13 Upcycling Projects for All Around the Home

Upcycling ideas are only limited by your imagination. Just about any material can be transformed into something else. The best upcycling projects take an item that was no longer used and turn it into something that is now a prized piece in your home.

For something to be upcycled, you don't need to change the function. For instance, you don't need to turn a tire into a planter. All you need to do is upgrade the look and feel of an item and enhance it in some way. Sometimes this means changing the function, but other times this means simply giving an item a much-needed makeover.

These upcycling projects range from complex to simple and incorporate a wide variety of materials. Get inspired and think about ways you can upgrade the items in your home.

  • 01 of 13

    Turn a Dresser into a Wine Bar

    upcycled dresser

    The Navage Patch

    If you want to learn how to upcycle, you first need to think outside the box. Look at some unused furniture pieces in your home and think about how they could function in a completely different way. Handan and Greg from The Navage Patch show their readers how they transformed a useless chest of drawers into this stylish and functional wine bar.

  • 02 of 13

    Use Paint to Match a Suitcase to Existing Decor

    vintage suitcase makeover

    Confessions of a Serial Do it Yourselfer

    Repurposed items work best when they fit in with your existing home decor. If you have a coastal themed living space, you might like this project from Christy at Confessions of a Serial Do it Yourselfer. She completely transforms this vintage suitcase into an item she wants to display in her home. Check out her tutorial to learn how to transform an old suitcase in a similar style.

  • 03 of 13

    Turn an Antique Washstand into an End Table

    upcycle old washstand

    Lauren Thomann

    Sometimes it doesn't make sense to paint or change antique furniture because painting it would reduce the resale value. However, when antique furniture is in rough shape, one of the best and easiest ways to upcycle it is to paint it. This tutorial shows you how to refurbish an old washstand into a stylish end table.

  • 04 of 13

    Make a Tiered Tray from Baking Tins

    baking pan upcycle tiered tray

    Grillo Designs

    If you're like most people, you may have accumulated a lot of extra kitchenware over the years. Medina from Grillo Designs decided to put some of her vintage baking tins to better use by making a three-tiered serving tray. The end result looks like something you'd buy from a high-end kitchen shop. Head over to her tutorial to learn how to make one for your kitchen.

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  • 05 of 13

    Hang Backpacks from a Vintage Door

    upcycled old door


    Old doors are commonly upcycled into things like headboards and furniture. Jen from Craft-o-Maniac came up with a brilliant idea to use an old door in her entryway mudroom area. Head over to her site to read more about the process and see a ton of before and after photos.

  • 06 of 13

    Use a Clothes Hanger for a Picture Frame

    upcycled picture frame

    es.kaa makes

    Upcycling ideas come in all shapes and sizes. Some involve a ton of power tools and woodworking skills. This project is simple and easy enough for anyone to make. Find out how Selina from es.kaa makes used an everyday item to make this eclectic picture frame.

  • 07 of 13

    Give an Old Jewelry Box a Makeover

    upcycled jewelry box

    Fynes Designs

    Upcycled decor doesn't always have to change form and function. Sometimes upcycling involves updating an existing piece so it doesn't look so dated. Virginia from Fynes Designs gives this bulky jewelry box a much-needed makeover. Visit her page to find out how she did it and see some before pictures.

  • 08 of 13

    Transform a Picture Frame into a Chalkboard

    chalkboard from picture frame

    Lauren Thomann

    Picture frames can be upcycled into a variety of different items. One functional way to give a frame new life is to turn it into a chalkboard. You can either draw on some art or use it functionally for grocery lists and other command center tasks. Check out the tutorial to find out how this is done.

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  • 09 of 13

    Transform Denim Jean into Napkins

    clothing upcycling idea

     Almost Makes Perfect

    This upcycling project from Molly at Almost Makes Perfect is so innovative and straightforward that we're surprised more people haven't done it. If you have an old pair of jeans, head over to her tutorial to learn how you can turn them into a functional and stylish pair of dinner napkins.

  • 10 of 13

    Reinvent Laminate Furniture into a Child's Toy

    upcycled diy play kitchen

    At Home with Ashley 

    Dated laminate furniture can be hard to paint and repurpose. However, this tutorial from At Home with Ashley does an excellent job of explaining how they turned a garbage-worthy piece of furniture into an incredible play kitchen for their children. These before and after photos highlight just how much can be done to upcycle old furniture.

  • 11 of 13

    Sew a Pillow Case Out of an Old Shirt

    old shirt upcycled into a pillow

    Mollie Johanson 

    Another clever way to upcycle clothing is to turn old shirts into pillowcases. Pillowcases can get expensive, so if you have a sewing machine and some basic sewing skills, this tutorial could end up saving you a lot of money. Virtually any spare fabric you have will work for this project.

  • 12 of 13

    Upcycle Ikea Furniture to Fit Your Style

    ikea upcycling diy

    Cherished Bliss

    Ikea furniture is an affordable option for any home, but sometimes the style can be a bit too modern or simple for your taste. There are tons of Ikea makeovers on the Internet, but this one from Cherished Bliss is one to read and try out. The final nightstand is virtually unrecognizable from its original form.

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  • 13 of 13

    Turn Lampshades into Vases

    upcycled lamp vases

    The House That Lars Built

    Vintage lampshades from the 1970s and 80s tend to look as dated as the fixtures they came on. This upcycling idea from The House That Lars Built transforms them into hanging planters using a little bit of paint and ingenuity. Check out their page for more details and learn how to make some for your house.