This year's National Recycling Week begins today! To celebrate, I've rounded up some of the upcycling projects we've found or shared in the past – all of them are easy, yet imaginative ways to re-work your waste. Here goes...
1. Make a tote bag
A recycled fabric tote bag is the perfect alternative for carrying home your groceries –plus they're easier to carry and won’t split. With some spare fabric, a little thread, and some basic sewing skills, you can have beautiful new tote bag that not only looks great, but also truly original. We show you how in our DIY Fabric Tote Tutorial
2. Give a lamp a lift
Make sure your home stays bright and beautiful with our fabric lampshade tutorial
. Recovering an old lampshade is a great way to liven a room and recycle fabric at the same time. Gather together the shade, fabric, scissors, glue, and trim, and you're half way there!
3. Recycle envelopes
Wendy from the sustainable living blog, Moral Fibres
, shares ten ideas for re-using and reducing the amount of envelopes in your life. From opting out of junk mail to storing seeds in them over the winter, read Wendy's Top Tips
4. Recycle newspapers
Sustainable living blogger Laura shares her guide to eco-friendly, no-tape gift wrapping. For Laura's Zero Waste Gift Wrapping
you'll only need newspaper, biodegradable twine and scissors. Remember to trim any extra paper and save it for another gift.
5. Compost your waste
I love this simple composting guide
by Ethical Living blogger, Elizabeth of The Note Passer
. She’s created an fun flowchart for what you can and can't compost. Print it out (on recycled paper, of course), hang it on your fridge, and get into composting too.
6. Crockery plant pots
Chipped your favourite mug or teapot? Try planting a selection of herbs or your favourite flowers into them. Here’s a beautiful teapot flower arranging
idea from Sarah of Blossom and Branch
7. D.I.Y. Bunting
This is a really easy way to upcycle fabric, handkerchiefs, or even hand-me-down scarves. Hang a length of string or ribbon where the bunting will go, then peg your fabric along its length. I love these two inspirational ideas for newspaper bunting
and fabric bunting
from Found & Sewn's
8. Freeze Fruit
Never let another citrus fruit go to waste again with Wendy from Moral Fibre's ultimate guide
to freezing your lemons, oranges and limes. Slice them, freeze them, use them to instantly cool drinks. Genius.
9. Zero Waste Coffee
Elizabeth of ethical living blog, The Note Passer
, shows that with just a few brewing technique tweaks, you can easily cut down on the waste your daily ritual produces. Read her hints
10. Craft a Patchwork Cushion Cover
Finally, another one of my favourite make-it-yourself projects that can really renew a room. This simple hand-stitched cushion cover tutorial
makes a lovely little decoration and handily uses up any old material or even old clothes.
Do you have similar, smart ideas? Share them in the comments below.