10 DIY Upcycled Gifts

Introduction – Upcycling

Upcycled gifts, made from used materials and given new life, are popular because they reflect a philosophy of care by reducing the carbon impact of gifts. No doubt its also a way to set yourself apart from others because of its eclectic and deeply personal nature to be thoughtful and unique. They are also a fine way to show you care about the environment and the people you love, whether it’s a birthday, Christmas, or just because they also make great gifts for any occasion.

Skateboard upcycled into a musical instrument

Recycling Ties Together Upcycling And Downcycling

Upcycling and downcycling are two sides of the phenomenon of recycling. The difference is that downcycling means taking an end product, and converting it back into its raw materials to be made into a new thing. Whereas upcycling means taking an end product, and repurposing it with changes into a different thing directly. When we talk about recycling, we more often than not mean the downcycling aspect.

There are endless possibilities when it comes to upcycled gifts. One popular option is to create a mobile out of old magazines or newspapers. Another is to make a picture frame out of recycled glass bottles. You can even upcycle plastic containers into storage bins or plant pots.

10 Upcycled Gifts Ideas

Upcycled gifts are simply creative gift ideas that use items that you would otherwise throw away. With a little imagination, you can transform everyday items into something special that will surely be appreciated. For example, an empty pickle jar can be turned into a vase or candle holder, while a used milk carton can be made into a bird feeder.

You can upcycle even something as simple as fabric into a stylish scarf or headband. The possibilities are endless, and the best part is that upcycled gifts are eco-friendly and budget-friendly. Here are 10 DIY upcycled gift ideas to get you started:

1. Upcycled Candle Holder

The upcycled candle holder is a great DIY gift. You can make it with recycled materials that you would otherwise throw away. It’s a great way to upcycle items and create something beautiful and unique. Upcycled candle holders make great gifts for any occasion and are easy to make. Gather some recycled materials, such as glass bottles, jars, metal cans, or even plastic containers. Then use a hot glue gun to attach the items. You can add decorative elements like beads or ribbon to personalize your upcycled candle holder. Give it as a gift, or keep it for yourself! Either way, you’ll enjoy the satisfaction of knowing you’ve created something beautiful and earth friendly.

Upcycled candle holders from rufflesandrainboots.com

We recommend you check out rufflesandrainboots.com for a great an example of taking a low cost dollar store item and with simple decorations, turn it into an upcycled holiday spirit candle holder.

2. Glass Bottle Vases

You can make glass vases with any type of glass bottle, and they’re easy to personalize. To make a glass bottle vase, start by removing the labels from the bottles. Soak the bottle in warm water. Use a scraping tool like a plastic knife to scrape off the labels if needed. Sometimes they’ll come right off. Next, use a glass etching cream to etch a design onto the bottles. Wear gloves and work in a well-ventilated area when using the etching cream. Once you’ve finished etching the design, rinse the bottles with water and allow them to dry. Then, use a glass paint pen to paint over the etched design. Allow the paint to dry, and then fill the bottles with fresh flowers. Glass bottle vases are a thoughtful and unique gift that will be appreciated.

Glass bottle vase

3.Milk Carton Bird Feeders:

Milk carton bird feeders are easy to make, and you can decorate them however you like. To make a milk carton bird feeder, start by cutting a hole in the top of the carton. Then, line the inside of the hole with peanut butter. Next, roll the edges of the hole in the birdseed. Once the peanut butter is completely covered, put the lid back on the carton and punch a few holes in it. Finally, tie some string around the top of the feeder and hang it from a tree or post. Milk carton bird feeders are simple to make and bring a smile to any bird lover’s face.

Very cool milk carton bird feeder from Crayola

4. Fabric Scraps Headband: 

You can make fabric scrap headbands in any size and color, and it’s a great way to use up Fabric scraps. To make a Fabric scraps headband, you will need Fabric scraps, scissors, a hot glue gun, elastic, and ribbon. First, cut Fabric scraps into strips. Next, hot glue the strips to the elastic. Make sure to leave enough fabric at the end to tie a bow. Finally, tie a bow with the fabric and trim the ends. Your Fabric scraps headband is now ready to wear!

Awesome head-band scrunchy from Kelly

5. Paint Can Planters: 

Paint-can planters are a great DIY gift for any gardener or plant lover in your life. Not only are they unique and eye-catching, but they’re also easy to make! To start, all you need is a paint can (or two, if you want to make a set), some paint, and a few other supplies. Once you have your materials gathered, simply give the paint can a coat of paint (inside and out) and let it dry. Once it’s dry, add some drainage holes to the bottom of the can using a hammer and nail or a drill if you want greater precision. Instead of paint, consider wrapping the can in fabric or paper to give a different effect. Then, fill the can with potting soil and your favorite plants. Voila! You’ve now got a one-of-a-kind gift to please any recipient.

Paint can turned into a fancy plant pot

6. Tin Can Pencil Holder: 

A tin can pencil holder is a great DIY gift. You can make it follow these simple steps: first, find an empty tin can and clean it out. Next, decorate the outside of the can with paint, markers, or any other materials you have on hand. Once you’re done with that, fill the can with pencils, pens, or other stationary supplies. Finally, put a lid on the can, and voila – you’ve got a brand-new pencil holder! This easy project makes for a great gift for friends, family, or even as a teacher’s present. Not only is it inexpensive to make, but it’s also unique and sure to be appreciated.

7. Glass Jar Herb Garden: 

Glass jar herb gardens make for great DIY gifts. Not only are they easy and affordable to make, but they also offer several benefits. For one, glass jar herb gardens are attractive and stylish. They can be placed on a windowsill or countertop, adding a touch of elegance to any kitchen. Secondly, glass jar herb gardens are easy to care for. Herbs require very little maintenance, and they will thrive with a little water and sunlight. Lastly, glass jar herb gardens provide fresh herbs year-round. By growing your herbs, you can access fresh, flavorful herbs whenever you need them.

8. Coffee Cup Cozy: 

Coffee cup cozies are easy to make and can be customized to fit any style. To make a coffee cup cozy, you will need a few supplies: fabric, scissors, and a sewing machine. Start by measuring the cup’s circumference and Cut a rectangle of fabric twice as wide and slightly longer. Fold the fabric in half lengthwise and sew the long side closed. Next, fold the top and bottom edges towards the center and sew them closed. Finally, turn the cozy right-side out and slip it over the cup. Coffee cup cozies are a great way to keep your hands from getting too cold or hot while you enjoy your favorite beverage. These gifts are also perfect for those who are always on the go!

upcycled gifts

9.Recycled Cardboard Desk Organizer: 

Recycled cardboard desk organizers make great DIY gifts for everyone. They are easy to make and only require a few materials. Plus, they are affordable and can be personalized to fit any d├ęcor. To make a recycled cardboard desk organizer, start by cutting two pieces of cardboard to the same size. Then, fold one piece in half and cut it into three equal sections. 

Next, cut the second piece of cardboard into two equal sections. Now, glue the three sections of the first piece of cardboard together. Once the glue is dry, glue the two sections of the second piece of cardboard to the back of the first piece. Finally, decorate your desk organizer with paint, markers, or any other materials you have on hand. Recycled cardboard desk organizers make great gifts for anyone and everyone.

upcycled gifts

10.Mason Jar Picture Frame: 

Making mason jar picture frames with or without a Mason jar makes great home decor items. Mason jars are inexpensive and can be found at most hardware stores. To make a Mason jar picture frame, you will need a Mason jar, a piece of wood, a saw, sandpaper, and paint. First, cut the piece of wood to the desired size. Next, sand the edges of the wood to smooth them out. Then, paint the wood in the color of your choice. Finally, glue the Mason jar to the middle of the wood frame. Allow the glue to dry completely before displaying your Mason jar picture frame.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, there are many great DIY gift ideas that you can make on a budget. With a little creativity and effort, you can make thoughtful and unique gifts. So, next time you need a gift for a friend or family member, consider making one of these 10 DIY gifts. You’ll be glad you did!

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