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What with global warming and rapid urbanization, recycling has become the watchword for the 21st century. It not only conserves valuable energy (yes, we are running out) but also brings to the fore the idea of reuse. Reuse is an important concept to keep in mind when charting a sustainable course for the future.
Home decor is an activity I truly take pleasure doing, present as it does a person with a plethora of ideas. And when you combine it with the implementation of recycling, it becomes ten times as fun owing to the aspect of personal contribution and DIY.
Following is a list of 50+ recycling projects that you can put to use while doing up your home.
30+ Recycled Projects That’ll Actually Transform Your Home
1. Chair Frame Sign Holder
The next time you have a broken chair in the home, there is no need to throw it out. Use the framework of the back to hold a signboard and hang it up on the wall.
Pro Tip: Cut the remaining wood into blocks, paint them and display them on your mantelpiece.
2. Glass Jar Vase
Use an old glass jar to serve as a vase. Fill it with water and put in fresh flowers daily. You can also decorate the outer surface with glitter and sequins.
3. Pet Beds using Briefcases
Refurbish an old briefcase to fashion a pet bed. All you need to do is line the insides with a comfortable mattress or a large pillow. You can even paint the outer surface a solid colour.
4. The Bookworm Knife Block
Why spring for a knife block when you can have one just as good just by placing a few books side by side? The knives will fit comfortably in between the pages of the books. Additionally, this is a great idea to inject some personality into your kitchen.
5. Bottle Cap Wind Chime
Upcycle old bottle caps and string them together to make a wind chime.
6. Tin Can Holders
Use tin cans to make vases to hold flowers, twigs and leaves. You can also use them as pencil holders for your desk.
7. Plastic Bottle Plant Holder
Cut a plastic bottle in half and use the basal end as a planter. Fill it with soil, and use seeds/ cuttings of your choice.
Pro Tip: Paint the bottle a different colour using acrylic or spray paint.
8. Plastic Bottle Pen Cups
A plastic bottle can be used in many different ways in the house. A bottle with a flat base can serve as a pen cup for your desk.
You can paint it with acrylics to make it look nicer. You can also cover up the exposed plastic with the fabric of your choice and decorate further with sequins.
9. Create a Quilt using Old Fabric
Pool together a sizable quantity of different fabrics in different materials and sew them together to make a beautiful quilt for your couch.
10. Tyre Seating
Old and worn tyres can be upcycled to make creative and convenient seating. All you need to do is fit a cushion onto the exposed grid. [Use a glue gun]
Pro Tip: Paint the tyre a different colour to conceal imperfections.
11. Nature Wind Chime
Nature walks are always a fun activity, what with everything that you come across and can collect- twigs, leaves, sticks and stalks. The next time you bring home an interesting collection, use them as the components for a nature-inspired windchime!
Pro Tip: Press the leaves in glass frames so that they do not decay.
12. Recycle Crayons and Use them as Desk Props
Making new crayons out of old ones is no biggie, and especially when one has on hand the opportunity to make gorgeous multi-coloured ones. Crush up pieces of old crayons and put them in moulds. Heat, and cool.
13. Paper Crafted Planters
Use old beverage bottles and/or food containers as planters. Over them up with paper cuttings using either handmade paper or magazine covers.
14. Plastic Bottle Terrariums
Plastic bottle terrariums are a good way to bring nature indoors. They do not take up too much space and are perfect green decor paraphernalia.
Pro Tip: Make sure you add moss and activated charcoal to the soil.
15. Straw Chandelier
A personal favourite, this DIY chandelier is constructed entirely of straws. Save up plastic straws and use them to construct a stunning plastic light fixture.
16. Globe Vase
Use an old globe, slice it up along the middle or more accurately, the equator and use it as a spinning vase.
17. Upcycle Old Jeans
Use old denim material you have lying around the house to cover-up old carton boxes and turn them into laundry baskets or storage cases.
18. Use Ice Cream Sticks to Create Wall Art
Instead of throwing out cardboard ice cream sticks, glue them together to make a pen holder for your desk. You can use paints and/or glitter to make it look more festive.
19. DIY Telephone Bookends
Gone are the days of landline phones. But instead of throwing them into the trash, you can use the receivers and /or the dial pad as bookends.
20. Fabric cushion covers
Sew yourself some unique cushion covers using scraps of old fabric. Use different textures and patterns. The best part? These covers are sure to be one of a kind.
21. Fabric Book Covers
Use old fabric to DIY custom book covers and spruce up your shelves.
Pro Tip: Do not hesitate to experiment with different textures like silk, velvet and satin.
22. Wool Sock Puppets
As with the leg warmers, you can use bits of wool from old jumpers to fashion a sock puppet for your Christmas tree, desk or credenza.
23. Suitcase Shelving
I am of the vehement opinion that suitcase shelves are something that every house should have. All you need to do is cut up some old suitcases in rectangles and squares and attach them to your walls. That is as simple as it is.
These shelves add personality to even the drabbest of living spaces.
24. Repurposed Shoe Boxes
Instead of chucking the box your new trainers came in into the trash, keep it around. Paint it a bright colour( yellow is my favourite) and use it as a storage box, a jewellery box, a magazine case, a tea sachet organizer or a windowsill herb garden base. The options are endless!
25. Guitar Plant Container
Put an old guitar you no longer play to use by reusing it as a cool planter for home-grown plants.
Hang it from a wall where it can be on display or simply prop it against a wall.
If you aren’t a good gardener, use a fake plant instead.
26.Plastic Bottle Light Fixtures
There are many ways to create light fixtures out of plastic bottles, each better than the last. You can use them as a container for string lights, cut up halves and arrange in a semi-circle for a tabletop fixture and even make a chandelier with rope and twine. The possibilities are endless and the results very satisfactory.
27. Salt and Pepper Shakers
Manufacture your own salt and pepper shakers out of old tin cans and plastic containers, or old spice jars. You can make yourself a perforated cover for the top with a metal sheet cut according to the given dimensions or you can just get yourself one at the local hardware store.
28. Plastic Bottle Wreath
This idea might require a little artistic ability to pull off, but makes for a very engaging activity. Use plastic bottles and string them together around a pre-existing circular frame made either of twine or metal wire.
Paint the bottles different colours for a more festive appearance. Add fake/ real twigs, flowers and other items as per preference.
29. Bottle Cap Curtains
Ditch regular cloth curtains and use bottle caps to put together a cool recycled one.Laborious, but very rewarding!
30. Plastic Bottle Vase
As elucidated in an earlier point, plastic containers make for great floral decorations. Use the same idea to make a vase out of plastic. You can make several of these and have them customized to different seasons.
31. Cloth Pouches made out of Old Clothing
Recycle your old T-shirts to make yourself cloth pouches you can use for grocery shopping. Not only will it keep you from unnecessary use of paper or plastic bags, but it also will contribute toward reducing textile waste.
Additionally, you can use them in the kitchen to hold condiments or simply as decorations in your living room.
32. Tin Can Coasters
Recycle old cans( soda cans or canned good containers). Cut them into disks or squares or ellipses and use them as coasters for your coffee table. You can use acrylic or spray paint to decorate them further.
33. Metal Cap Door Knockers
In my experience, metal bottle caps are always brightly coloured and striking. And what better way is there to recycle them than by incorporating them into door knockers?
Use a glue gun to form a collective cluster you can then attach to your door along with a rattle or a circular handle. Did you know you can make many crafts using glue gun?
34. Recycled Key Chains
Use your old metal paraphernalia (caps, chains, screws and bolts) as edgy key chains. You can also use parts of a used tin can for the same.
35. Fragrance Pots (Diffuser)
Instead of throwing away old perfume bottles, use them as fragrance pots. You can place in them a homemade concoction of herbs and essential oils. Place them in strategic locations around the house to ensure a lovely smell every time a breeze chances upon the interiors.
The idea of home decor has changed in the last decade, both in terms of application and implementation. Homeowners are branching out- preferring alternatives to simply buying things from a store. This is where recycling comes into play, because it gives one the chance to use an old item, and witness it in a new light.