zero waste upcycle DIY projects

Achievable Upcycle and DIY Projects

Whether you’re a DIY junkie or just like watching (ahem, pinning) from afar, getting crafty at home can be more than just a fun project. If you incorporate materials that might otherwise be thrown away or recycled, or items that are used/previously owned, your craft serves other purposes 1) being eco-friendly and 2) making something useful out of something that would’ve normally been garbage. If you live a zero waste lifestyle or are trying to reduce waste, you’ll love these ideas.

This post highlights achievable (no, really) projects from around the web that are actually useful in the home or office. It’s up to you how embellished you get – things can definitely be nice looking and functional, depending on how much time (and what materials) you have.

Click through the photo to get to the tutorial and instructions on how to make these upcycled creations with materials you have in your home.

Note: If you don’t have something that you need for a project, ask family and friends before purchasing new! For some reason I didn’t used to do this. If I needed one of something, I drove off to the craft or hardware store to buy a full new package for myself. I thought that was “the right thing to do.” I thought it seemed weird to ask someone for help. Now I politely ask around – via texts/email to a specific person or a general call on Facebook – to see if someone I know has an extra on hand to share. Offer money or a trade if you want. The point is, why buy a whole package of something that you’ll then have to store until who-knows-when, if you only need one or two?

Onto the fun ideas!





And here’s another tutorial for t-shirt “yarn” in case you prefer a different method.

DIY food labels_09

I love the way these labels were created! If you want to get a bit more creative, turn to Google – try copying a chalkboard-style font or other designs.

If you have a sewing machine, or are the most patient person ever and will sew by hand:



I think some of these would make great gifts, too!

I love all of these ideas but my biggest “upcycle” takes little time and talent: re-using glass jars (and bottles.) Save every jar – no matter the size or previous contents. Certain products might make it harder to clean the jar but I do the best I can (distilled white vinegar with a tiny bit of liquid dish soap cleans out any residual smell or staining) and re-use for storing bulk ingredients, home-made sauces and dressing, different items in brown bag lunches, bathroom/bedroom/hardware storage containers, etc.

Do you have any of these materials on hand? Which projects do you want to try?

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