Jewelry

Junk drawers. We’ve all got ‘em. Don’t let these tiny caves of forgotten things be the bane of your existence, though. Open the drawer, take a deep breath and confidently state these five words: “What can I upcycle today?”

Upcycle has become one of those buzzwords in the green movement over the last year, but for good reason. What’s wrong with sewing old buttons to frayed ribbon and creating a unique necklace or wrist-wrap? Nothing, I say!

The following are some simple things that can be upcycled in a matter of hours that you can most likely find in your home.

Jelly jars into vases

Yes. You can recycle glass jars and bottles. But every so often, you’ll find a few unique glass containers that are eye-catching. Use these rare gems to store pins, knickknacks or hold flowers and dried herbs.

Wine bottles into candle holders

You just threw the most amazing dinner party, like, ever. Instead of recycling all those empty bottles of organic Syrah, save a few and create some makeshift candle holders. Make sure the candle (there are some great beeswax and soy candles out there) is safely secured in the bottle before the candle is lit and place a small, protective cover underneath the bottle to catch dripping wax.

Belts into bracelets

An old leather or a cloth belt that used to cinch your favorite coat can be cut, sewn and altered into a thrifty bracelet or wrist cuff.

Junk into jewelry

Whether it’s taking an old, broken zipper and making a ring, or taking old film negatives, earring clasps and hooks to make modern earrings, anything can be made into a cute piece of jewelry.

Bags into purses

I don’t know about you, but I have a hall closet dedicated to old bags I’ve received for free. Add extra patches, buttons or beads to the bag to make the once discarded bag toteable. Also, those cloth bags that contain coffee or flour? Consider sewing straps to the top of the bag to create a one of a kind, upcycled purse worthy for a casual night out.

Towels into curtains

Take superfluous bath towels and attach hooks with alligator clasps to the top of the towel. String the towel across a window. Have a ton of old kitchen towels? Sew the towels together to create a unique, patchwork-esque curtain.

image: Liverpool Design Festival