A Beginner’s Guide to Upcycling
Repurpose, reuse, upcycle. This is my new mantra, especially for those times I get the itch to rummage through the junk drawer, get rid of old, dingy sweaters, or finally open that tote that’s been sitting in the corner of the basement for who knows how long. If you’re like me, this isn’t just a spring cleaning occurrence — it happens a few times a year.
Bags and boxes worth of stuff I don’t need or want anymore — random odds and ends, unused picture frames, and home décor I outgrew — end up in the recycling bin, the trash can (sad, but true), or the Goodwill. But recently, I discovered upcycling, the process of learning to re-love items you would otherwise toss out by finding a new use for them. It takes a little creativity and innovation, so we put together some tips for getting started, along with a few of our favorite upcycling successes.
How To Start
- Search around on blogs, Instagram, and Pinterest for inspiration.
- Decide what item(s) you want to upcycle.
- Make sure you have all the tools you need for your project.
Easy Upcycling Ideas For Beginners
- Turn an old tennis racket into a mirror.
- Keep an unused hanging shoe rack to organize snacks in your pantry.
- Create your own firestarter with dryer lint, a toilet paper roll, and leftover candle wax.
- Sew together squares of old or unused fabric to make zero-waste makeup remover pads or cloth napkins.
- Make cute flower decorations for your garden out of bottle caps.
- Transform a six-pack into a condiment carrier.
- Repurpose an old picture frame into a serving tray or a wall shelf.
Upcycling isn’t just a fun way to give items you already own a new life, it also helps reduce waste that would otherwise end up in the environment.
That’s why at Brentwood Home, we pride ourselves on being upcycling experts. Our Hybrid Latex Mattresses and Organic Latex Seat Cushions are covered with a sustainable material known as REPREVE® that’s made from ocean-bound plastic bottles — for every mattress, we upcycle 57 plastic bottles! And those beloved cotton jeans that bit the dust long before you gave them up? We use those denim scraps to make our high-performance recycled denim mattress pad that’s free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and is made of natural materials.
The upcycling possibilities are endless — you just have to get creative and put your mind to it.