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30 Aug

10 simple, yet genius up-cycling projects to do at home

If lockdown has taught us anything, it’s made us look at our hobbies and interests that we can carry out in our home. If you’re anything like me, you may have felt pretty useless just sat on a computer indoors. Social media has been awesome at reminding us that there are people out there that are super crafty and creative when it comes to staying at home and keeping busy.  

So, if you’re not quite prepared to get the paints out or learn the craft of knitting, here’s one that can benefit your well-being, creativity and improve your home life: the art of upcycling. You know the saying: What is seen as trash to one man, can be seen as treasure to another. However, you may not feel like sifting through second-hand stores or market stalls right now.  

If you wish to bring to life a bit of diamond in the rough that you have in your own home, it’s totally worth giving a go. You can’t lose, as almost any item in the home can be improved and worked on. It’s a fun skill to practice and if you find you have a knack for it, you’ll save some serious cash when it comes to sprucing up your home.  

Do you need a bit of inspiration before you start buying the paint and snooping around your home? Take a read below of 10 genius upcycling tasks to have a go at… 

Wine corks and bottle stoppers

If you love wine (who doesn’t?) and tend to have a bit of a wine cork collection going on, here’s how you can get crafty. Purchase an array of gems and stones; you should be able to buy these from craft stores or online accessory stores. Take some hot glue and stick the gem stone onto the top of the cork; You now have stylish, fancy looking bottle stoppers to stick into your bottles when you have guests round (they also make great homemade gifts, and you’ll save money buying a fancy crystal bottle stopper!). 


Tin cans into pretty pots

Hold off before you take those tin cans to the recycling! Decorated tin cans make the quirkiest pots for house plants and grow-your-own herbs, that you can customize to the theme of your home.  Rinse the tin completely clean and file away at the sharp edges, then take wallpaper, wrapping paper or brown paper and measure to fit around the tin, carefully snipping away. The double-stick tape will secure it into place or you can invest in some paints and design your own potdepending on how good you are with your hands!  

Luxury ice bucket

Want a fancy ice bucket to chill your wine, prosecco or champagne at home? Don’t throw away a used and empty paint pot! Clean the paint pot fully and strip it of any old paintSoaking it overnight in warm water and later using terpentine to remove stubborn paint, which usually works a treat. Then, invest in some metallic gold spray paint and spray the entire can, ensuring all handles and the inside are covered. Next, take a gold and white wallpaper sheet (or wrapping paper sheet) and measure to the length and width of the paint pot. Use a spray adhesive and stick firmly down, using a knife cutter to sit around the handle. Spray with a clear coat to protect the paper.  

Then, fill with ice and dunk that prosecco inside! Full tutorial and images from HeyLetsMakeStuff 

Mirrored Candle Tray 

Do you have an old mirror that you don’t want on the wall anymore? Why not turn it into a stunning candle tray! If you haven’t got a round mirror in the right size, you can often pick them up for cheap at charity stores.  

Then comes the fun bit: transform the mirror into a striking, premium looking centrepiece for your coffee table or dining table. If the mirror comes with a frame, paint it in whatever shade you like with a Mineral Paint in a raw silk finish. Then, dry brush over the top with a little bit of chalk paint in a ‘coco’ shade to add an antique effect. You can choose whatever colours you want of course and there are plenty of tutorials on YouTube.  


Pallet Wall Bar

Looking for a creative, practical and modern way to display your favourite tipples? Why not upcycle an old wooden pallet into a wall bar! The rustic home trend is huge right now and it’s fairly easy to do, once you get your hands on an old wooden pallet. First, find an old wooden pallet to transform into a modern rustic shelf. By cutting grooves for the lower rack where possible, you can hang glassware upside down. Then, a wooden plant running on top of this can be a place for your bottles to sit, similar to this design sold on Etsy. Farmhouse chic made easy!  


Denim Storage Baskets

Create baskets for the home from worn, old denim jeans, which will look both decorative and extremely practical for holding bits and bobs! The denim finish looks better than plastic and is also a much more sustainable way to keep your home organized. If you’re a coffee bean fan, it’s also a chic way to store coffee beans. You’ll just need a pair of old denim jeans and a sewing machine, to turn the denim inside out and stitch into a bag shape. 

Take inspiration from these denim storage bags from Etsy. 

Wine bottle hanging lamps

Another wine-themed one! Utilise a used, empty wine bottle and transform it into a hanging pendant light. If you follow the simple DIY tricks and already have the electrics for hanging light bulbs, this can look super modern and classic. For a step by step, watch this YouTube tutorial here.  

Wine bottle pendant light as sold on Etsy. 


Rope-Covered Desk Organiser 

Have a home office or a work-from-home desk which needs a handy storage unit for your pens, pencils, scissors and whatnot? Start saving your cans (tin cans preferred!) and upcycle them into smart and sassy rope-covered desktop organisers. Get hold of a roll of rope, cover the cleaned-out tin with a strong adhesive, and start wrapping the rope around the tin from top to bottom. 


Craft vintage vase

Holding onto lovely-looking glass bottles or tall glass jars? Don’t recycle them just yet – try upcycling them into vintage looking vases first! For a country-esque look, simply wrap your glass bottles with rustic twine or a little bit of pretty lace and secure loose ends with glue. Fill with vase or glass jar with wildflowers from the garden for a rustic, vintage look.  


Clothes Peg Fridge Magnets

Do you have a mismatched looking fridge with an array of old, tacky fridge magnets collected over the years? Instead, upcycle a handful of clothes pegs you have in the home. You can either paint them all in the same colour, or apply a coating of glitter paint to give them a touch of sparkle. Next, place strip magnets to the sides of the pegs and glue into place. Then, you can attach photographs, quotes, reminder notes – anything you need for your fridge in a stylish, creative way.  

What are you waiting for? Take a look around your home and start getting your crafty head on!  

Emma Campbell
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