5 Up-cycling Projects You Can Do at Home

By Heather Gunn

We tend to use things for a while, and eventually throw them out or recycle them when they are no longer of use to us. While recycling is always a good option (for materials that are suitable) some things are trickier to get rid of. 

Something you can do at home is up-cycling! Up-cycling is taking something and using it to make something else, or making small changes so that item can have a new use for you. 

Here are some easy, at home DIY up-cycling ideas:

Mason jars 

Everyone seems to have mason jars around their home at some point and time. Mason jars are great for storing food and drinks, but they have many other uses.

Next time you find yourself not knowing what to do with your mason jars, try up-cycling them into home decor! They can be used over light bulbs to create unique light fixtures, or painted and used for storing makeup brushes or utensils! You can even make a hole in the lid of a mason jar, screw it back on, add a reusable straw, and you have an instant drink tumbler! Endless possibilities. 


If you’ve ever watched one of those home renovation shows, you’ve probably seen old shutters re purposed into a cool new furnishing piece. Shutters can be turned into a headboard, a table top for a new side table or coffee table, closet doors, and more. They are a really versatile item.

Wine Bottles 

You’re finished a bottle of wine – or two – and have the bottles lying around your kitchen or dining room. Now what? They can be taken to the bottle depot, or you can re purpose them! 

Try turning wine bottles into candlestick holders, or putting string lights into the bottles for a magical looking decor piece for your evening dinner parties. 

Gift cards

Getting gift cards for Christmas or Birthday presents is great, until they have been used up. You can recycle the cards, but why not try something different? Used plastic gift cards and old credit cards can be easily turned into things like guitar picks, earrings/jewelry, or keychains! 


This is another one you may be familiar with if you watch a lot of home design shows. If you have an older ladder (especially a wooden one), you can re purpose it into a rack by leaning it against a wall in your bedroom, bathroom, or living room. The ladder can be used to hang towels, blankets, or clothes, and it looks really rustic and cool in any home. 

Let us know if you try any of these DIY up-cycling projects! We will definitely be trying these out the next time we want to re purpose something. 

Power up the Planet is an Edmonton based non-profit aiming to reduce e-waste in our community. Find us here: poweruptheplanet.ca

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