40+ Witty People Who Can Upcycle Anything – And We Mean ANYTHING

These People Sure Know How to Upcycle

People who are concerned about what the current generation is leaving behind for the future know the importance of zero waste. Although difficult, this is a rewarding principle to live by. They upcycle essentially anything, even stuff you wouldn’t conventionally upcycle. They prove that you only need a strong mindset and a pinch of creativity to make unique things out of items at the end of their lifecycle.

One Dollar Underwear from Shirts

We’ve watched this “hack” from countless social media posts and sometimes YouTube channels. You can always upcycle your old clothes and breathe a new life into them, but you probably wouldn’t think of underwear when you consider reusing old fabric.

One Dollar Underwear from Shirts

However, one person found old shirts effective in making brand new (and rather fancy, might we add) underwear. Two shirts were used to make one dollar worth of underwear and the tailor had some of each fabric left. The leopard print is truly something.

Fences to Garden Boxes

Wood is one of the easier items to upcycle. Before you throw away your old piece of furniture just because it developed a few dents, or dispose of your previous fencing as you want to get a new one, think of all the items you can make with them.

Fences to Garden Boxes

For instance, when someone saw their friend getting rid of his old fencing, they knew they could put it to better use. With a little bit of loving and craft woodwork, they were able to make garden boxes out of them.

Knitting a New Sweater

If you’re skilled in carpentry or sewing, the world of upcycling will be your oyster. Seriously! Look at what this woman was able to do. This sweater looks like something you would pick up for a few hundred dollars at Zara, but this is actually her handiwork.

Knitting a New Sweater

The best part is that she used old, scrap yarn she had lying around. The color combination is beautiful. We love the little ombre moment she has going on. Overall, the fit and pattern are a complete win for us!

13 Years of a Board

How long before you realize that a product needs to be retired? The answer would vary from one item to another, but if it were a cardboard box, many of you would laugh. Who even reuses a cardboard box if not necessary? It’s made out of paper and decomposes, so why all the fuss about upcycling it?

13 Years of a Board

Because it reduces waste – an important issue in today’s time. A Redditor finally retired one of their cardboard boxes after 13 long years! Getting the most out of everything – that’s what we need.

Is It a Rock?

Owning one item for two purposes is a great way to reduce overall expense as well as waste. One clever Redditor figured something out that would change the “this doubles as that” game. Would you ever think, “I wonder what else it does,” when your eyes fall upon a decor at a friend’s house? Probably not.

Is it a Rock?

Here’s why you should. The author of the post has been using this spear-shaped rock as a lint roller for the past two years. It otherwise sits as decor in their house.

Back to Yarn

Shopping at thrift stores or old garage sales is a good technique to score valuable items at a reduced price. However, occasionally our finds are far from satisfactory.

Back to Yarn

After picking up a sweater that eerily resembles broccoli, a Redditor understood that it looked much worse in real life than in images. That’s when they decided to upcycle it. The yarn was taken back out before they knit it into an adorable little bed for their cat. Very chic; very unique.

Adorable Sandwich Bags

How do you carry your sandwiches to the office, or a picnic, or pack them for a loved one’s lunch? Sandwich bags would be the usual answer. However, what if we said we have found a better way for you to pack your sandwiches without wasting plastic on every occasion?

Adorable Sandwich Bags

Check out these adorable sandwich bags a Redditor made from upcycled fabric! The interior’s lined with a piece of a shower curtain bought from The Dollar Store. Given you take care of it, these bags can be used for years.

Natural, Eco-Friendly Washcloths

Known as the “Golden Fiber,” jute is a multipurpose fiber that has a distinct yellowish-brown color to it. Jute products have been an integral part of the culture and countries in Southeast Asia. It’s sturdy, easy to cultivate, and an eco-friendly alternative to plastic.

Natural, Eco-Friendly Washcloths

A particular Redditor crocheted washcloths from natural jute thread. Not only do they add a rustic touch to any kitchen, but they also wash dishes just as great.

My Grandma Stitches Plastic

Grandmas can do a lot of things. They can cook the best meals you’ve ever tasted in your lifetime, shower you with love 24/7/365, and most importantly, a few grandmas would be resilient enough to sit through sewing plastic. Yes, you read that right.

My Grandma Stitches Plastic

When the plastic lid of a 20-year-old container broke, a Redditor’s grandmother knew she had to take matters into her own hands. The lady achieved something that would never pop up in our minds. After all, who’s green enough to sew plastic?

New Life to Pot’s Lid

Bigger cookwares are made to last a long time. The main body isn’t prone to cracks or damages that easily, but it’s the lids that might cause the issue. Isn’t it too frustrating when you have to dispose of cookware because the lid gave up on you?

New Life to Pot’s Lid

However, what you didn’t think about is, the small problems are fixable, and they’ll save you time and money. A Redditor DIY-d a handle from scrap wood and a spare screw. This actually looks like it is part of a novelty cookware set.

The First Cloth Pad

Feminine hygiene products are a necessity, not a luxury. It’s important to understand that high-quality goods will keep women safe from diseases and other reproductive health problems. Pads and tampons are the go-to menstruation products around the world.

The First Cloth Pad

However, the plastic lining around a pad could take up to about six months to decompose, and the cotton used in the interior requires large amounts of water, fertilizer, and pesticide to be cultivated. This is why many women are leaning towards cloth pads. Here’s one Redditor’s first one!

Reusable Microfiber Makeup Remover Pads

Let’s just say that rags aren’t the top priority on anyone’s upcycling list. They’re small, thin, and pretty much useless after a few uses. With that said, every bit of product thrown out just adds to the already heaping waste we as humans have generated.

Reusable Microfiber Makeup Remover Pads

It’s wise to think of ways you can prolong their use as it’s in our best interests to live a minimalist life. Check out these handy reusable makeup remover pads a Redditor made from microfiber rags.

Paper in Seed Starter Packs

Isn’t it ironic that we often get saplings and seeds, nature’s biggest conservationists, in plastic baggies that refuse to decompose before a few decades? If you’re thinking about going greener, you have to do it the right way.

Paper in Seed Starter Packs

You might be wondering that “This is how the seedlings come and there’s not much you can do about it.” One Redditor has proved us wrong and come up with a genius technique to prepare their seed starter pods: By using paper towels and toilet paper rolls.

Different Furniture Upcycling

Flipping furniture has become a source of earning for many. This process is time-consuming and demanding, but the results are mostly incredible. You’re reducing waste as well as making money from it.

Different Furniture Upcycling

These people are proof that there’s more to the furniture you’re casually throwing away because you’ve outgrown it or it doesn’t suit your aesthetic anymore. Feast your eyes on the beautiful pieces of furniture in the photo that were upcycled by a Redditor. A new coat of paint, polish, or fabric is all you need! Creativity too.

Gorgeous Faux Crystal Bird

The ‘90s and 2000s were a time when CDs and DVDs meant everything to the younger generation. From movies of all genres to video games and software updates, these CDs housed a diverse list of items. However, with the advancement of technology, they got knocked off the top. There’s not much use for CDs anymore.

Gorgeous Faux Crystal Bird

This is the chance to get really creative with them. You can look at this outstanding bird that was completely made from bits and fragments of CDs. It resembles an authentic crystal bird.

Lady Sif’s Tower

Empty cable spools are quite popular when it comes to items most people can find ways to upcycle. In their bare form, these spools can be used as outdoor tables and whatnot. The moment they break should be the end of their lifetime, technically.

Lady Sif’s Tower

There wouldn’t be many services from it. But wait! Some are masters at upcycling. For instance, here’s a climbing toy made from a broken cable spool for a Redditors kitten, Lady Sif. It’s Lady Sif’s world and we’re only living in it.

Bubble Wrap Fairy Dress

This one idea is so ingenious that we’re frustrated it never came to our minds. Then again, we’re not as gifted, talent-wise, so we don’t think we could have done justice to the fantastic piece.

Bubble Wrap Fairy Dress

What seems to be a delicate fairy dress made by a high-end fashion designer for a fantasy movie is actually a piece that a Redditor made from thermal bubble wrap. Given its naturally bright and shiny appearance, the bubble wrap was able to give the dress a wand-swish of shimmer and glimmer.

Much Needed Bookcase

Hundreds of kilos of pallets are used to store and transport goods every year across the globe. With heavy usage comes heavy wastage. Businesses should consider it a primary duty to dispose of the used pallets properly. They can easily be recycled.

Much Needed Bookcase

You’ve probably seen a ton of things made from scrap pallets in your surroundings with makeovers so immaculate you wouldn’t be able to differentiate. Upon discovering spare bits of pallets in a skip, a Redditor built a bookcase out of it. Great money-saving idea!

The Royal Feline Castle

We’re seeing a pattern here in people reusing their old products and furniture into something for their pets and we are here for it. Cats are picky creatures. They won’t just fall for anything and definitely won’t play with any other toy.

The Royal Feline Castle

The box it came in? Sure. These adorable felines deserved to be treated like royalty, and what better way to do that than making them their own castle? Here’s a show of a proud cat owner who made their old bed into a castle for their cats.

Duo Purpose Broken iMac

Apple products are generally pretty expensive. iMacs, iPhones, and MacBooks have a reputation for being super-efficient. Which makes it even more difficult to throw them away when they’re at the end of their lifecycle.

Duo Purpose Broken iMac

What you don’t know is that with a simple good idea and the required skills, you can transform your old gadgets into a functional device that will serve you for a few more years. This touch-controlled dimmer made from a broken iMac seems really useful. Even the USB ports operate as chargers for phones.

Jeans Covered Chair

Clothes can easily be recycled. Think cushion covers, other clothes, decor, and much more. Jeans are slightly harder to work with given their tougher fabric and monotonous blue color. However, when your interior aesthetic is blue or a complementary color, there are some opportunities up for grabs.

Jeans Covered Chair

While this seems like a difficult DIY to recreate, it’s truly impressive. A Redditor managed to reupholster a chair using old jeans. Details matter. In this case, the criss-cross pattern of different hues of the jeans gives it that glam factor.

Fancy and Functional Desk

On the list of things you’re not supposed to upcycle, a piano deserves a high spot. After all, how many ways could you be able to come up with to put your massive broken musical instrument to use again?

Fancy and Functional Desk

That being said, when you’re as clever as this Redditor, it’s only a matter of the correct tools and blueprints. They upcycled their broken, irreparable piano into a functional and unique desk. You could get a similar piece at a furniture store but it wouldn’t be close to the real deal.

A Camera Lamp

A gift or decor perfect for a photography enthusiast, this camera-themed lamp was made from an actual camera. It would be pretty difficult to transform an old camera into a lamp – just the mechanics and placement of it. However, using an old lamp and a bit of stray driftwood, this innovative lamp was born.

A Camera Lamp

The best part is that you can totally fool your friends and family into thinking this is fake. However, when they learn the truth, they’d be left scratching their heads on how you did it.

Grandfather’s Wrench Collection

Family relics are a beautiful way to keep your loved ones close to you, especially if they’ve departed from this world. Some people get jewelry, some get property, and others get way more personal items. When the item bears so much sentimental value, it is hard to leave it deserted in a random corner of the garage.

Grandfather’s Wrench Collection

We love this patio table a Redditor put together from their late grandfather’s wrench collection. It’s rather fascinating that different people have a knack for collecting different things – stamps to tools.

The Donated Skateboard Chair

If colorful grunge is totally your style, this skateboard lounge chair will be your new inspiration. Crafted from a bunch of old, used skateboards, this wooden furniture was donated by the maker. Two primary colors – black and yellow have been used alongside the authentic wooden color to give it a vibrant look.

The Donated Skateboard Chair

It’s safe to say that this work requires some basic concept of carpentry so we wouldn’t suggest you try this out as a beginner, but it’s some good inspiration.

What Used to Be T-Shirts

Just give us a moment to recover from the cuteness of the ginger cat. The frowning feline is sitting on top of a charming little rug. This feels like something you would find at a grandmother’s house – the very first thing your eyes fall on because they’re so colorful.

What Used to be T-Shirts

Interestingly enough, this mat used to be a bundle of old colorful t-shirts. That’s some impressive sewing! All the colors were coordinated so nothing falls in repetition. The maker could make a career out of this on Etsy.

One, Two, Three Baskets!

Although a few stores ask shoppers to bring in their bags to reduce waste, others are still accustomed to providing the products in plastic bags. In comes innovative and smart folks with their endless ideas. Take a load of this Redditor.

One, Two, Three Baskets!

They bring in bale straps and plastic shipping from hardware store waste and knits those into sturdy, fashionable, and functional baskets. If you’ve ever owned something similar, you would know that these bags can last years with correct care.

Little Baby Shoes

Must resist all-consuming urge to write about chubby baby legs. Parents can turn super smart the moment their babies are concerned. If the parent has a knack for upcycling, you can be sure the kid will grow up with a lot of unique practices.

Little Baby Shoes

For example, when a Redditor saw the opportunity to transform an old bag into shoes for their baby, they knew they had to take it. The result: The most precious pair of leather shoes for a baby who seems like a professional model in these photos!

Three Tubed Lamp

Lamps appear to be a common choice for most people who like to recycle old stuff. We’re guessing they’re easier to put together. Regardless, here’s an original piece from a Redditor. They took an old fan with a malfunctioning motor and made a lamp out of it.

Three Tubed Lamp

What makes this special is the fact that they were clever in their approach, using all three connectors. The three blades were replaced with three tubes for maximum illuminating impact.

Plates and Forks Fish

Oftentimes, it’s not about the functionality or operationality of your newly recycled product – it’s the impact, both visual and motivational. We can see a shiny decorative piece of probably an Anglerfish. We would believe it if anyone said they found it in a vintage store, and that there is a long story on how it was made in the ‘50s.

Plates and Forks Fish

After a Redditor got access to what we can assume is a never-ending supply of charity shop cutlery, they planned to experiment with it. The result is rather cool.

Building a New Greenhouse

Here’s a Redditor who’s doing a lot in their power to preserve greenery near them. Not only did they reuse old windows they had, but they used those to make themselves a new greenhouse. Building a greenhouse in itself isn’t that expensive if you’re DIY-ing it.

Building a New Greenhouse

With that said, sustainability is important, so we’re glad to see someone taking the smallest initiatives. The small house is now home to a ton of small plants and saplings, as we can see from the photo.

Beauty and the Beast

Transformation images – before and after of something, are always fun to watch. And a fun caption makes it even better. For instance, a Redditor termed this transformation of a beautiful armchair from an old wooden spool they used to use as a table.

Beauty and the Beast

They captioned the images “Beauty and the Beast,” and we can totally agree. Before, the wooden spool seemed to be filled with patches of mold and water damage. However, after their magical touch, it’s transformed into an amazing piece of furniture.

Bright, Colorful Staircase

You might mistake these staircases as something from the sets of a children’s movie or themed Airbnb. With different spectrums of the window decorating each stair, it’s easy to stare at them for a while thanks to how satisfying they are.

Bright, Colorful Staircase

You might think the house owner asked for the painters to paint them in different colors or had an interior designer plan something out. In reality, these are nothing but cheap paint samples put to good use. How ingenious is that!

Cases From Legoland

Ah, Legos! A lot of our childhoods are filled with the pure joy of creating and destroying using the building blocks everyone knows – Legos. It’s all fun and games until you step on one and your entire life flashes in front of your eyes.

Cases from Legoland

There are actually national and international level competitions to rank how creative people get with their Legos. Those are to wish for. These functional phone holders give us ideas of what to do with Legos when we grow out of them.

Utilizing Windows Floppy Disks

It’s safe to say that in this new decade and pretty much for the entirety of the 2010s, floppy disks are and were obsolete. There simply isn’t any need for them anymore now that new and improved technology has taken over the market.

Utilizing Windows Floppy Disks

If you have some old floppy disks lying around in some nook of the house, get some inspiration on how to use them from a creative Redditor. It’s a simple yet practical desk organizer. Place it anywhere around the house to keep your pens close by whenever needed.

Even the Shell

How far would you go to upcycle something? What’s the most unconventional thing you can think of that people would be inclined to reuse? We can assure you; an eggshell wouldn’t be the first answer to cross your mind. Naturally fragile and limited to just one task (keeping the egg inside intact), eggshells aren’t the most versatile of materials.

Even the Shell

When you look at the awe-inspiring mini galaxy lamp from this Redditor, do you think it could’ve been made from the brittle shell of an egg? It was!

Extreme Psychedelics Coasters

DIY-ing home decor has become a popular trend. From revamping old belongings to bring them back to life to making shelves out of broken furniture, there are no limits to this trendy new craft. We’ve even seen people slathering paint on blocks of clay to make the coolest of arts.

Extreme Psychedelics Coasters

What appears to be a visually pleasing, psychedelic layer of waves of three different colors, is nothing more than liquor ink and resin on ceramic tiles. You would definitely need a certain level of skill to pull this off!

Daughter Grew Out of It

If you’ve grown up around younger siblings or raised a child of your own, you would know how much little kids love stacking toys. These unique blocks stimulate childrens’ minds, encouraging them to find a solution to the problem – no matter how menial it may seem to adults.

Daughter Grew Out of It

After the child reaches a certain age, they’re simply too old for these toys. The average parent would try to sell them in a yard sale. One parent made an entire lamp out of them. It’s fresh, bright, and innovative.

Reusing Old Uniforms

People who take the initiative to start something greener are what the world needs right now. A certain Redditor was working a weekend job when they realized that their workplace doesn’t reuse old uniforms. Old clothes can be upcycled in a variety of ways but they’re somewhat time-consuming.

Reusing Old Uniforms

Thus, many people choose to throw them away. However, this person repurposed them into cute scrunchies and convenient bags. They used ribbons to act as the handles of the bags and we think it’s absolutely adorable.

Perfect Gift for Film Lovers

Film enthusiasts, gather! These are the keychains of your dreams. Did we exaggerate that a little? Probably. Do we regret it? Nope, because these are genuinely charming. If you can’t recognize the circular charms used in the keychain, you might be too young.

Perfect Gift for Film Lovers

These are film canisters that were originally used for filming purposes in the ‘80s and ‘90s. What you see is someone who found them, discovered they’re not usable anymore, and turned them into gifts they could sell on Etsy without breaking a sweat.

Vintage Handbag for the Missus

Remember the good ol’ days? When everyone’s eyes weren’t glued to the illuminated screens? Before the mass availability of smartphones in the 2010s, indoor games were a big deal; Monopoly was a big deal.

Vintage Handbag for the Missus

Someone found a 1972 Monopoly set and instead of throwing it away after a good wave of nostalgia, decided to turn it into a handbag for their wife. The look of the handbag is very retro-chic and vintage. You’d think this was made by a luxury brand and retails for a few thousand bucks.

What a Pretty Fabric!

Scrap fabric can be upcycled in ways more than one. You can turn them into covers for your furniture, sew them into cute costumes for your pet, or turn them into unique, one-of-a-kind decor. The cushion in the photo is covered with the prettiest shades of blue and strings of white.

What a Pretty Fabric!

Understandably, a Redditor said they wouldn’t be able to forgive themselves had they just discarded the fabric. It looks perfect on the cushion, complementing the big turquoise ones in the back.

DIY Paper-Free Bidet

There’s a general theory claiming that using tissue paper to clean yourself up after using the restroom isn’t the best way to do it. It’s not the most hygienic and might even cause damages to your skin. The alternative to the pain and endless rolls of tissue paper?

DIY Paper-Free Bidet

A bidet. They’re relatively cheap and go for around $15. However, a Redditor made one from a pump cleanser. It’s eco-friendly, toilet paper-free, and money-saving.

Making Natural Dye

Now, this one requires a creative spirit who loves to get into DIY. Even if you aren’t a huge fan of it, living a minimalist, zero waste lifestyle calls for unconventional measures. Nature is bountiful, and we often forget this in the overwhelming array of artificial products.

Making Natural Dye

Did you know that onion skins work like a natural dye? All you have to do is boil the skins with vinegar and allow them to rest for at least a day. The sandy brown color it releases is super pretty.

Bracelets and Keychains

Having enough creativity to recognize a chance to recycle old watches is a big deal in itself. We don’t think this would work with every other watch; a theme is what you need here.

Bracelets and Keychains

For instance, the watches she used to make the dainty bracelets and keychains feature a charming variety of mushrooms embroidered in the inners. If you have something similar to this at your home, you could whip up matching sets for your family or friends.