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Frugal Living: How To Start Upcycling



The Art Of Upcycling

Remember how crazy it would make you when Mom would make you carefully unwrap presents? She had to save every bow and wrapping. Who knew she was a Frugal Living Pioneer? I remember making fun of a relative who shall remain nameless because they were “cheap”. The truth is I never really understood the logic behind being frugal.

Being frugal is a lifestyle choice and contrary to popular belief it isn’t about being tight or unwilling to part with your money. It is about being smart with your money. I was recently chatting with a blogger friend who is also frugal and she broke it down for me. She explained, it’s not that I don’t have the money, I do. It is just that I would rather stack it in the bank.

I started embracing the art of frugality from not having rather than having. Being poor teaches you amazing lessons.

What Is Upcycling

You have probably recently heard the term Upcycling a lot. It is very trendy but really just another word for recycling or repurposing. Upcycling is the art of taking items you already have and making use of them. We throw away so much that we could turn into something useful and beautiful. It is not only frugal and money saving, it is also eco-responsible. There is nothing you can’t make new in some way with some easy tweaks.


Business already knows this. There are quite a few companies turning a profit on this very idea. People love DIY or handmade products. Look at the popularity of Etsy. Playback Clothing makes clothes from eco-friendly materials such as plastic bottles and textile scraps. Hipcycle has taken up cycling to another level by repurposing home products and jewelry. Preserve is perhaps my favorite because of their creativity, they create kitchen products from materials like yogurt containers and water filtration systems.

Easy Upcycling DIY Ideas For The Craft Challenged

I’m gonna be honest, I have the absolute respect for the DIY rockstars out there and I am not one of them. That being said any DIY projects for me have to be totally easy and the less I have to do the better. I scoured the web for some upcycling ideas and found quite a few from sources like Popsugar.



upcyclingOld Clothes

You can make old clothes into basically anything from a new purse to a unique piece of art with glue or a little bit of sewing. Here are some ideas:

  • An oversized shoulder bag
  • Covering chairs
  • Pillow Case garment bags
  • Fabric braided bracelets
  • A memory quilt

We all have those pieces of clothing that hold emotional value like the tee shirt we just can’t part with. One amazing idea that just won’t leave my brain is making them into focal pieces of art. Maybe you have tee shirts that have catchy quotes or memories. Put them in a frame!


Cut and sew old sweaters together for a cool throw rug. Take those old jeans and sew the pockets together for pot-holders. The possibilities are endless.

Wine Bottles

Wine is the gift that keeps giving am I right? I used to collect unique wine bottles because some of them are so pretty but even the ordinary bottle can make a stunning decor accent. You can wrap them in colorful twine or fabric and voila the perfect vase or centerpiece.

Cans And Jars

Stop throwing away your coffee cans and glass jars! There are so many ways to make use of them. Coffee cans are perfect for storing things like utensils and you don’t even have to decorate them. The glass jars are great candle holders and easy storage for small items like tacks, nails, etc.

While I’m on the subject, we are filling our landfills with plastic so stop buying those plastic storage containers. Sorry Tupperware but honestly reuse the plastic food containers you already have.


Broken Furniture

There are even amazing uses for those broken doors or drawers. I recently saw an upcycle project that really caught my eye. A drawer mounted to a wall as a shelf! You can replace the back with a sturdy wood board and voila. Turn that broken door into a cork or memo board.

How to start Upcycling. Unique DIY ideas to breathe new life into what you already have.

How to start Upcycling. Unique DIY ideas to breathe new life into what you already have.

How to start Upcycling. Unique DIY ideas to breathe new life into what you already have.Anything can be made into something new. Upcycling saves you money and is good for the environment. What have you upcycled?

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GiGi Eats

I have actually NEVER heard of UPCYCLING before! Ha! But now I kind of want to do that…. However my husband will still make me throw things away! haha! Or he will throw things away when I am not looking!


Thanks again Heidi for including a link to my article on upcycling. I rarely throw out anything instead I give things away or drop them off at places like hospices or shelters. I’m from England where people own much less, but they buy quality. You never really see furniture on the curb, because things stay in the family and are passed down. Investing in your property is not only smart it’s frugal and when you can upcycle you should.


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Deborah Davis

As a healthy, green and natural living blogger, I really enjoyed your upcycling tips. I am always saving glass bottles and jars to repurpose. I love the idea of repurposing and reusing old furniture, clothing and anything else we can use again. Thanks for sharing this frugal, creative and ecofriendly post. I’m pinning and sharing.

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