18 September 2012

Easy Eco: Simple Upcycled Projects You Can Do This Week

Most people want to do the earth-friendly thing, but not all have the cash to shell out to buy top-notch eco products or the time to spend finding new ways to use old things.  If you are new to upcycling or are just looking for an easy project, here are a few ways to get started.

Use your old bottles and jars for something new.

The easiest thing to do is to clean out old glass beverage bottles, mason jars, and canisters and use them to store something new.  My favorites are mason jars and Starbucks frappucino bottles, because I have plenty of them lying around and they are super versatile. 

I especially like this milkaholic bottle idea from Half Baked: The Cake blog, which helps you to transform old bottles into adorable milk bottles in a matter of minutes.

Milkaholic - The Cake Blog
Another easy project is making drinking glasses out of old mason jars.  This craft idea seems to be everywhere from DIY blogs to stores.  The cheapest and  probably easiest way to get your own set is to make them yourself. 

Using hot glue or rubber cement, you can glue the bottom of an old jar to a candlestick base and have an almost instant wine glass.

 Another thing you can do is use old scarves or fabric scraps to make upcycled lingerie, throw rugs, or even clothes.
Things like shirts, lingerie, and scarves are easy to make out of old clothes and materials, because they don't require much fabric to create.  I like the idea of this paisley bikini set from Crafting a Green World, because it's fairly simple in construction. 

Crafting a Green World
If you've got a lot of scraps, or don't want the stress of following a particular pattern, you can create an interesting throw rug simply by sewing random pieces together.   
Free People BLDG 25 Blog
Inspired by Free People's BLDG 25 blog, I experimented with my own scraps to make an easy eco project:
My in-progress version of an upcylced throw rug

I really liked the idea of rug composed entirely of blue jean scraps.  I also found that mixing textures and patterns can create a really cool effect when creating upcycled pieces. 

Finally, you can simply cover something old in something new: Whether it's paint, glitter, or upholstery, sometimes old things can be salvaged with a minor facelift.
New coat, new look: 

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