The best part about upcycling is that it helps clear out the old and brings in the new.  Here are some quick do-it-yourself ideas to help usher in 2013.

Damaged books?  For some folks, there's nothing so sad as a damaged book, and they'll do anything to save it.  But sometimes the damage is just too much to repair.  Fortunately there can be some use left in that ol' tome.  A carefully removed book spine can make for a beautiful bookmark.  You can use it on its own, or add a bit of string on the top.


Old t-shirts?  They're in the bottom of the dresser drawer, they're faded, and they haven't fit the original wearer in years, or probably decades.  Of course, with a few cuts and a bit of hemming, suddenly you've got a new set of baby bibs.  Who doesn't want a baby showing of his love for the Deep Purple World Tour?

Old t-shirts, part two?  If you get rid of the area around the neck and arms, sew up one end and make a couple handles on the other...BAM, grocery shopping bag.

Mint jelly jars?  Part of many a gift basket, they're jars that are too small to store more than maybe seven buttons or a pinch of screws.  But washed clean and with a few holes in the lids, and suddenly they're a cute salt-and-pepper set.  Even better, you could have an entire spice rack where you can actually see how much of the spice you have left.  (And if the labels on the outside are too sticky, WD-40 works like a dream.)

Plastic jugs?  Milk, soft drinks, juice, detergent--it seems we are inundated with plastic jugs that will quickly fill our recycling bins.  But with just a pair of scissors, you know what you have?

  • Cut off the end and you've got a scoop for gardening
  • Cut off a bit at the end and on the side with the handle, and you've got a handy pencil holder.
  • Cut off the top of a wide mouthed bottle, feed the open end of a bag of chocolate chips through the opening, fold the plastic back and then screw on the lid.  BAM! Fresh chocolate chips that are safe from pests (like ants or wandering fingers).
  • Cut off the top, poke a couple holes in the bottom, and it's an eco-friendly planter.

It'd be easy to go on and on, but after these quick ideas, other plans are sure to spring to mind.  Have a great 2013!


Danielle DeSoto for HipcycleDanielle is an upcycling, green living, environmentally friendly, recycling, tree-hugging freak of nature... in the most eco way possible of course! She spends her weekends saving the planet and will now be writing about it for the Hipcycle Blog.