Upcycling gift ideas: What could you create?

If you’re looking to go green and protect the planet, it’s wise to implement a range of eco-friendly initiatives. Lowering your thermostat, insulating your walls and taking out central heating cover to protect your boiler will all help, but there are other innovative and creating things you can do!
Upcycling, for instance, is a great way to turn something old into something new and could stop your household items from becoming landfill. Unleash your artistic side and you could even make a host of wonderful trinkets that can be given as gifts, so take a look at these handy ideas.
A decoupage jewellery box
If you’ve got an old wooden jewellery box lying around, you might think it is good for nothing – but think again! With a little decoupage – the process of decorating an object with coloured paper – it could become the perfect birthday present, so why not give it a go? To start with, sand down the box and apply a few coats of paint so you have a fresh-looking base. Next, cut out various patterns, designs, images and lettering from newspapers, magazines or any other source and glue them neatly to your box. Cover in varnish and leave to dry. If you’re using tissue paper or want to apply several layers, apply varnish between each layer to give it a unique and professional look – hey presto!
Make your own jewellery

Head to a charity or fair trade shop and you’ll probably find a wealth of jewellery made from unique materials! Earring sculpted from old tires, necklaces crafted from coke bottles and bangles made from recycled juice cartons are just some examples – so there’s no reason why you can’t make your own. Accessories madefrom CDs are popular these days, or you could try creating unique beads from maps, magazines, cereal boxes and such like. To do the latter, cut the materials of your choice into long triangles and roll them in to create a bead shape. Secure the ends with strong craft glue before covering in varnish for that beautiful shine – it really is that simple!
Create a unique corkboard
If you know someone who has recently got their own office or has decided to work from home, making them a cork board could be the right way to go. It’s a simple, yet sweet idea, so shop around for an empty frame and fit it with a piece of quality plywood available from most DIY stores. Next, accumulate all the corks lying around your house (or borrow some from friends if you don’t have enough) and arrange them neatly onto the plywood before gluing down. You can keep them whole if you choose, or cut them down the middle or into circles for a more eye-catching design – it’s completely up to you! Let your imagination go wild and start the board off with a photo or memo before giving it as a gift.
Have a go at teacup candles
Teacup candles make wonderful presents and are surprisingly quick and easy to create. Simply dig out a cup and saucer you don’t use anymore, give it a good clean and secure a candle wick to the bottom of the cup using a glue gun. Once that’s done, heat your microwavable wax (available from craft stores) and add the scent or dye of your choice. Pour the mixture into the cup, ensuring the wick stays as straight as possible, before leaving everything to cool down. Trim the wick until it’s about a quarter of an inch and your sensational candles will be ready to wrap up and give away.
Upcycling is both simple and fun, so let your imagination run wild and give these ideas a go!
Lotte xo 
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  1. Victoria Androsova

    im trying to create a mini chest of drawers out of boxes)

  2. Ooo, I’ve always wanted to create a cork board like that… looks like I may need to get drinking!

  3. Great idea.

  4. I’m always taking apart old jewellery to make it into new, I have so many beads now, it drives my hubbie mad!

  5. ooo i dunno what i would create best get my thinking cap on lol

  6. anthony harrington

    very cool idea!

  7. samantha_ripley

    the cork board looks great