lovely Etc. shows how to turn a thrift store lamp into a sweet side table for a nursery, living room, or any other space. In addition to the lamp you’ll need a round top, wood glue, and paint.
Silhouette Art Made with Magazines
Who knew you could create gorgeous silhouette art using paper from magazines? Mara from Design Evolving shows how to create unique wall art with recycled paper. We recommend using decoupage glue for this project.
DIY Love Sign
This fun and unique love sign is made with found items. Go thrift store or garage sale hunting, or dig through your craft stash. Use what you can find to create one-of-a-kind art. If you have never done mixed-media art before, gesso is a great tool to have for adhering items to a canvas or board.
Book Lamp Tutorial
Here is another fun DIY lamp idea. Use old hardcover books to make an upcycled lamp. Once again you do not need any special tools or electrical skills to make this DIY lamp. Use a DIY Mason Jar Light Fixture Kit to easily make your own lamp.
Recycled Cassette Tape Succulent Planter
Cassette tapes have such a nostalgic feel to them for many of us! Put those old tapes to good use by repurposing them into cool succulent planters! If you don’t really have a green thumb you can always use artificial succulents instead!
Which one of these upcycling ideas do you plan to make first?
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Morena from MorenasCorner.com is the kind of girl who would rather have paint on her fingers than get a manicure. Morena’s passion is using thrifted and inexpensive finds to craft designer inspired creations, and she enjoys creating colorful, bold pieces of home decor. The Italian-American daughter of two DIYers, she and her husband strive to pass the tradition and value of handmade to their four children.