If you are an environmentally conscious individual who also loves making things from scratch, upcycling could be your new hobby. Before tossing your goods in the recycle or donation bin, consider using them toward these fun DIY projects.
Record bowls: Turn any of your unwanted vinyl into a unique home accessory. First, preheat your oven to the lowest setting, which is usually around 200 degrees. Next, take a small bowl that can withstand the heat and place it upside down on a cookie sheet. Center the record of your choice on the bowl and pop it into the preheated oven. Be sure to stay close because the process does not take very long, and you will see the vinyl melt over the bowl. When you pull it out, you will notice the record is not sticky, yet it is soft and malleable. You can fix any imperfections by hand, but be quick, as the bowl will harden fast. Put it back in the oven as many times as you like until you have reached the look you want. These items are not intended for food use, but they are great for holding your odds and ends and also make fun planters.
Vintage suitcases: If you picked up some cool old suitcases at a thrift store or flea market recently, you are probably still looking for ways to use them. Since they are fragile and not ideal to use as checked luggage when you travel, they are better suited sprucing up your home. You can turn the carry-on size suitcases into a makeshift vanity cabinet for your bathroom. Simply drill holes into one side and mount it to the wall studs from the inside. For multiple flat suitcases, try stacking them next to a couch or bed to create an interesting side table.
Bottles: Ever tried your hand at glass cutting? It is simpler than you might think, and you can purchase a kit online relatively cheap. Cut off the tops of wine bottles and turn them into vases, cups and toothbrush holders. The possibilities for this craft are endless!
Shipping pallets: Turn an ordinary wooden shipping pallet into a beautiful vertical garden. Use a staple gun to attach landscaping fabric to the back and sides of the pallet to create a leak-proof barrier. Fill the cracks with soil, making sure each layer is tightly packed. Then begin planting, using sturdy plants like succulents. Water the pallet and let it remain horizontal for 2 weeks to ensure the plants take root. You can hang this item outside in your garden or inside in a well-lit room. Another idea for these pallets is to turn them into comfortable indoor or outdoor seating. Simply purchase foam padding from a craft store, making sure it is at least 6 inches thick. Use basic upholstery techniques to fashion a cover for the padding, then lay it on top of the pallets. For outdoor use, find fabric that is waterproof or resistant. If you are looking to furnish a hunting cabin, you might be able to find camouflage materials for this project at www.camotrading.com.