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Find New Uses for Old Things {Day 18}

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Find New Uses for Old Things {Day 18} | Living Well & Spending Zero challenge | Recycle Old Things | Upcycle Old Materials | Decluttering Your Home | Life Management | Saving Tips | Saving Ideas| Home Decorating | Crafts | Home Improvement Ideas | Home Improvement Hacks | Upcycling Ideas

This is the eighteenth day of my 31 Days of Living Well & Spending Zero challenge. To read all the posts in order, start with Day One or visit the Overview Page.

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This week so far has been all about creatively using the things we already have. The intent has been to spark ideas, and the “assignments” this week (and this whole month for that matter) are not necessarily meant to be done day by day, but to be used as a rough guideline for approaching the things you already have in a slightly different way.

I don’t know if it is working for you, but it has definitely made me rethink my normal spending habits, as well as my normal willingness to quick run to Target or the craft store for supplies when I could’ve tried a little harder to improvise. It is amazing how much we really all have to work with once we are willing accept our limitations.

Today I rounded up 21 amazing, inspiring, & super creative ways to use old things in a new way. I am SO incredibly inspired by these upcycling ideas, and I hope that you will be too!

Find New Uses for Old Things {Day 18}

  1. Upcycled Crib into Magazine Rack {via Tip Junkie}
  2. Toilet Paper Roll Wall Art  {via How-To Gal}
  3. Rake Wine Glass Rack {via Tattered Style}
  4. Tin Can Lanterns {via Grow Creative}
  5. Cookie Sheet Serving Tray {via Martha Stewart}
  6. Cereal Box 3D Cardboard Star {via Grey Luster Girl}
  7. Upcycled Sweater Pillow {via Infarrantly Creative}
  8. Broken Crayon Monogram Art {via Upcycle Us}
  9. Tuna Can Tealight Holders {via Practically Functional}
  10. Upcycled Nightstand into Kid’s Island Play Kitchen {via Paint on the Ceiling}
  11. Upcycled Books into Shelves {via Real Simple}
  12. Pallet Plate Rack {via Apartment Therapy}
  13. Upcycled Headboard into Chalkboard Welcome Sign {via Balancing Beauty & Bedlam}
  14.  Shutter Magazine Rack {via My Repurposed Life}
  15. Woven Leather Belt Chair {via Saved by Love Creations}
  16. Rain Gutter Kids Bookshelves {via Sunshine on the Inside}
  17. Plastic Spoon Chrysanthemum Mirror {via Addicted 2 Decorating}
  18. Mason Jar Herb Garden {via Camille’s Style}
  19. Wine Cork Bathmat {via The Crafty Nest}
  20. Upcycled Spoon Ring {via Through the Front Door}
  21. Upcycled Blue Jean Purse {via Artfully Caroline}


Your assignment is to try to look at the things you already have in a new way.  Do you have any furniture or clothing that aren’t working for you in their current state that you could possibly upcycle into something new? Is there something you need right now that you were planning to buy, that you could possibly create a solution for using something you already have? Give it some serious thought today!

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Have you ever upcycled or re-purposed anything? What did you make? Which of these 21 projects inspires you the most?

{Go to Day 19}


  1. Jennifer Green
    October 18 at 09:04AM

    Wow some of these ideas are really neat! I love the rake wine glass holder and that spoon mirror is just amazing! How do people think of these things? Love it.

    • Ruth
      October 23 at 04:51AM

      Honestly Jennifer, I don’t know! SO creative! I love that rake wine holder too. SO want to do that!

  2. Alisha
    October 18 at 09:21AM

    Oh, how I wish I could sew! I LOVE the sweater pillow– in fact, I bought an almost identical one at Target and spent way too much on it (not this month, of course!) 😉 I also really like the mason jar herb garden…and the toilet paper wall art! I thought for sure I was reading that wrong! Such great and creative ideas. Thanks for sharing!

    • Ruth
      October 23 at 04:52AM

      Oh Alisha, don’t you remember 9th grade home-ec? It’s just a straight line…you can do it! 🙂

  3. Alisha
    October 18 at 09:25AM

    And holy cow! I just realized that adorable mirror is made out of plastic spoons– WHAT?!?

    • Ruth
      October 23 at 04:52AM

      I know right? I LOVE that one!

  4. Denise
    October 18 at 09:40AM

    Another inspiring post! I love them ALL! Honestly Ruth, I don’t know how you keep coming up with this stuff day after day. This 31 day challenge rocks!

    • Ruth
      October 23 at 04:53AM

      Thanks Denise! It has been a lot of fun coming up with all these ideas every day, but I will definitely be ready for a break come November 1st! 🙂 I’m so glad you are enjoying this challenge.

  5. LOVE LOVE LOVE this, Ruth!
    I love the cookie sheet idea… and the pillow… and the Monogram letters made of crayons (soooo going to be the teacher end of year gift this year! Maybe Christmas).
    My 31 Days series is going well but it has us pretty tired! It’s rewarding but not so easy some days! I am dedicating November to crafting some holiday gifts. Can’t wait to try some of these ideas!!
    Zzzzz. 🙂
    ~ Claire

    • Ruth
      October 23 at 04:54AM

      31 days is exhausting isn’t it? I can’t wait to try some of the same ones but I think I’m going to have to wait until November. 🙂

  6. October 19 at 01:18AM

    Love these! And wouldn’t it be nice to make the cookie sheeet tray, put some homemade kitchen goodies on it, and present that as a gift?

    It suddenly occurred to me today that the children and I can use some of our leftover glass jars for Halloween luminarias, so hopefully we’ll get to that this weekend.

    • Ruth
      October 23 at 04:54AM

      Love both those ideas! 🙂

  7. Anje
    October 19 at 05:15AM

    Wow. Such nice ideas. The plastic spoon mirror is so beautiful! And I simply must have a wine cork bathmath now. 😉 Plus, I’m not ruling out my nightstand getting a new life as a play kitchen sometime in the future.

    • Ruth
      October 23 at 04:55AM

      I know, I am kicking myself for not having the requisite 175 corks all saved up already. Guess I’ll just have to drink more wine! 🙂

  8. July 11 at 08:18AM

    Thank you for including our play kitchen. I’m honored that it has been included amongst these wonderful ideas!

  9. Nichole
    October 1 at 10:29AM

    I’m going to make patch work cushions out of the many bags of different clothes that are too pretty and groovy to throw away won’t cost me a cent to add some new colour to our existing spaces at home ….. Very excited to start this !!!

  10. nanci
    December 8 at 08:39AM

    This is so nice to find a place where everyone WANTS to re-make something out of an old item. I never want to throw things away. I think I have always wanted to bring a new life and use for my old things. When they’re done and out to the trash, but at times it seems like there’s no reason to throw it out. I would love to send a few photos at some time of some things we did. Thank you for giving us these wonderful ideas.

  11. Debbie Mullins
    March 7 at 08:59AM

    Thanks I would like to join

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