Upcycling ideas for around the home

I am always looking for new ways to reuse or upcycle items, that are not needed for their original purchase, around my family home. My husband has been known at times, to call me a hoarder like when I keep pretty glass bottles or jars around the house. But, I don’t know, I just feel a little uneasy throwing out something that can be reused.

If you have a stockpile of old materials lying around, and you have a crafty hand, well then keep reading. Here are 3 ideas, as inspiration for D.I.Y projects, to upcycle something old into something new.

Old T-shirts
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I love the comfort of wearing t-shirts and over the years, more and more of them have accumulated in my closet. Most of them hold special memories making it difficult for me to donate them to charity.
Here are some ways to re-purpose your old t-shirts;

  • Make a quilt by cutting t-shirts into small squares in varying sizes. Make a pattern by assembling all squares in rows. You can choose the number according to your desired length. Sew and join the first rows of squares together following your pattern. Continue on until you eventually finish the quilt.
  • Make a dress out of a t-shirt for that special little girl in your life. There are many ways you can go about this, basically though you will lay your t-shirt right side up and on top of it put the dress pattern and cut. Sew all sides and fastened seam lines as well as the necklines. We love this sundress tutorial from the website Prudent Baby, which you can see by clicking on the photo below. Sure to wow, this is a wonderful handcrafted gift which will surely be appreciated.
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  • Make a stylish baby bib. This is really easy, and what a wonderful idea as a gift, or for you own little munchkin. You start this by tracing a bib pattern onto an old t-shirt, cutting it out and sewing up. Here is a helpful tutorial from C is for Crafty on how to make your own.bib2

Old drawers

My 4-year-old already have a set of old drawers sitting in the basement collecting dust. We used them when he was a newborn, and now they do not go with the theme of his room. My husband would prefer if I gave them away, however as stated earlier, that is not such an easy thing for me to do.

Here are some inspirational uses for old drawers;

  • Old drawers as an under the bed toy keeper.  Repaint an old drawer and place it under the child’s bed to tuck toys away. The website, I Craft with Love, has a fantastic tutorial on how to do this, which you can see HERE.
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  • Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 1.40.34 PMOld drawers as little one’s room organizer. Nail old drawers into the wall, paint it with color matching the room’s hue and voilà, you have instant organizers, above the floor, to keep your child’s books, toys, hats etc neat and tidy! We love this idea.
  • Another green idea, is to turn an old drawer into an indoor herb garden for a child to nurture and watch grow. As it is a herb garden, this is also a wonderful opportunity to teach children where their food comes from, and how to incorporate the plants into food you make at home.

Old bingo cards

Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 12.23.34 PMGrowing up in Australia, I remember seeing the older folk at the local town hall enjoying their chance to play bingo, and it was also a pastime I fondly remember playing with my brother and sisters while on summer holidays. Much laughter was shared over these simple cards.

There are so many different kinds of bingo cards out there, take the vintage ones, which are a part of a hard-to-find almost forgotten era. If you have some lying around, rather than throw them out or just letting them collect dust, why not turn them into handcrafted upcycled greeting cards, or name tags for presents. You can do this in the form of a collage with a scrapbook feel to it, like HERE. The bingo cards, shown in the picture above, would also make an adorable baby shower congratulations.

The main purpose of recycling is to reduce waste, and while it is better than just throwing waste in the rubbish-bin, it still does take a lot of time and effort for companies to recycle materials to be able to reuse them. Upcycling is more of creating new out of old in a D.I.Y sense, and what a rewarding feeling that is to see one’s ideas manifest without having to do much at all.

Thanks for stopping by Willy B Mum. Upcycling Makes the World Go Around.

3 thoughts on “Upcycling ideas for around the home

  1. Lauryn R

    These are all such great (and cute) ideas, thank you for sharing!! I love the idea of making a quilt out of all of your old t-shirts!

  2. Dorothy Boucher

    These are all wonderful ideas , I really love the drawer one, just thinking how my grandchildren could use them for not only there toys but maybe extra storage for shoes or there legos.


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