Hi fellow creative! I have been watching a lot of “zero waste” and “repurposing” videos, and it is so fun to see how creative people get with reusing their things. Not only is reusing and repurposing a great way to minimize the amount of stuff going into landfills, but it also helps us flex our creative muscles, and think outside of the box. Not to mention that it saves money, and gives us a new love and appreciation for our things. I wanted to keep the ideas and inspiration flowing, so I am sharing some of the ways I reuse and repurpose items in my home. A lot of these items are simple, but there are a few that gave my creative muscles a workout.
1. Jewelry Box Turned Small Craft Organizer
I found this beautiful wood and stained glass jewelry box at the Goodwill for $4, and I could not pass it up. I do not have a lot of jewelry, but I love stained glass, and I wanted this piece to have a good home. It took me a few days to figure out how to use it, but I ended up putting buttons, safety pins, wooden circles, and tape measures in the drawers. The stained glass door is meant to display necklaces, but I used it to store 6″ and 12″ dowels.
I have a bad habit of misplacing things and not putting things back, but this jewelry box keeps me organized. Instead of having a large drawer where everything thing gets tangled and piled on top of each other, now every item has its own compartment.
Changes to the piece:
- Cleaned the outside with a mixture of vinegar and water to get rid of any dirt/grime/germs.
- Used Windex to clean the glass door.
- Each drawer and door is lined with felt, so I vacuumed it!
2. Tea Box Turned Vase
I got a set of 3 English breakfast teas as a gift. The set came with a blue, mauve, and purple tea tin. Purple is my favourite colour, so I kept this tin and donated the other two. I turned it into a vase for some of my leftover fake flowers. To keep the tin balanced and upright, I filled the sides with wooden cubes from the Dollar Tree! Now I have a vintage tea tin vase, and I love it!
3. Tea Cup Saucer Turned Ring Holder
This tea cup saucer is leftover from our home’s previous owner, and it is missing the matching tea cup. I set it aside to be donated, but before I could make a trip, I found a use for it. My husband and I now use this tea cup saucer to hold our wedding rings when we cook or wash the dishes. The flowers and trim make this saucer extra fancy, so it feels like the perfect place to store our most beloved jewelry.
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4. Coffee Mugs Turned Pencil Holder
We all have pencils and pens laying around our house. Why not gather them together and keep them in one spot for easy access? A great pen/pencil/highlighter/marker container is a coffee mug – preferably one of your favourites that you consider too pretty to drink out of. These coffee mug containers bring personality to your space that cannot be replicated by a solid plastic pencil container. You can also use mugs to hold crochet hooks (I do this!), knitting needles, craft supplies, Cricut tools, wooden spoons – the possibilities are endless.
5. Milk Bottle Turned Vase
Milk bottles are not as common as they were in the 50’s/60’s, but if you have a glass jar with a long neck, you can repurpose it as a vase. I found this old milk bottle when I was on a hunt for donations around the house. I almost donated this bottle, but I gave myself a week to put it to use. To complete the look, you can add a cute bow, using twine, ribbon or yarn – I used 3 strands of cotton yarn for mine!
6. Glass Cup Turned Wooden Spoon Holder
Instead of stuffing your wooden spoons in a drawer, keep them close to the stove for easy access. A lot of cooks have ceramic vases for their cooking utensils, but you can use a glass from your cupboard – especially if this glass was about to get tossed. I kept the glass plain, but here are some ideas for jazzing it up:
- Use sea glass spray paint to give it a beachy look!
- Spray paint it with a solid flat or satin paint to give it a matte look.
- Use a mixture of paint and baking soda to create a faux ceramic look.
7. Laundry Basket Turned Dog Toy Storage
Our dogs have a lot of toys, partly because we love to spoil them, and partly because their grandparents love to spoil them. After getting tired of tripping on all the toys, we gathered them up to store them in a laundry basket. We were worried that the dogs wouldn’t be able to get the toys out from the bottom, but they will dig through the bin until they find the one they want.
If you do not have pets, you can laundry baskets for kids toys, pool toys, yarn, fabric, pillows, blankets, etc.
8. Small Cane Basket for Keurig Cup Storage
If you love your Keurig machine, and buy Keurig cups in bulk, this is for you. Instead of keeping your Keurig cups in a cardboard box that is hard to open, try organizing them in a small basket. It is visually appealing AND functional. I save 20 – 30 seconds each morning with this Keurig basket. It’s an open top with easy access to the cups; no more sticking your hand inside a box, only for it to get stuck.
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9. Folgers Coffee Container Turned Tea Box
This project is still in the works (I plan on decorating it), but it is functioning. If you are a tea drinker, consider repurposing an old coffee container like Folgers, Maxwell’s House, etc., into a tea box. To keep each tea organized, use small pieces of cardboard to create a separator. Place your tea in its own compartment, pop the lid on, and voila – a makeshift tea tin! You can have fun decorating the outside with paint, fabric, mod podge, and more, to put your own stamp on it.
This tea box is a future project of mine, so check back to see how it turns out!
10. Old Drawer Turned Wall Art
I found a single wooden drawer in our basement, and knew that I wanted to make something with it. A more detailed post about this project is coming, but here is an overview of how I transformed this drawer:
- Cleaned it with a mixture of vinegar/water.
- Removed the drawer knob.
- Lightly sanded the drawer, so the paint would adhere to it.
- Spray painted the sides an olive green.
- Lightly sanded it to give it a “distressed/vintage” look.
- Sprayed the outside and inside of the drawer with lacquer to protect it, and bring out the colour of the wood.
- Replaced the drawer knob with a vintage gold knob.
- Measured, cut, and mod-podged a piece of fabric to the inside of the drawer.
- Crocheted a band.
- Hammered the band in place around 3 sides of the drawer with embroidery pins.
Depending on how large your drawer is, you can repurpose this item into a shelf, plant storage, or a sign.
11. Scrap Yarn and Embroidery Hoop Turned Macrame Wall Hanging
If you have a few yards of yarn leftover from different projects, don’t throw them away! A few yards of yarn is not long enough to crochet or knit with, but its perfect to use for macrame. This is a beginner-friendly macrame project that I designed using scrap yarn (different colours, textures, and weights), along with an embroidery hoop. Here is the complete tutorial for this project!
I hope this post gave you some inspiration for little things that you can repurpose and reuse around your home. I would love to hear about some of the things that you have reused/repurposed because you can never have too many ideas.
I will be posting more DIY projects that I have completed. So if you like this type of content, please consider subscribing to my email list to be notified when I share new projects.
Here are some of the Youtube videos that inspired me:
- 10 FREE DIY Decor Ideas to Refresh Your Home by Canterbury Cottage
- Trash to Treasure Project by White Cottage Company
- 5 Easy, Thrifty Outdoor DIY Projects by Pine and Prospect Home
I hope you have a wonderful day, and get some time to be creative!
2 thoughts on “11 Creative Ways to Reuse and Repurpose Old Items”
Hi Dayna, Your ideas are great, practical and pretty! I hate throwing things away that can have a useful and extended life, I keep all sorts of stuff as long as it looks good and can be re-purposed, Biscuit tins, chocolate tins, coffee mugs without handles, gift bags wrapping paper, shoe boxes and empty fancy bottles, hold pens and flowers, knitting needles crochet hooks, embroidery threads etc I am hoping to organize my yarn stash somehow. Hmm!!!
Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. I hate throwing things away too, especially when they can be reused – like gift bags. I think it’s great that you repurpose all of those things, especially the coffee mugs without handles, that most people would just throw away. Wishing you all the best in organizing your yarn stash. I am still trying to figure out how to do that, so I hope you have a better luck than me haha. I have seen a lot of people make custom shelves or buy square pods from Amazon that stack and fit together. You can also try using book cases, dressers, wine racks, blanket chests, china cabinets, or any furniture with room to hold yarn. Square fabric baskets, or popcorn/large Christmas tins work too. I have also seen people crochet large corner hammocks to hold their yarn – it’s really cool. 🙂
Hope you have a wonderful day!