A lot of avid upcyclers would vouch for the irresistible charm of a vintage suitcase. They are so beautiful and have a world-traveler vibe. This makes them perfect for a DIY upcycled project, like this chair. Old luggage can be found in just about any thrift store and can become so many lovely pieces of decor. They can often invoke nostalgia for a bygone era and symbolize a sense of adventure. Use that old suitcase to make a new, chic chair that will impressive your guests and spark joy in your home. Plus, it will keep that material out of landfills.
Since you have a plush suitcase chair now, it is time to upcycle the old, broken wooden chair into a stunning shelf! Befitting the most stylish of farmhouse or bohemian design styles, this shelf would look good on display almost anywhere. Buying a new shelf at the store uses unnecessary wood, energy, and money. You have everything you need to make a gorgeous shelf with just a broken wooden chair. If trees could smile, they would grin ear-to-ear to see wood being upcycled so spectacularly.
Have you ever looked at your pet and thought “you are so cute, you should be on TV.”? Well, upcycle a vintage TV and put that little furball on display! These upcycled TV pet beds are adorable and the animal companions love them. Whimsy meets practicality in these special pet bedrooms. They can be decorated to match just about any style. They can even redecorated again and again if your pet thinks it’s time for a change. It is such a creative way to turn trash into a sweet little treasure.
It may come as a surprise that disposable bamboo chopsticks are one of the leading causes of deforestation in China. Material for chopsticks is unsustainably harvested and then shipped across the world, only to be used once then thrown out. The carbon footprint on a single pair of chopsticks is massive. This industry has reached such a critical point that there are several proposed bans on disposable chopsticks. One company is upcycling these utensils into creative, minimalist home decor. ChopValue collects used disposable chopsticks and creates lovely art pieces and even game boards, like this cribbage board. Initiatives like this might one day save the bamboo forests.
The rise in popularity of single-serve coffee pods in recent years has given way to a new kind of plastic waste. The convenience of these cups overshadows the looming environmental impact that they pose. The good news is that you can upcycle those used coffee pods into great seed starting pots! They are the perfect size to get your little sprouts going before replanting them in the garden. There are lots of other fun things you can craft from them too, like bubble wands, confetti poppers, and even Advent calendars. If you get creative, the upcycling possibilities are endless for coffee pods.
An old mattress can be a burden to get rid of and feels like such a waste of material. Just because it doesn’t offer a comfortable sleep anymore doesn’t mean all those springs and filling should go straight to a landfill. You can make this really cool outdoor light with a repurposed bedspring. You could also use the filling to make throw pillows or seat cushions. The UK alone threw away 7 million mattresses in 2017. Mattresses are also one of the most commonly illegally dumped items. Their large size means that they take up significant amounts of space in the landfill. Mother Earth would definitely approve of upcycling your old mattresses instead.
Upcycle your stale mascara wands to help wildlife. You can clean them off and send them to the Appalachian Wildlife Refuge where they are used to groom animals. The brushes remove dangerous insect eggs and larva, as well as safely clean sand and other irritants from the wild friends. The dense, but soft, bristles are perfect for cleaning up wriggly babies without harming them. They are also perfect for cleaning feeding syringes and other small tools used to help orphaned and injured animals. I can’t think of a sweeter way to repurpose those old makeup wands than to give them to furry friends in need.
Getting rid of an old refrigerator can be cumbersome, but at some point, that appliance will have to be replaced. Instead of hauling your hefty hunk of metal and plastic to the junkyard, make something useful with it, like this cooler! It is conveniently already insulated and large enough for the top to double as table space. It is even easy to move with some wheels attached to the bottom. Dress it up with some appealing wood covering and you’ve got a good looking outdoor cooler for your next party.