It’s finally spring!!
That means I’m packing up my hoodies and clearing out some space for spring cleaning.
Now I could just donate stuff or throw sh*t away this is a great time to think about how we can upcycle - better yet how to upcycle in a way that another family can benefit.
This doesn’t mean that you’re going to open up an Etsy shop (but hey, why not?), but at least it’ll get stuff out of your house and be loved in another.
15 Upcycling Ideas You Can Do Now!
Upcycling Idea 1. Cloth Diaper Flats to Kitchen Towels
This one is my fave. Honestly, you don’t even really need to do anything.
Flats can be used as kitchen towels, unpaper towels, and anything in-between without the need for sewing or really, anything.
If you want to get a little crafty with this upcycle idea though, I recommend busting out some tie-dye and get the kids involved.
Heck, even if you aren’t upcycling just tie-dye some flats!
Upcycling Idea 2. Paper Towel Holder to Bracelet/Scrunchy Holder
Now that you’ve switched to unpaper towels you’ve found it easier to just throw those into a wet bag instead of on your fancy-schmancy paper towel holder.
But now...what to do with that thing?
Grab your hot glue gun and bedazzle it!
Razzle Dazzle, not quite the look you’re going for? You can always just paint it!
With scrunchies being back in style this would make the perfect gift!
Upcycling Idea 3. Boingos to Swiffer Holder
This upcycle idea is another craftless idea! Score for the non-crafty families!
When you’re no longer cloth diapering, but have prefolds sitting around.
You can fasten prefolds to your favorite mop/broom system like Swiffer with the addition to the Boingos you probably still have lying around.
Upcycling Idea 4. LuSa Lotion Bar Packaging to Trinket Holder
I always say I’m going to just buy the refills, but let’s be honest here- before I even finish one I’m trying out another scent!
This means I have at least two of these empty at any given time.
You can easily turn these into adorable trinket/jewelry holders with some hot glue, gems, buttons, really whatever you already have on hand.
Want something a little more organic looking?
Try some thin yarn or embroidery floss.
Speaking of, that would make a super needle and pin holder.
Upcycling Idea 5. Stretchy Swaddle Blankets to Throw Pillows or T-Shirts
You’ll need to have some sewing skills (which I clearly lack), but once your little one has outgrown the swaddling stage what are you supposed to do with those things?
They look like new, but you’re too lazy to sell those swaddle blankets?
Find a sewing pattern for throw pillows, toddler t-shirts, and even skirts!
Upcycling Idea 6. Wet Bags and Prefolds to Waterproof Burp Cloths
You’ve managed to destash most of your wet bags and prefolds, but have a few laying around and your neighbor is about to have a baby.
With rudimentary sewing skills, you could pull off a waterproof burp cloth!
Simply cut and sew one layer of your wet bag to a prefold. BOOM!
Upcycling Idea 7. Stretchy Swaddle Blankets to Scrunchies
I know the second I said scrunchy holder you were thinking of this.
This would actually be a good project for a child learning how to sew.
Grab some elastics and your swaddlesand a free scrunchy pattern and you’re good to go.
You could even use old elastics from those diapers you haven’t managed to sell!
Upcycling Idea 8. Empty Cj’s Pots to Finger Paints and Homemade Playdoh
We know you have heaps of these collecting space in your closet or junk drawer.
Whether they’re the minis or 6oz pots those empty containers don’t need to go in the trash.
They can be cleaned, re-labeled, and filled with homemade finger paint or your favorite kool-aid playdoh recipe!
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Upcycling Idea 9. Old Ladder into a Shelving Unit
Do you have an old wooden ladder or two gathering dust in your garage, shed, or basement?
Breathe some new life into them ad repurpose them into a gift-able shelving unit.
Upcycling Idea 10. Mason Jar Lights
Mason jars can be quickly transformed into outdoor lighting with the aid of some tea lights and glass pebbles!
Wanting to add some color to this upcycle idea? A thin coating of glue and tissue paper can add some pizzaz.
Upcycling Idea 11. Wine Rack to Towel Rack
Even if you aren’t the type to relax with a nice glass of Riesling, this is an easy upcycle idea that may or may not take any additional work outside of an install!
Sand or paint, hang, add towels, DONE.
Excuse me while I run to the thrift store to pick one up on the cheap.
Upcycling Idea 12. Cloth Diapers to Booties
Again, this upcycle idea requires some sewing skills and knowledge that I do not possess.
That said, there are many cloth diapering mamas that do turn old cloth diapers and wet bags into baby booties, toddler moccasins, and more.
Don’t want to tackle this on your own? Donate to a friend or small shop that does! They’ll thank you for it.
Upcycling Idea 13. Baby Leggings to Rice “Socks”
Yet another upcycle idea that requires little no mad skills and is actually useful.
I could write an entire blog on the importance of rice socks, but we’ll save that for another day.
This one is easy.
Flip the baby legging inside out and sew one edge shut. Flip right-side out, fill with a cup of rice, and sew the other side shut.
Upcycling Idea 14. Baby Leggings or Missing Socks to Bean Bags
Growing up in the midwest, cornhole was like a national sport.
You can up the cornhole game by following the rice sock template (just make sure you adjust the size!) and adding any filler you’d like.
I like pinto beans for this upcycle idea!
Upcycling Idea 15. Tin Cans to Pencil Holder and More
This upcycle idea can be as crafty or uncrafty as you’d like! Hot glue some fabric (maybe some old wet bags or swaddle blankets!), buttons, ribbon, sisal, rope, washi tape, etc.
I have a diced tomato can that’s now a fancy make-up brush holder.
The sky is the limit here. And now I want to redo my bathroom holders….
Conclusion - 15 Upcycling Ideas
My memories of Spring Cleaning were mostly of purging and throwing stuff away, but with all of these upcycling ideas, I think we’ll need to change Spring Cleaning into Spring Crafting!
Even if you’re not looking to upcycle necessarily, but want to create a custom gift for a loved one, I’d start out with scrunchies from swaddle blankets.
You’d be able to make around ten scrunchies from one blanket!
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