How To Create Useful Items Out Of Recyclable "Junk"

Recycle used items and turn them into something else

This a great way to not only help the environment go 'green' but it is a great hobby for you to start and you could hopefully start up a business selling your recycled items. This came to me a few weeks back when I visited someone in Sandbach, UK. We took a visit to a Garden Centre in Trentham and they had an array of shops that were all unique and had their own personalities and qualities to them. In this one particular shop we went in, they sold all re-recycled items, which I thought were fantastic.
Also the people who we visited were making their own recycled items to eventually sell online in the future. The things you can make are just fantastic and with the right euipment, knowledge and enthusiasm anyone could do this! This way you can use unwanted "junk" in your house and turn it into something that will be useful for you!

What items to recycle

There's many junk items you can recycle, think of things your would normally recycle at home such as:

  • Newspaper
  • Glass bottles/beer bottles
  • Plastic carrier bags
  • Old jeans

and that's just to name a few, these are probably the most useful things you can use to make into something else. All these unwanted items can all be made into more useful items that can be used around the house or even to be sold online to make yourself a little extra cash!

So what can you make out of these items?

Okay so in this shop I mentioned earlier, they sold bowls, bags, baskets and other items made out of newspaper/magazines. Now maybe you wouldn't want these in your house personally, but there is a good chance other people might. So this a good starting point for your recyclable business. I'm sure you have plenty of magazines and newspapers scattered around your house, or you can buy them cheaply from markets and car boots.
Unlike newspapers, magazines come in color and would make a perfect handmade recycled item, on the other hand newspapers are mainly black and white, which is still good, because others might not like the idea of having brightly colored homely items.

Glass bottles/beer bottles
This is quite a different thing you do, this was another item I saw that was made in the shop I mentioned. They had made cups, glasses, beakers, candle holders and vases out of empty beer or glass bottles. If you have to right tools and equipment to do this with, they can turn out rather neat. It will save you going out and buying glasses when you can just make your own from empty glass bottles!
These would sell quite well if you were to start your business as it is part of 'art deco' which is becoming widely popular with different array of decorative ornaments.

Plastic Carrier Bags

This an interesting object on which you can recycle in to useful things. As you all know plastic carrier bags are damaging to the earth, and are non-degradable... so the useful thing would be to make something out of them! You're all probably thinking, what can you make out of carrier bags? Well you could make more bags...
Yes, making bags out of bags seems silly but it's not. Carrier bags can come in all sorts of colors and sizes, so it's perfect for making your own unique shopping totes, make up bags or holiday bags.
There are a couple of ways you can make these and they are 1) You can knit together pieces of the carrier bags, just like you would normal knitting, so if you know how to knit this would be for you. 2) If you don't know how to knit you can actually fuse the carrier bags together and then treat them like fabric and sew pieces together.

Bag made of carrier bags by knitting pieces together
Bag made of carrier bags by knitting pieces together | Source

Old Jeans
So you've got jeans that no longer fit you, or have had their fair share of wear & tear. Don't throw them out, because you could actually make something useful from something that you no longer need. Denim is a great material to work with and is so versatile as well.
Here is a list of items in which you can make out of denim!

  • Tote bags/shoulder bags
  • Denim coasters
  • Hanging walls organizer, made from the pockets of jeans, this is useful if you have loads of odds and sods hanging about and you have nowhere to put them.
  • Pockets for diaries to keep personal bits of papers and pens in.
  • Quilts and cushion covers


So the next you come to throw something away or pop it into a recycling bin, think what you could make out of it either for your own personal use, or to earn some extra cash on the side, or to set up as a full time business.
Recycle and stay green!

Comments 17 comments

Nspeel profile image

Nspeel 5 years ago from Myrtle Beach

very good article and very useful. GO GREEN!!!! I love it. Voted up, shared, and awesome.

DeborahNeyens profile image

DeborahNeyens 5 years ago from Iowa

I love to find ways to repurpose items. I especially like your ideas for recycling jeans. How about t-shirts? I've saved up a bunch of olld t-shirts that I'd like to make into a quilt, if I only knew how/had time! Thanks for sharing.

jose 5 years ago

that is a good idea and great ilove it

shrey cool 4 years ago

superb amazing!

kit 4 years ago

I think you could use your t shirts to customise things

kevin 4 years ago


Justin 4 years ago

hey my name is Justin


maheen 4 years ago

that is a great idea but i don't have the perfect things can you tell more recycled things we can use to ake a glass and i don't understand the newspaper one i hate that idea

boss 4 years ago

i like this

pacecharging profile image

pacecharging 4 years ago from New England

That's really quite cool, like the bottle idea, although don't think that would be great for maybe drinking out of.

Alvira 4 years ago

wow! it's amazing.. love recycling

nuff 4 years ago

thanks that glass bottle one really helped with a school project.

garden 3 years ago

recycle old t shirts into handerchiefts by simply cutting them into squares with pinking shears; no sewing and really soft material. better than kleenx.

Zaowad 3 years ago

School project full marks :D

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addiskr 3 years ago

Hey, that is a great idea. using old thing and making new thing. check this link I created out it may help you get on the way for greater things.

Yasmins Art profile image

Yasmins Art 3 years ago from Derby

This is great, thank you.

DirtyWork profile image

DirtyWork 3 years ago from Austin, Tx

These are great ideas! Isn't upcycling just the best?

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