Five unlikely things to upcycle

This is a paid insertion contributed by a third party.

The gifting season is upon us. Fear not – the frugal shopaholic with a love for crafting is at your (and your wallet’s) service!

We’ve all seen the upcycling boards on Pinterest, where objects that are considered unwanted junk are turned into decorative or useful items. This cuts down on your waste and carbon footprint, and being crafty keeps you out of trouble 🙂

Here are a few upcycle projects you get stuck in over a weekend. Get ready to get dirty:

Pepsi_can_stove_explodedAluminium cans

For the rugged outdoorsman in your life – probably the same person who’d be your source of empty beer/cold drink cans – you can create a budget backpacker’s stove.

To create the stove, simply cut the bottom ends off two cans. Punch several holes around the exges of one of these ends to form the ‘burner ring’. The other end will serve as a fuel reservoir, and you can get some flammable gel from a camping store (wrapped separately to give the impression of lots of gifts!) to go with your made-with-love-and-these-two-hands surprise.

Cut the remainder of one of the cans into a plain strip of metal, roll it up, and insert it between the two parts of the stove to keep them separate. Rumour has it that this nifty little firecracker will boil two cups of water in about 10 minutes.

Bicycle inner tubes

Ready to get your hands a bit dirtier? The rubber from old bicycle inner tubes or even bigger tyres like those from cars and trucks, makes a tough, durable crafting material. If you can get access to an industrial sewing machine, you can flatten the rubber and make anything hard-wearing wallet, to handbags and mats. You can even make a durable cover for a plain hard-cover notebook.

Always ensure the rubber is cleaned thoroughly though!

Wood pallets

Wood pallet furniture is all the rage, and is so easy to create! Because the pallets are generally not made from the best wood, they are pretty cheap. You won’t need a lot of tools, but make sure you have a good supply of sandpaper and varnish or paint.

Plastic bottles

Bad for your health and the environments, plastic bottles can be used for good by turning them into herb planters. Cut a plastic cold drink bottle horizontally in half, then make a hole in the cap and thread a wick through the hole. Turn this top part upside-down, plant your herbs, and fit this top portion into the bottom part, to create self-standing pots. You can then add water to the bottom half, and the wick will convert this into a self-watering system.

Old suitcases

Tatty old luggage, especially those with hard edges, can be easily turned into cabinets, cupboards, and bars. It can be as simple as fitting shelves to the inside of a hard case and mounting it against a wall. A few coats of paint inside and out, maybe a mirror or some decoupage, and you will have a new statement piece.

Tell me about upcycling projects you’ve tackled successfully.

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