Repurpose and Revamp

Upcycling is the practice of taking unwanted or discarded materials and transforming them into new and useful objects. It’s not just a fun and creative way to express yourself, but it also does wonders for the environment.  Your upcycling projects can be as ambitious or as amateur as you like and tweaked to suit any budget. We’ve gathered simple ideas you can try out at home. 

Jewellery Wreaths

If you have broken stone jewellery or vintage brooches that serve no purpose anymore,  grab an embroidery hoop, cardboard, some sparkly felt fabric and strong glue, and get to work. 

First, cut the cardboard in a doughnut shape and make sure the size is the same as that of the embroidery hoop. Make your cardboard doughnut wide enough to cover the hoop and still have some extra girth. 

Trace glue all over the hoop and stick the doughnut on it. You should now have a cardboard piece that resembles an actual doughnut, with the embroidery hoop stuck to the back. Once dry, slather the top part of your cardboard doughnut with glue, and cover it with the sparkly felt fabric. Now stick your jewellery on the felt fabric with glue. Make sure the glue is completely dry before you pick your wreath up. The hoop at the back will allow your wreath to hang on to a nail comfortably, without damaging the cardboard. 

T-Shirt Tote Bags

Have a t-shirt in mint condition that fits you no more? You can make yourself a cute tote bag from that, all without sewing a stitch. Here is what you will need: a t-shirt, a pair of fabric scissors, a pencil, a ruler, and a bowl. 

First, use the scissors to get rid of the t-shirt sleeves. Next, place a bowl on the neckline to trace a deeper neckline with a pencil. Then, run your scissors on the pencilled curve. After that, mark out the depth of your bag by pencilling a line with a ruler at the bottom. 

Now take the scissors, get rid of the bottom stitch fold and make vertical slits at the bottom, stopping at your pencilled line. This is where you turn your t-shirt inside out, and tie knots and cross knots tightly, to get rid of any holes that the bottom of your bag may have. Then, turn it back out the right way, and you have a trendy, no-sew tote bag. 

Mason Jar Gardens

Whether from a previous jam making fad or because you loved collecting cute jars at some point, you have an extraordinarily large collection of mason jars and don’t know what to do with them. 

If you have a green thumb and like having plants in the house, get some jars, soil, a jute rope, decorative pebbles, and money plant seeds. 

Wash the mason jars and dry them. Add some pebbles to the jar first and then proceed to add soil. Once you have added enough soil, plant the seeds and water them. 

Now, use the jute rope to tie cute bows on the necks of the jars and wait for a beautiful green bloom. You can place these jars in different places around the house or add ledges on an empty wall to place them there.

Denim Pocket Organisers 

Upcycle your old jeans and stay organised with denim pocket organisers. You will need scissors, an old pair of jeans, ribbon or other fabric scraps, push pins and a pin board. 

Use scissors to cut a back pocket out of the jeans, making sure to leave the pocket seams intact. To create decorative fringe, leave an extra two inches of fabric at the bottom of the pocket, then slice the extra fabric into strips by making narrow, vertical cuts that stop just below the pocket seam.

Make a vertical, half-inch fold in the fabric along the right-hand side of one pocket, then cut a half-inch, horizontal slit about an inch from the top. Cut through the front and back layers but not through the edge of the pocket seam. Then cut a similar slit on the left-hand side of the pocket.

Thread a ribbon or another long, narrow length of fabric through the slits to create a strap from which to hang the pocket. Double-knot the ribbon or fabric to close the loop. Use a pushpin to hang the pocket on the pin board. You can store your keys, loose craft supplies, or even make-up products in it. 

By choosing to upcycle, you’re taking a stand against environmental pollution and resource depletion. This small act can have a big impact, creating a ripple effect that contributes to a greener future for everyone. So, the next time you’re tempted to toss something out, think about whether you could upcycle it into something new and amazing.