12 upcycling ideas for the home

Cactuses in upcycled containers, one of 12 upcycling ideas for the home.
Cactuses in various pots and upcycled containers. | Photo by Milada Vigerova from Pixabay

Decorating doesn’t have to be expensive to look great. Equipped with a few upcycling ideas for the home, you will be able to turn those thrift store treasures and flea market finds into interior design masterpieces.

If you are looking to add a little pizzazz to your interior design and reduce your contribution to the waste stream, here are 12 of our favorite home decor upcycling ideas. 

Mason jar terrarium

For a homey, hipster aesthetic, upcycle your mason jars into adorable terrariums for your favorite succulents. Follow this DIY craft video from Ideal Home on YouTube to learn how. 

Tin can pencil holders

Tin cans are not just well-suited to hold diced tomatoes and beans. They can also be upcycled to prop up your pencils or cutlery (an especially cute idea for BBQs and parties). Grillo Designs shows you how to clean and decorate your used tin cans and upcycle them into handy holders.

Cork bath mat

If you have a glass of wine (or two) at night to unwind from a long day’s work, make sure you save the corks. These step-by-step instructions from Think Crafts by Create for Less make it easy to turn your wine corks into a chic upcycled bath mat. 

Prescription pill bottle plant magnet. | Photo by Sam Schipani

Prescription pill bottle plant magnet

This rainy-day craft takes container gardening to a whole new level. Upcycling your prescription pill bottles into a cute magnet for an itty bitty seedling. The blogger behind It All Started With Paint also does a similar DIY using corks instead of prescription pill bottles. 

Materials to create a prescription pill bottle grow magnet. | Photo by Sam Schipani


  • Prescription pill bottle, label removed
  • Glue
  • Cotton balls
  • Potting soil
  • Seeds
  • Water


  1. Remove the top of a pill bottle and glue a magnetic strip to it. Let dry. 
  2. Place two cotton balls in a pill bottle. 
  3. Sprinkle a little water onto the cotton balls. 
  4. Place a few flower or vegetable seeds (beans work well) onto the damp cotton balls. 
  5. Fill with soil and sprinkle with a little more water. 
  6. Add the magnet to your refrigerator collection. 
  7. Water lightly every few days and watch your seedling grow.

Soda bottle soap dispensers 

Whether you sipped a specialty soda on your latest trip abroad or found a vintage bottle of your old favorite pop at the thrift store, glass soda bottles seem too pretty to throw away. Commemorate your favorite soft drink by turning those glass soda bottles into soap dispensers. Follow tis DIY from Joy’s Life to make your own.

Tea cup candles

Have a chip in your favorite cup? Don’t throw it away just yet — fill it with wax and turn it into a charming candle instead. This instructional video from Budget Savvy Diva shows you how. 

Rolling pin towel bar

If your rolling pin’s spokes are squeaky and the wood is worn, keep it useful in your kitchen by turning it into a towel bar using this DIY from the blog Jersey Girl Looks Up

Crib desk

If your little one has outgrown their crib and is moving on to the next stage, you can do the same by upcycling their crib into a desk. This DIY from A Little Learning for Two makes this upcycled home decor project simple.

A cutting board upcycled into a chalkboard. | Photo by Sam Schipani

Chalkboard cutting board

Along with a sharp, quality knife, your cutting board may be the most important item in your kitchen. You should replace your cutting boards regularly when they look worn, or else the excessive grooves will capture nasty bacteria that can transfer to your food. 

Luckily chalk paint works miracles to transform your discarded cutting board into something you can use in your kitchen again. (We used a wooden cutting board, but The Kim Six Fix used a plastic board for a similar DIY.)

Materials to create a chalkboard cutting board. | Photo by Sam Schipani


  • Cutting board (make sure you have cleaning it)
  • Painter’s tape
  • Chalk paint
  • Newspaper
  • Drill (optional)


  1. If you want to hang your cutting board and it doesn’t have a hole already, drill a hole in the top to hang.
  2. Line the edges of the cutting board with painter’s tape to create a frame.
  3. Spray the section of the cutting board that you want as the chalkboard with chalk paint.
  4. Allow to dry.
  5. Hang and use.

Colander planter

In the kitchen, colanders are the perfect tool for draining pasta and washing vegetables. In the garden, that drainage can be put to use in a container garden as a planter. You can keep your colander planter on your table or hang it on your porch for a little extra panache. My Frugal Adventures shows you how with handy step-by-step instructions. 

Tire chairs

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimated that about 80 percent of unusable tires are recycled. Tires that are not recycled, however, can release toxic fumes when they are either stockpiled or burned. Though experts recommend that you do not upcycle tires for container gardens due to the risk of leaching, upcycled used tires make for adorable outdoor chairs. Check out this handy video from YouTube user Tanner Bell

Wine bottle lamp

Have a special bottle of wine from that family vacation to Napa, or from your local vineyard’s first release? Transform that bottle into a commemorative lamp using is DIY from Lana Red Studio. 

Upcycling is a creative — and fun — way to bring new life to objects that would otherwise end up in your local landfill. These upcycling ideas for the home will add a unique flair to your decor and help you reduce your contribution to the waste stream.

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