Tips & Tricks

9 Upcycled Home Decor Ideas to Reuse Everything in Your House

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When Earth Day rolls around each spring, we tend to think of short projects we can do to decrease our environmental impact: plant a tree, walk to the store instead of driving, buying locally sourced produce… But there’s one way you can easily change your environmental impact, using stuff you already have: upcycling.

You’ve probably heard the term before, but what is upcycling? Upcycling is turning useless stuff into something useful. One of the most common examples is what happened to CDs after the iPod became a hit: they were crunched up into mosaics and used to make mini disco balls, mosaic tiles, and more. It’s a crafty, easy way to turn something no longer of value into something you can keep using.

There are plenty of easy, fun upcycling projects that can turn your old, unnecessary stuff into something amazing. Get started in making your home greener with these upcycled home decor ideas:

Turn Your Old Computer Monitor into a Kitty Hideaway

Source: Pinterest

Somewhere in your mom’s attic, there’s a classic, box-style computer monitor that hasn’t been touched in years. You could donate it to someone you dislike so they have the lowest-resolution computer known to mankind, or you could throw it away to sit in a dump for years to come. Better option: you can also upcycle it into a bed for your feline friend. Cats love boxes (which is why moving with them is such a pain), and a computer monitor is basically just a box with tech. Pulling the tech out of the computer is a fairly straightforward process, and the extra decor is optional. Catster has plenty of ideas for your favorite high-tech kitty to get your creative juices flowing.

Upcycle a Dresser into a Kitchen Island with Paint and Wheels

Source: AtMedia

Real kitchen islands are expensive to buy and to install, and when you move, you can’t take them with you. Mobile kitchen islands are an option, but for hundreds of dollars, they can be a bit out of price range. Instead of shelling out to buy something brand-new, find a dresser in need of a paint job at your local thrift shop, then make some easy adjustments and give it a fresh coat of paint to turn it into a perfect rolling kitchen island. Move it whenever you don’t want it out, take it with you when you move out, and save a dresser from becoming firewood.

Make a Bath Mat Out of All Those Extra Corks

Source: hz.ctdn

Don’t have any wine corks saved? Then this project is just another reason to pop open a bottle. With just a simple hot-glue gun and a collection of corks, you can make a sophisticated bathmat that’s the perfect accessory to a bubble bath and glass of wine. And if you don’t want to drink all the wine yourself, you can always ask a local bar or restaurant if you can take their collection off their hands.

Give New Life to an Old Side Table with LEGOs

Source: Fussy Monkey

There is no pain like stepping on a LEGO – except realizing that it’s not just one LEGO you stepped on, but your child’s entire LEGO mansion that they’ve been working on all day. Say goodbye to their pain and yours by turning your old end table into a LEGO station. Change the color of the table if you like, then break out your hot-glue gun and glue down a long “building brick” baseplate of LEGOs. Attach a basket for spare LEGOs by adding a nail and hanging it on the side, or if you’re using a doubled table like Fussy Monkey did, cut out a hole for a basket. Now you’ve not only saved your furniture from the dump, you’ve also saved yourself from stepping on a LEGO (something we can all appreciate).

Use Empty Cans to Make an Upcycled Cutlery Carrier

Source: HomeTalk

Did you know that Americans throw away enough aluminium cans to rebuild our commercial air fleet every three months? It’s a scary fact, but you can reduce it easily by cleaning your old cans and using them as planters, or taking it to the next level and building an adorable cutlery carrier for all your get-togethers with just a few extra items. Learn how it’s done and upgrade your kitchen decor game here.

Upcycle Bookends Out of Your Old Handheld Phone

Source: PopSugar

Talk about retro-chic! If you don’t have an old landline phone sitting around your attic, your local thrift store is sure to have a few. Phones are a particularly difficult item for the environment: they contain silver and gold, but we throw them away at an alarming rate (we throw away about 350,000 phones each day – and that number is just cell phones!). While old-school phones don’t have as much valuable materials, they’re still difficult to break down and reuse. So save a few from your landfill and add some color to your bookshelf with this tutorial.

Turn Your Crib into an Upcycled Desk

Source: Little Learning for Two

What do you do with a crib when your child has outgrown it? If you’re this ingenious parent, you turn it into a learning center for your children to enjoy. It’s cheaper than buying a new table or desk for them, and you can fully customize it by adding any necessary organizers wherever you like. You can even paint the bottom of the crib with chalkboard paint to turn it into a fun playtime activity center.

Up Your Style Game with an Upcycled Beanie

Source: A Beautiful Mess

Clothes are another thing Americans are particularly bad about reusing. Even when sweaters are cozy and cute, just a small stain can ruin the whole thing – so don’t let it. Make your sweater into a cute beanie to wear all winter long – if the photos above are any suggestion, your friends won’t be able to tell the difference. If you’re really feeling ambitious with your sewing skills, you can even turn your old sweater into a mitten-and-beanie combo.

Create a Bench Out of Old Kitchen Chairs

Source: Vicky Myers Creations

This might be the easiest furniture DIY project ever, and it’s perfect if you’ve found a few cute orphan chairs at a garage sale or thrift shop. You’ll need to break out your handyman skills with a bit of hammer-and-nail work, but it’s not any more difficult than that birdhouse you built as a kid at summer camp. This bench is also a great alternative to buying a brand-new bench for your entryway, or buying folding chairs for when you expand your kitchen table out for Thanksgiving dinner.

Ready to upcycle everything and get crafty? Dolly’s here to help. Our local pickup truck owners can pick up those orphan kitchen chairs from the garage sale or bring home that unique armoire from the thrift shop. Whatever your upcycling DIY project is, Dolly is ready to help make it a reality.

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