50 Unique Recycled Crafts

Craft projects are always fun but if you can create something for little to no cost at all, then it suddenly becomes so much more satisfying!  So how do you do that?  You simply make something out of something you already have!  You just want it to be an item that you were not using or were going to throw away anyway.  This is called upcycling.

Making things out of throw away items not only saves you money but it is of course environmentally friendly as well.  Trash items like cans, bottles, bottle caps and paper are great to use but other items, that you may just be storing in boxes, can be upcycled as well.  Old cd’s that you know you will never listen to again or plates that are missing three quarters of the set can all be used in other ways.

Since there are so many different recycled materials or items that can be upcycled, I decided there should be a post with lots of different options.  So…I am highlighting a total of fifty….yes fifty!! different recycled crafts that are all unique and should get your creative juices flowing.

So…sit back and grab a cup of coffee as you go through this inspiring list.  Hopefully one or two will catch your eye and get you crafting!  Just click on the photos to get to the step by step tutorials.

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Buttons can be made into fashionable rings, baby food jars can become a chic chandelier, mason jars turn heads as a fun wine glass and those old Christmas tins can be transformed into decorative storage containers.

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These home decor items were made from an old book, a photo album, a dress shirt and old cd’s.

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A cd, wine cork, t-shirt and plastic bottle ends are all made into useable items.

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The tin cans and the wine corks are easy to see but can you tell that the tray is decorated with hotel keys and the napkin rings are made from toilet paper rolls?

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I had never thought of repurposing a mannequin in this way!

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We are about half way through.  Have you seen anything that you like yet?

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Almost everyone has mismatched dishes, clothes and books that can be made into these great items.

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A dvd case becomes a fly box, a mason jar is used for a soap dispenser, old jewelry makes pretty magnets and can you believe…an old radiator cover is used to make these chic vases!

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I bet you wouldn’t believe that the lantern was made from a cereal box!  The pencil holder was made from an old drinking glass and the boxes were decorated with none other than duct tape.

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These last two recycled crafts go hand in hand.  You can re-purpose your old hanging file folders with wallpaper to give them a fresh new look which reinforces them at the same time.  Or…you can create new ones using old record sleeves.  Either way, you can get organized in style!

And that rounds up the fifty!  Did you find one that you like?  Which ones will you be trying?

Happy Crafting!

Cereal Box Crafts That Look Anything But!

I am a huge fan of recycled crafts!  Anything that you can make from a throw away item… and make it look classy to boot… is special in my book.

One item that pretty much every household will have on hand, at some point, is an empty cereal box.  These make a perfect craft material for several fun projects.

A larger size cereal box is just right for a paper organizer or magazine holder.  I made this one for my own office by covering it with newspaper and painting the inside with a gray metallic paint.

The addition of some twine and an old key made it look somewhat vintage and fun for an office accessory.  I never think about the fact that the box once housed a supply of Honeycomb cereal!

There are lots of other cool things that you can make with these boxes that are decorative and useful.

Here are some of the highlights:

Yea!  Really!  These fantastic lighthouses are actually made from cereal boxes!  Angie over at Burton Avenue came up with this idea and I just love it.

I also love this beautiful gift bag by Colleen at Clever Nesting.  Who says you can’t make a bag out of a box?!

These storage bins made from cereal boxes are so bright and cheery!  Once again, who would have thunk?  This cheery design came from The Urban Nest.

Oh My!  Even a lantern!  This is amazing and most certainly puts the wow factor into a cereal box craft.  Nike at Thrive gives detailed instructions on how to make these.

These gorgeous beads made by Jayfa Jewellry are actually made from a box of Cheerios!  The strips of cardboard were rolled and varnished into this beautiful bead necklace.  Check out the blog to see exactly how this was done.

These cereal box sandals are just too adorable not too feature.  What little girl wouldn’t want to play dress up with a pair of these.  Family Fun shows just how to design a boutique full of these.

Happy Crafting!

Cereal Box Craft: Trendy Paper Holder

Crafts from recycled materials are some of my favorite crafts to make.  This particular craft uses an empty cereal box, some newspaper and a couple of old keys for the recycled parts.  Just a couple of extra materials are needed to complete this fun and trendy magazine or paper holder.

Of course the box could also be covered with fabric scraps, burlap, leftover wrapping paper, wall paper, magazine pages or any craft paper you may have on hand.  And, if you don’t have keys, the embellishments can range from anything you have in your junk drawer to something more elaborately made.

You could decorate with fabric or paper flowers, buttons, lace, beads or even bottle caps.  The choice is completely yours.

I chose to cover the cereal box with newspaper because I liked the simplicity of the design and the neutral black and white.  I didn’t want any pictures in my design, just words.

In keeping with the simple design, I chose to embellish the box with just a set of two old keys tied with jute and black string.  Again, the color of the keys and string are very neutral.

This cereal box craft project is fairly easy to do in a short amount of time.  To get a look like the pictured project, the directions are as follows:

Items Needed:

  • cereal box (I used a large Honeycomb)
  • newspaper
  • a couple of old keys
  • two pieces of 12 x 12 craft paper
  • decoupage (I use Mod Podge matte finish)
  • paint brush
  • jute string (about 42 inches)
  • black embroidery string (about 20 inches)
  • tacky glue
  • scissors

Cereal Box Craft Directions:

First, cut away the flaps from the top of the box.   At one of the narrow ends, measure six inches up and draw a straight line.  At the other narrow end, measure out from the back toward the front about 3 1/4 inches on both sides.  Now draw a diagonal line from that point to your six inch up point on the short end.  Do this on both sides.  Cut the box to form your paper holder as shown.

Start cutting out sections of newspaper and decoupage them to your box using Mod Podge matte finish decoupage.  Using a medium size paint brush, brush some of the Mod Podge onto the box first.  Next apply it to the back of the newspaper and set the paper in place.  Now brush another layer of Mod Podge to the top of the newspaper.  It will look shiny when it is wet.  Continue doing this with all of your pieces, lining them up in a nice pattern with just a little overlap.

This picture shows how it looks when it is partially dry.  The last piece put on was the one right above the World of Wine.  You can see that it looks a little bubbly.  It will flatten when it is totally dry, like the rest.

The inside edges will look like this when you are finished with the newspaper, which isn’t too pretty!  You will now want to finish the inside with a layer of craft paper.  I chose a shimmery silver craft paper to coordinate with the newspaper print.

Lay the box onto the craft paper, with the paper facing up, and draw an outline for your cutting edge.  Cut out the paper and decoupage it into the inside of the box.   Cut out sections for the other side as well as the two narrow sides and repeat the process of decoupaging.

Put a bead of tacky glue around the edge and trim out the box with a section of jute string.  This glue dries nice and fast so it is easy to press the string in place and have it stay.

The last thing to do is to cut a section of jute string about 20 inches long and two section of black embossing string the same length.  Tie your two keys, by a key ring, to the middle, and wrap the rest of the string around to the back.  Secure the string in place with a knot and cut any access string.   Secure the string in place with a bead of tacky glue at the front and back knots.

cereal box craft

cereal box craft

This project was linked up at the following sites:

Somewhat Simple