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21 Ways to Upcycle Your Life & Your Home

 March 1, 2017
Andy in Budget
Have you ever been one of those people who stares at the trashcan wondering if you should throw something away? Some items can’t really be recycled and as much as you want to reduce your waste, some trash is unavoidable. However, there is another option...

Don’t throw away your trash, just reuse it. Or even better, Upcycle it! We've put together a list of the best, the most interesting, and the most transformative upcycling projects we want to try in 2017. Let's see if we can inspire each other to not only save money this year, but help the environment out at the same time too. 


21 Easy Upcycling Ideas


Room with upcycled furniture


How to upcycle your old clothing

I think we all have that pair of jeans or T-shirt that we just can’t get rid of. Or, we might have some clothes that aren’t even worth donating. So it’s either keep them stuffed in a box or drawer somewhere or throw them away. Well, it’s time to dig them out of wherever you put them.


  • Denim Bracelets

You can take that old denim and turn them into bracelets. Try out all kinds of style and colors and you could wear them, give them to friends and family, or even sell them online.

denim bracelets

Image: Etsy - amberhlynn

  • Denim Rugs

Your old jeans can also be turned into a new mat. This is probably one of the most unique mats you will ever own and that your friends and family will have ever seen.

denim rug

Image: Etsy - godsgirlrachel

  • T-shirt Bags

That comfortable t-shirt with the nice design that has a small hole or doesn’t fit anymore can easily be turned into a great bag for shopping or going to the gym.

tshirt bag

Image: Martha Stewart

  • T-Shirt Pillows

If bags aren’t your thing, you could try a pillow. That old band t-shirt you have could be your next couch pillow. That’s one way to make all your friends jealous!

tshirt pillows

Image: Better Homes and Gardens


  • T-shirt Scarf

If you have a variety of t-shirts in coordinating colors, you could cut them apart and turn them into a statement scarf.

tshirt scarf

Image: Etsy - EcoShag

  • T-Shirt Headbands

Those t-shirts you have lying around can be very useful. Hopefully, you have a lot, because you can even turn them into headbands!

tshirt headbands

Image: Etsy - CustomDesignsByAbbie

  • Zipper Vase

If you can use all your zippers for the projects above, why not try this. If you paint them and glue them onto a container, you could turn an ordinary item into something unique and fun.

zipper vase

Image: Etsy - Amalla Versaci

  • T-shirt Floor Rug

Still looking for another way to use those t-shirts? Why not upcycle them into a nice area rug.

tshirt rug

Image: Etsy - ekra


Turn trash into treasure with items around the home

If you have other fabrics or materials around the house, you could use them for these interesting and useful projects.


  • Pillowcase Garment Bags

pillow garment bags

Image: Better Homes and Gardens


  • Beach Towel Tote Bag

beach tote bag

Image: Martha Stewart

  • Tie Phone Case

Tie phone case

Image: Sarah Lipoff


Plastic bags are your upcyling best friend

We probably all have quite a collection of plastic bags growing in our homes. They are everywhere and it can be difficult to know what to do with them. Instead of throwing them away, upcycle them! It’s good for the environment and it could save you some money.


  • Plastic Knit Bags

There is a way to turn plastic bags into yarn, or plarn, as some people call it. Who knew? You can then use that plarn to knit various things, such as handy shopping bags like this one.

plastic knit bags

Image: Etsy - DawnesWeavings


  • Plastic Bag Doormat


plastic knit doormat

Image: Etsy - KJLSDesigns


  • Plastic Bag Basket


plastic bag basket
Image: Etsy - Sally Stokes


Repurpose your plastic spoons

Another source of plastic is cutlery. How many of you have a drawer in your kitchen full of plastic spoons and forks? Well, now you can transform them into something useful—something that most people would never guess you could do with plastic spoons!


  • Plastic Spoon Mirror


Plastic Spoon Mirror

Image: Addicted2Decorating

  • Spoon Candle Holder


plastic spoon candle holder

Image: Sarah Lipoff


Re-invent your wine corks

For all those wine lovers out there, these are for you. You might have quite a collection of corks that you don’t know what to do with. Here are two great ideas. Just don’t try these after having a bit too much to drink...


  • Wine Cork Mat


Image: Daily Danny

Image: Daily Danny

  • Cork Trivet

Image: Etsy - amyyoung570


Cool furniture upcyling inspiration

Maybe you need some new furniture around your house? Or perhaps you don’t know what to do with your old furniture? Take a look at these ideas to transform everyday items into some really awesome furniture.


  • Magazine Chair

Check out this cool chair! Take some old magazines, a pillow, and some straps and bam! You have a new chair.

magazine chair

Image: Selekkt

  • Suitcase Side Table 

Or you could use some old suitcases to create a nice table.

Suitcase Side Table

Source: Cupcakes and Cashmere


  • Drawer Cabinet 

If you have an old cabinet or dresser that needs to go, why not take out one of the drawers and put it on the wall. With a few adjustments it could be a great new shelf or bulletin board.

Drawer Cabinet

Source: Better Homes and Gardens


Upcycling is one of the best (and most fun) ways to help the environment and upgrade your wardrobe or your home. Take a look around your home and see what can find. You never know what might turn into a new business or your next great accessory! For even more ideas, and to save you a bit of money, check out our Etsy coupons on PromoPony.