A trendy new hobby amongst the DIY set, upcycling is actually anything but new. Upcycling, or transforming an old or broken item into something beautiful and useful, has been around for decades. In fact, both my post-Depression era parents who grew up on farms, upcycled a lot, but they didn’t call it that. It was just a way of life that rubbed off on me. While the practice of upcycling took a dive during the rise of consumer culture in the 1960s, thrifty, money-wise people still knew that the easiest way to save money was to reuse products until they couldn’t be reused anymore. Today, that still holds true, and has an added benefit for our modern times – increased sustainability. By transforming an old object instead of trashing it, you’re increasing its lifespan and keeping it out of the landfill. Plus, you’re not buying anything new, fulfilling the “reduce” of the Three R’s. There are plenty of sites and Pinterest boards devoted to upcycling, but I thought I’d help you get started by singling out some of my favorites.
If you know me, you know I love my wine! That is way I love this easy, simple, and wonderfully rustic, wall-mounted wineglass holder created from an old rake head. You can either cannibalize your old, rusty rake for this project, or take a look through yard sales. Either way, all you need is the rake head, a drill, and two anchor screws, available at local hardware stores. And voila! A neat visual piece to go on the wall behind your liquor cabinet!
All you need for this one is some old light covers (take a look at your local Habitat for Humanity Restore) and an old metal candlestick. Glue the candlestick inside the larger light cover, and glue the smaller light cover to the top of the candlestick. Upcycle That provides recommendations for the type of glue, as well as what potting soil would work well. While the description of the planter says succulents, I think this could work really well for air plants, too!
Not for the faint of heart, or those who are really attached to their vinyl! Upcycling records is probably best saved for albums that are too scratched to play properly, or that you never (ever!) want to listen to again. That being said, the process itself is quite simple, and requires no materials besides the record you want to mold, an oven safe bowl, a baking sheet, and an oven!
Time to bring out the big guns! This ruler-topped side table looks amazing, but will require more than just 20 minutes work. You’ll have to find a variety of rulers that are all the same thickness, and in order to prevent splinters, you’ll have to cover the top with polyurethane. But once that’s done, you’ll have a fantastic, retro-looking side table with some visual interest – all on a normally overlooked piece of furniture!
So what are your favorite upcycling crafts? Crates into shelves, corks into trivets? Let me know in the comments, and share your pictures on Facebook!