How To: Upcycle to Transform Your Old Stuff

Parveen ChandiAug 10, '22

Love being creative but want to spend less money in a craft store? Turn your trash into treasure by giving it an upgrade. Repurposing and upcycling unused house items ensures that nothing goes to waste, and it's a great way to get creative or turn a regular afternoon into a family fun day of DIY. Here are some of our easy to do favourites.

Wooden Bowl Lamp

Give a wooden salad bowl a new lease of life, transform it into a pendent light.

Wooden Bowl Light

  1. Use an electric drill to make a hole in the base of the bowl
  2. Gently sand the surface of the bowl (in the direction of the wood grain)
  3. Paint the bowl as desired (add a base coat too). Use a metallic finish paint on the inside of the bowl to help the light reflect
  4. Install the electric wire and bulb, and hang.


Dessert Pot Planters

Don’t throw away your used glass dessert jars, upcycle them into mini macramé hanging planters.

Dessert Pot Planters

  1. Thoroughly clean and dry the glass jars
  2. Fill with pebbles (for drainage), and add soil
  3. Next plant your tiny houseplants and succulent plugs, and water
  4. Hang with knotted twine of your choice


Printed Pillows

Update tired bed linen with colourful patterns to give them a new lease of life.

Printed Pillowcases

  1. Lay flat your pillowcase and insert a piece of card where the pillow would go. This will stop the paint transferring through to the other side.
  2. Take a patterned stencil and use non-toxic fabric paint to add the design.
  3. Once dry, repeat the process on the other side of the pillowcase.


Key Rack

Turn an old wooden box picture frame into a key rack. Ideal for hanging dog leads and lanyards too.

Key Rack

  1. Paint the frame as desired with paint suitable for wood
  2. Once dry, screw in hooks deep into the frame
  3. Add patterned paper and/or decoration to the middle of the frame (in place of where the photo would usually be. Ensure it’s fixed in place with glue.
  4. Hang as desired, and hang up your keys


Corkboard Wall Art

Remember the old corkboards from the 90s? Turn them into contemporary wall art and pin boards.

Corkboard Wall Art

  1. Cut the boards into hexagon shapes (or shapes of your choice).
  2. Mask sections of the cut outs that you do not wish to paint using tape
  3. Paint the relevant sections with colours of your choice (add patterns if you wish). Tester pots, or spray paint works well.
  4. Affix to the wall, display as you wish and pin on your photos and notes


For more upcycling and creative ideas, take a look at:

How To: Beginners Guide To Decoupage 

How To: Make A Bird Feeder

How To: Upcycling Garden Ideas

How To: Upcycle Old Garden Pots