Figuring out how to effectively repurpose materials in your home can be a challenge. After all, it can be much easier to throw your belongings away or buy a single-use item.
It seems like there is a product for absolutely everything, and they are all available at your local big box store. However, if you are a Section 8 beneficiary living on a tight budget, repurposing materials can cut down on costs, leaving you with money for other priorities.
Luckily, repurposing household items is not a difficult task. It only requires a bit of creativity and some basic crafting and building skills. Most repurposing projects will take just an afternoon to complete if you already have the necessary supplies. Look around your home for the junk you do not want, and declutter your apartment to make it look bigger.
Alternatively, begin by looking for simple items you need, and figure out how you can create these items with what is around. Repurposing your belongings is not just good for the environment or your wallet. It is also a great way to exercise your creativity and invent new solutions to common problems. Below are some simple suggestions for repurposing household items.
One easy repurposing idea that cuts down on energy is creating a drying rack out of a ladder. This is a relatively simple project that requires some basic hardware skills and an afternoon. If you have a traditional wooden ladder in your home, you can hang it from the ceiling to create a sturdy drying rack. If you do not have a wooden ladder, you can easily pick one up for under $15 at your local hardware store.
Measure your ladder carefully and mark spots on the four corners where it will hang from. Install drywall anchors in your ceiling, spaced out to accommodate your ladder corners. Install eye bolts in the ladder, and use a chain to connect the ladder to the hooks hanging above. Installing a ladder-drying rack is a great repurposing project that reduces your need for big appliances and lowers your energy bill.
If you are looking for upcycling projects, you can create raised garden beds out of wooden pallets. Create a garden in your own backyard using free pallets to minimize the amount of digging you have to do. Wooden pallet garden beds are popular because they are easy to arrange, replace and remove.
To turn a wooden pallet into a pallet garden, you need garden fabric, topsoil and seeds. When you obtain your pallets, use a staple gun to attach the fabric garden all the way around the pallet, leaving the top exposed. This will make sure the soil stays in the pallet. Place them where you want your garden, and then fill the pallets with topsoil.
Research what plants are appropriate for a pallet garden before starting. Some species require more room for a root system to develop than a pallet will allow. However, herbs and other shallow plants are good choices.
Another idea for repurposing materials around your home is to turn old bed sheets into new window curtains. Bed sheets are typically at least 90 inches long and made of lighter fabrics, like linen. This makes them ideal materials to make curtains out of. Longer curtains create the illusion of a taller space, and it can be difficult to find window curtains as tall as the average home is. This is one of many creative effective ways to make your apartment appear taller.
Additionally, standard window curtains can be expensive and heavy. Cotton or jersey bed sheets make suitable supplies for a cheap upcycling project that improves your home’s decor. All you need to do is hem the spare sheet at the edges and sew ribbons along the top to make curtain tabs. This is a great and virtually cost-free repurposing project to take on if you are interested in reusing objects around your home.
Using shower curtain rings as scarf holders is an exceptionally easy way to repurpose materials in your home. If you have scarves, it can be difficult to store them in a convenient and accessible manner. Scarf holders are often more expensive than plain shower rings. Additionally, by using shower rings, you avoid purchasing a single-use product that can clutter up your home.
Instead, slide several shower curtain rings onto a clothes hanger. With two household items, you can recreate a single-use product at no cost to you. This is a simple repurposing project that you can accomplish with no tools or crafting skills.
An easy and functional upcycling project you can complete by yourself or with your kids is creating tin can plant pots. This simple project involves recycling tin cans commonly used for vegetables or soup. Instead of throwing them away, set them aside to start a small garden. Wash them out thoroughly, using bleach if necessary, to get the smell of food out. Once a can has dried out, drill two to four holes at the bottom. These holes serve as drainage for the plants you will place inside.
After drilling holes, spray paint the cans outside with outdoor-friendly, rust-resistant paint. You can make creative designs while spray painting. Once the paint has dried, fill the tin with about an inch of small rocks to encourage drainage. Fill the rest of the tin with soil, and then plant your seeds or seedlings. This project is an easy way to repurpose materials and grow your own household herbs or plants.
You can easily make an upcycling project out of an old picture frame with some cheap, store-bought handles. Picture frame serving trays are a unique design piece you can create at almost no cost. All you have to do is find a sufficiently large picture frame in your home that you no longer use. You can use the frame as is, or sand it down and repaint it in a color of your choosing. On the inside, replace any pictures with a design you like.
You can create a scrapbook-inspired page with multiple photos arranged together, or you can get decorative paper for a simpler design. Once your frame’s design is set, screw two handles onto the sides of the frame. This will allow you to easily carry your serving tray. This repurposing idea can give your living room or dining room a customized accent piece that is sure to impress guests.