Hanging heart decorations

Hearts express affection for your favorite people. Hearts designed with upcycled materials express affection for your planet.

If you prefer an Earth-friendly twist for your Valentine’s Day accoutrements, plenty of artists, artisans, and DIYers are poised to satisfy your (upcycled) heart’s desire.

Hearts To Buy Made From Upcycled Materials

Wine Barrels

John Heilman of WineyGuys on Etsy focuses his handiwork on recycling  Napa Valley wine barrels, including the metal rings that hold each barrel’s wooden planks in place. With those rings, he forms heart-shaped hoops.  Some feature a worn rustic vibe, enhancing the reworked piece’s personality. Left as is, Heilman’s Etsy description explains, galvanized steel hearts may be scratched, dinged, or discolored.

Personalized wine barrel heart from Winey Guys
Image: WineyGuys

Water Bottles

Anne Marie of RescuedWaterBottles on Etsy is enthusiastic about reducing litter in her local parks. She picks up and recycles plastic bottles, reserving an allotment as a resource for her handcrafted dangling heart earrings and other jewelry.

Upcycled plastic bottle heart earrings
Image: RescuedWaterBottles, Etsy

“I decided to try cutting one of the water bottles I had rescued into a small shape and painting it. It was so much fun! I could actually design the whole project. And they were so light, I could wear larger earrings without tiring my ears,” Anne Marie says. “My daughter encouraged me to open an Etsy shop. So now I can share with the world my love for creating earrings, cleaning up our beautiful parks, and upcycling disposable plastic into something beautiful and lasting.”

Upcycled plastic bottle heart jewelry
Image: RescuedWaterBottles, Etsy

Avocado Pits

Avocados are delicious. And the pits are definitely delightful in the hands of Anna Ark. Anna uses a knife to form exciting designs with the pits, including heart-shaped pendants. The variety of styles includes etched hearts, scallops, and other patterns. Some pendants feature rose quartz inserts. Anna’s work is on Etsy, @avocado_hearts on Instagram, and on YouTube.

Heart-shaped pendant carved from avocado heart from Anna Ark, Etsy
Image: Anna Ark, Etsy

DIY Projects for Upcycled Heart

Heart Boxes

  • TerraCycle teamed up with Entenmann’s for a DIY video that shows how an empty food box is formed into an adorable gift box embellished with a heart, which doubles as a clasp.
  • Lindarose92 demonstrates her upcycling idea for a fancy, swirly DIY heart box on Instructables. She uses brown paper grocery bags for quilling strips.
Heart box, Instructables
Image: lindarose92, Instructables

Heart  Seat

Ipxav offers directions on Instructables for a “strong and durable” DIY seat in the shape of a heart. “Let’s recycle cardboard into useful furniture!” the Instructables website states. To show off the sturdy form, Ipxav includes a photo of himself standing on the seat.  “I worked with recycled materials because it is adding value to potential rubbish. Doing more with less and [letting] the magic happen with DIY,” Ipxav says.

DIY upcycled cardboard seat, Instructables
Image: Ipxav, Instructables

More DIY Projects

  • Laura Beth Love employs pages from old books, sheet music, and other recycled papers for her upcycled paper hearts. Watch her YouTube tutorial for instructions.
  • Yoghima emphasizes recycling household items, such as newspaper and cardboard, for a heart-shaped photo frame and wall décor. Find the instructions on Instructables.

Other Upcycled Hearts To Adore

Artist Franciso Sheuat works with discarded aluminum cans to create his vibrant heart sculptures. Some are string-art style. Others are mosaics. “I use recycled aluminum cans in order to share my commitment to a greener planet, so recycling and reuse are an ongoing theme in my work,” Sheuat says.

Heart-shaped upcycled wall hangings by Franciso Sheuat
Image: Franciso Sheuat

Jean from WinterWomanDesigns delights in repurposing discarded bike parts. “Hiding under all the grease and dirt are some really cool things and I love turning them into something beautiful and functional,” she says. Her upcycled designs include heart necklaces formed with stainless steel spokes.

Heart pendant made from upcycled bicycle spoke
Image: WinterWomanDesigns, Etsy

Flatware Fantasies on Etsy repurposes vintage silverware into heart pendants. The varied styles include hearts formed with silver-plated fork tines and silver spoons.

Heart-shaped pendant made from upcycled flatware
Image: FlatwareFantasies, Etsy

Willy Wires showcases the lively patterns on decorative tins, slicing and sanding them into heart-shaped earrings.

Heart-shaped earrings made from upcycled tins
Image: WillyWires, Etsy

RedeemedCrayons on Etsy melts broken and leftover bits of crayon, forming fresh, fun, and usable coloring implements, including hearts.

upcycled heart-shaped crayons
Image: RedeemedCrayons

By Patti Roth

Patti began her writing career as a staff writer for the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Still based in Florida, Patti serves as editor for Fort Lauderdale on the Cheap. She regularly writes about environmental, home improvement, education, recycling, art, architecture, wildlife, travel and pet topics.