a cheese grater turned upside down to form a plant pot

10 garage items you can upcycle at home this weekend

Have you ever upcycled an item? Or rather, popped something in your garage to ‘deal with’ at a later date because you didn’t want to throw it out? Now is the time to upcycle at home! Hopefully the weekends are getting warmer and drier, so there’s never been a better time to get outside for some upcycling. Whether you’re a passionate DIYer or a complete novice with a paintbrush, we’ve got a project for you to enjoy. Let’s transform your ‘trash’ to ‘treasure’.

Upcycle at home: Clay flowerpot s’mores 

Have you ever had a s’more? While our American pals are more familiar with this tasty treat, there’s no reason we should miss out! That being said, bringing out the BBQ for a few toasted marshmallows does seem a bit tiresome. So, instead, upcycle a clay flowerpot. Put some sand in the bottom, line it with tinfoil and pop some charcoal in. Light your fire like you would your traditional BBQ and get toasting! 

How to make a s’more:

  1. Toast your marshmallow. 
  2. While it is cooking grab 2 digestive biscuits. 
  3. For your chocolate layer, you can grab Nutella, chocolate spread or squares of chocolate. 
  4. When your marshmallow is ready, pop it on one digestive biscuit. 
  5. Put your chocolate on top of the marshmallow (or spread it on the other biscuit) 
  6. Sandwich the two sides together
  7. Enjoy!

Upcycle your old paintbrushes 

Are you guilty of getting frustrated every time you decorate because bristles are falling out of your paintbrush all over the walls? Same here, and yet we never replace them because technically – they still work! We hate waste too which is why we started looking for ways to upcycle our paintbrushes. 

It turns out paintbrushes make pretty great puppet characters! They’ve already got the hair, all you need to do is paint on a face, maybe use some pipe cleaners for some arms and a couple of googly eyes! It’s a great craft to get the children involved with and creates a whole weekend of fun too. 

Upcycle your old bicycle 

A lot of bikes you can sell online or donate and allow another person to enjoy. But if your frame is a bit rusted and worse for wear there’s always the option to upcycle. We absolutely love this idea, and it’s perfect for whatever size bike you have. Whether it’s a child’s, teen or adult bike – transform it into a clock. You might want to start with a good ol’ scrub of the bike first! 

Just detach the wheel from the frame, remove the tyres and you’re halfway there. You can purchase a clock mechanism from anywhere online, or pop into your local DIY store. Fix the mechanism to the clock, and the rest is a personal preference. You can grab some metal door numbers and paint them out, paint the hands on the clock or grab some metal ones to match the numbers. Fasten it all together and you have a unique clock to hang anywhere inside or outside your home. 

Upcycle at home your old nails 

While some nails can be recycled, sorting through the different varieties and knowing which is which can be exhausting! Especially because you know the implications of wishcycling them. So, let’s see if we can find a new purpose for them by upcycling at home. 

We’ve discovered that if nails aren’t galvanised, and especially if they’re quite rusty, you can pop them point down in soil near hydrangeas and rhododendrons plants. This will nourish and give them an extra lift during the summer months. Alternatively, we love this crafty idea for a new door number. Grab a spare piece of wood and hammer away! 

Upcycle at home: Tin cans 

There are so many great crafts that you can enjoy with a tin can. Creating small planters, pen pots, even a drum if you have a balloon and some rubber bands spare. But we thought for this upcycle at home idea, we’d link it back to creating s’mores. As you sit outside in the evening, with only a small fire to light the space, why not create a tin can lantern. 

It’s super simple and there are plenty of ways to do it. You can start off by painting a design on your tin can. Then punch holes in the side (this will be where the light shines through). You may need a spare nail and hammer for this one, but don’t hit too hard otherwise your poor tin will crumble! After you’ve completed your look, pop a tealight in the bottom and wait for darkness to fall. You can cook your s’mores by candlelight – true campfire style!

20 Delightful DIY Candle Holders and Luminaries - Mum In The Madhouse

Upcycle a bucket 

We’re guilty of having a broken bucket sitting in our garage that has no handle – the uses are somewhat limited. So, we started scouring the internet for ideas on how we can upcycle it into a new purpose and here’s one to complete that BBQ set of yours. A parasol holder! 

Yep. There’s nothing worse than the umbrella for your garden furniture waving around and giving everyone a small heart attack every time it moves. So, we turned our bucket into a holder for it. Giving it that extra stability for when the wind returns on a summer day. Grab your bucket and a small piece of tubing (wide enough to have your parasol fit inside). Mix up some cement, put the tube inside the bucket and fill the doughnut area with cement. Solidifying the tube in place, after it hardens, you can add as much or as little cement as you like – as long as it’s weighted and secure. It means you can pop your parasol anywhere in the garden and be sure it won’t topple over! 

Upcycle all those memory items of clothing 

It’s human nature for many of us to keep items of clothing that have meaning. Whether it be our child’s first baby grow or a t-shirt from a special holiday.. Many items of clothing have sentiment, yet we don’t wear them. So, let’s upcycle them into something useful! 

We love this idea. Creating a blanket from all your memorable items of clothing. All you need to do is carefully plan out how they all fit together and pin it before stitching. You might want to cut them into squares so they’re all the same size, or you might want to sew some of the smaller pieces onto spare material before joining the blanket. It’s almost like an old-fashioned patch quilt, but instead of random material – it’s filled with memories. If you’re not keen on sewing it yourself, check our your local Facebook group as you may find someone local who can do it for you! 

Memory Blankets | The Little Sewing Works

Grab your punctured balls and upcycle at home 

This one works with any type of sports ball. No matter what sport, whether it’s football, rugby ball, basketball, netball or even tennis, any ball will work. We know there are plenty of them, punctured and lurking around in garden sheds screaming for an upcycling project! This one’s a real beauty! 

Cut the top of the ball off, anywhere between a quarter and a third of the ball. Pierce three holes evenly around the top (imagine the top of your ball as a clock face and you’re putting a hole through the side at 12, 4 and 8). Thread a shoelace through each of the holes and tie at one end so that the knot is inside the ball tie all your strings together are at the top. Voila, you have a hanging basket! Fill it with soil and compost, then plant a new plant. Perfect for the outdoors! 

Upcycling your recycling boxes 

Millions of us around the country have had our waste collections altered in recent years as wheelie bins and recycling bags replace our old open boxes. This is largely down to recycling centres being unable to collect wet paper and cardboard. We’re positive that this change will help to increase the recycling rate in the UK but what can we do with our old boxes? You guessed it – it’s the perfect opportunity for an upcycling project! 

Many people will use theirs as a quirky flowerpot, making a compost heap, even herb planters but we’re giving this one back to the kids. We think it’s a great chance to switch things up and create some mess. You can use it as a sandpit, or a box to make slime in. Anything messy that you wouldn’t want in the house or might be concerned about staining your patio! 

Upcycled magazine ideas 

Do you have a few too many magazines lying around the home? While they’re super easy to recycle, why not reduce your waste and upcycle them into something new? We love these creative ideas where magazines have been turned into art around the home, but if you’re looking for something more practical – try this. 

Grab a sheet of wood the size of a magazine. Fix 4 wheels to the bottom and stack your magazines on top. You will now have a moving tower of magazines. However, if you grab 4 belts, and tightly fasten them around the tower (2 horizontal, 2 vertical and interlacing) you now have a small footstool! You could even fasten a pillow to the top and have a sitting stool for the kids to sit on. 

Whimzeecal: DIY Friday: Upcycled Magazine Stool Tutorial

There you have it! 10 amazing upcycling projects you can enjoy this weekend. Whether you want to spend the day, weekend or even an hour on a project there’s something for you to upcycle at home here. 

We’ve thoroughly enjoyed making some of these projects, and we’re looking forward to seeing which ones you enjoy. Make sure you send us any pictures of your projects; we love seeing what you all create!

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