Years ago, the word “repurposing” brought to mind the old tractor tire my grandma and grandpa painted silver and placed in their front yard as a planter. I don’t know if they thought of their tire-turned-planter as “repurposing,” certainly not as “upcycling.” I can see my grandpa scratching his head and asking, “What the heck does that mean?” All that mattered was that they had the prettiest petunias on South New Street, and my grandpa was proud that he’d created a cool flowerbed for my grandma to show off her posies. They’d turned a tire into a personal treasure.
In the spirit of that silver planter, here are some upcycling ideas I’ve stumbled across recently. Most of them are more functional than beautiful (sadly, no tires are involved):
3. If you brown bag it, CD packages serve as a perfect bagel sandwich holder.
5. Make great use of narrow wall space by converting an old window shutter into a decorative and functional message center/organizer. Secure messages, keys, mail, artwork, photos and school permission slips with clothes pins and it will be easier for your family to stay organized.
6. Silicone ice cube trays make great organizers for your desk, craft room, jewelry or tool box.
7. Cereal boxes covered with wrapping paper make pretty magazine holders.
9. Place a tension rod under the kitchen or bathroom sink and hang cleaners from it.
11. An old doll house makes a unique storage shelf in the laundry or bathroom.
12. Create a vintage-looking bottle. This was a Crown Royal bottle painted (three coats of paint – first, paint it black and then finish with two coats of a sea green color); sand lightly to give it a distressed look.
13. Make a wine cork coaster: Gather enough corks to make the size coaster you desire. Cut a standard-size cork in half so it’s not too tall. Using a hot glue gun, glue the corks to each other in a circular shape. As the finishing touch (and to hold them all together), glue a pretty ribbon around the cork bundle.
14. Have instant fun with a portable magnetic Tic-Tac-Toe game made from an Altoids box.
Do you have any upcycling or repurposing tips or projects? Or what’s your favorite project here? One person who posts will win a book from my backlist – your choice. Can’t wait to hear about your ideas and personal favorites!