Do you have any items in your home that no longer serve their purpose? Before you think of recycling, consider upcycling them. It might seem like I’m talking about the same thing, but I’m not.

Recycling refers to turning an item that is no longer valuable to something of lesser quality. Upcycling, on the other hand, means that the materials are converted into something more valuable.

Question: Recycling or Upcycling?

If you’re interested in understanding better the difference between the two, keep on reading. You’ll find below 12 ideas of upcycled home décor that can inspire you.

1. Coffee Cans to Planters

Coffee cans can easily turn to planters with a little spray paint and a few holes in the bottom of the can.

2. Pickle Jars to Mason Jar Lamps

If you’re a pickle enthusiast, but don’t know what to do with all the leftover jars, you can turn some of them into mason jar lamps. You’ll need a glue gun, some insulating material, and a beautifully decorated lampshade.

3. Wooden Crates to Modern Shelves

If you’ve got some spare wooden crates and don’t know how to value them, apply a few coats of paint and glitter (optional), and pin them to the walls in your living room. They can stand fair amounts of weights, and you can use them as bookshelves or just a place for a flower vase.

4. Vacuum Hose to Door Ornament

The vacuum hose no longer works or has cracks in it? Add some glue, a few pine cones, some tinsel, and some Christmas ornaments, and you’ve got yourself a nice Christmas wreath (you can theme it differently).

5. Used Tire to Planter

In case you were wondering, mostly everything around the house can be turned into a planter. But the upside with tires is that they can hold more than one plant.

6. Vintage Suitcase to a Chair

An old suitcase that still looks amazing can be quickly turned into a fashionable chair. First, you have to open it and nail the wooden legs in each of the four corners. Then, keep it open, and fix some cushions inside, on both sides of the suitcase. Last, enjoy your fancy chair.

7. Tennis Racket to a Mirror

You can never have enough mirrors in your home, needless to say enough with distinctive design. Rip off the strings, and replace them with glass coated with metal on one side. The other side will be your mirror. Then, hang it from the throat upside down.

8. Old Piano to a Bookshelf

Upcycling old furniture doesn’t have to be boring. If you’ve got a piano that can’t be saved, here’s an interesting way to increase its value: cut off the legs, remove the strings, add a few horizontal trays and fix it on the wall. This way, you get a new bookshelf with a vintage touch.

9. Wrenches to Wall Hooks

The industrial style has come with one of the biggest blessings in design – improvisation. An old wrench can pass for a useful wall hook if you mend it and nail it to the hallway.

10. Bath Tubs to Sofas

This one’s not exactly the easiest item to upcycle, but it’s definitely worth it. Take an old bathtub and give it an asymmetrical longitudinal cut. Keep the bottom of the tub, three walls and an arm’s length of the lateral rims, and paint them with a color that matches the living room. Then, put a mattress or some cushions and enjoy your new sofa (you’ll love it in the summer).

11. Cheese Grater to Earring Holder

Did you run out of caddies for your jewelry? An old grater can work wonders for your sense of organization. All you have to do is apply a coat of paint, and dull the blades (if they aren’t dull already).

12. Wooden Chairs to Retractable Shelves

If you wish that shelves could magically appear when you need them, and disappear when you don’t, I’ve got good news for you. You can nail a folding chair to a wall, and unfold it whenever you need it. You can even paint it beforehand, to make sure it doesn’t literally look like a chair nailed to the wall.

Answer: Upcycle AND Recycle

If you weren’t convinced yet, upcycling and recycling are two sides of the same coin – both of them are sustainable alternatives to excessive consumerism and waste. At the same time, they are creative ways to step up your design game and build unique items for your home.

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