14 DIY Upcycling Ideas That Will Change the Way You Look at Trash

14 DIY Upcycling Ideas That Will Change the Way You Look at Trash
June 24, 2023

In our quest to embrace a more sustainable lifestyle, we have all heard the familiar mantra of “reduce, reuse, recycle.” While recycling plays a crucial role in diverting waste from landfills, there is another concept that takes sustainability to the next level: upcycling. Upcycling goes beyond mere recycling by transforming discarded items into new and valuable creations. It involves repurposing materials and giving them a new lease on life, preventing them from becoming waste.

Upcycling is an art that not only reduces waste, but also allows us to unleash our creativity while making a positive impact on the environment. In this article, we have gathered five different materials and over 14 DIY upcycling ideas to inspire you to not just recycle but also upcycle items, showcasing the endless possibilities of giving new purpose to old objects. 


Bricks may be thought of as strictly building materials, but they can be used in new ways. Give your home a charming touch by repurposing a single brick into a planter or candle holder. Simply carve out holes into a brick and place small plants or candles inside for a stylish, rustic appearance. Another creative idea is to transform bricks into something you can use in your garden. You can paint bricks to serve as labels for plants in your gardens or decorate your outdoor space by painting bricks to look like books and arrange them in a collection. This is our absolute favorite idea and the books add an enchanting and whimsical touch to your garden or patio.

2. CD’s

Those old CDs lying around your home can be transformed into dazzling pieces of art. Create a mesmerizing disco ball by gluing recycled CDs onto a foam sphere, instantly bringing a touch of sparkle and nostalgia to any space. If you’re looking for a dreamy decor piece, consider crafting a moon and star mobile. Cut out various shapes from old CDs, paint them in celestial hues, and string them together to create a captivating mobile that reflects light beautifully.

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3. Plastic Bottles

Notorious for their environmental impact, plastic bottles can find new life through creative upcycling projects. Embrace sustainability by turning  plastic bottles into water bottle wind spirals. Cut the bottles into spiraling strips, paint them in vibrant colors, and attach them to strings or wires. You can also create adorable plastic bottle hedgehogs by cutting and shaping the bottles, then painting and adding googly eyes for a playful touch. Want to attract feathered friends to your backyard? Construct a DIY bird feeder using plastic bottles. Cut out windows and fill the bottle with birdseed, creating a welcoming oasis for birds while reducing plastic waste.

Recycled water bottle craft ideas min

4. Cans

Aluminum cans have incredible potential for upcycling, particularly when transformed into eye-catching faux-copper pots. Clean and paint the cans with metallic copper spray paint to achieve a rustic appearance. Fill them with soil and plant your favorite herbs or flowers, instantly adding a touch of charm to your windowsill or garden. Tin can tea lights offer another clever upcycling idea. First, make cuts into the can to create a rustic lantern shape, paint the cans, and add a handle. Insert tealights or small candles, and enjoy the warm and cozy ambiance they provide. Looking for something that children will absolute love? Then, try this easy DIY craft that would be perfect for kids! Have them use their imagination and craft tin can creatures by painting and decorating the cans with other upcycling materials to resemble animals or fantastical beings. 

upcycled mini copper pots and the risky business of crafting


5. Plastic Bags

Plastic bags are a common environmental concern, but they can be repurposed into practical creations. Enhance your home organization with a large basket made from sewn plastic bags. Another great use for those old plastic bags would be to create a waterproof rug by crocheting or knitting with plastic yarn! This durable and eco-friendly rug is perfect for outdoor use or high-traffic areas in your home. Another one of our favorite upcycling ideas is to craft this amazing DIY tote. You can create this by crocheting with yarn made of plastic bags. 


By embracing the art of upcycling, we can contribute to a more sustainable world while unleashing our creativity. The five materials and over 14 DIY upcycling ideas presented here have showcased the incredible potential of giving new life to old objects. From repurposing bricks and transforming CDs into dazzling art pieces to finding new uses for plastic bottles and cans, we have explored the endless possibilities of upcycling. So, let’s continue to reduce waste, showcase our creativity, and make a positive impact on the environment. Together, we can turn trash into treasure and create a brighter, more sustainable future for generations to come. So gather your materials, let your imagination soar, and share your upcycling journey with us using #UpcycleWithLevoy on all social media platforms.