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Upcycling: 20 of The Best Examples We've Seen

Here at Drench, we appreciate innovation and fantastic ideas, however great or small. The process of upcycling has taken off in recent years, as the focus on being environmentally friendly grows, opening the doors to methods of recycling waste materials and breathing new life into tired items.

What is Upcycling?

Upcycling is defined as the ‘process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value’.

Put simply, it’s about rejuvenating and combining your old tat into something funky and useful around the home.

There are thousands of fantastic examples of upcycling different bits and pieces around the home. There’s a wide range of ways you can update your home, but upcycling furniture can be done by anyone while keeping costs low. It can also be a great hobby or activity for your household.

Looking for affordable home improvement ideas? Check out what our Drench experts recommend

What is Upcycling vs Recycling?

Recycling is the process of destroying waste goods to turn them into something new whether the same kind of product or a whole new item. However, as mentioned previously, upcycling is taking an old or waste item and adapting its current state to turn it into something new.

Here are our favourite 20 upcycling ideas from around the globe



1. Use old toilet rolls as cable organisers to prevent wires from getting tangled up

2. Mount old spanners on the wall to make shabby chic robe and utensil hooks

3. Convert an old briefcase and mount it on the bathroom wall to make a unique cabinet

4. Convert old bulbs into oil lamps or candles

5. Make a funky key hanger from old Lego

6. Old CD spindle cases make great bagel caddy’s

7. Mount old cutlery on the kitchen wall to make some cool tea towel hangers

8. Plug holes in the garden fence panels with old marbles for a colourful sunshine experience

Need to clear some clutter? Check out our guide to bathroom storage ideas.


9. Make some stylish shelves from a handful of old books and wall mounts

10. Use retro badminton or squash rackets as wall mirrors

11. Convert an old bicycle into a bathroom vanity unit

12. Turn an old dining chair into a towel hanger and shelf combination

13. Create a retro love seat from an old freestanding roll top bath

14. Convert an old bicycle wheel into a wall hung clock


15. Convert old light bulbs into wall hung flower vases

16. Hang up parts of an old wooden pallet to make a stunning wine shelf unit

17. Dangle used whisks with a handful of LED lights for some stylish and ambient ceiling lighting

18. Upcycle yourself a buttoned chair using an old briefcase with some wooden legs and a bit of cushion

19. Use an old barbecue skewer and some vinyl records to make yourself a retro cake stand

20. My personal favourite – use an old shampoo bottle to create your own makeshift waterfall tap (quality not guaranteed)


Hopefully these 20 amazing and inventive ideas have given you some insights into how you can do your bit for the environment by upcycling within the home!

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