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  • Writer's pictureLitter Free Norbury

Upcycling 101: How to Turn Your Litter into Awesome DIY Projects

Hi, Norbury friends!


Do you have a lot of stuff lying around your home that you don’t use anymore? Maybe it’s an old pair of jeans that doesn’t fit, a wine bottle that’s empty, or a picture frame that’s outdated. But before you throw them away, think again. You can turn them into amazing DIY projects that will not only save you money, but also help the environment.


How? By Upcycling!


Upcycling is the art of transforming waste into wonder. It’s about taking things that you would normally discard and giving them a new purpose and value. It’s good for the planet, because it reduces the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. It’s good for your wallet, because it saves you from buying new things. And it’s good for your creativity, because it challenges you to think outside the box and have fun.


One of the best things about upcycling is that anyone can do it, regardless of their skill level or experience. You don’t need to be a professional or have expensive tools or materials. You just need some imagination and a little bit of time. We’re here to help you with some awesome and easy upcycling projects that you can do at home with materials that you can find in your own house or around your neighborhood.


Ready to get started? Let’s go!


Upcycle your old denim jeans


Denim is a versatile and durable fabric that can be used for many things. Don’t throw away your old jeans, because you can upcycle them into:

  • Denim coasters: Cut out circles from your jeans and glue them together to make sturdy and stylish coasters for your drinks. This is a very easy project that only requires scissors and glue.

  • Denim tote bag: Cut out the legs of your jeans and sew them together to make a spacious and fashionable tote bag for your shopping or books. This is a medium difficulty project that requires some sewing skills and a sewing machine or needle and thread.

  • Denim rug: Cut out strips from your jeans and braid them together to make a cozy and colorful rug for your floor. This is a hard project that requires a lot of time and patience, as well as a large needle and strong thread.



Upcycle your old wine bottles or glass jars


Wine bottles and glass jars are great for upcycling because they are easy to clean and decorate. Don’t toss them out, because you can upcycle them into:

  • Vases: Paint or wrap your bottles or jars with twine, ribbon, or fabric to make charming vases for your flowers. This is an easy project that only requires some paint or glue and some decorative materials.

  • Candle holders: Fill your bottles or jars with sand, pebbles, or shells and insert a candle to make romantic candle holders for your table or patio. This is an easy project that only requires some filler materials and candles.

  • Lamps: Drill a hole in the bottom of your bottles or jars and insert a string of lights to make unique lamps for your bedroom or living room. This is a hard project that requires some drilling skills and electrical knowledge, as well as a drill bit suitable for glass.



Upcycle your old picture frames


Picture frames are perfect for upcycling because they already have a shape and a structure that you can work with. Don’t get rid of them, because you can upcycle them into:

  • Chalkboards: Paint the glass or cardboard of your picture frames with chalkboard paint to make fun and functional chalkboards for your kitchen or office. This is an easy project that only requires some chalkboard paint and chalk.

  • Jewelry organizers: Remove the glass or cardboard of your picture frames and attach some hooks, wire, or mesh to make handy jewelry organizers for your earrings, necklaces, or bracelets. This is a medium difficulty project that requires some tools such as pliers, wire cutters, or stapler.



Upcycle your old coffee cans


Coffee cans are useful for upcycling because they are sturdy and spacious. Don’t throw them away, because you can upcycle them into:

  • Storage containers: Paint or cover your coffee cans with paper or fabric to make cute storage containers for your kitchen or craft supplies. This is an easy project that only requires some paint or glue and some decorative materials.

  • Wind chimes: Punch holes in the bottom of your coffee cans and hang them with strings, beads, or bells to make soothing wind chimes for your garden or balcony. This is a medium difficulty project that requires some tools such as a hole punch, a hammer, or a nail.

  • Bird feeders: Cut out a hole in the side of your coffee cans and fill them with bird seeds to make simple and cheap bird feeders for your feathered friends. This is an easy project that only requires some scissors and bird seeds.


Upcycle your old magazines or newspapers


Magazines and newspapers are great for upcycling because they are colorful and flexible. Don’t let them pile up, because you can upcycle them into:

  • Coasters: Roll up strips of magazines or newspapers and glue them together to make unique coasters for your drinks. This is a medium difficulty project that requires some glue and a lot of rolling.

  • Wall art: Cut out shapes from magazines or newspapers and glue them on a canvas or a cardboard to make creative wall art for your home. This is a medium difficulty project that requires some glue and a lot of cutting.

  • Baskets: Fold strips of magazines or newspapers and weave them together to make beautiful baskets for your fruits or flowers. This is a hard project that requires a lot of folding and weaving.



Upcycle your old plastic bottles

Plastic bottles are one of the most common types of litter that we find in our environment. Don’t contribute to the problem, because you can upcycle them into:

  • Planters: Cut out the top or the bottom of your plastic bottles and paint them to make cute and practical planters for your succulents or herbs. This is an easy project that only requires some scissors and paint.

  • Pencil holders: Cut out the top of your plastic bottles and decorate them to make handy pencil holders for your desk or kids’ room. This is an easy project that only requires some scissors and some decorative materials.

  • Bird houses: Cut out a hole in the side of your plastic bottles and add a stick, a roof, and some paint to make cozy bird houses for your garden or porch. This is a medium difficulty project that requires some scissors, glue, and paint.



As you can see, upcycling is a fun and easy way to turn your litter into awesome DIY projects. You don’t need to be an expert or spend a lot of money. You just need some imagination and a little bit of time.


So, next time you’re about to throw something away, think about how you can upcycle it into something new and useful. Let’s reduce waste, have fun, and make Norbury a little greener.


Happy upcycling, Norbury!


- The Litter Free Norbury Team

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