50 Clever Upcycling Ideas - Best DIY and Crafts Ideas

50 Clever Upcycling Ideas

New Uses for Old Things

With the passing of the holidays and the start of the New Year, many of us find ourselves wanting to do a little household tidying. Do you have a closet filled with items you no longer use? If you’re like us, it may include things like a box of faded t-shirts, a cache of cassettes with music from the 80s, and a few offbeat tchotchkes rescued from the second-hand store. Before you pull out those garbage bags, take a peek at all of the things you can do with your long-lost treasures. All it takes is a little inspiration to turn these seemingly useless objects into exciting conversation pieces of creativity.

Use this list to find 50 upcycling ideas to get inspiration to start a project of your own. You may be surprised at how much fun it is to reinvent products and imbue your favorite things with new life.

1. Turn Adult Socks Into Toddler Leggings

Baby Pants

Adult socks can find a new use as toddler leggings. Sew 4 Bub provides step-by-step sewing instructions to make these pants for your little one. Don’t let a little sewing scare you. It doesn’t require advanced sewing chops and the process is a lot faster than it looks. Get the instructions for Toddler Leggings.

2. Use a Cassette Case to Hold a Gift Card

Card Box

Chances are, you no longer have much use for that stack of old cassette tapes, let alone the cases that hold them. But, did you know they are the perfect size for holding gift cards? The next time you need to wrap a gift card, try this clever tutorial from Mod Podge Rocks. With any luck, people won’t even recognize the original container. Get the instructions for a Cassette Tape Gift Card Holder.

3. A Dish Rack Makes a Handy File Folder

Dish Rack

Refurbish an unused dish rack to organize file folders on your desk. Brenda of Cozy Little House customizes tab folders to match her red dish rack. You’ll be surprised at how naturally this piece of kitchen equipment can fit into your home office. Get the instructions for a Dish Rack File Folder.

4. Transform Eyeglasses Into a Photo Frame


Don’t toss last year’s eyeglasses! Take a note from Ashley’s Thrifty Living and repurpose them as adorable photo frames. Ashley used three pairs of glasses to frame six photos by arranging them in a shadow box. Complete this clever DIY project and display memories that stand out on the shelf. Get the instructions for Eyeglasses Photo Frames.

5. Restore Aged Windows to Display Art

Window Display Case

If you’re one of the rare few who happens to have an old window lying around then you’re in luck! Lynn of Shabby Story shows how she used a reclaimed window to add character to her home. The end result is gorgeous! Get the instructions for a Window Display Case.