Upcycling – refreshing and reusing items for something other than their original purpose – is not only a great way to save money and save the planet, it’s also a hot trend in home décor. Articles, blogs, and videos on the topic abound, and Pinterest is chock full of ideas. You can literally find an option for just about any item you want to upcycle. As we head into yard sale and home refresh season, it’s a great time to see what’s trending on the upcycle front.
One of this season’s hottest DIY upcycle trends is using outdoor items and building materials inside the house. Shutters, barn doors, and architectural doors are incredibly popular as they can be used to create headboards, tables, bookshelves, and more. Hand tools such as wrenches make creative handles for drawers and doors, while door knockers can become statement pulls on a bathroom vanity. Gardening implements are big now, too. A rake head can become an interesting necklace or utensil holder, and a shovel head makes a great stool seat, as does a vintage tractor seat. And FYI, chicken wire is now decorative, especially when stretched in a frame to create an earring hanger or used under glass in a coffee or console table.
To make room for all those unique outside in ideas, we’ll have to toss a few inside items out – right into the yard. Repurposing vintage glassware is huge these days, so stock up on a great glass adhesive. Teacup bird feeders, teapot windchimes, and yard art flowers created from stacked trays, dishes, and bowls dominate the upcycle sites. Light fixtures are big, too. Old light globes make great planters, vases, and gazing balls, while brass chandeliers get new life when repainted and paired with candles. Want to combine the two? Chandelier plus teacups plus candles equal upcycle success. Need inventive planters? Try wooden CD racks or decorative colanders. Have an old wooden bed frame? Create a garden bench.
Children’s furniture and accessories are always in high demand, and some of the most inventive furniture upcycles focus on kids. One of the most popular projects right now is a play kitchen created from a bookcase, small dresser, or entertainment center. This is a really flexible option as you can find a convertible piece of furniture in just about any size you need. Plus, you can attach casters to the bottoms of any drawers you remove and turn them into kid-friendly under-bed toy storage. The knife-block-turned-art-supply-station is another top option, as are Lego stations made from two-tier end tables. And if your “kids” have four legs, you can find pet beds made from end tables, small entertainment centers, and the cabinets from old, console-style televisions.
Jazzed Up Junk
Looking for creative ways to use leftover food containers? We’ve progressed well beyond soup-can garden luminaries these days, too. Wine bottles become tiki torches, screw-top jars pair with door pulls to create apothecary jars, and cans can become anything from clocks to mugs and desk organizers to pendant lights. Plus, the sheer number of kid’s crafts involving the ever-present toilet paper and paper towel rolls is truly astounding – and may save your sanity one rainy summer day.
Whatever you’re trying to reuse – or create – a quick Google or Pinterest search can yield upcycle gold. So before you toss that creamer bottle or haul that old coffee table to the thrift shop, take another look to see if a little elbow grease and paint could turn a reject into your newest treasure.