5 Easy Upcycling Projects

Upcycling is truly on trend at the moment, from repurposing old furniture to achieve that ever-popular vintage look, to creating something entirely new out of unwanted items you would otherwise throw away. The great news for the environment is that it's a form of recycling and every time another project takes place, a little of our planet's resources get saved. So, here are a few popular ideas for all abilities.

Jar pencil holders

A jar plus a little colour can make an eye-catching container for pens, pencils and almost anything else. This is a great one to start with because not only is it easy but it can also be used to store all your stationery, tools, doo-dads, and materials required for future upcycling projects. Just get hold of a nice-looking jar and some acrylic enamel paint, which sets hard and wears well on glossy surfaces such as glass and enamel, and get creative. Mugs, eggcups and almost any other old containers can be renewed or repurposed in a similar way; you could even make matching sets!

jars

Watch face fridge magnets

This is a particularly pretty upcycling opportunity. When a much-loved watch breaks one time too many and there is nothing to be done to save it, don't throw it away. Instead, transform it into an equally loveable fridge adornment by gluing a small craft magnet to the back. That way you'll always be able to remember that stylish timepiece that used to cling to your wrist, as well as all of the good memories it holds.

Old key wall hooks

No doubt everybody has that build up of old keys with no identifiable lock to go in. Maybe you've always kept them hanging around just in case, or perhaps you moved house and simply forgot to get rid of them. Either way, with a little bending and a strong adhesive, they make great wall hooks for coats and current keys, adding a lovely highlight to rustic-style furniture and white walls.

old key

Metal bin plant pots

From little waste paper baskets to old-fashioned metal dust bins, unwanted bins make great homes for plants. This is especially true of modern galvanised bins that don't rust, although a little browning can do a lot for the rustic feel of a patio or garden.   

Picture frame serving trays

Ornate picture frames aren't really å la mode at the moment. Minimalist simplicity and a turn to all things rustic mean that overworked gilding and fine Georgian decor, which used to surround so much art, no longer has a place in the modern world. Don't worry though, one place where a little chintzy opulence is still very much appreciated is the tea party. So take your old picture frames and your new tea parties, put the two together and voila! By replacing the old picture with a little patterned wallpaper and waterproof finisher, you have a classy, bespoke tea tray, not to mention an excellent conversation piece.

pic frame