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Upcycling Projects

Updated on February 7, 2014

Make Something New From Old Trash

Upcycling is something that is not really new, but has taken off in a way that will benefit the world as a whole. The concept is to take something that would normally be thrown away and make something new and useful out of it. You can make paper out of an old pair of jeans. You can make a wall out of old plastic or glass bottles. You could make furniture out of old wood from a dismantles barn. The possibilities are endless.

There've been numerous entrepreneurs who have taken the idea of using someone's trash they most likely get for the cost of picking it up and making it into something others can use in some other way. If everyone can find ways to use trash instead of throwing it into the landfill, then the world will be one step closer to avoiding the catastrophes we may be facing in the future.

Wall Made From Bottles - An Ominous Green Glow Shines Through

Bottles in His Walls
Bottles in His Walls

This is an amazing piece of work. First this guy had to collect hundreds of green bottles. This is probably a lot harder than you might think it would be, especially if he is using glass bottles rather than plastic. They don't make a lot of green glass bottles anymore. You can find them in some beers and if you are lucky, you might find a ginger ale that uses a green glass bottle. I am sure most of these bottles are old and pulled out of a landfill or some sort of dumping ground.

The next problem thus guy would have would be affixing them in place. I am sure he used some sort of mortar in between each of the bottles. It would take a lot of time and patience. These bottles would not sit in place the higher you stacked them He would have to wait for the mortar to dry every few rows. The effect this wok has when finished is amazing. I almost want a green bottle wall on the back side of my house.

Pull Tab Bracelet - A Reminder of All Those Awesome Drinks You Had

Bracelet From Soda Can Pull Tabs
Bracelet From Soda Can Pull Tabs

This is a great project you can do with your friends or your kids, or if your a loser like me, all by yourself. Have all your friends and family save the pull tabs from the sodas and beers they drink for you. This might take a few days to a few weeks depending on how many entertainment beverages you drink.

Make sure you wash them all off thoroughly. You don't want to get some sort of infection or that sticky residue on you when you start wearing your bracelet.

You will need a pair of snips. I find wire cutters are the best to work with. I have seen people use end snips or tin snips. Whatever you have on hand will do the job. Cut each tab on the round end and open them just enough to get several tabs inside the smaller circle.

You can make this chain as long as you want. You can make a bracelet or a necklace or even something longer. All you have to get is more soda can tabs.

Upcycling - Create Beautiful Things with the Stuff You Already Have

Upcycling: Create Beautiful Things with the Stuff You Already Have
Upcycling: Create Beautiful Things with the Stuff You Already Have

It is amazing what you can do with found stuff. I made paintings from old scrap lumber I found on the side of the road. I made lamps from old pickle jars. All you have to do is be a little bit creative, then you will be amazed at what you can create.

 

Wood Pallet Bike Rack - All You Need is 2 Used Wooden Pallets

Wooden Pallet Furniture
Wooden Pallet Furniture

This one does not need tools or hardware. All you have to do is lean one pallet up on the other. Then park your biked in them. You might want to sand down the edges of the pallet so your tires are not punctured by a large splinter of wood. This is a great project if you have a lot of bikes in your household or a place of business where looks are not everything.

Lets face it though. Two wooden pallets are not very pretty to look at. That is when you pull out the paint and go to town on it. You can paint it to match the walls of the house or business, or you can decorate it to match a theme. Draw something abstract or paint flowers. If you are a BMXer, maybe paint some sort of skull on it. Be creative.

Upcycle Your Old Bike - Do You Have a Collection of Bikes?

Bicycle Ideas
Bicycle Ideas

You could make a giant piece of art from things that are being thrown away. It is amazing what people throw away. Things are discarded usually before their usefulness have been depleted. Most people don't realize that things they have been using for one application can be used in other ways when they no longer fit that first application.

The guy above was able to find an exhaustive number of bicycle wheels that no one was using (at least we hope no one was using them).

All you need is the material (parts of things that have been thrown out and discarded) and a little bit of imagination. Can you see something in your mind, a piece of completed art, somewhere in the grand landscape of our reality?

Toothbrush Bracelets - You Might Be Surprised How Easy These Are to Make

Toothbrush Bracelets
Toothbrush Bracelets

All you need for this project is a large pot, boiling water, a thick towel and a number of plastic toothbrushes. If you are a kid and doing this, you need to have an adult in the room. You are dealing with boiling water. I don't want to you to burn yourself.

Set up your Pot with water in it and turn the burner on high. When it comes to a boil, throw in the toothbrushes. Let them heat up for a few minutes. Then pull them out one at a time using a fork or two. Place them in a cloth towel and with gloved hands start to shape the handles on a curve big enough to go around your wrist. Then all you have to do is wait for them to cool.

These bracelets are great for trading with friends. They are inexpensive and colorful and keep unwanted trash from going into the dumps or the incinerators.

Paper Tubes Bridge - These Cardboard Tubes Are so Versatile

Paper Tubes Bridge
Paper Tubes Bridge

All you have to do is collect hundreds of cardboard tubes. You can get a lot of them around the holidays. If you need to have a cardboard tube drive, it might be interesting to have one, just to see if anyone would actually bring you cardboard tubes.

After you have collected enough tubes, you can start your bridge. I would spend some time studying bridges. Figure out how something so flimsy is going to hold the weight of a person let alone stay standing.

This particular bridge is made up of giant cardboard tubes. I think they are the ones contractors use when building columns on buildings. So this bridge might not count as something you can get materials for. It will be fun to try though.

Belt Chair - Fix a Chair No One has Been Able to Sit in for Years.

A Chair Made Out of Belts
A Chair Made Out of Belts

You need to find a used chair and a bunch of old worn out belts. You can get these at any second hand store. It may take a few stores and a few sales to get enough belts to make the chair, but that is all part of the fun. I find it exciting to see what kind of belts there are in the thrift stores around me. All kinds of people have all kinds of tastes. That means the belts are going to be all kinds of interesting. That is just going to make your chair even more interesting.

To get started making the chair, you have to strip the chair of any and all seat and backing. Usually this is fabric. All you want to have left is a frame for the chair. Make sure you pull all the old tacks or staples.

Shopping Cart Bench - Make sure your get your carts legitamately

Shopping Cart Bench
Shopping Cart Bench

You can buy old carts from grocery stores. Please don't steal them. If you can get your hands on two of them, this project would make an interesting addition to your back garden.

Milk Crate Building

Milk Crate Building
Milk Crate Building

Denim Laptop Bag

Denim Laptop Case
Denim Laptop Case

What Ways Do You Upcycle?

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    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      Wat can you use mor than using clips at the end to get then wat else can you use

    working

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