Something Old to Something New: The Internet’s Best DIY Upcycling Projects

Upcycling is pretty awesome. Not only is it a way to reduce and recycle waste, it can also yield some pretty nice results. It's a fun way to get creative without having to stress over talent—upcycle DIYs are usually so straightforward that anyone can do them! So, next time you’re thinking about throwing that old bottle away, first think about how you could reuse it. Who knows, if you get enough of these going, you could even start to sell them and make a whole side-hustle out of your trash. Here are some of the best upcycle projects I could find on the internet that turn everyday trash to something stylish and useful:

  1. Maybe your parents have one too many dress shirts, your older brother left his banking job to pursue a Youtube career or you got a little too excited in the men’s section at the thrift store. Well, you can take an old dress shirt and turn it into a pillow case! The button detail is really cute, and it’s a fun way to bring a bit of color and texture to a room. This can also be done with a flannel if you’re feeling a little rustic.

  2. We all have tons of amazon boxes cluttering our rooms and houses. While we do try to reuse them sometimes, the ruined cardboard where you pulled tape off isn’t exactly aesthetically pleasing, and we often just end up tossing them away. This DIY takes one of these boxes and, dare I say, makes them cute while remaining functional. You can use this to hold all sorts of things, and the box works fabulously in storage cubbies. Plus, mini-upcycle: a bed sheet works perfectly for the basket liner.

  3. I personally don’t drink coffee, but even I somehow have a couple of these empty coffee cans lying around. They work fine for things like your Grandma’s sewing kit or some weird oversized spice container, but I think that these plant pots are far cuter. All you need is some spray paint at the minimum and you’ve got some really cute pots that even Joanna Gaines would approve of. You can also look up antique tin cans to go for that galvanized metal look, and a little bit of rope or twine can take this coffee can to the next level.

  4. Have you got old nail polish that isn’t really your color anymore? Or maybe your aunt got you one of those cheap nail polish gift sets for the holidays three years ago and you’re tired of it taking up space in the vanity? Nail polish actually goes a long way for DIYs, but the most creative one I’ve seen so far is this DIY pendant out of nailpolish. They’re highly customizable and very inexpensive, so get ready for a big profit margin with that artisan jewelry business you’re operating from your dorm.

  5. 5. Candle

    People usually think of cans and bottles for upcycling, but candles are honestly such a good option and I don’t know why they aren’t featured more often. Not only do you get to enjoy a Bath and Body Works candle that makes your life continue to smell like Christmas in February, but once you’ve burned that thing down to the end of its life, the glass can be used for a number of things—including a makeup brush holder or a vase. You can do a huge number of things with glass, including frosting, painting, tinting and turning it into a mirror. Maybe you’ve been looking for the perfect candle but can’t find it? Reuse the container and make your own candle!

  6. Pill bottles are really secure and compact, so they go a long way for DIYs. However, my favorite way to reuse a pill bottle is for hidden key boxes. Glue some rocks on it and bury it outside near the porch, and you’ve got yourself a discreet way to keep your keys accessible in emergencies apart from the under-the-mat or in-the-plant tricks. Still too obvious? The great thing about a pill bottle is that it’s small enough to fit in many places, such as a hollowed out cinder block, a knot in a tree or a bird house.

  7. It’s important to start making the change toward sustainable living, and I know how important proper skin care is. So, why not take an old shammy or some beaten up washcloths and make a couple of reusable makeup remover pads? These are really easy to make, and the best part is that you can just toss them in the wash when they need to be cleaned. Use one of the containers I mentioned earlier to store them or keep them soaked in homemade makeup remover.

  8. 8. Towel

    Swiffers are really cool and all that, but they’re so wasteful! Conversely, what isn’t cool is how ratty and stained your old towels are. Well, turn those gross towels into reusable swiffer pads. Not only do you eliminate waste, but you've found a great way to give those poor towels a second life.

Get creative with your trash! Next time you’re about to throw something out, think about how a quick Google search might tell you how you can reuse it.

 

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