Top 10 Repurposing Ideas for Giving Old Things a New Life

We live in a consumerist world, which means we buy much more things than we need. Therefore, we end up with a lot of stuff laying around the house that no longer serve any purpose. And we have trouble getting rid of them, especially if they have sentimental value, or if we think they might “come in handy” at some point in the indefinite future. That’s where our repurposing ideas jump in, helping you declutter and tap into your inner artist at the same time!

Not all of us were born with a creative bone, which is why we love Pinterest and any other platform that offers us inspiration. With a bit of patience and a few tools, you can find new purpose for your old things through upcycling. In addition to finding a new usage for old items, these repurposing ideas also add a lovely touch of creativity and coziness to your household. It’s not unusual for upcycled things to become even cooler than their original ‘selves’ were.

As with other things, upcycling is hard only if you never start practicing it. If you need help to get started, use our selection of 10 creative upcycling and repurposing ideas. You won’t be able to recognize your old things!

What Is Upcycling?

Taking up upcycling is not that complicated. It means giving new live to an item that you no longer need or want. This basic concept often includes a creative aspect, encouraging people to find beauty and usefulness in everyday objects. Sparking a revolution within this generation, upcycling increased the individual’s awareness of environmental responsibility. Combine our desire for “green” things with a slow economy, and the result will be a major increase in upcycling ideas.

From the wide array of green companies to a soccer mom’s kitchen, people around the world are looking for ways to save the planet and some money. Fortunately, upcycling helps you do both. But don’t be confused: Upcycling is not the same as recycling. When you put something in the recycling bin, it goes through an entire process. Plastics, paper, glass or metals – all of these have to be broken down before the basic materials are remade into something new. However, these new products are of lower quality than the original recycled objects.

The process is quite different when it comes to upcycling. You don’t have to break anything down in order to find a new purpose. While you may rework or reconstruct the original product in different ways, the materials remain the same. Repurposed objects are often equal or better than the initial products.

Repurposing Ideas

Today we learn how to repurpose everyday items – like rakes, tea cans, and shutters – and transform them into smart household solutions. It’s even better if you enjoy a good crafting session, because these genius ideas will take you on the ultimate artsy experience.

1. Garbage Can Planters

Are you a beginner gardener? Then you might still be in the dark about how much sunlight your plants need. Don’t worry! If you make your own mobile garden, then you can move it around to find the perfect sun/shade ration. All you have to do is attach wheels to some galvanized metal trash cans, and then fill them with your favorite plants and flowers.

2. Antique Cabinet

To create the most beautiful upcycled items, you need to see the beauty even in the old, damaged pieces of furniture. If you have a cabinet laying around that you don’t know what to do with (or you find one at a flea market), repurpose it as a charming bathroom vanity. Click here for instructions on how to cut the wood and install the plumbing.

3. Shutter Headboard

You can find so many new purposes for old shutters! They can even add visual height to your small bedroom. Just place the tall wooden shutters behind your bed in the manner of a headboard. If you’re looking for a coastal, cottage look, some fresh, light paint will do wonders. For an even more exciting look, alternate the colors of each shutter.

4. Ruler Rail for Kids’ Art

If you have kids, you probably also have plenty of rulers they don’t use. Take them out of the school supplies stash and turn them into beautiful art displays. Glue colorful clothespins to them and hang them on the wall. The clothespins will help you hang your kid’s drawings, art projects, and good grades with ease.

5. Vintage Jewelry Display

It’s tough to keep your necklaces and bracelets tidy and untangled. But the solution may be as close as the garage. It’s surprisingly easy to organize your jewelry with the help of a rustic rake head. You don’t have to buy fancy holders; just detach the handle and nail the rake head to the desired wall. The result is a unique and superb jewelry display — for free!

6. Ice-Cube Tray Snacks

Ice-cube trays can do more than freeze water for your summer lemonade. They also make great drawer organizers for loose items, as well as genius food separators for kids. This colorful and creative idea can be a hit at your toddler’s next birthday party. It allows kids to choose whatever snack they favor from the variety of food choices in front of them. Plus, the trays are stackable, which helps you save space on the buffet table.

7. Tin Herb Garden

Antique or new, tea and coffee tins are perfect for repurposing ideas. It doesn’t take much to them into adorable magnetic planters for little herbs. They save you counter space if you attach them to the fridge.

8. Shutter Table

Remember how we said old shutters are great for upcycling projects? This idea suggests you use the shutter as the top surface of a living room table. It’s one of the easiest crafts if you’re looking for a simple cottage design.

9. Repurposed Soda Crates

Are you kids’ toys always in the way? Use this handy storage solution for a cleaner home. Add casters to old soda crates to turn them into under-the-bed toy organizers. The sectioned compartments are perfect for storing Legos and other small toys, while the wheels make cleaning up a breeze.

10. Vintage Lunchbox

Don’t throw away your old lunchboxes. Put them to good use by turning them into clever containers. You can store and organizing all sorts of household items by filling them with home office supplies, electronic devices, or instruction manuals.

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William E. Eubanks

I'm one of the main writers on the site; mostly dealing with environmental news and ways to live green. My goal is to educate others about this great planet, and the ways we can help to protect it.

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