If you’re looking to protect the planet, you might have already lowered your thermostat, bought a water-efficient showerhead or taken out boiler cover to ensure your heating system is efficient, but have you considered upcycling? Transforming old materials into something new is a great way to spend your time – particularly if you love anything a little creative – and could stop your household products ending up in landfill sites across the country.
Not sure where to start? Then here are several unique and inspiring ideas to get the ball rolling:
Turn Old CDs into Jewellery
Many of us download our music and films these days, but if you’ve still got CDs or DVDs lying around the house, you may be wondering what to do with them. As they’re made from non-biodegradable materials and tend to release nasty fumes into the air when incinerated, it’s best to reuse them when possible by turning them into jewellery! There are many ways to make your own pendants, necklaces and charms, so try your hand at a range of creative techniques and don some of the coolest accessories around! Homemade gifts of this kind also go down well, so you could even make a pair of CD earrings for a special friend or relative!
Make Your Own Corkboard
If you love throwing dinner parties or having a tipple at the weekends, there’s a good chance you’ve accumulated a host of unwanted wine corks. These can soon clutter up your abode, so why not turn these funny-looking bottle stoppers into a unique cork board? To do this, upcycle an old frame or go on the hunt for a decent one – there are sure to be plenty in second hand stores or charity shops. Next, cut some plywood to size (most DIY stores will do this for you if you have the dimensions) and attach it to the back of the frame before arranging the corks and sticking down with high-quality wood glue. It’s possible to create a whole range of funky patterns by cutting the corks different sizes – just make sure there are no obvious gaps.
Transform Old Furniture
Furniture can be expensive to buy, so it is well-worth revamping what you’ve already got! Painting, sanding and glossing can all make a big difference as can upholstering an old chair. To do the latter, unscrew the seat from the bottom of the chair and remove the existing upholstery. Place your chosen fabric the wrong-side up on a flat surface before putting the seat face-down on it. Cut round the material making sure there’s enough to fold over the edge of the chair before securing with staples – the fabric should be firm and tight. Once that’s done, pleat the corners neatly and staple them into place. Finally, trim off the excess cloth using a pair of sharp scissors, return the seat to its frame and you should be good to go.
Be Creative with Storage
The right storage and display units can neaten up your home and keep everything in its place, but you don’t have to invest in pricey equipment to get the job done. Instead, use old shoeboxes as storages containers and fill them with toilet roll tubes to create miniature compartments. Decorate all plain cardboard with pretty wallpaper and it’ll look more pleasing on the eye than you might expect. You could even decoupage old jewellery boxes and containers and use them to store an array of odds and ends. Empty bottles also make great bracelet holders and revamped egg cartons are ideal for storing earrings and other bits of jewellery.
Upcycling is a fun and creative way to protect the environment and save money. You might even be surprised how many things you can reuse, so it’s well-worth giving these ideas a go if you have the time.