For those in love with weekend projects who also have a lot of things they want to either give away or repurpose, there are many ways a do-it-yourselfer can upcycle. Not only do these projects breathe new life into tired items, but the simple act of upcycling supports sustainable living. Below are several weekend projects anyone interested in upcycling and sustainable living can easily tackle.
Use old t-shirts to create artwork:
Remove prints and picture frames from your walls that you have grown tired of and cover them over with old t-shirts. Use t-shirts that have a desirable print or pattern on them, but are either too damaged in some areas or too small to wear. A good choice are t-shirts your children have grown out of that depict images or text they loved. All you have to do is cut off the sleeves, neckline, and back of the t-shirt.
Then, place the t-shirt face down on to your work surface. Center the print or picture frame on top of the t-shirt so the pattern on the t-shirt is showing, and with a fabric pen, draw a line around the perimeter of the print about two inches away from the edge. Cut along the drawn line, and with a staple gun, begin stretching and attaching the t-shirt to the back of the print. When you turn over the print, you will be presented with a new piece of art to hang on your walls.
There are times when collections of containers that the owner isn’t ready to part with begin adding up quickly. Why not turn these containers into planters? Containers that work well as planters include metal buckets, glass pitchers, and deep baking pans (either glass or metal will work). If you’d like a uniform look, purchase an all-purpose spray paint that will cover multiple surfaces and spray the outside of each container so they match. Then, add the plants as you normally would in a traditional planter. If you are concerned about drainage, consider punching holes into the bottom of a plastic container that will fit inside the repurposed planter. Then, add some small pebbles to the bottom of the plastic container prior to adding the plants. These small containers are great for herb gardens, and small-scale fruit and vegetable gardens.
Repurpose tin cans:
There is so much that can be done with a simple tin can. Rather than tossing these items into the recycling bin, repurpose them into plant pots, storage containers, centerpieces, and candle holders. All you need is some spray paint or craft paper – some people even use fabric and twine – to repurpose the cans into a decorative container. If you would like to use the tin can as a candle holder, punch patterns into the sides of the can using a small hammer and a nail. It’s a good idea to draw out the pattern first, and then punch the holes.
These weekend projects are just a sample what you can do involving upcycling for sustainable living in one weekend. Other ideas include turning trash cans into rain barrels, converting totes that are missing lids into larger container gardens, building a laundry rack out of old wood pallets, and transforming old windows into small greenhouses. As you can see, when you start with simple projects, they can easily lead to larger scale DIY upcycling.
- License: Creative Commons image source
This article was written by Urban Clotheslines, the online retailer where you’ll find the ideal sustainable laundry solution, such as a clothesline or laundry rack, to harness the power of the sun and save energy