10 Surprising Items Most Folks Throw Away That Should Be Upcycled Instead

February 24, 2017

I am always looking for new upcycling ideas to give a fresh new life to items I would otherwise throw away.

After growing up in a home where butter tubs were never tossed away and most of our glasses had formerly held the jelly for our PB&Js, it’s my instinct to hang on to things like plastic bags — there are so many amazing ways to reuse them! Sure, sometimes that leads to overcrowding in my cabinets, but that’s just until inspiration strikes.

While looking at only a few of the projects below, I can definitely say I felt that flicker of inspiration. I’m honestly not sure which one I want to try first, but I’m glad so many creative folks out there share their awesome ideas with the rest of us!

Take a look and let us know in the comments if we missed any of your favorite upcycling ideas for items most people throw away.

And don’t forget to SHARE with your friends!

Thumbnail source: Pixabay / Nathanza

1. Paint Can Lids

Instructables / sherry.clodfelter.39

You can use the cans themselves as garden planters, for organization, or take the lids and make this whimsical clock by Instructables user sherry.clodfelter.39.

2. Toilet Paper Rolls

Instructables / HomemadeisBetter

I’ve seen these used for gift wrapping small items, folded into geometric art, but transforming them into these actual flowers might be my new favorite idea from the folks at Hello There Handmade.

3. Magazines

Instructables / katvanlew

They’ve been used on collages and rolled into coasters, but this vase or pencil cup project by Instructables user katvanlew really gives them a creative spin.

4. Bottle Caps

Instructables / Mark Montano

You can create a kitschy table top, some fun magnets, or this stunning mirror by Mark Montano for a boho-chic accent.

5. Cereal Boxes

Instructables / Vikalpah

You’ve probably seen magazine holders and geometric decor made from the cardboard, but how fun and easy is this handy pencil case from Instructables user Vikalpah?

6. Milk Jugs

Instructables / craftknowitall

I’ve seen the handles cut off and used as scoops or the whole jug painted to look like an adorable animal for decor, but this idea of using one to wrap a present by Instructables user craftknowitall is definitely one of the more genius projects I’ve ever seen.

7. Baby Food Jars

Instagram / dreamalittlebiggerblog

I’ve seen tons of beautiful planters and candles, but these salt and pepper shakers from Allison at Dream a Little Bigger is another adorable option.

8. Wine Corks

Instructables / Little Treasures

I love the coasters I’ve seen some crafters make, and a cork board could also come in handy, but this embroidered necklace from Maya at the Little Treasures is something I would have never thought of on my own!

9. Egg Cartons

Instructables / mcco4371

You can use them to organize your desk things, or for classic kids’ crafts, but nothing is quite as eye-catching as these tea lights from Instructables user mcco4371.

10. Tin Cans

Instructables / chris-mori

Like mini-versions of paint cans, these make great little planters and candle holders, or customize your own cookie cutter like this heart from Instructables user chris-mori.

Did we miss any of your favorite “trash to treasure” projects? Which items do you make sure to never throw away? Let us know below and be sure to SHARE with your friends!