Six Creative Upcycling Projects

recycleEditor’s note: Students — please feel free to use the information here. Just make sure to credit it appropriately (with a link if possible)… including credit to the owners of the images.

Upcycling, a phrase coined by Cradle to Cradle authors William McDonough and Michael Braungart, is the act of creating useful products from waste materials.Β  You’ve probably seen several upcycled products on the market today–reusable bags are often made from old plastic bags, t-shirts, or other upcycled materials.Β  TerraCycle is now upcycling many products, including juice pouches and cookie wrappers.Β  Among design junkies, craftsters, and green folks, upcycling is the latest challenge to combat climate change.Β  My only gripe is I keep seeing the same upcycling ideas–the aforementioned reusable bags, the old t-shirt revamp–and they’ve been done.Β  Fortunately, places like Ready Made Magazine and Instructables continue to facilitate new upcycled products.Β  Here are six creative, practical upcycling projects that, with a little time and skill, you can do at home.

  1. At Instructables, bike enthusiasts can turn old innertubes into new wallets.wallet
  2. Ready Made turns old pallets into functional lawn furniture.
  3. This seems like it will be a timely project in a few months: chairs made from campaign signs.chair
  4. Green Upgrader has stylish light fixtures made from stuff from a basement:
  5. I’m all about making these leather cuff bracelets from old belts.
  6. CraftStylish has mini-journals made from old boxes and magazines.

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