7+ Upcycling Projects That Made Treasure Out Of Trash

Brittany Rae 5 Feb 2020

Guys, we as a society have to create way less trash.

One way we can utilize the trash we already have? Arts and crafts, of course. These ingenious hackers have given new life to things the rest of us might have thrown away. Let's get inspired, shall we?

1. Turn a plate into a clock.

Crafty and their beautiful, crafty brains put together a wall clock that anyone can make.

Using a large, plastic plate (painted to the color of your choice), drill a hole, make some homemade numbers (or cute moons) and add a clock kit from Amazon! Boom, an instant new clock that you can brag you made yourself.

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2. Use burned-out lightbulbs to make beautiful art.

Leaning Into The Journey

Lightbulbs are incredibly hard to dispose of, so why bother? Instead, create a hanging art piece in your windows with some upcycled hot air balloon light bulbs.

Let Rachel at Leaning Into the Journey teach you how to make them!

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3. Oh these? They began life as Christmas lights and pop bottles.

Oh Oh Deco

Can you even believe? To make this hack a reality, cut the top off off a large soda bottle. Then, cut a hole at the bottom. Thread the lights through the bottom, and wrap it in paper!

As Amaryllis at Oh Oh Deco notes, only use LED lights for this hack. Regular ones can overheat and become fire hazards.

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4. Create tiered storage out of old cans.


How cool is this idea? And it's totally customizable to your taste! (I would paint them gold, but that's me.)

Check out this tutorial on Instructables and get to craftin', everyone!

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5. Upcycle your leftover wrapping paper into a gorgeous necklace!

Did you know most wrapping paper actually isn't recyclable?

The creative team at Crafty found a genius way to upcycle your leftover paper! No landfills were harmed in the making of this craft.

Using mod podge, cord, and cute gold charms, you can turn what you'd normally discard into a piece of wearable art. Nice.

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6. Use aluminum cans to make your own cookie cutters.

Wonderful DIY

I mean, cookie cutters are already aluminum. Why not use the aluminum you have at home to make your own custom shapes?

Get the instructions here, and then figure out how to make a Baby Yoda cookie cutter. Please. For me.

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7. Turn plastic bottles into travel pouches.

Make It-Love It

This hack is so easy! Pick up some zippers (you can find some cute ones at the dollar store) and get to crafting with some leftover bottles.

These would make great containers for leaky pens, like acrylic or watercolor pens!

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8. Create a handy organizer out of cans.

Madame Criativa

The shine of the enamel paint on those cans is what makes this upcycle so special. It's more than just some cans with paint on it — it looks like a gorgeous glass piece!

Get the instructions here.

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9. Spoons + glass jar = spoon lamp.

Future Now

Plastic utensils are sometimes necessary, make no mistake. But if you have no use for those plastic bits that come with your food deliveries, hold on to them — you can make a lamp out of them!

If you're a Game of Thrones fan, you could take this one step farther and turn it into a dragon egg lamp.

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10. Recycle old mugs into storage.

Home Road

If you have some beloved mugs that have seen better days, give them new life!

Using this tutorial, create storage — or even planters — for your essentials. You can totally use this with any type of mug, so don't think you're limited to a rustic-looking aesthetic!

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11. I need a millennial to do this hack.

Crafty Arty

Shampoo bottles come in tons of shapes and colors, which makes them infinitely hackable.

The need I feel to see someone do this hack and use it as legit home decor on Tik Tok is very, very strong.

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12. Turn leftover paper into a chandelier.

How sweet is this? If you kill every plant you touch, you can turn any leftover paper, wrapping paper, or even old shampoo bottles into a gorgeous chandelier.

Those pink monstera leaves? I need those as earrings.

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13. Make a wall organizer out of leftover bottles.

Homey Oh My

Styling is everything. This hack could look cheap — but the genius of Homey Oh My's hack is in paying attention to colors and hardware.

Hanging these shampoo bottle organizers on a stylish knob will immediately upgrade them!

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14. Spray paint your heart out.

The Painted Hive

Do you have a bunch of mismatched glassware that you want to donate? Or smash?

Hit pause on that one. Instead, get out some spray paint and follow these instructions from The Painted Hive to make yourself a whole new bathroom set!

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