Instead of tossing those old CDs or even your old furniture, take a closer look to see what else you could make with it. By repurposing and recycling old items, you can save money, create innovative decorating items, while doing your part to save the environment. Everything you repurpose is one less item that lands in the landfill.
The City of St. Louis, Missouri, provides information about the options and benefits of using reused and recycled materials. You can often make these items yourself, but more and more artisans are getting creative with recycled materials as well.
With 10 creative ways to decorate with your recycled products, you can ensure that your home has a designer appearance that doesn’t negatively impact the environment.
Those old plastic crates sitting in the garage or the basement can come out of hiding and serve both functional and designer purposes. Clean them up and spray paint them with designer colors to coordinate with any room. Stop right there and you’ve got attractive bins for stowing toys or gadgets. Cut a piece of wood to fit on top, cover it with foam and fabric and suddenly the tired old milk crate becomes a fashionable footstool.
When you move past CDs and onto digital music, you may be left with a small mountain of obsolete discs lying around. You could use old CDs as coasters for drinks, glue candle cups onto them and use them as candle holders, paint CDs and hang them on the wall or refashion them into a beautiful wind chime. You could even repurpose a CD into a clock with a simple clock kit.
3.Old Book Box
If you’re not going to read your old books, put them to use as boxes instead. Old hardcover books can transform beautifully into small boxes. You’ll need two books of roughly the same size -- about 2 to 3 inches thick would be ideal. Cut the pages out of both books – you’ll use the front and back covers of one book for the top and bottom of the box and the other book covers to cut and glue together the four sides of the box. A little measuring and hot-gluing and you’ll have a box in no time.
Old dresser drawers can become attractive shelves on the wall. Sand and paint the inside and outside surfaces of the drawer in a color that matches your décor. If you want to add wood dividers in the drawer, measure and cut smaller wood pieces and glue them into place inside the drawer. Mount the drawer on the wall so the bottom of the drawer touches the wall and the inside of the drawer faces out into the room.
If you don’t have wallpaper scraps sitting around your home, this project is worth a trip to a wallpaper store to beg for some scraps. Make murals or designs on the wall by cutting the scraps into pieces. You could make geometric designs, animals or even stars on the wall. Moisten the glue side of the cut wallpaper scraps and apply them to the wall to create whatever design you want.
Instead of letting old clothes hang in your closet or accumulate dust in boxes, put them to good decorating use. Cover throw pillows with old dress shirts or jeans. Make the buttons of the dress shirts button up the center of the pillows or the back pockets of the jeans sit squarely across the fronts of the pillows. You could even make a warm quilt out of scraps of denim.
Vintage silverware can add charm and distinction to your décor when you repurpose it creatively. Use spoons or forks as drawer and cabinet pulls in the kitchen. Make candleholders out of spoons and forks by simply gluing metal candle cups to spoons or forks and you’ve suddenly got innovative candleholders that will catch everyone’s eyes.
Tea tins often come in beautiful designs and colors. It’s a shame to toss them when you could be repurposing them in creative ways. Use old tea tins to make decorative candles. Pour scented candle wax into the tins and you’ve got beautiful and creative candles to use around the house. Use a vintage tea tin to hold dry herbs or flowers. Attach a tall tea tin to the wall and use it to hold kitchen utensils. You could even attach a magnet to the side of a tea tin and attach it to the refrigerator to hold pens or pencils in a convenient spot.
Shutters can do more than cover windows. Hang a shutter on an interior wall and use it to quell the clutter. By using clothespins, you can clip papers inside the slats of the shutters. You can also use it as a mail organizer by tucking envelopes inside the slats. Attach little S-hooks and you could even hang household keys from the shutters.
Large wooden spools – the ones used for storing electrical wiring – are useful in a variety of repurposing ways. Sand the wood down, prime it and paint it to match any room. Suddenly you have a funky footstool. You could even add vertical dividers between the top and the bottom of the spool and use it to store books and games. Add a cushioned top to the spool and suddenly it’s a pretty ottoman.
Once you begin looking at household items or even trashed items with a new and imaginative eye, you may be amazed what you can create with castoffs. Save money, create innovative décor for your home and save the environment by reusing items that were destined for the junkyard. The decorative items you make can fill your home with unusual pieces that give your rooms a distinctive and unusual flair.