Thursday, May 17, 2018

9 Pieces of "Trash" That You Can Reuse

People can be quick to throw away things that they think don't have a use any more. I have built my life from things people have thought of as trash. Here are a few items that I've reused to create treasure out of trash!

Table bases
People often throw out furniture when it's broken! Not me! I love to find furniture that is broken and give it new life. The project above was simple, quick, and gave me a brand new coffee table from one that was unusable. Imagine recycling an old door on top instead of building a top from reclaimed wood, like I did. What an easy way to reuse an unwanted item! Never underestimate the power of a good paint job, either ;)

Book pages
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I don't condone ripping pages out of perfectly good books. As a teacher, it makes my heart hurt! But, some books become unusable in one way or another and can be used to create beautiful things. The Dr. Seuss books from which I made the above sign for my classroom had some bad water damage on a majority of the pages. Most people would throw them away, but I couldn't bring myself to throw them out and had to save the pages that were still intact! With the covers and left over pages, I made these hanging pieces for my classroom, too! 

Broken mirrors
broken mirror, mirror mosaic, mosaic, grout
There are a hundred things you can mosaic with broken glass or dishes. From tables to picture frames, you can add extra flair with some glue, grout, and broken mirror pieces. This blog has a great tutorial on the table above!

Old canvas
wall art covering old image
Do you still have that ugly canvas picture that hung in your first apartment? Has your child grown out of the childish art that once hung in their room? Don't throw it out! Canvas can be painted over and given new life! That ugly, useless canvas can be made gorgeous once again with a little paint! 

Ugly lamps
Don't throw away your grandma's hand-me-down lamps! Yes, they may be hideous and dated, but those lamps don't have to stay the same color. A little spray paint can bring them into this decade and be the perfect pieces for your home.

Fence panels
Fence panels rule my life. I collect fence panels from the side of the road because they are great, weathered material for creating new things. Above, you can see I've made classroom decor and a new top for my coffee bar. There are thousands of uses! I've even used them as curtain rods. Check out the tutorial here...

Old pillows
Pillows that no longer match your decor or are falling apart can be easily given new life! You can use a pillow cover or cover it with fabric yourself. I have even taken the pillows apart and used the stuffing for other crafts. Ugly or not, they can be renewed!

Broken crayons
Striped Crayon Candles
Don't throw away your old, broken crayons! There are tons of new uses for them. Make them into a candle or create some new, crazy art. In fact, Rachel compiled 27 ways to reuse old crayons! Check out her ideas here...

Pickle jars, pasta sauce jars, mason jars...the possibilities are endless! I've made flower vases, sugar canisters, and salt shakers from jars of all shapes and sizes. Don't throw them away! Save them to use as decor or for functionality. You can't go wrong with these sturdy, classic pieces!

I adore reusing things that could otherwise have been in the dump. Don't let looks tempt you to throw something away that could be recycled to be amazing! What else do you reuse to create amazing? Leave me a comment telling me a trash piece that you've rescued!


  1. You are amazing! I do not have the eye for reusing old items but after reading this, I am going to look at things differently. Those hanging pieces you made out of books for the classroom are so cute and the candles, love all the colors. I have some old lamps collecting dust under the stairs, you have given me some ideas to repurpose them!

  2. These are all such awesome upcycling ideas! I love it. I actually saved up a ton of glass jars of all shapes and sizes and stained them for centerpieces for our wedding! It was beautiful and so easy. And they make great decorations to this day! It's amazing what you can do with your "trash" if you use a little creativity 😊


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