What is Upcycling?

What Is Upcycling?

We know that in recycling, consumer materials like glass, plastic, and paper are broken down and used to make new products. Upcycling, according to UpcycleThat.com, “Upcycling is taking something that’s considered waste and repurposing it. The upcycled item often becomes more functional or beautiful than what it previously was.” Both recycling and upcycling play important roles in the impact we have on our environment.

What Are the Advantages of Upcycling?

Upcycling benefits the environment in multiple ways. Not only do you reduce waste going to landfills, but you also have saved the environmental cost of manufacturing something new. Upcycling also celebrates creativity and ingenuity — one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, indeed! You’ll beef up your crafting skills and save money when you begin using something old to make something new.

What Kinds of Things Can I Upcycle?

Almost anything can be upcycled! Unravel old sweaters to knit a rug or use old wood to make new shelves or make an old t-shirt into a pillowcase. There are no limits on what you can use and how you can use it.

Upcycle That has great ideas for fabric, glass, leather, metal, paper, and more. Visit their site and search by what you have or what you type of item you want to create. Search Pinterest for Upcycling Boards for inspiration. Good Housekeeping offers several ideas for upcycling everything from bricks to window frames to wine corks with photos of before and after. And YouTube is filled with videos of upcycling projects at all skill levels!

How Do I Get Started in Upcycling?

  1. The first thing is get into an upcycling mindset. Before you throw something into the garbage, take a moment and think of ways you might reuse it. Put these things aside for projects.
  2. Research DIY upcycling ideas. Use the ideas above, or find some resources of your own.
  3. Gather your crafting tools. These are entirely dependent upon the types of projects you’re interested in. They can range from knitting needles to screwdrivers.
  4. Find a dedicated space to work. Some projects could take several days to complete. You’ll need a place where your work won’t be disturbed by anyone.
You don’t have to be overly artistic to upcycle. Take that vintage side table from your grandmother’s attic, repaint it, and put on new knobs. That table would have ended up trashed, but now you have a new treasure!

Have fun and enjoy upcycling. You’ll make an impact on the environment and repurpose old items to make new ones for your home!
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