3 Simple Upcycling Ideas

‘Upcycling’ is a great way to give unwanted items a new lease of life. With a little bit of imagination and inspiration, your unwanted jumpers can become cosy winter socks and old teacups can become elegant tealight holders.

For kids, washing up liquid bottles can become space rockets and a few cardboard boxes can become a playhouse!

It’s also eco-friendly, recycling something old instead of buying something new and stopping unwanted items from going to landfill.

Perfect for all ages, try these fun craft project ideas to keep your whole household busy.

For adults:

Pallet to outdoor planter

Give your garden a makeover with this rustic alternative to a shop-bought planter. Wooden pallets and crates are easy to source and usually cheap or even free – try freecycle websites or ask at your local industrial estate. It doesn’t matter if they are not in great condition.

Carefully use a sanding block or electric sander to smooth the entire pallet – make sure you wear hand and eye protection to do this. Next decide how you want your planter to look – if needed, use a jigsaw to cut down your pallet and reassemble so there is only one open side. Use a staple gun to do this.

Finally, treat the wood with a protective stain or paint and once dry line the planter with landscape fabric to keep in soil and moisture. Fill with compost and you’re ready to get creative with bedding plants or create your own herb garden!

For kids:

Plastic water bottle to bubble blower

This super-simple craft takes moments for an adult to make and is sure to keep littles ones entertained outside.

Simply cut the bottom off the plastic bottle and stretch an old clean sock over the end of the bottle. Attach this with rubber band or waterproof tape. In a bowl, mix 2-parts washing up liquid to 1-part water and dip the fabric end of the bottle into the mixture.

Simply blow down through the top of the bottle and watch as a snake of bubbles magically appears!

For the whole family:

Empty jam jar to succulent terrarium

There are a whole host of crafty ideas out there to give glass jam jars a new lease of life, but have you considered bringing the outdoors in with your own terrarium?

All you’ll need are pebbles for drainage (collecting and choosing these is great fun for little ones), a small amount of soil or compost and a small, hardy house plant – an air plant, succulent or cactus works well. Then get building!

You can also use knotted string to make a macramé hanger for your planter, making for an on-trend decoration or delightful gift.