It’s no secret that we’re big fans of recycling. We believe that it’s a great way to reduce waste, save money and help the environment all at the same time. And we’re also advocates of creative recycling projects—because they can help you get even more out of your old stuff!
In this project, readers will learn how to make reusable items with simple and inexpensive materials found around their homes (like cardboard boxes), while reducing the amount of waste they produce and helping the environment at the same time. While it might seem like an overwhelming task if you’re only familiar with recycling used plastic bottles, once you know some basic techniques it’s quite simple—and having made your own magazine holders is just as easy as opening a bag of fries from your favorite fast food joint!
So today we’re going to show you some of our favorite creative recycling projects that use common household items. Check them out below!
Table of Contents
Cardboard magazine holders
If you have a lot of magazines lying around, why not turn them into something useful like magazine holders? You can make a simple one using just a few materials: baling wire for cardboard cardboard, glue, and scissors.
Step 1: Cut out two pieces of the cardboard that are half the size of your magazine. Make sure they have enough space on the sides to fit over it and hold it firmly in place.
Step 2: Fold each piece in half so they form an “L” shape with one side being shorter than the other side by about an inch or two (this will be used later). Place one piece inside the other piece so that both ends meet in the middle like this:
Now you tie around both ends with baling wire for cardboard where they meet so that everything stays together tightly when finished making it look nice and clean when done!
Mason jar luminaries
A luminary is a light source (often candles) inside of a decorated container. They are usually placed on steps or walkways, sidewalks, or driveways to guide people to the front door of a home.
You will need:
- a mason jar
- paint or markers
- glue (optional)
- other decorative items, like fabric or glitter (optional). Make sure that whatever you use is at least two inches away from the candle so it doesn’t catch fire.
Steps: Using paint or markers, decorate your jar. You can use words like “WELCOME!” and “HOME SWEET HOME” to make it feel friendly and welcoming! If you’re using any other materials to decorate your mason jar luminary, add them now. Put a tea light candle at the bottom of your mason jar. Place your luminary in front of your house along with other luminaries if you have them. The more luminaries you have, the more likely people will be able to see them!
Paper towel planter holders
This quick tip is both easy and practical—you know, the kind of project that makes you think, “Why didn’t I think of that?”
For all you plant parents out there (or anyone who would like to be), a paper towel holder is the perfect way to display your small houseplants. They can also be used as mini garden planters in your kitchen window or on your patio. The best part is that they’re easy to move around, so you can change up the location of each plant as needed.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Wash any dirt and debris off your holder. Then measure your plants against the holder to make sure they will fit comfortably in the intended area (make sure there is room for drainage). If necessary, add some clean gravel at the bottom for better drainage. You could also use a plastic bag if necessary at this stage—just make sure it’s not touching the plant itself!
- Fill your holder with potting soil or compost from scratch if you have some extra time on hand; otherwise just grab an organic potting mix from a local retailer like Home Depot or Lowe’s for about $4 per bag.
- Add whatever planting materials are needed such as fertilizer pellets, worm castings, etc before adding plants into their new homes (this step isn’t required but will help keep things healthy).
- Place one seedling per tube and water thoroughly until damp but not dripping wet–the goal being not too much sogginess!
- Set up near a window where direct sunlight hits most often throughout the day (but not all day long!).
Finally, all you need are some plants! You can use any kind of plants you like as long as they are small enough to fit through these holes comfortably.
Lightbulb plant starters
If you’re looking for a fun way to start your seeds indoors, try making one of these easy lightbulb planters. They’ll give your seedlings the light they need to germinate! All you need is an old lightbulb and a few basic tools.
You can create several different types of seed starters with a simple lightbulb, depending on how much time and effort you want to put into it. You can cut and peel the glass off of the bulb (use safety goggles when doing this!), or you can leave it on. Hang your bulbs upside down from an old chandelier or other fixture, or use the wire filament frame to create a pendant-style planter. Once your plants are established and strong enough to transplant, simply break off the base of the bulb and plant them right in your garden!
Shoe organizer for office supplies
If you’re looking for an easy way to organize your office supplies, try using shoe boxes. They’re cheap and reusable, so you can keep them around forever! Here’s how:
Start by sorting through all of your office supplies and putting them into two piles—one for stuff that’s still usable but needs to be recycled or thrown away, and another pile for things that are still good but need a little repair work before they’re ready to go back into rotation.
Once everything is sorted, pull out the shoe boxes and line them up on a table or countertop so they’re facing forward (this will make it easier to fill them). You’ll want at least four boxes total—two small ones that fit under the desk and hold pens, pencils, and markers; one medium box that holds paper clips, staples, and fasteners; one large box that holds tape dispensers and other large items like staplers and hole punches (feel free to mix-and-match sizes if you don’t have enough full-size boxes). It’s ideal for:
- Pens, pencils, scissors, glue sticks, rulers
- Craft supplies
- Hair accessories and small toys (for kids)
- Toiletries and makeup
Don’t throw away your everyday items before you look at these ideas!
Many of us struggle with the question of what to do with the plastic or paper items we use every day. Items like used wrapping paper, old coffee cans, and empty plastic bottles can be easy to throw in the recycling bin, but they also have potential as craft supplies. The following ideas will inspire you to look at your used items in a new way.