Recycling may already be a common routine in your home, but do you upcycle? Rather than tossing out common materials, reusing them for other purposes can save you money and allow you to add small, affordable additions to your home. Plus, lots of upcycling projects are fun for the whole family!

Repurposed Windows

Repurposing a small window into a bathroom cabinet can create additional storage space and add to your home’s atmosphere. All you have to do is build a frame around it, add some shelves, and mount it to the wall. Depending on the style of your bathroom, you can paint the cabinet to look antiqued or finish it with a nice stain. If you have a large window that needs a new function, try painting the glass with chalkboard paint. It can serve as an event calendar, a meal planner, or just a space for the kids to draw on.

Pallet Projects

arm chairs made from palletsWood pallets can be made into tasteful pieces with a weathered look or a smooth stain, and their durability provides the opportunity for heartier projects—like a hope chest—that create storage space or additional seating with a decorative flare. You can also look at guides to build a pallet coffee table that range from easy to a little more challenging.  If you’re looking for smaller decorative touches, you can use the wood to make coasters for your dining room table, or you can cut out your family members’ initials and let the kids decorate the letters. Repurposed pallets are functional and fun.

Bottles and Jars

basket weaving around bottlesUpcycling bottles and jars is easy and convenient, and jar and bottle decorations are usually cheap. You can decorate wine bottles and use them as vases for your kitchen window or for a dining room centerpiece using some decoupage and magazine clippings or lace doilies. You can even use the corks to make homemade cork stamps. Small jar planters or plastic bottle planters are great for growing low-maintenance plants. You can add ribbon, lace, craft stones, and a tea light candle to a jar to set guest tables at a wedding. You can also use a jar to make a night-light.  If you want to make upcycling a jar even simpler, use it to collect spare coins. Your change will add up, and you will have more funds for upcycling or other home improvement projects.

Whether you’re looking to reuse a large object such as a window or a pallet or a smaller piece like a wine bottle or glass jar, the opportunities for upcycling are endless. Before you throw out that growing collection of wine corks, consider changing its destination from a landfill to a place in your home where the corks can serve a useful purpose.

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