How to Recycle Items Into Home Decor

Three Methods:Using Garbage for DecorMaking Use of Old Kitchen SuppliesMaking Crafts with Old Clothes

Home decorating doesn't have to be expensive. You probably have many ordinary items that can find new life as decorations. So before you donate or dump anything, look at it with a creative eye. There might just be a way it can become part of your beautifully unique home.

Method 1
Using Garbage for Decor

  1. 1
    Make a lighted garland with old yogurt cups. A cute garland can be made with 10 empty yogurt cups. You'll also need gold acrylic paint, small paint brushes, a string of Christmas lights with 50 lights, thick ribbon, tulle netting, and an X-acto knife. You can get these supplies at a craft store.[1]
    • To start, clean out the yogurt cups. You should also remove any plastic seals around the cups. Use the acrylic paint to paint the bottom halves gold. You may need to paint in two layers to get the color to stand out.
    • Cut about 80 strips of ribbon and tulle netting into 6 by 11 and a half inch strips. Alternating between and tulle netting and ribbon, tie bows along the wires of the Christmas lights.
    • Use the X-acto knife to cut a small "x" in the bottom of each yogurt cup. Push a yogurt cup through every fourth light. When you're done, you can hang your garland up in your home.
  2. 2
    Create a jewelry holder with a wine bottle. If you have an old wine bottle laying around, don't throw it away. You can make a jewelry container from the bottle. This can be a nice gift for yourself, or for a friend who wears jewelry. You'll need acrylic paint in your chosen color, gorilla glue, and an old salad plate.[2]
    • Clean the wine bottle and remove any labels. Then, pour some acrylic paint into the bottle and swirl it around until the inside is painted. Add more paint if necessary. When the inside is roughly evenly coated with paint, pour the excess paint back into its original container.
    • Coat the bottom of the wine bottle with gorilla glue. Then, glue it to the salad plate. Set aside to dry for a day and then use your creation as a jewelry holder.
  3. 3
    Use newspaper to make a lampshade. If you subscribe to a local newspaper, tossing old papers may account for a lot of your waste. Instead of discarding old newspapers, use them to cover an old lamp. For this craft, you'll need a lampshade, old newspaper, Mod Podge, and a foam brush.[3]
    • Use some scissors to vertically cut the newspaper into 1 and a half and one-inch strips. Apply a layer of Mod Podge to the lampshade. From here, apply the newspaper in strips until they cover the lampshade. Smooth out the newspaper as you go and trim any excess paper from the edges of the lamp.
    • When the lamp is covered, you should apply another layer of Mod Podge. This will give it a smooth, clean finish.
  4. 4
    Glue rope around tin cans to make storage containers. With some sisal rope and empty aluminum cans, you can make cute storage containers. Any kind of old can will work. You will also need a hot glue gun, scissors, and a plastic lid. You can use a plastic lid from something like a nut can as long as the diameter of the lid is at least half an inch larger than the diameter of the can.[4]
    • Begin at the bottom of the can. Apply a layer of glue around the can. Loop the rope around the can. Hold in place until dry. Then, apply another layer of glue around the can. Loop the rope up further, holding place, and let dry. Keep going until you reach the top of the can and then cut the rope at an angle and glue the end to the edge of the can.
    • Take the plastic lid. Apply glue all around the edge. Tie the rope around the edge and hold in place until dry. Circle the rope inward towards the center of the can, gluing it down as you go. When you reach the center, cut the rope off at an angle.

Method 2
Making Use of Old Kitchen Supplies

  1. 1
    Make cupboard handles with an old spoon and fork. If you have a spoon and a fork you no longer use, you can make a cute set of cupboard handles for your kitchen. At a craft or hardware store, get four aluminum screw posts. You should also get bonding glue.[5]
    • On one end of the fork, use the bonding glue to attach a screw post to the flattest area. Do the same with the spoon. Then, add another screw post to the other end of both utensils. Set the spoon and fork aside in a safe place to dry for 20 minutes.
    • Remove the existing handles from a cabinet in your kitchen. Screw your new spoon and fork handles into the wall. You may have to drill new holes in the cabinets to correspond with the new handles.
  2. 2
    Use a mason jar as a soap dispenser. Mason jars that once contained jams can be repurposed as soap dispensers for your bathroom. You will need to purchase a speed steel drill bit, which goes for about $10 at a hardware store, to do this craft. You'll also need a soap pump. You can use the pump from an old lotion bottle or buy a pump at a craft store.[6]
    • Mark the center of the mason jar's lid. From there, drill a hole in the lid big enough to feed the soap dispenser pump through.
    • Fill the jar with soap. Screw the lid back on. You should now be able to pump soap through the mason jar.
  3. 3
    Turn old glassware into fun display domes. If you have any old glasses, particularly stemless wine glasses, you can create cute display domes. Tumblers and canning jars also work well. Using an adhesive glue, glue a small decoration on the bottom of each glass. The decoration is up to you. You can purchase small figurines at a craft store, or use old knick-knacks from around your house.[7]
    • You can place these domes over a variety of objects. You can use old figurines, photographs, or any other tiny item you'd like to display. Leave the domes in areas on the house, like a buffet table, for display.
  4. 4
    Stamp gift wrap using wine corks. If you're making crafts around the holidays or a loved one's birthday, you can make a cute decorative wrapping using wine corks as stamps. You'll need some kind of craft paper or solid colored wrapping paper, an x-acto knife, acrylic paint, and glitter.
    • If you want to do a snowflake pattern, use the x-acto knife to carve four small triangles into the cork. If you want to simply use a dot design, leave the cork alone.
    • Wrap your gift in the kraft paper or blank paper. Then, dip the cork in the paint. Use scrap paper to blot off excess paint. From here, stamp your pattern onto the gift. Then, sprinkle the paint with some glitter. Let the package dry, and then decorate with a bow and ribbon as you wish.

Method 3
Making Crafts with Old Clothes

  1. 1
    Use a mitten to make a seasonal penguin doorstop. If you have an old mitten, you can use this to make a seasonal penguin doorstop. You will need an old black mitten, a needle and thread, a sewing machine, felt in orange, red, and white, Ziplock bags, two cups of sand, as well as a pair of sewing scissors.[8]
    • Turn the mitten inside out. Sew closed the thumb opening and then turn the mitten right side out.
    • Take your white felt and cut an oval shape out of it, about half the length of the mitten. Sew it onto the mitten, a few inches below the top of the mitten. Cut a triangle shape out of the orange and sew it just above the top of the oval. Cut out two small circles, position them towards the top of the mitten as the penguin's eyes, and then sew on the top.
    • Fill your Ziploc bag with sand and close it. Place this inside the mitten with the bag pointing upward. Then, sew closed the opening of the mitten.
    • Cut a long strip of red felt and cut frays into the edges. Tie this around your penguin's neck as a scarf.
  2. Image titled Recycle Items Into Home Decor Step 1
    Make a pillow with an old shirt. Pick out an old shirt you no longer use, as well as a pillow that's in need of a cover. You can make a beautiful pillow out of this old, discarded shirt.
    • Trace out the shape you want. You aren’t limited to a square shape, and in fact a small circular throw pillow may work best. You can use a pen or pencil to draw around the edge of the pillow on either side of the shirt.
    • Cut out your shape using sewing scissors.Then, pin the pieces together. You want the sides that will be the outside to be facing toward each other. This way, the seams will be invisible.
    • Sew seams along three edges and three-fourths of the fourth edge. When you're done, turn the fabric right side out.
    • Stuff polyfill stuffing, which you can buy at the craft store, through the hole that you left in the one edge. Make sure to stuff the pillow until you can’t really fit anything else.[9]
    • When your pillow is completely stuffed, sew the open edge shut.
  3. Image titled Recycle Items Into Home Decor Step 2
    Make a planter with an old pair of boots. Sturdy boot shafts work best for this project, but they aren’t essential. You can also use old rain boots. If there are holes in the soles or cracks in the rubber, that’s actually perfect, because you want them to drain a bit.
    • Drill a few holes in the sole. This is only necessary if the boots are still watertight. Make small holes and just enough to provide some drainage.[10]
    • Put something heavy in the bottom. You can use gravel, pebbles, or anything else that will anchor the boot while still allowing it to drain.
    • Fill each boot about halfway with potting soil.
    • Place one flower or plant in each boot. You can use practically anything that doesn’t require a lot of room for its roots.
    • Top up the potting soil. Don’t bury the roots too deep, especially if they tend to be shallow for that particular plant. You want enough to protect them.

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