DIY scrabble coasters

While it’s great to repurpose items that would otherwise be destined for a landfill, let’s face it, time is just as precious of a commodity as natural resources. The good news is that you can upcycle discarded items with these projects that take 30 minutes – or less! So sit down, watch your favorite TV show, and by the time the credits roll, you’ll have completed these works of art.  Ready to reuse it?  Let’s roll….

1. Album Cake Stands

Those old vinyl albums you have stashed in a closet can be transformed into a cake stand that will have your guests singing your praises. Hot glue a record to the base of an old glass. The Cake blog used martini glasses. You could use any mismatched glass that you have at home.

Record display
Image courtesy of cake.

2. T-Shirt Dog Toy

An old t-shirt with some strategic cuts makes a new toy for your four-legged friend. This project from Yes, Missy is a great way to repurpose an old tennis ball toy. A bonus for your pooch is that the t-shirt has your scent.

3. Wine Cork Votive Candles

Got a collection of wine corks from your latest party (or just a really good night at home)? Keep the memories flowing while adding vino style to your abode by gluing wine corks around the outside of an old votive candle holder. Attach to a circular piece of thick cardboard or cork for the base.

4. Sweater Leg Warmers

Whether for warmth or for fashion, it’s super easy to make retro leg warmers using an old sweater, as The Farmer’s Nest suggests. Just cut off the arms, and roll over the cuff to peek out of your boots.

DIY Sweater Leg Warmers
Image courtesy of The Farmers Nest

5. Travel Souvenir Magnets

Got extra coins from traveling to foreign countries? Or maybe pressed pennies from vacation destinations? Turn those coins into travel memories by attaching a magnet to the back with an industrial strength adhesive.

6. Scrabble Coasters

Take those old Scrabble tiles you don’t know what to do with and create a coaster. Arrange in a square, and attach to a piece of cork or an old ceramic tile with adhesive.

7. Tin Can Flower Pots

Repurpose tin cans into beautiful flower pots, vases and even pencil holders. Make sure that the top edge is not rough (smooth the edges with sandpaper or apply duct tape). Remove the outer wrapper and get creative! Cover with scrapbook or wrapping paper. Punch holes with a nail and a hammer for a decorative pattern. Use paint or glitter… the designs are endless!

8. Travel Toiletries Holder

An old hand towel becomes a handy travel tool when folded lengthwise and adding a few stitches from a sewing machine to create individual pockets for your toothbrush, toothpaste, razor and more.

9. Dish Towel Apron

Turn a dish towel into a retro-chic apron with some simple sewing skills and some decorative ribbon, with this tutorial by Fynes Designs.

10. Shoe Box Art

Cover the lids from old cardboard shoe boxes with decorative paper and have canvas-style wall art that costs pennies.

Now, how was that show!?  Probably not as cool as what you just created by hand.  Got other ideas?  We’d love to hear your comments!

Feature image courtesy of Dollar Store Crafts 

By Kimberly Button

Kimberly Button is the author of The Everything Guide to a Healthy Home and the Editor-in-Chief of GetGreenBeWell , featuring modern, sane ideas for living a non-toxic life. A professional journalist for nearly two decades, Button has written for magazines such as Martha Stewart's Whole Living, American Airlines, AAA, Sierra, National Geographic Traveler, and Vegetarian Times. Visit for more information.