Easy ways to upcycle your rubbish rather than binning it

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Our world is changing and it’s more important than ever that we find new and innovative ways to help make it a better, more healthy and restorative place by putting less in our landfills. It only takes a little creative effort to find some amazing ways to recycle the things we already have in our homes. At the very least, you should think twice before throwing out any items that can be repurposed. Let’s look at some innovative ways to recycle and upcycle household items:

love this idea for using drawers

Picture Frames

All it takes is a little paint to make a frame look new again. Metal frames can be repolished to give it the shine it might be needing. Once you have the frame just the way you like it, you can display it in your home as a serving tray. Another option is to place a scented candle on top of the frame and use it as a centerpiece holder. Don’t forget to consider putting a photo or two inside the frame or add some scrapbooking paper for background character and colour.

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Shower Hooks

Instead of throwing these out, hang them up in your closet to help organise belts and bags, etc. You can use the loops to hold ties and scarves onto the wardrobe rail too. And when hooked onto a rail inside the door, you can use them to hang up long necklaces and accessories.


Don’t take your old furniture to the dump. There are too many things you can do with it inside your home. Turn old chests of drawers into buffet tables by removing the lower drawers and adding pretty storage baskets in their place.You can also create an amazing kitchen island this way. Not into baskets? Just add some character in the lower space with books, magazines or use it for storage. Just think creatively. You could use the drawers you’ve removed as modern shelving unit by painting them and arranging the drawers in different angles, similar to how many people use crates for wall shelves.

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Old Windows

These look adorable when distressed and used to hang on a wall. The window pane can be used to add word art using marker/paint or you could stick photograph behind the glass.

Leftover tiles

If you want to dress your dining table for a special occasion, just place some large tiles on your table as modern place mats.

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Tin Cans

These make handy organizers or storage pots. Just add some pretty paint, glue some ribbon around them or or stencil on a design and you have created some pretty containers to hold office supplies, makeup brushes, paint brushes, etc.

Baking trays

Don’t throw these away! Spray paint them and decorate the metal sheets, then hang them up as magnetic wall boards. Everyone will ask you where you bought them!

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With all these great ways to recycle your rubbish, there is no excuse not to recycle your stuff. Now that you’ve reduced what you are putting into landfill, you can feel good knowing that whatever rubbish you place in your bins couldn’t be used in any other way. Upcycling all these items into beautiful household decor also leaves you with a great sense of accomplishment and makes your home truly unique. Most importantly, you will know you contributed to making the earth a healthier environment by the choices you made. Please share your own tips for recycling and reusing junk below.

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Cassie Fairy

Cassie Fairy

Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle promotion studies. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

4 Responses

  1. I agree that knowing the type of waste going into the bins is important. I would not want to dispose of anything that would harm anyone or the environment.

  2. That’s a fantastic idea Lucy – such a great way to keep little ones entertained and keep all your stuff tidy while travelling 🙂

  3. For travelling with children (though at 60 yrs I use it too) and recycling:
    1. a roasting tin and a baking sheet, making sure that baking tray fits on top of roasting tin.
    2. Spray paint both (putting child’s name on is an option)
    3. Get magnetic strip (Poundland) and put on underside of baking sheet top and bottom. Idea is that it then stays in place on top of roasting tin but can be removed.
    4. Fill roasting tin with small magnetic toys, crayons/felt tips with magnetic strip on container so it stays in place. Colouring pages. Whatever is fun to travel with. You have storage and tray to work on. Could make bean bag base and hot glue gun on base of roasting tin.
    I keep my crochet stuff in when I’m travelling, pattern stays in place with fridge magnets.
    `Freecycle’ unwanted stuff too.

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