Easy Upcycling Ideas to Transform Everyday Items

Easy Upcycling Ideas to Transform Everyday Items

Are you looking for easy upcycling ideas that can transform your unwanted items into unique and beautiful home decor?

You’re in the right place. Upcycling is not just a trend but a genius way to bring new life to old are unused pieces, it reduces waste and ultimately can save you money.

Upcycling can be done in many different ways from reusing your old frames into herb-dying racks to turning an old chest of drawers into a bathroom vanity.

However, here we will focus on easy upcycling ideas meaning you don’t need to be a crafting expert or have a garage full of tools.

Upcycling aims to use items you no longer need in a new way saving you money and limiting what gets sent to landfills. It has the added benefit of being a creative outlet, a chance to improve your crafting skills, and create personalized items perfect to fit your home.

As you discover these ideas you’ll be inspired to create beautiful things from all your unwanted items. The possibilities are endless and truly rewarding.

Upcycling is a great project for families, like turning scarves into cushion covers and old calendars into envelopes. They are great weekend projects plus, a great chance to teach kids about sustainability.

Each of these easy upcycling ideas are designed to be beginner-friendly and uses materials that you probably have at home.

Happy Crafting.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are ‘affiliate links’. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Shower Curtain For Tablecloth

Easy Upcycling Ideas
Source: Etsy

Although not a traditional art and craft using an old (but clean) shower curtain as a tablecloth is upcycling perfection.

As they are plastic they are perfect for not only a patio table but also for indoor use for arts and crafts or any messy activity.

If your old shower curtain is unusable we have found so many new shower curtains are thrift shops.

A bonus for shower curtains they come in so many styles and designs.

DIY Coasters

Source: Apartment Therapy

Do you have leftover tiles lying around? Turning them into coasters.

You can make these as simple as you want.

Add fleece with mod pog or a hot glue gun to the backs to protect your furniture and give them more grip and you have yourself a coaster they are truly unique.

An alternative to feel is to use old fleece or wool jumpers glued to the back to achieve the same goal.

Easy Upcycling Ideas

To add a bit more to the tiles try decoupage. using patterned paper: napkins, scrapbooking paper, wrapping paper, etc, and Mod Podge to add a design to the tiles.

  1. Start by lightly sanding high gloss tiles, this helps the glue stick better.
  2. Apply a light coating to the tiles
  3. Lay the paper pattern side up on the tile
  4. Add a light coat of Mod Podge on top
  5. Wait for it to dry and apply another light cote
  6. Give it all a quick spray with a clear spray paint or sealer ( this is optional but it does help the longevity of the design)
  7. Use and admire your beautiful coasters.

Pet Beds


Reusing an old suitcase as a pet bed is great for a Bohemian home style as it combines the eclectic and vintage perfectly.

By adding a pillow and a blanket you have a cool and unique but solid pet bed.

Plus, when you take your pet on holiday you can pack their bed up and take it with you.

Personalised Envelopes

Easy Upcycling Ideas

Turn last year’s calendar into envelopes.

Grandma Ideas has a great envelope template.

These are perfect for party invites, thank you cards, or any time you might need an envelope.

Thrift stores have an abundance of outdated calendars, this would be a cost-effective and cute idea for vintage themed wedding invitations.

They are simple to make all you need is a glue stick and scissors.

  • Remove the images you want from the calendar
  • Using the template to cut out the shape of an envelope.
  • Fold and glue the sides together leaving the top open.
  • Use labels to create an area for the address

Easy Upcycling Ideas With Vintage Lace


Create a beautiful lampshade from lace trim.

These would look beautiful in a hallway with no natural light, or to give a soft glow to a cozy living room.

Lamp shades can quickly become expensive. However not only are thrift stores and Facebook marketplace full of old lamps but also lampshades and lace trim.

The hardest part of this is the tiny bits of sewing. Use 100% cotton embroidery thread, its thinker therefore stronger.

  • Start by promoting the old shade from its frame.
  • Hand-sew the lace trims together until they are the width of the lampshade frames.
  • Sew the joined lace to the frame. Ensure you also add stitches up the side of the frame to help keep its shape.
Easy Upcycling Ideas

Alternatively use vintage lace doillies to create a lampshade, use the same technique as the lace trim.

Cushion Covers From Scarves


Source scarfs from garage sales, Facebook marketplace place, or your collection. The great thing about this ideas is that it is no sew. So there is no damage done to the scarves.

This is great for covering up an old cushion or throw pillow that you either don’t like the current cover or the design is directly on the cushion.

Perfect for decorating on a budget.

Remember, thrift stores have an abundance of not only scarves but throw pillows that if not purchased do end up in the landfill.

This is as simple as fold and knot.

  • Ensure the scarf can wrap around the pillow on all sides easily
  • lay the scarf on a flat surface with the corners pointing up and down ( like a diamond)
  • Place the cushion directly in the middle on top of the scarf ( looking from above it is a square inside a diamond)
  • bring in the opposite corners and tie a knot, repeat to the other corners
  • Tuck the extra fabric away or leave out whatever you prefer.
  • Place on your couch and enjoy.

Bird Feeder

Easy Upcycling Ideas

These adorable teacup bird feeders would look darling hanging from a porch or in the trees.

Use some old teacups and saucers or check out the Thrift store and give a teacup set a new life.

They are simple to make just ensure that when you have them you use 4 pieces of twine or a thin chain to help stabilize the saucer when the birds land on it.

  • Clean the teacup and saucer
  • Using E6000 glue the teacup on its side to the saucer.
  • Allow to dry
  • Knot 4 places of twine together or link 4 pieces of chain together.
  • Glue the knot to the bottom of the saucer.
  • Bring the pieces of twine up and space equal distances around the saucer.
  • Tie in a knot above the teacup
  • Hang where you can watch the birds.

Easy Upcycling Ideas With Maps


Reuse old maps as drawer liners.

Keep them in place by placing a thin coat of Mod Podge directly in the draw and then a top coat.

While not visible all the time this cool idea for a draw liner adds a little something extra to the pieces especially a vintage-inspired chest of drawers.

Easy Upcycling Ideas

Bring the map theme to your walls with this map-wrapped canvas.

This is a great upcycle idea as it can easily fit your aesthetic. For a vintage feel find old textbooks from the 60s or 70s are your local second hand bookstore or thrift shop or create a nautical feel with old boat maps.

Easy Upcycling Ideas For Canvases


Give new life to old canvases that are not your style anymore or rescue ugly canvases from thrift stores.

From bold to dainty and floral the fabric to fit your style is easy.

Remember the fabric doesn’t have to come from the fabric store it can come from home, be an old curtain or tablecloth, a dress that you love the pattern of from a thrift store.

Whatever you like will be perfect.

  • Simply stretch the fabric across the canvas.
  • Using a staple gun staple fabric to the back. Start one opposite side to get the good tension.
  • Hang and Enjoy
Easy Upcycling Ideas

For a modern boho or rustic look give the canvas a textured look.

There are so many ideas to be found online for how to create this look.

However, the basic tools needed are

Photo Display


Display your photos, postcards or favorite things in an old window.

Find an old window either at your house or from a reclaim store clean it up and hang it in your home for a beautiful display.

Use photo corner stickers to attach the photos.

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