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.
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Turn a Dresser Into a Wine Bar
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 11
Use Paint to Match a Suitcase to Existing Decor
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.
Vintage Suitcase Makeover from Confessions of a Serial Do it Yourselfer
03 of 11
Turn an Antique Washstand Into an End Table
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.
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Make a Tiered Tray from Baking Tins
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 cooking space.Continue to 5 of 11 below.
05 of 11
Hang Backpacks from a Vintage 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 11
Use a Clothes Hanger for a Picture Frame
Upcycling ideas come in all shapes and sizes. Some involve a ton of power tools and woodworking skills while others are much less work. This project is simple and easy enough for anyone to make. Find out how Selina from es.kaa turned an everyday item into this eclectic picture frame.
How to Make a Picture Frame That Used to Be a Clothes Hanger from es.kaa makes
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Give an Old Jewelry Box a Makeover
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 11
Transform Denim Jeans Into Napkins
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.Continue to 9 of 11 below.
09 of 11
Reinvent Laminate Furniture Into a Child's Toy
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.
How to Make a Play Kitchen with a $10 Piece of Furniture from At Home with Ashley
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Upcycle Ikea Furniture to Fit Your Style
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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Turn Lampshades Into Vases
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.