5 household items you can upcycle yourself

Waste not, want not. There's no need to throw away furniture or odds and ends at home: There are plenty of fun and creative ways to breathe new life into tired items you have lying around the house.

Nowadays, it's often cheaper to replace old or broken items with something new, rather than bothering to get them repaired. 

But with many of us looking to reduce our eco-footprints and the amount we throw into landfill, upcycling could provide another option.

Upcycling - the concept of restoring or converting old or discarded materials into something new, beautiful and practical - can give items much more character than you'd find in a store and you know it's one-of-a-kind.

Here's some ideas on how to upcycle five items you might already have at home.

1. Ladder

Nearly everyone's got an old timber ladder lying around in their shed or garage. Instead of leaving it to become a tripping hazard, sand the paintwork back to expose the beautiful timber beneath or use a lick of paint and some gloss to add a touch of colour.

An old ladder can be upcycled to become a stylish towel rack, a set of bookshelves, or even an unusual light fitting.

Image source: Pinterest/Topinspirations.com

Image source: Pinterest/The Owner-Builder Network

2. Chest of drawers

Have a rickety chest of drawers you're not quite sure what to do with? If you can't face a full restoration, remove the drawers and put them to good use another way.

Hang them vertically in your hallway for a quirky place to store your keys, repurpose two drawers into a vintage-style side table or take them into the garden and give them a new life as planting boxes, creating an ethereal 'abandoned country manor' vibe.

Image source: Pinterest/The Cottage Market

Image source: Pinterest/Recyclart.org

3. Bookshelf

The easiest way to add some life and interest to an old bookshelf is to line it with colourful wallpaper or a coating of paint.

Bright colours and bold patterns make the perfect backdrop for storing books and ornaments and will be so much more unique than anything you'd find at the furniture shop.

Image source: Pinterest/Etsy.com

Image source: Pinterest/Homesthetics.net

4. Bottles, cans and tins

Don't just throw them in the recycling - bottles, tins and cans can all be upcycled to become eclectic and useful decorations at home. We love this super cute clock made from an old tea tin and ingenious solution to giving an empty bottle of Hendrick's a second life.

Image source: Pinterest

Image source: Etsy

5. Vinyls

Remember that collection of vinyls you've got gathering dust under the stairs? Given Spotify isn't going away anytime soon, why not put these musical relics of the past to good use in the form of a fun vinyl pendant light, coat hooks or mail holders.

Image source: Amazon

Image source: Urban Outfitters

Image source: Etsy

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