11 Super-Creative Upcycling Transformations


You know what it’s like, you buy something new and you love it. It adds a pop of color to a room, you feel happy whenever you see it. Then, as the years pass, it it feels as though you’ve been married to it for twenty years and, just like a stale romance, every time you look at it you want to toss it.

This is exactly how I feel whenever I buy a new piece of furniture. The first few years we’re in the honeymoon period. I love it. I can’t get enough of it. I find strategic ways to feature it in all my Instagram posts. Then gradually I begin to grow a little resentful, mostly when I walk past and stub my toe on it, and then we’re filing for divorce and I’m sending it packing without a backwards glance.

But whilst I’d usually have no second thoughts before throwing it into the trash, I’ve come to fall in love with the world of upcycling. It’s such a great way to give furniture a new lease on life in a fun and creative way, without continuously spending a small fortune on brand new furniture. Plus, when the love is lost you can simply turn it into something new. It’s genius really.

tin can planters

However hard we try, we always seem to end up with leftover tin cans. But don’t recycle them, upcycle them indoors. With a little soak, a spray paint and a label they’re unrecognisable as these herb planters. Pop them in your kitchen or by the window and you’ve got your own go-to herb garden made from leftover cans. Not bad, huh?

Find more information here.

glass bottle vases

I forever have leftover glass milk bottles or mason jars and find myself thinking what can I turn them into? I hate to throw them, so I’m happy to find something other than food storage to put my jars to good use. These vases are so cute and the perfect way to present a bunch of flowers and a great way to present a gift to someone you love. Plus, it won’t cost you $$ to make as you probably have a jar somewhere. Win!

Find more information here.


Do you ever upgrade your telephone and find a box of discarded old oldies in the attic? Story of my life. I have some pretty scary house phones that go further than being retro, so as an avid reader, I’m excited to turn them into these book ends. They’re pretty kooky and will look very trendy either on a busy bookshelf or on a more minimalist display . 1950’s called saying  “can we have your phones back?” and I said NO WAY!

Find more information here.

mason jar pen pots

Mason jars are such a great way to keep pens and stray bits and pieces tidy, so they make the perfect DIY project for your children. Use them to keep pencils and pens tidy so you’re not always finding random pencils strewn all about. Tie ’em in a bow and you have a nice little pretty Kerrs all in a row!

Find more information here.

serving tray

Whether you’re entertaining guests or it’s just your turn to make the round of coffee, this fabulous DIY serving tray is made from leftover wood. You can choose the pop of color to suit your decor, and it’s such a fantastic way to serve up drinks or nibbles when you’ve got people over.

Find more information here.

magnetic key holder

Always losing your keys? Upcycle some leftover wood and use it to make this DIY magnetic key holder. Your keys will connect to the magnet underneath meaning you’ll always know exactly where they are.

Find more information here.

upcycled chair

Chairs become worn very easily so it’s a great idea to give them a new lease of life with a lick of paint. And pastel shades are very on trend this year, as is chalk paint, so use them to paint over worn, faded wooden chairs to instil a big of color into the room.

Find more information here.

drawer turned into floral centrepiece

How many of us discard an old dresser set to replace it with something fancier? I’m definitely guilty. It never crossed my mind to upcycle the drawers, but no longer will a dresser of mine find itself in the trash pile. How gorgeous and chic does this upcycled drawer look as a garden planter? Super cute, you could even use this indoors to add a floral masterpiece.

Find more information here.

furniture bench

I love this bench upcycled from a scaffolding board. It’s pretty easy to make and the ‘shabby chic’ distressed look adds that rustic vibe to furniture.

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raised plate shelf

Not all of us are fortunate enough to have kitchens with oodles of spare space, so we have to get creative when it comes to storage. I’m loving this DIY plate shelf as it gives you double the amount of storage for your plates and bowls. It’s made from leftover food cartons, and with a lick of paint, will look super trendy in your kitchen cupboards. Not to mention it frees up a little space – hurrah!

Find more information here.

Retro tv dog house

Now, I happen to have a dog of my own who is incredibly pampered. And I just know that this weekend I will be turning an old TV unit into a little bed fit for a King. Seriously, how adorable is this? You could even use the draws to store dog treats, toys or, if your dog is anything like mine, the odd item of doggy clothing.

Find more information here.

Lora O'Brien

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