Did you know that urban cities in India generate 62 million tonnes of solid waste? Out of this sweeping number only 11.9 million tonnes is treated and a part of it can be reused and recycled. As everything changes around us, there’s one thing we know for sure – we can make a difference in the environment! So, if you are as shocked as us with these scaling numbers, let’s make a difference with fun DIY ideas for home! 

A great way to reduce the generation of waste from your home is to reuse and recycle. But what if we took it a step further and got down to upcycling with DIY ideas for home. Upcycling refers to the process of refashioning something that is no longer in use and turning it into something valuable and useful. So, gather your craft supplies and we’ll show you how to upcycle the right way!

#1: How to Upcycle Plastic and Glass Containers

Weatherproof lampshades with plastic bottles

diy ideas for the home-plastic bottles-bulb and electricals-garden lighting
Outdoor lighting can be weatherproofed by upcycling single use plastic bottles

With the mango showers making its way into the summer season, it is the perfect time to weatherproof the electrical fixtures in your balcony. This easy hack requires a bulb holder, a clean plastic bottle where the neck is wide enough for the holder, a craft paper cutter and hot glue.

Steps to make a weatherproof lampshade:

  • Cut the base of the plastic bottle with a paper cutter 
  • With hot glue, stick the bulb holder inside the bottle 
  • Take the wire through the neck and mouth of the bottle
  • Cover mouth of the bottle with modelling clay or make a hole in the bottle cap and glue the spaces
  • Hang them on trees and ceilings and light ‘em up

Grow microgreens in takeaway containers

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Single use plastic can be used to make your own microgreen garden

Possibly the easiest of them all, growing microgreens in a plastic takeaway container is a great way to recycle plastic. Microgreens are young plants of vegetables and herbs that provide key nutrients and vitamins. They add plenty of flavour and colour to smoothies, sandwiches and salads. Moreover, they are easy to grow and act as a unique addition to your dining table. 

With a variety of microgreen seeds available, you can start your little garden with popular seeds such as chia, radish, pea shoots, sunflower and many more. These are the steps you need to take to grow microgreens:

  • Soak one and a half spoons of the microgreen seeds in water for 24 hours
  • Prep a clean container with soil or moist tissue paper
  • Spread the seeds evenly on the surface and press down another thin layer of soil
  • Water the soil with plenty of water
  • Place another container with a weight over the germinated soil
  • Shoots should develop in 2 days

Make mosaic art with bottle caps

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Collect plastic bottle caps and paint them to make your own mosaic art

Here’s a fun and easy DIY upcycling art for you during the lockdown. Gather the family and get to exercising your creative muscles with mosaic art. You will need a canvas or cardboard sheet, bottle caps, glue and paint.

The process of making this DIY idea for home with bottle caps is easier than you think. Trace out a suitable image depending on the number of bottle caps you have collected and stick the painted bottle caps to it with glue. Alternatively, you can make fun patterns and simple shapes.

Hanging planters with plastic bottles

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Create your own vertical garden with upcycled plastic bottles

Over 60% of plastic can be recycled into t-shirts, sweaters, jackets, insulation for jackets and sleeping bags, carpeting and more. However, 40% of single use plastic gets rejected. If you’re unsure of which category your plastic bottle comes under, you can just make the most affordable yet stunning vertical garden out of them. Stringing bottles horizontally in a grid along a wall utilizes the majority of the bottle, unlike cutting the bottle in half and using the top half.  Here’s how you can make it:

All you need are plastic bottles, seedlings and lanyard string or twine. For a 500ml bottle cut out a 4×8 cm rectangle and fill in with a soil and seeding. Whereas, a 1l bottle would require a 5x10cm rectangle cut out. This garden is perfect for growing a variety of herbs.

Turn glass bottles into lamps

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String lights in glass bottles are a quick and easy way to create ambient lighting

Source: www.lovethispic.com

These DIY ideas for home will instantly amp up the aesthetics of your room. All you need to do is insert a string of fairy lights into empty wine bottles to create attractive mood lamps. These are perfect as home decor or creative lighting for small get-togethers or house parties They are the most affordable way to create ambient lights! There are plenty more ideas for DIY upcycling crafts with glass bottles.

#2: How to Upcycle Household Items

Bring out old ladders

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Upcycle an old ladder by hanging planters to it

If you have a rickety ladder that is waiting to crumble, this DIY is just for you. Don’t throw those ladders out just yet. Find a corner for it, indoors or outdoors and place light and small plants on the steps. This movable plant stand will instantly give your interiors a fun look. Give it a unique touch by hanging the DIY plastic bottle planters in our earlier point to them. Painting the ladder is optional. You can go for a rustic vibe and stick to its worn out colour.

Photo wall with clothespins or paper clips

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Photo walls are easy to make and can be a memorable gift

Here’s a simple and easy two-piece DIY project. Take some twine or string and those extra clothes pins lying around in your laundry basket. Bring in your favourite memories and clip your pictures on the string and repeat with however many pictures you have. You can make a single, multi-layered or crisscross photo wall. 

Tip: Paint the clothespins in different colours and patterns for a pop.

#3: How to Upcycle Old Clothes

Turn dupattas into table runners

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Make a runner out of old dupattas with four supplies

Source: HomeCynHome

A great find from HomeCynHome is this tutorial on turning unused dupattas into table runners. These DIY ideas for home cater to tasteful yet budgeted home decor fanatics. The great thing about this DIY is that you can use any old dupatta and upcycle it. Once you are done cutting your it, you will have two pieces of fabric. And in this case, there were two pieces of cloth to make two table runners, as it was cut right in the middle and both are equal in size.

Here, a plain white cotton dupatta was used along with regular craft supplies such as ribbon and fabric paint. However, you can switch it up and use sequence or stitch in patterns.

Make pet cushions with old jeans

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Upcycle old jeans by stuffing them with fabric and making it into a cushion

Source: www.instructables.com

We didn’t forget about your furry friends! This quirky DIY upcycling crafts for old jeans will keep your pets company while you get work done during the lockdown. 

How to make a ped bed with jeans:

  • Take an old pair of jeans and stuff with it polyester pillow stuffing or unused fabric
  • Make tassels at leg opening and knot them up 
  • Add a belt for a sturdy shape
  • Fold both the legs to the opposite posterior thigh and tuck them
  • Place it in your pet’s favourite spot

Take a look at No-Sew Blue Jeans Portable “Lap” Dog Bed for a step-by-step guide!

#4: How to Upcycle Cardboard Packaging

Organise wires and cords in a box

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Label your cord box for better organisation

Source: Homedit

While some of us might not have a problem with the wires cluttering up our spaces, the rest are definitely looking for ways to get them out of sight. Besides, it’s always better to get them organized, especially if you have toddlers and pets at home.

So here’s an easy and creative way to organise electrical wires, cables and cords for a clean and clutter-free home. You will need a shoe box or delivery packaging and measured sheets of cardboard for this DIY ideas for the home. Fix the sheets of cardboard into the box and label the sections. There it is! Your personalised cord organiser. 

Tip: Cover with wrapping paper to give it colour.

Fashion a makeup organiser with boxes

If you’re tired of rearranging your messy vanity over and over again, this Youtube tutorial will help you fashion delivery packaging into a makeup organiser. You will need two medium sized boxes, one small sized cardboard box, paint, washi tape and glue. 

How to make a make up organiser:

  • Take off any packaging tape stuck on the box
  • Cut the opening flaps of all the boxes
  • Secure all corners of the box with glue so that they don’t open up
  • Secure the opening flaps with glue and stick it behind one of the boxes
  • Place the other box halfway over the other box and glue it together
  • Place the small box that will act as a brush stand to either side 
  • Decorate with paint and tape

Take a look at this detailed Youtube tutorial on how to make a makeup organiser here.

Make a cat house with a cardboard box

If you have a cat, you know how much they love playing in cardboard boxes. So don’t throw them out! Get creative with these simple boxes and make your furbaby a happy one. Take a look at this detailed video of this DIY ideas for the home on Youtube for a step-by-step guide to make your own cat house: Transform a Simple Box into a Cat House.

Wait, there are plenty more ideas for DIY upcycling crafts. Take a look at 10 DIY Ideas Reusing Old Glass Bottles.

Send in your comments and suggestions.

— editor@livspace.com