20 Clever Upcycling Ideas For Around Your Home

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These upcycling ideas will turn your trash into treasure!

Cleaning Bath & Body Works candle jars with Goo Gone Upcycling Ideas

Reduce waste with these clever upcycling ideas!

Here are some fun and inspiring upcycling ideas on turning things you’d ordinarily toss in the trash into something useful! Saves money and the planet all at the same time! Many of these 20 ideas are easy to accomplish, too.


wrapping storage boxes - upcycling ideas

1. Upcycle shoe boxes for stylish storage.

Before tossing away a thick shoebox or greeting card box, consider using it for office or craft room storage. I covered these bulk greeting card boxes in stylish shelf liner paper, and I use them in my office area as pretty yet functional storage!


reusing pill bottles - upcycling ideas for medicine bottles

2. Make a mini first aid kit from a pill bottle.

Re-purpose prescription pill bottles into mini first aid kits by including a few bandages, antiseptic wipes, and some allergy or pain relievers.

A Hip2Save reader suggested more upcycling ideas for pill bottles:

“Our empty medicine bottles are the perfect storage for a stack of quarters. Good for beads, buttons, and little stuff.” – Lora


three toilet paper tube wire organizers

3. Organize household cords with toilet paper rolls.

Use toilet paper rolls to keep all your electrical cords labeled and organized. I embellished mine with duct tape and scrapbook paper.


candle jars holding cotton and cotton swabs

4. Upcycle empty candle jars.

I added pretty knobs to the tops of these Bath & Body Works candle jars for easy and adorable bathroom storage! Check out these directions for cleaning out candles and more upcycling ideas for re-purposing candles.


storing snacks in clean plastic food jars - upcycling ideas

5. Use food containers for on-the-go snacks.

Re-purpose smaller plastic food containers as convenient and portable food storage for snacks. Keep them in your pantry or take snacks to go in your purse, diaper bag, or to the beach!


mason jars reused for pencils and stamps

6. Organize with empty Mason jars.

Use Mason jars or glass food container jars to organize everything from craft and office supplies to pantry items! They are so versatile and can serve so many purposes.


plastic sacks in a baby wipes container

7. Store plastic bags in empty wipes containers.

An empty wipes container makes a great way to travel with trash sacks or empty grocery bags for the beach or campsite. When empty, use it to keep wet bathing suits separate, as well.


Mason jar with a pin cushion and sewing supplies - upcycling ideas

8. Stick with this pin-worthy Mason jar.

How cute is this Mason jar pin cushion and mending kit?! I created this cute pin cushion in about 10 minutes with this fun tutorial from SeasonedHomeMaker.com – all I did was hot glue a ball of cotton filling and a piece of fabric to a Mason jar lid and then placed my sewing items inside!


reusing a coffee can for diaper wipes

9. Upcycle a coffee container into a wipes holder.

Reuse those oversized plastic coffee containers to store your homemade baby wipes made from a roll of paper towels. Check out the full instructions and video in this oldie but goodie of a post!


handwashing station with an old laundry liquid bottle

10. Create a DIY hand washing station.

Keep your campsite or outdoor party organized with a smart hand washing station. Fill an empty and clean detergent container with water and use the spout for hand washing.


washi tape on a tin can holding pencils

11. Craft a Washi tape pencil holder from an old tin can.

Upcycle tin cans by covering them with different colored Washi tape. Group them together for stylish and functional pencil and office supply organizing.


decorated boxes for desktop storage - upcycling ideas

12. Upcycle cereal boxes for desk organization.

There’s more to cereal boxes than the toy surprise! Use the empty containers to create a pretty and functional desk organizer like the one seen here.


mod podge beer coasters - upcycling ideas

13. Make DIY coasters out of beer packaging.

Save the cardboard boxes from your favorite brands of beer and use them to make these unique drink coasters.


using aluminum can tabs for hanging clothes

14. Use aluminum tabs in the closet for more space.

These aluminum tabs double your hanging space by allowing you to stack hangers! So smart and easy!


storage lids on a cd rack

15. Keep a lid on your old CD storage rack.

Don’t toss that old CD rack! Instead, use it to keep unruly storage container lids in order! Don’t have a CD rack? You can often find them at thrift stores.


using pant clips to seal chips bag and hold up cookbook

16. Upcycle pant hangers for chip clips in a pinch.

Plastic pant hangers can easily be re-used as chip clips. Consider using one as a clever cookbook holder while making a recipe too!


homemade sports tote bag from jersey - upcycling ideas

17. Create a useful tote bag from an old jersey.

Don’t toss your old sports uniform. Cut it up instead! Hip2Save reader Michelle surprised her coaches with these tote bags upcycled from old jerseys.


diy map frames
Source: In the Wabe

18. Use an old map to make a unique travel gift.

Give a plain picture frame a new look! An old map and mod podge can transform your frame into a thoughtful gift for a traveler. See the full DIY on In the Wabe here!


upcycling ideas colander planter from birds eye meeple
Source: Bird’s Eye Meeple

19. Turn an old colander into a whimsical plant holder.

Give your front porch a makeover! Repurpose an old colander into a functional planter. See the full DIY instructions on the Bird’s Eye Meeple blog.


3 bangle bracelets wrapped in fabric - upcycle
Source: Sarah Hearts

20. Use fabric scraps to make a new fashion accessory.

Save your sewing scraps and use them to create a custom bracelet. Wrap a strip of fabric around a bangle and secure with mod podge. Get the full instructions on the Sarah Hearts website.


Want more upcycling ideas? Give your decor a makeover with this spray paint hack!


About the writer:

Lina has a Bachelor's Degree from Northern Arizona University with 10 years of blogging and photography experience having work featured in Today.com, Martha Stewart, Country Living, Fox News, Buzzfeed, and HGTV.


Join The Discussion

Comments 36

  1. A

    Number 15, clever idea. Where can I find cd rack similar to that one?

    • Amber

      You could also search wire plate rack. Seems big lots may have something similar.

      • A

        Thank you. Plate rack have only 8-10 slots so wanted to know where I can find these cd rack

        • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

          Thrift stores like Goodwill.

    • peachcraze

      I found one similar to this at a thrift store and have been using it for my lids for years. It’s awesome!

  2. Mary

    I LOVE #4 and #7. Thanks so much for all those great ideas!

  3. Katie

    I use those screw top ice cream containers for the millions of nails/screws in our garage. We have so many and the cardboard boxes they come in don’t last long.

  4. acgold

    I also use tissue boxes to store plastic grocery bags.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh good one thanks for adding!

  5. Erin

    I keep tp rolls in the laundry room to make firestarters from the dryer lint. I’ve also started saving cardboard egg cartons to make firestarters for the grill and/or firepit.

    • Sara

      I like to use egg cartons for fire starters as well but our normal grocery store has styrofoam ones. I never though to use toilet paper tubes! Another way I make them is to use cotton rounds (you could use cotton balls too) to soak up the wax from my wax warmer when I’m ready to change out the scents. I just leave a little bit of the cotton exposed to use as the part to light.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh nice Erin! Thanks!

  6. Ann

    I’ve tried the Tupperware lid cd storage. It takes up too much space in a cabniet. (Unless you keep it on your counter like a drying rack,). I found it better to put all kids, or all kids of a brand or size in an open cardboard box (similar to the cut green cereal box in tip 12)
    Also for 16, I also use pants holders for outside on the laundry line like clothes pins, or I break the hanger and use the clips on chip/candy/cereal bags, clip to wires/cords and label them with sharpie too.

  7. patricialavenz-goff

    I have some old wooden boxes (not sure what was in them as they are old with no labels) that I keep my pot lids in right next to my pans. I have used coffee creamer bottles to make a bowling game with. The kids spray painted them and filled them with a little sand so they stand up better and then used a ball to knock them down. My granddaughter has made doll houses with old boxes and keeps doll clothes in old shoe boxes. My favorite is years ago produce used to come in these plastic containers to the grocery store and they had lids. I use them under the beds to keep the kids toys. I have also used those under the bed cardboard boxes at times.

  8. Lora

    Our empty medicine bottles are the perfect storage for a stack of quarters. Good for beads, buttons, and little stuff. It’s nice to see up-cycle suggestions like this.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh nice ideas thanks Lora!

    • Robyn

      I take old medicine bottles and USE to put a stack of quarters in them, I think it fits $20 and decorate the outside with washi tape and give them as part of a graduation present for college laundry. But most use cards, no change anymore. Still a good idea I think! Always good for an emergency! You never know!

  9. beaglemom46

    Thanks for the ideas Lina. We store our lids like #15 and it makes finding and storing the lids much easier. I like to save the glass pasta sauce bottles since they are like a mason jar. I use them to pour homemade broth and other cooking liquids inside. I also use them to store rice, quinoa, and dry goods where there is not much left to warrant keeping the while bag or box. We use the toilet paper cardboard roll as temporary pet toys. Cutting small vertical slices around each opening, makes it like a little firework the cats can play with. Finally, I like to reuse deep plastic lids like the ones from a Dairy Queen blizzard or to reuse yogurt cups as containers for growing plant seedlings before transferring them to the garden. I look forward to trying #16.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh those are are brilliant! Thanks for sharing 💕

  10. Cmascio2002

    Boy, you all are so creative. Thanks for all the great ideas!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Thanks for visiting today!

  11. hollyp1234

    I love the coaster idea! Very cool.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Thanks! Those are fun to make!

  12. moira

    Idh trash
    (Idh stands fro I don’t have

  13. savanna

    wow, this is so cool and it really works so well with all the trash my parents thank it is hoarding but it is reusing.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Glad you found this helpful Savanna!

  14. Jackie

    Great ideas Lina! With the economy so crazy right now and interest rates up and Gas….ok you get my point. Every cent counts big time now! I started up cycling items around my house also and this post gave me even more ideas. I have been saving the big fresh Parmesan tubs from Sam’s. It’s a clear square tub and I took the label (so easy with goo gone) and with my Cricut made a cute laundry label and I have all my tide pods in there. With the same tub I made one for the grocery bags that I use to line my bathroom trash cans and I save them in there. Those plastic tubs are perfect for so many things to be stored in. The mason jar idea with the pin cushion I will for sure try it this weekend. Very cute and cleaver ♥️.

  15. Pat Goff

    I use a few vintage ice buckets to keep my coffee filters in on the counter and my sandwich baggies in. They look gorgeous. I have an old seed box that I keep my Tupperware lids in. I have some old crystal decanters I got in Germany that I keep on a mirrored tray in my bathroom full of Listerine. They are very pretty and useful. I have some old tissue plastic boxes with jewels glued to them (50’s maybe) that I keep my make up in on my dresser in the bathroom. I love reusing my vintage treasures to hold things in. I have some old hand painted sugar bowls that I keep on my desk full of paper clips and pens. If it is beautiful I try to reuse it.

  16. jaimiv

    I get my pills in a bottle that is about 3-4 inches. I put all my manicure stuff in one. It is the best thing I ever did. I also have one that holds all my favorite eyeliners, Brow pencils and mascara. I never have to look for them.

  17. Sammie

    I have a tiny stash of those Talenti jars and can’t seem to get the label off (#4). What product/method did you use to remove it?

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Hmmm I honestly may have just turned it around to not see the label. You can try goo gone maybe?

    • Jackie

      It’s really hard but what I do is soak them in hot water, then use acetone. I get a cotton ball or paper towel and soak it on leave it on for like 30 seconds then scrub it good. Do a small section at a time. Then wash them in soapy water at the end yo remove the acetone

  18. Pammyjo

    I use the little plastic jugs from Sams Club nuts to keep ice melt in. After shoveling snow, I just grab one or two jugs and apply where needed. The wide mouth makes it easy to access, and sometimes I use a spray can cap or laundry soap cap as a scoop. (I also enjoyed consuming all those lightly salted cashews.)

  19. dabbilicious

    This year I used cardboard egg cartons to start my garden with seeds I picked up at the Dollar Tree (4/$1). They have all sprouted and are ready to move to a big pot and will be easy to transfer with the biodegradable egg carton.

  20. acgold

    I use the Oui glass yogurt containers for craft items, beads, desk items and small leftovers. I buy the plastic lids on eBay really cheap, We use the square plastic containers from Costco and Aldi nuts to supplement or OXO and Walmart cannisters. I didn’t want to buy/invest in anymore of them. They are pretty airtight and have screw lids. I use the Talenti containers when I have a small amount left in the cannisters, pls for arts & crafts and desk supplies. I have called Unilever and suggested they make them “nestable” so they are easier to store empty.

  21. Martha Huggins

    These are great ideas and I would also suggest considering before we buy items what will become of all the packaging. for example, coffee can be purchased in bags and also in bulk at food co-ops.

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