Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Confession #7: Upcycling is addictive

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So there is this word that is floating around the Internet: UPCYCLE. What is it? Well according to google definitions:
Upcycling is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher...
You had me at converting...
Anyway, I am going to give you some ideas (but don't limit yourself, there are so many you can do) on how to upcycle your otherwise trash!
Upcycle # 1: Old oil jar turned dish soap dispenser.
 I have loved buying in bulk since, well, I started buying in bulk. But the only problem with buying dish soap in bulk is that you don't want to leave the huge jar on your kitchen counter and you don't want to have to lift it from under your sink every time you need it. So my solution (since my husband threw out the little jar that I had kept refilling): take an empty olive oil jar, wash it out. I threw mine in the dishwasher and let it sit over night with hot soapy water in it. I peeled off the label, filled it with soap, and placed a wine/oil spout at the top. It works perfectly! And it looks nice on my counter.

 Upcycle #2: CD rack to blanket display.
 If you are like me than you don't own vary many CD's anymore. Everything is digital. So I didn't really need my CD rack anymore. And if you are even more like me, you have a lot of baby blankets that you don't use all the time but really like. This seemed like a no brainer. I turned my, otherwise out dated CD/DVD rack into a cute baby blanket display.

Don't have any blankets? Well, it works as a great shoe rack as well. We have one in our closet full of shoes.

 Upcycle # 3: From fridge to floor.
I don't use many tin cans in my house but when I do, I always save them. There are so many uses for them. My daughter loves putting things in and out of containers. I gave her this old tahini container and she played with it for hours. I also have one that has a lid she can't remove and I put beads in it. She loves making music with it.

Upcycle  #4: From boxes to boxes
When I moved back in may I was left with a whole bunch of really nice boxes (mostly liquor boxes from Rite Aid). I didn't want to just throw them out. After giving a whole bunch away to a friend who was moving also, I decided I would "upcycle" them. I needed storage containers for all of Liana's toys and I didn't want to buy them.
So I decided to make a fabric cover for my boxes. Step by step instructions on how to make your own fabric storage bin coming soon.

Upcycle #5 From trash to toys
I aquired a couple of trash containers from a friend and didn't need all of them so I cleaned on out and now it's a bin that holds off of our puppets.

Upcycle # 6 Glass jar turned vase

My friend was throwing out a couple of beakers she used for school and I jumped at the chance to take them. To me they screamed: plant holder!. But if you don't have beakers (which you probably don't) you can use pretty much any glass jar. The photo to the right has an old liquor bottle, perfume bottle and an old jar of olive. They are great for plant starts or you can leave the plant in there for a while and watch it grow.

 Upcycle #7: drinks turned mosaic
While I lived in the Dominican Republic a friend of mine and I collected beer bottles along the road (yes, there were a lot!) and made this mosaic out of the different colored glass. It was super easy and turned out really pretty.

Ok, I hope these ideas inspired you to want to go and dig through your trash. :)
This last photo isn't really upcycling but I just thought I'd let you see that you don't always need to go out and buy a frame for your photos. My husband and I traveled through Europe and wanted to display some of our memories. This collage worked perfectly, and it only cost us $1.35 (printing at shutterfly).
Kick off your shoes and enjoy. I would love to see what you come up with.

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