Upcycling Ideas – From Old To New


Upcycling offers the possibility to make new individual favorite pieces from old things. You can find ideas for upcycling furniture and decoration here.

What Is Upcycling?

The word “upcycling” is a combination of “up” and “recycling” and describes a process in which old, useless or broken things that would otherwise end up in the bin are made usable again by upgrading them.

The idea is not to follow instructions, but to create something new from materials that are already available. With the growing enthusiasm for sustainability and eco-friendly consumerism, upcycling has become a trend. In the following, you will find ideas and instructions for DIY. How to create eye-catchers for your home and garden with simple means from old furniture, discarded clothing, or packaging.

Upgrading Old Furniture

Old furniture can be given a new look in many ways and with few materials: You can create the popular shabby-chic style by painting the furniture with a completely new coat of chalk paint or giving it a color gradient. Sparingly used geometric color accents also attract attention. If you prefer to tinker, you can also use foil instead of paint.

old furniture1

Which is available in a wide variety of designs and is easy to stick on. The new-old piece gets the finishing touch with a light installation. For this, you either install light bulbs with a socket or make your piece of furniture shine with LED backlighting.

New Furniture From Crates And Pallets

Pallet or crate furniture has also gained popularity with the upcycling trend thanks to its industrial charm. New pieces can be built from pallets and crates. Such projects are usually easier to do because the already assembled parts create a simple basis.

box and crates

Sophisticated instructions are therefore usually not necessary. When using old crates, pallets, and other materials for your projects. Make sure that the components are not contaminated with harmful substances. You are on the safe side with furniture pallets or boxes from the DIY store.

Do-it-yourselfers see potential projects in household objects: Old ladders, for example, can be beautified and used as coat racks or plant shelves. For example, you can use old clothes that are no longer used to sew individual DIY overlays for new and upgraded furniture.

Decorative Ideas With Upcycling

But it’s not only old furniture that looks good again with the right treatment. Even everyday objects that would otherwise be thrown away can be given a new life as decorative elements with the right idea and a little effort.

Upcycling Decoration From Glass

Glass is a versatile material and, with the right idea, is particularly suitable for handicrafts. Old glasses do not necessarily have to end up in the glass rubbish, but can be used perfectly for DIY ideas. Glass achieves a particularly beautiful effect in combination with light.


For example, you can use old preserving, jam, or mustard jars as lanterns and fill fancy wine or champagne bottles with fairy lights. In the case of battery-operated fairy lights, let the batteries disappear in a small bag attached to the neck of the bottle. You can also use old bottles as flower vases. A jam jar that has been painted opaque becomes a chic cutlery holder.

Fall Planting Ideas

Even if you don’t want to use pots from the DIY store for planting, upcycling is a good idea. Many things are suitable as DIY planters, even old milk cartons can be used for handicrafts and are ideal as recycling material.


You can find instructions on the internet. Tea cans, watering cans, rubber boots, sawed-up barrels – there are almost no limits to your creativity. If the plants are not indoor plants with a separate inner pot or water plants. Make sure that there is a drain through which excess water can run off.

Why Upcycling Is Important

Upcycling is the process of repurposing old or used items and giving them new life, rather than discarding them and buying new ones.

There are several reasons why upcycling is important:

Saves Resources: Upcycling can help reduce the demand for new resources. Such as raw materials, energy, and water, needed to produce new products.

Reduces Waste: Upcycling can help reduce the amount of waste that is sent to landfills or incinerated. Which can have a negative impact on the environment.

Promotes Sustainability: Upcycling is a sustainable practice that can help reduce the overall environmental impact of consumption.

Creates Economic Value: Upcycling can create economic value by turning old or used items into new products that can be sold or used again.

Encourages Creativity: Upcycling can be a fun and creative way to repurpose old items and give them new life.

Upcycling Ideas for Students Easy

Here are a few easy upcycling ideas that students could try:

Turn an Old T-Shirt into a Tote Bag: Cut the sleeves and neck off of an old t-shirt, and then cut the bottom seam to create a long rectangle. Sew the sides together to create a bag, and then add handles by cutting two strips of fabric from the sleeves and sewing them to the sides of the bag.

Make a Pencil Holder from a Tin can: Clean and dry an empty tin can, and then decorate it with paint, stickers, or other embellishments. Use it to hold pens, pencils, and other supplies.

Turn a Milk Carton into a Plant Pot: Cut the top off of a milk carton, and then decorate it with paint or other embellishments. Fill it with soil and seeds, and then water regularly to help the seeds grow.

Create a Lamp from a Jar: Fill a jar with small battery-operated lights, and then decorate the outside with paint, stickers, or other embellishments. Place the jar on a table or shelf to create a soft, glowing light.

Make a Bookmark from an Old Card: Cut a strip of cardboard from an old greeting card or business card, and then decorate it with paint, stickers, or other embellishments. Punch a hole in the top and add a ribbon or string to use as a bookmark.

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