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Summertime, and for many the living is, if not easy, at least moving at a slightly slower pace. In many cases, you may even experience yourself having free time! Yes, we know that the hustle and bustle of the world doesn’t allow for much of that, and we certainly encourage you to restfully enjoy it. But perhaps you’re looking for some fun, even crafty projects that you can use to keep yourself occupied and stimulated while still relaxing? Or perhaps you have kids at home for the summer and you’re looking for projects to keep them occupied and stimulated (and not in front of a TV screen). This month, we’re focusing on giving you those ideas with our list of fifty things that you can upcycle into something else!

Number One: Old Pill Bottles

You may be surprised how many uses you can find for old prescription pill bottles. In fact, we found a list of twenty-two upcycling ideas for pill bottles that range from creating a DIY sewing kit to using them to hide extra keys to your house to our personal favorite, turning them into cute containers to store bobby pins or cotton swabs. From decorative to practical, we were shocked how many ways you could repurpose those ubiquitous prescription bottles.

Pill Bottle Upcycling Project

Image via The 104 Homestead

Number Two: The Leftover Wax in the Bottom of Candles

How much wax do you figure that you waste each year with the wax left at the bottom of a candle or in the bottom of a candle jar? If you’re anything like the candle junkies we know, the answer is quite a bit. But it’s actually quite simple to upcycle that leftover candle wax into a new, layered jar candle. You’re not only making good use of the wax, you may be saving yourself a nice chunk of money given how expensive scented candles are.

Upcycle Candle Project

Image via Happy Go Lucky

Number Three: Old Lightbulbs

We hope that you’ve moved over to energy efficient lightbulbs by now, but that may well mean that you have a ton of old lightbulbs sitting around unused. Or perhaps you’re still using them – but then what do you do with them when they burn out? Actually, you can do quite a lot with them when they burn out. We found a list of twenty ways to upcycle old lightbulbs that can inspire you to get started. From practical (hanging vases) to fun (playful hot air balloon mobiles) there’s no need to let those lightbulbs make their way to the trash. And we happen to know that they can be turned into adorable holiday ornaments as well.

Lightbulb Upcycling Project

Image via

Number Four: First Old T-Shirt Idea: A Cat Tent

Almost everybody we know has more t-shirts than they need, and thrift stores are cluttered with old t-shirts looking for a home. We’ll certainly have more than one old t-shirt idea on this upcycling list, but our first one is for anybody who has a cat in their home (which likely means that you have a cat who rules your home). All you need is an old t-shirt, two wire hangers and a cardboard box and you can easily create a cat tent for your furry friend. Any upcycling idea that ends with our pets being happy is a favorite of ours, so we’re obviously in support of this use of a t-shirt.

Cat Tent Upcycling Project

Image via Indestructibles

Number Five: Pillowcases to Garment Bags

If you’re like us, you can make a pillowcase last forever. But pillowcases also tend to be a popular thrift store item. And many times you find yourself with extra pillowcases long after the sheets have worn through. Pillowcases can easily be upcycled into garment bags though. You’ll just need a few things from the sewing supplies section of your local craft store and you’re set!

Pillow Case Upcycled into Garment Bag

Image via Better Homes and Gardens

Number Six: Takeout Chopsticks Into Scent Diffusers

The example we’re going to link you to actually uses bamboo skewers from barbeque cooking for this project, but we think it’s an even better project for the packets of chop sticks that get delivered with takeout Asian food. If we’re being honest, how many of us actually use those when we’re in the privacy of our own home with a fork nearby? Find a cute bottle (also something you can upcycle) and with a few other small supplies you can make an easy, breezy and toxin-free air freshener for your room.

Chopsticks Upcycled into Air Fresheners

Image via Popsugar

Number Seven: An Old Drawer Into an Ottoman

We can see you thinking already that this idea is probably for the advanced upcycler, but we’ve actually tried it and it’s easier than it seems. You will need a little bit of construction and sewing skill, but it’s nothing you can’t handle and it’s always fun to learn new skills. We used this as a way to preserve a drawer from a dresser that had reached its end days – but you can also easily upcycle old drawers that you find at your local consignment shop into cool ottomans.

Old Draws Upcycled into Ottomans

Image via Beyond the Picket Fence

Number Eight: Paper Grocery Bags Into Baskets

We of course hope that you are using re-usable bags for your shopping needs, but if you aren’t (or if you find yourself needing to run to the grocery store and you don’t have your bags with you) opt for the paper bags because they can be easily upcycled into fun decorative baskets. We first got inspired to try these when we saw them being used in somebody else’s home as a way to organize (ironically) craft supplies. Upcycled, eco-friendly and oh-so cute.

Paper Bags Upcycled into Baskets

Image via Popsugar

Number Nine: Beer Bottles Into Drinking Glasses

Let’s say that you have a party, and at that party you serve many, many bottles of beer. Sure, you could then send those beer bottles to the recycling center, and that would be great. But you could also turn those beer bottles into neat drinking glasses. Then you could give those glasses as gifts to all of your beer-loving friends. Or, even better, the next time there is a party where the host or hostess is tempted to use red plastic cups to serve beer in, loan him or her your upcycled and reusable real party glasses instead.

Corona Bottle Upcycled Into a Drinking Glass

Image via 366 Days of Pinterest

Number Ten: Second Old T-Shirt Idea: Trendy T-Shirts

It’s actually been a large fashion trend of late to upcycle old used t-shirts into extremely trendy t-shirt cuts. From dresses to skirts to wraps to fitted shirts, the link we just gave you shows you tons of ideas for ways to preserve that t-shirt or to use that millionth promotional t-shirt that you received and will never wear. Or, as we mentioned before, you can liberate an old t-shirt from your local Goodwill and turn it into a new clothing creation.

Upcycled T-Shirt Design

Image via Coco


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