10 DIY Upcycle Project Ideas

The art of upcycling is as old as time, especially when it comes to household objects. As long as people have had stationary homes, smart folks have learned how to use what they have to transform it into something else usable. The term was coined in 1970, but we all know that depression era folks have mastered the art of upcycling to it’s finest. I’m no exception, coming from a long line of frugal homemakers. I’m a child of the 70’s, not the depression, but I still love taking trash and turning it into treasures to fill my home. Today we’re looking back to see 10 upcycle project ideas.

upcycle, entry way, decorating ideas,
Some ideas are really simple, like upcycling a ladder to be a coat rack in our entry. It’s perfect for the spot that doesn’t really room for a proper entry way.
crafts, craft ideas, diy, upcycle project
A smaller, yet still simple idea, is a getting crafty with some Scrabble tiles and turning them into magnets. Not only does this project upcycle old game pieces, but it also uses the advertising magnets that we all seem to have too many of.

craft project, craft idea, crafty, easy craft, book page crafts, book page ideas, decorating ideas
If you’re looking for something a little fluffier, book page garland is the easiest trick in the book. With a thrift store (or falling apart) book, you can make tons of this pretty garland in no time at all.
DIY, pallet wood project, craft project, easy build project

Friends can have the smartest ideas, like my friend Donna at Funky Junk Interiors. She shared a post with me on how to make a tool box planter from upcycled parts

upcycle project, DIY, cable spool, stool, building, sewing

Bringing stuff back to life isn’t just about making small things. I recently upcycled a cable spool to be an upholstered ottoman – and it’s one of those things we use every day, so it was a great project.

upcycle, DIY, coffee table project, ottoman, how to, building, recycling

I kinda have this thing for ottomans, which is why I also turned a coffee table to an ottoman for our living room.

ballards imitation, ballard knock off, craft project, lamp slip

Of course the easiest way to bring anything back to life is with spray paint. When I wanted some Ballard inspired lamp slips, it wasn’t hard to figure out how to DIY them.

chicken wire, lamp, light, DIY, upcycle, decorating ideas

I’ve had a few other “bright” ideas, like making a chicken wire light fixture. My easy step by step can show you how.

upcycle, solar light, DIY, outdoor decorating

Other light fixtures include making an outdoor light from an old wired chicken lamp. A two minute project that has stood the test of time.

book project, lamp, how to, DIY, upcycle, industrial decorating

After nearly 4 years of blogging, I think one of my latest projects is one of my absolute favorites of all time, a DIY book lamp. It’s in my office…. the one you’ll see on MONDAY 🙂

So that’s it – my top 10 favorite upcycle projects straight from my shabby creek cottage.

Enjoy this post? 
Get all my posts delivered to your inbox!

About Gina Luker

Gina Luker is a writer, photographer and lover of all things quirky. She's usually found with a drill in one hand and a cocktail in the other while blogging along the way. She's addicted to coffee, polka dots, rock stars, Instagram, and everything aqua.


  1. ‘Love the Lamp!!!
    CUTER than CUTE!!!

  2. What color did you use to paint your door?

  3. These ideas are gray and inspiring. Going to go through my stuff and see what I can up cycle.

  4. I love upcycling – you have fabulous creative ideas! Thanks for sharing them.
    Krista @ thehappyhousie.com

  5. I just discovered you blog and it’s fantastic. I love that you don’t live in a mini mansion. Your creativity and can do spirit shows that you don’t have to spend a ton to have a lovely customized home. Very inspiring!

Speak Your Mind