Eclectic Upcyclery for All and Sundry!


How to make a lamp out of a bottle (or anything else)

Go to a hardware store, buy a lamp kit, and stick it through pretty much anything. Seriously, that’s it. They cost about six to ten bucks.

No, wait, fine: here’s an instruction guide on how to drill through glass so as to upcycle a glass bottle into a lamp. Suzi seems to have stuck with liquor bottles–and considering that there’s a brand of vodka that comes in a glass skull, who can blame her?–but there’s no reason you shouldn’t be recycling other things, too. Hang on a sec, I’ll see what Google Image Search turns up.

Soup cans…

A car air filter…

A tea set…

Plumbing fixtures…

A blender…

INSTRUMENTAL LIGHTING - TRUMPETS | Instrument, Lamp, Upcycling, Upcycle, Recycle, Handmade, New York City, Jaime Cornett, Trumpet, Brass, Gift for the Musician | UncommonGoods

Musical instruments…

Pretty much anything you can put a hole through that will stand up on its own. (Click the images to links to the original sites for more in-depth instructions in most cases.) If you’re still using incandescent bulbs like some kind of environment-hating endangered-owl-kicking dinosaur jerk that doesn’t wanna spring for a weird-colored light-bulb that costs, like, twenty times as much, be sure to use things that won’t melt (no soda bottles, for example); if you’ve switched over to fluorescent bulbs, even those will work. What a time to be alive, right?

Color Your Glass

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Now before I start, let me say that I haven’t tried this yet, so I can’t swear to it. But apparently, according to a certain Rebecca Vandervliet, you can mix Elmer’s glue with food coloring and brush it onto glass to give it a nice colored beach-glass look. I wouldn’t use it on something you plan on eating or drinking out of, but candle holders, decorative things, champagne flutes being used as pen holders

Wall of Mugs

Mug holder made from spoons! (Needs some eco-friendly alteration, but a great idea!)

From the great (and sadly defunct) I wish I had enough wall space (and spoons) to do this. (I have a habit of hoarding strange and interesting cups and mugs; my girlfriend hates it, but I could totally fill a smaller version of this.) Might also be good for a quirky coffee shop–when I lived in Pensacola there was a place that had shelves upcycled out of old bikes, and fixtures that looked like they’d been salvaged out of a dozen different abandoned restaurants.

Personally I’d use something else for the back–probably a hideous painting in a gaudy frame, like they have in thrift stores all the time. As long as you can clean it, maybe some of those antique-looking boards recycling blogs seem to love so much, or even an old table-top.

Car Mirror as Desktop Mirror

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Via Hipcycle (yeah, another Pinterest rip). Now I know that very few people have old-style auto mirrors laying around that they’re hoping to keep out of the trash, but this is cool enough that it might merit a trip to your local you-pull-it junk yard. A lot of them charge for entry, but then a lot of them have one day a week (or a month) that it’s free. Since you’re going in anyway, definitely keep your eyes to the ground for small bits that have been dropped (or fell off)–they tend to be great for building little things out of.

CD Spindle Ear Ring Storage

earring rack.jpg

Originally by Connsue Craft. Not that I personally have a lot of ear rings needing storage, but I know some people do, and I would sure love an idea of what to do with old cd spindles. Personally I would have considered using actual cd’s instead of the clear ones–most spindles have one or two duds, right? Or have I just been buying crappy CDRs?

Countertop Made of Pennies

This one’s from Domestic Imperfection. She (and her crew of “volunteers) went through a lot of trial and error to make this, so you should be in the clear if you want to try it.

And besides that, there’s lots of things you can use coins for! If you’ve got something that can drill through them, anyway. For example: use nickels or quarters as coat buttons. (I don’t have a drill that will go through metal, but you can probably use your imagination on that one.) Also, this:

And that’s not even getting into the bizarre world of hobo nickels…

Suitcase Endtable (and many other things)

How to Make a Suitcase Table: Instructions

Sorry it’s been so long since I posted–I just moved to a new apartment that’s smaller than my old one, so the place is so full I don’t have a lot of need to upcycle furnishings. Still, just because my place is stocked floor to ceiling doesn’t mean I’m not interested in new and better ideas, so here’s an endtable from Stars for Streetlights that offers a handy little storage space; if you’re lucky, you can even find (or already have) a decent suitcase with a lock. Anyway, her blog offers complete detailed instructions on how to build it, or at least how to get your grampa to build it for you. You will need:

How to Make a Suitcase Table: Instructions

And so on.

I’ve seen a lot of ideas for reusing old suitcases: liquor cabinets…

Jewelry displays…

Bathroom cabinets…

And so on. (Every one of those images links to a site with its own list of suggestions.) My only problem is this: I’ve been to the suitcase departments in thrift stores, and they all smell like moldy old clothes. But hey, Febreze is cheap, right?