Upcycling projects for beginners

Upcycling is a craft which involves taking an old, worn-outitem which has been thrown away or donated to a charity shop and transforming it into something new and exciting. For example, turning an old suitcase into an ottoman or using an old bookshelf to make handmade decorations. 

Upcycling is a great method for tackling climate change, as it reduces the amount of rubbish which ends up in our landfills and prevents unnecessary waste. Buying upcycled items as opposed to brand new ones could help reduce demand for factory made items over time, lowering carbon emissionsfrom manufacturers. 

Here are some popular upcycling projects for beginners. 

Wine cork coasters

Every nice home needs a stylish set of coasters. Consider making your own unique set from used wine corks. All you’ll need is a flat, square coaster, approximately eight wine corks (per piece) and a hot glue gun to attach the corks to the coaster. 

These coasters would make an excellent gift for a vino loving friend or a reminder of your adventures if you’ve visited other countries around the world and sampled their signature wines. 

Home décor 

Creating decorations and ornaments is a popular upcycling project, and chances are there are plenty of bits and bobs around your house that could be made into something new. Old mason jars could be turned into candle holders or tin cans could be revamped to make plant pots. 

If you have any old furniture you want to get rid of, why not chop it up and use the wood to make Christmas decorations or ornaments to brighten up your home? 


Wooden pallets can be obtained cheaply or even for free andcan be taken apart to build shelves for the kitchen, bathroomor bedroom. If you’re particularly handy with the hammer and nails, you might even want to try building a home bar for mixing cocktails in your living room. 

With a little creative upholstering and the addition of some legs, an old suitcase can be transformed into a stylish ottoman, while an old skateboard will make a handy bedside table – all you’ll need is a pair of solid legs to raise it off the floor. 

Ladder garden

Investing in house plants has become a popular trend in the past year, but not everyone has plenty of floor space for greenery. If you’re pushed for space but still want to indulge your green thumb, attach some planks of wood onto the steps of an old step ladder and you’ll have a nifty little shelf for your plant pots to sit on. 

If you want to give it a polished finish, a touch of paint will brighten it up, or sand it down and add a clear varnish to make it shine.

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