20 Upcycling Ideas To Turn Trash Into Art

Trash. It’s everywhere. We all produce it. Unfortunately, not many people know what to do with it. This is where upcycling comes in. Upcycling takes something considered trash and turns it into something beautiful and valuable. It’s a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and get creative. There are many ways to upcycle. Below are 20 upcycling ideas to turn your trash into art.

1. Paint and Decorate

Give old bottles or jars lying around a new lease on life by painting and decorating them. You can use acrylic paint, glass paint or even Sharpies. Get creative with your design – you could go for a minimalist look or something more colorful and abstract. You can use the newly upcycled vases for fresh flowers or storage containers.

2. Textiles from Colored Trash Bags

Colored trash bags can be used to make several different things, from purses and bags to rugs and blankets. They are cut into strips and woven or knit into the desired item. You can even find eco-friendly trash bags made of recycled plastic that are available in many color options.

3. Pallet Planters

Old pallets can be upcycled into beautiful and rustic planters. Clean the pallet and screw it to a wall or fence. Fill the gaps with potting soil and plants of your choice. Water regularly and enjoy your new green space. Pallet planters are a great way to add greenery to your home without taking up too much space.

4. Bookends

Old books that are falling apart can be upcycled into bookends. It can be done by cutting the front and back covers off the book and gluing them to a heavy object, like a stone or brick. You could also paint the covers before gluing them on.

5. Bottle Lamps

Bottle lamps are perfect for adding some ambiance to a room. Turn empty bottles into unique lamps with a little bit of wire and LED lights. Wrap the wire around the bottle in any design you like and thread the LED lights through. You can use different colored bottles to create different effects.

6. Papier-Mâché

Papier-mâché is a great way to upcycle newspapers, magazines and other paper waste. You need some paper, glue, water and a bowl. Tear the paper into small pieces and mix with glue and water in the bowl to form a pulp. Once the pulp is ready, apply it to an object – an old balloon makes a great base. Papier-mâché is great for adorning bowls, vases, lamps or even jewelry.

7. Make Vessel Form from Tissue Boxes or Used Cans

Take an old tissue box or used can and cut out the top and bottom. Decorate the outside, wrap it in fabric or cover it in paper. Once the outside is decorated, fill the vessel with pencils, pens or makeup brushes.

8. Mirror Frame from Egg Cartons

Turn an old egg carton into a beautiful mirror frame. The procedure is similar to making a vessel form. Cut out the top and bottom of the egg carton, decorate the outside and then glue it to a mirror.

9. Pencil Holder from an Empty Pringles Can

Empty Pringles cans can be upcycled into pencil holders. This can be done by painting the outside of the can, decorating it with washi tape or stickers and then filling it with pencils or pens.

10. Planter from an Old Tire

An old tire can be upcycled into a planter. First, clean the tire and then fill it with potting soil. Next, add your plants of choice and water regularly.

11. Key Holder from an Altoids Tin

An Altoids tin is the perfect size for a key holder. Decorate the outside of the tin and then use it to store your keys. You could also use it to store other small items like loose change or hair ties.

12. Picture Frame from an Old CD Case

Old CD cases are the perfect size for picture frames. They can be decorated with washi tape, stickers or paint to make picture frames.

13. Clock from a Pallet

Used pallets are perfect for making clocks. First, sand down the pallet and then paint or stain it. Once the pallet is dry, add clock hands and a battery-operated clock movement.

14. Soap Dispenser from an Empty Lotion Bottle

Lotion bottles come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Upcycling them into soap dispensers is a great way to reduce waste. It is done by removing the pump from an old lotion bottle and replacing it with a soap dispenser pump.

15. Candle Holder from an Empty Wine Bottle

An empty wine bottle can be upcycled into a candle holder. Remove the labels from the bottle and add a candle of your choice. You could also decorate the outside of the bottle with paint or stickers.

16. Jewelry Holder from an Old Fork

The conversion of an empty old fork into a jewelry holder is one of the exciting ideas. For this, you need to bend the tines of the fork in different directions and then hammer them down. The jewelry holder can be used to store necklaces, bracelets and rings.

17. Harness Its Power

Convert trash into power by using a water wheel trash compactor. This machine is designed to compress garbage into briquettes which can be used as fuel.

18. Recycled Furniture

Furniture made from recycled materials is not only eco-friendly but also stylish. Many companies specialize in making furniture from recycled materials.

19. Greenhouse from Plastic Bottles

Plastic bottles can be used to build a greenhouse. This is done by cutting the bottom off the bottle and then attaching it to the greenhouse frame. The bottles will let in sunlight and help keep the inside of the greenhouse warm.

20. Make Stylish Clothes

Collect trash like old clothes, buttons, zippers, etc. and turn them into new fashionable wear. Some fashionable wear made from trash is skirts, shirts, bags and shoes.


Upcycling is a concept that is gaining popularity all over the world. It’s a great way to reduce waste and create beautiful or valuable items. These 20 upcycling ideas are just a few ways to turn trash into art. The products are impressive and would make great gifts or home decor items.

So, next time you’re about to throw something away, think about how you could upcycle it into something new.