Whether you’re on a tight budget, going green or simply looking to make the most out of what you have, repurposing and upcycling can breathe new life into old stuff. You don’t have to resurface your cabinets or do major carpentry to upcycle. These five common household items are a cinch to reuse around the house.
Old ladders, especially wooden ones, can be transformed into nifty storage solutions. With a few planks, an open A-frame ladder can be turned into a bookshelf. Lean ladders against a wall and use as a shoe or towel rack. Use your ladder as-is for a rustic look, or give it a facelift with a coat of paint.
With a center punch and a hammer, you can turn old silverware or wrenches into adorable, ultra-unique wall hooks. Hammer the metal around a pipe to give it a curve, and use a center punch to create holes for screws. You can also make hooks out of old cabinet knobs, spigots and even plastic toys your child has grown out of.
Like ladders, suitcases can be repurposed in many ways. Stack suitcases of graduated heights or attach old table legs to one suitcase to create an eclectic-looking end table. Mount a mirror to the front and shelves to the interior of a small suitcase to make a medicine cabinet. Or take off the lid, pad the sides and squish a pillow inside to create a comfy bed for your pet.
Toilet Paper Tubes:
Given the chance, the humble toilet paper tube can prove its worth outside the bathroom. The tubes corral cords like they were made for it. Cut in half with one end folded in, the tubes also make great seed-starting pods. Flattened, decorated rolls with their ends tucked in become creative gift tubes.
When they’re no longer useful on your feet, don’t add your shoes to the world’s ever-expanding landfills. Fill them up with dirt and use them as planters instead. The plants won’t mind the smell! If you don’t appreciate the “raggedy shoe” aesthetic, spray paint them all the same color to give them a uniform look.
Once you start repurposing, you’ll find yourself seeing the potential in everything. Don’t be afraid to try something new—your strangest ideas may turn out to be the best ones.