You may have a lot of things you want to recycle but don’t know how to do it. Sure, you can transform plastic bottles into art, mugs into pen holders, and paper into… well, more paper. But what about your now grown-up child’s old Lego blocks? Your dusty X-ray films from 10 years ago? Or that tattered, dog-eared hardback you just can’t bring yourself to throw out?
Believe it or not, you can re-use those items – and then some. Before donating your trash to the nearest recycling center, get inspired by these creative uses for seemingly unrecyclable materials.
Legos as Craft Materials
Legos are notoriously difficult to recycle, being made of the kind of plastic that recycling companies usually refuse to accept. But even though you can’t technically “recycle” Lego pieces, you can still put them to good use as keychains, gift boxes and even jewellery.
Grand Pianos as Bookshelves
If your house is overflowing with books, and you have an old piano that you’re not sure what to do with, consider converting your piano into a bookshelf. With the right tools, and a willingness to indulge your inner do-it-yourselfer, you can free up space in your home and have a lovely new piece of furniture while you’re at it.
X-Ray Films as Umbrellas
Considering what you normally associate X-ray films with, you probably don’t even think about them as craft materials. Still, there are people who took one look at X-rays and saw umbrellas, lamps, bags and kitchen walls. The results are surprisingly good too!
Broken Plates as Wall Decor
Think those broken pieces of china should be thrown out? Think again. Even if you can’t use them for eating anymore, you can still reattach broken plate pieces together to form quirky wall decors. If reattaching dozens of tiny shards is too much work, mosaics made of broken plates might be more your cup of tea. As the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi suggests, there is beauty even in imperfection.
Lotion Bottles as Charging Stations
Worried about your charger wires getting tangled or chewed on by pets? There’s no app to solve that yet, but there is an inexpensive DIY solution. With an empty bottle of lotion, a pair of scissors or a box cutter, and an eye for design, you can whip up a beautiful and practical charging station in no time.
Old Rake Heads as Wine Glass Holders
Don’t let the rust put you off. As long as you scrub it thoroughly with soap and water, and coat it with a glaze to bring out its rustic appeal, any rake head can be transformed into an elegant holder for your equally elegant wine glasses.
Used Cooking Oil as Candles
Instead of throwing away used cooking oil and polluting the environment in the process, why not turn it into a craft material? Along with sand, wooden toothpicks and cotton balls, cooking oil can be used to make your own inexpensive homemade candle.
Books as Makeshift Pots
Unless you consider cutting up books as a sacrilege, you may want to take a leaf of this man’s book (no pun intended). Book pots can add a vintage charm to your home, not to mention a whole new meaning to the phrase “life-changing book.”
Vintage Suitcases as Beds (And More)
Okay, maybe suitcases aren’t big enough to fit you, but they’re certainly big enough to fit your cute little pet. You can also convert your vintage suitcase into a table, a chair, a craft box, and pretty much anything you can imagine.
As we said earlier, these are just a few of the things you can do with seemingly un-recyclable disposables. Give your “trash” a second look, come up with a way to reuse it, and your creation might just be the next item on this list.