35 Upcycled Crafts + Easy DIYs

Just in case you need another reason to get your craft on, get inspired by these fun, easy projects featuring items you likely have around the house.

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January 03, 2019
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Terra Cotta Cake Stands

This terra-cotta cake stand project will turn everything you thought you knew about sophisticated serveware on its head! There’s no need to spend a paycheck on a pretty porcelain stand that will inevitably gather dust in your china cabinet. To recreate this look: Coat low-cost terra-cotta pots with crisp, white paint and use a stencil or detail paintbrush to brush on a cheeky message along the base.

Get the How-To: Serve Dessert in Style With DIY Terra-Cotta Cake Stands

Savvy Citronella Candles

Go ahead, admit it: Sometimes you judge your booze by its branding and splurge for the prettiest bottle. No judgment, we all do it. The upside? Having all those stylish glass bottles on hand makes tackling this DIY citronella candle craft a total breeze. Repurpose your favorite booze into a chic centerpiece by using a hot glue gun, a long wick and some citronella torch fuel.

Get the How-To: Turn Old Glass Bottles Into Citronella Torches

Baby Jars Turned Beautiful Desk Canisters

This craft project will have you thinking twice before tossing your tot’s sweet potato jars. The petite, lidded glass jars are perfect for repurposing into chic desktop canisters. Recreate this gilded set by first unscrewing the lid, then using glue to adhere a small, wooden knob on the center of the lid. Apply two to three even coats of metallic spray paint to the lid to create a cohesive look. Screw the lid back on the clean, glass jar and, voila! You’ve crafted the cutest set of cubicle catchalls for your paperclips, pushpins and magnets alike.

See More Photos: 18 Things You Shouldn't Throw Away + What to Do With Them

Turn Tie-Dye Tees Into a Bohemian Planter

We all have a few old (nay, ratty) T-shirts lurking in our drawers that we aren’t quite ready to part with (but probably should have five to 10 years ago). Rather than succumb to your spouse’s peer pressure to toss ‘em out, upcycle your treasured tees into a one-of-a-kind boho planter, packed with sentimental feelings. All you’ll need to complete this project at home is a free afternoon, a few terra cotta pots, a couple of colorful tees and some strong glue.

Get the How-To: How to Make a T-Shirt Planter

Transform Tin Cans Into Lovely Luminaries

Upcycle tin coffee and soup cans into gorgeous, glowing outdoor luminaries for your back porch or patio. We’re big fans of this DIY because it’s budget-friendly (like, practically free!), it's easily customizable to your home’s colors and style, and it yields dazzling results you’ll be itching to show off to friends and family.

Get the How-To: How to Make Tin Can Lanterns

Elevated Alphabet Magnets

Next time you go to the flea market, grab a few vintage license plates to create our elevated version of alphabet magnets for your refrigerator. This simple project takes your fridge from mundane to magical and offers you opportunities to express yourself by spelling out names, phrases or greetings for guests.

Get the How-To: How to Make Magnets From Old License Plates

When You're on Your Last (Plastic) Straw

If you’re quitting single-use plastic straws cold turkey, but you still have a few hiding in the back of your cabinets, this DIY is for you! Upcycle plastic straws into an ultra-chic, geometric copper air planter using some metallic paint and our step-by-step instructions, below.

Get the How-To: Make a Chic Copper Air Planter Out of Upcycled Plastic Straws

Create a Wine Cork Trivet

As if you needed another excuse to pop open a bottle of cabernet, right? Stockpile your wine corks for a few months (or weeks, no judgment), then use them to create this festive, wine cork trivet. The textured trivet will add a whimsical touch to your bar cart, kitchen counters or dining table.

Get the How-To: #WineWednesday: How to Make a Wine Cork Trivet

Foraged + Fancy

Get crafty with your seasonal centerpiece this year! Drill votive-size holes into a fallen tree branch or found log from your backyard to create a custom, rustic candleholder. Tiny tea lights will illuminate your table, and guests will gush over how high-end your handiwork turned out.

Get the How-To: Clever Log Crafts + Upcycling Ideas

Underfoot to On-the-Wall

Oversized art shouldn’t come with an oversized price tag. Get in on the trend – without breaking your budget – by repurposing a colorful area rug into an equally vibrant wall tapestry. Mount your tapestry using a sturdy rod and reliable screws.

Get the How-To: How to Turn a Rug Into a Wall Art Tapestry

Sweet Upcycled Catch-All Tray

Better think twice before tossing out that empty chocolate box from Valentine’s Day! Tuck away the heart-shaped lid for a rainy afternoon spent crafting. Use neutral paint and a pretty, gilded craft paper to upcycle the lid into an ultra-sweet catch-all tray for your console or coffee table.

Adorable Milk Crate Ottoman

Stay on trend in your space with a milk crate makeover! Create this stylish storage solution at home by first coating a milk crate with a modern, matte black spray paint. Pull out your staple gun, a few yards of fabric, a piece of plywood and a foam insert, cut to size, to DIY an “upholstered” ottoman lid.

Get the How-To: DIY Milk Crate Ottoman

Snuggly Sleeping Pods

Naptime is easy to come by with this cozy and cute sleeping pod project. (Yes, really!) All you need to craft customized sleeping pods for your kiddos? A few colorful pillowcases, plush inserts, scissors, hook and loop tape, and a trusty needle and thread.

Get the How-To: Turn Pillows Into Cozy, Kids' Sleeping Pods

Easy Botanical Prints

Grab your garden clippers and get to work! Create custom botanical canvas artwork using foraged foliage, a blank canvas, vibrant spray paint and a long, lazy afternoon. The unique leaf prints and eye-catching colors will enliven your walls and brighten your day.

Get the How-To: Turn Leaves and Foliage Into DIY Canvas Wall Art

Customize Your Curtains

Give your simple, white curtains a pick-me-up with a pretty, painted stencil design. Use clear acetate alternative, a marker and a retractable utility knife to DIY your stencil, or purchase a ready-made alternative from a local craft store. Spray stencil design onto curtains with a can of flat-finish paint.

Get the How-To: How to Stencil Ready-Made Curtains

DIY Wood Slice + Candle Jar Cake Stand

Craft a cake stand so stunning, no one will believe that you made it yourself! Build a base from a burned-down candle jar in a glossy or gilded finish. Adhere a simple wood slice to the bottom of the candle jar to create a sturdy display for salty snacks and sweets, alike.

Get the How-To: DIY Wood Slice Dessert Stand

Twinkle, Twinkle, Garland Stars

Sleeping under the stars has never been cozier than with this celestial garland project. Gather some twigs (plus jute twine, raffia and hot glue) and multi-task this craft while binging your latest obsession on Netflix. Create stars using five twigs, secured one at a time with a bead of hot glue. Once cooled, tie each corner with raffia, then dangle stars from rope using twice-tied raffia.

Get the How-To: How to Make a Holiday Star Garland Out of Twigs

Upcycle a Fun Puzzle Feeder for Fido

Keep your pups (and wallet) happy with this upcycled puzzle feeder! Secure three recycled bottles to wooden pegs and use a funnel to fill with kibble. Your dogs will enjoy pawing the crunchy, mobile bottles in attempt snag tasty treats.

Colorful Log Candlesticks

Brighten up your mantel or console table with a trio of color-clad log candlesticks! Get the gorgeous ombre style seen here by using a light aqua and rich turquoise paint. First, dip your log base into the aqua, then allow to dry. For your final coat, dip the log into the turquoise paint, stopping at the mid-point of the paint.

Get the How-To: Clever Log Crafts + Upcycling Ideas

DIY a Fashionable Firewood Tote

Prepare for the temperature drop! Repurpose a rug to create a handy (and handsome!) firewood tote. All you need for this project is a 2' x 4' flat weave rug, some no-sew hem tape, an iron and 1 ½’’ diameter wooden dowel.

Get the How-To: Make Your Own Firewood Carrier

Trendy Tire Planter

Get as much mileage as possible out of your tires! Transform one of your old tires into a cute, colorful planter using bright spray paint and some materials from your local hardware store.

See More Photos: 3 Oversized Planters You Can Make From Upcycled Items

Create a Custom Cane Serving Tray

PSA: Caning is having a serious moment in the design world right now. Join in on the trend by creating a custom cane serving tray for your coffee table. Upcycle a simple wooden picture frame as your base and cut caning to size across the back. Make serving a breeze by adding two brushed-brass handles as a final, fancy touch.

Get the How-To: How to Make a Stylish, Cane-Back Serving Tray

Upcycled Laundry Basket Planter

Breathe life back into your old plastic laundry basket. Transform the boring bin into a charming, nautical planter using hot glue, natural jute rope and blue trim accents.

See More Photos: 3 Oversized Planters You Can Make From Upcycled Items

Pressed Posy Tray

Brides, listen up! Create a keepsake serving tray by pressing special or sentimental blooms (i.e. your bridal bouquet) between two pieces of acrylic. The results will be just as pretty as the posies themselves and you’ll treasure your new tray, and all the memories linked to the blooms, for years to come.

Get the How-To: How to Make a Botanical Tray

Sandbox Turned Mini-Garden

Rather than letting your kids’ once prized, cartoonish sandbox rot away in the corner of your yard, upcycle it into a miniature garden fit for older children and adults, alike. Enlist the help of your family and spend the afternoon together, following our step-by-step instructions below. You’ll treasure the time spent together, and they’ll be in awe of how their plants and posies grow almost as quickly as they do.

Get the How-To: Upcycle a Sandbox Into a Kid-Friendly Garden

Turn Woven Hamper Into Mobile Toy Chest

Pick-up post playtime has never been easier, thanks to this snazzy, mobile toy chest. Transform a lightweight, tall woven hamper into a mobile storage wagon by securing wheels from a small bicycle. Don’t forget to attach a simple, T-shaped handle to the base for easy rolling around the house!

Get the How-To: How to Make a Mobile Toy Box

Dye Your Table Linens

Get the (pricey) Pinterest tablescape of your dreams – at a fraction of the cost. Use a few colors of diluted fabric dye and our step-by-step instructions below to create custom, ombré table linens.

Get the How-To: How to Make Ombre Table Linens

Make a Whimsical Felt Mobile

Nesting, expecting mamas-to-be: here’s a quick and easy craft for you! Handcraft a mobile for your nursery using an embroidery ring, nylon cord and felt balls in various shades and sizes.

Get the How-To: How to Make a Felt Ball Mobile

Craft 3D Cards

Skip the line at the store. Create a stylish greeting card with materials you already have at home. The recipient will rave over your creativity and appreciate the time and care that went into making their card.

Get the How-To: 6 Cute and Easy DIY Cards You Can Make in 5 Minutes or Less

DIY Serving Station

This serving station project is easy to put together and guaranteed to earn you compliments from guests at your next event. Best part? You’re able to upcycle two pieces from your home: an old bucket from the garage and a simple, wooden stool from the kitchen.

Get the How-To: Turn a Wooden Stool Into a Party Beverage Station

Upgrade Your Antique Trunk

Dust off that antique trunk that’s been sitting in your attic for the last 10 years and show it some much-deserved TLC. Add a couple coats of paint and use casters to transform the trunk into a mobile coffee table.

Get the How-To: Add Casters to an Antique Trunk for a Mobile Coffee Table

Farmhouse-Style Stamp Planters

Infuse your herb garden with farmhouse style. Paint plain terra-cotta pots with matte-finish white paint and distress by smudging while the paint is still wet. Add charming, imperfect stamp labels to each pot with black paint and stenciled, typewriter font.

Get the How-To: How to Make Hand-Stamped Terra-Cotta Herb Planters

Upcycled Wire Basket Table

Use an afternoon to transform a cheap wire wastebasket into a glamorous end table. Coat the wire basket with gold spray paint and create a table top from a single, large marble tile, supported by a wood base.

Get the How-To: Craft a Cool Wire Basket Table

DIY a Magical Play Canopy

Gift your kiddo with a creative and cozy space to play with this no-sew, night-sky canopy project. Repurpose a worn-out hula hoop and pick up a few basics from a craft store, like fabric and adhesive tape. Follow our step-by-step and before you know it, you’ll have a dreamy space for your child to read, play and relax. Ready for your next project? Check out this colorful DIY wreath as another fun way to upcycle a hula hoop.

Get the How-To: Make a Dreamy, DIY Play Canopy for a Kid's Room

Pretty Up Your Terra Cotta Pots

Itching for some new planters? Pull out your detail paint brushes and white paint and get to work on low-cost terra-cotta pots. Create cool contrast with a bold trim, or add movement by painting stripes in varied widths.

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