What is upcycling? It’s what you do when you take something you already own and reuse it in a way that gives it a longer life.  This Earth911TV episode covers upcycling DIY projects that you can do which are simple and easy.

1. Make New Candles out of Old Ones

You can melt and recreate your candles so you don’t have to waste them when the wicks fall into the wax!

  1. Gather all your candles that can’t be burned more.
  2. Clean out one jar to start with a fresh cleaned jar. This is the holder that you’ll create a BRAND NEW candle in.
  3. Melt down your first candle. To melt it, put it in a pot of boiling water for about 5 minutes or until it’s liquid.
  4. Put a new candle wick in the clean jar.
  5. Pour the melted wax into the jar. Make sure the wick stays above the wax – wrap it in either a chopstick or popsicle stick.
  6. Let the hot wax completely cool. Repeat with each used candle you have. You’ll end up with a layered candle!

2. Candle Holders

Before you throw out your soup can, look at it and think “what can I do with this?”

  1. Remove the wrappers.
  2. Paint them.
  3. Stack them, using them as candle holders. Different sized stacks make for a great candle display!

3. Makeshift Wine Glass Holder

If you have an old rake lying around, you can turn it into a wine glass holder for some bar charm!

  1. Cut off the handle. Your local hardware store might do it for you if you ask.
  2. Using 3-inch toggle bolts or anchor screws, screw the rake into the wall above your bar where you want your glasses to hang. Make sure the glasses hang evenly.

You can also use the same idea for belt or necklace hangers.

4. Memory Tray

Create a memory tray out of your favorite ticket stubs, hotel room keys or handwritten love letters!

  1. Take an unfinished wood breakfast tray, place the memories however you want
  2. Coat it all with an unsanded powder grout.
  3. Let it dry, then wipe it off with a damp sponge.
  4. Paint the sides if you want, and you’re done!

5. Turn Trash Into Storage!

One of the best upcycling projects you can do is look for opportunities before something becomes trash. Take empty dishwashing detergent containers and turn them into storage containers. Take old muffin tins and use them to separate small parts for your crafts or tools.

By Luria Petrucci

Luria hosts both Earth911TV and GeeksLife. You can find her at the intersections of fun, green living, technology and the geeky lifestyle. She enjoys learning alongside you on how to make life better, easier, greener and more efficient!