Recycled plastic spoon Protea vases

Give me any opportunity to use recycled materials for projects and I will definitely take on the challenge. After a recent Valentine's dinner, I received a grocery bag full of plastic spoons. I have had the idea of using spoons to make decorative vases for quite a while but wanted to combine this with my collection of saved glass jars, tins, plastic tubs and bottles.


Make chicken wire storage baskets and containers

A bundle of chicken wire and you can go crazy with storage containers for a home that cost practically nothing. All you need is some wire, or an old lampshade frame and a pair of pliers. You can buy chicken wire by the metre in the garden section of your local Builders Warehouse

Reclaimed plastic bottle petal lamp

I have seen so many gorgeous petal lamps and definitely wanted one for my TV room. Considering that you can pay anywhere from R800 upwards, once again I decided to make my own (!) and look at how to use plastic bottles to make it. I have done so many projects using recycled plastic bottles that I immediately thought about how to use the bottom part of the bottle for the petals.

Reclaimed and recycled wood linen drawers

Made using offcuts from pine shelves, reclaimed shipping crates, pine offcuts and a few pieces of PAR pine from your local Builders Warehouse, you can easily knock up this tall chest of drawers or set of linen drawers for a home. I think these would also be practical for storage in a small bathroom. As an alternative to shipping crates you can use 18mm pine plywood.


Coffee table using reclaimed or made crates

For this easy crate coffee table you can use reclaimed crates, make your own crates using reclaimed wood, or use PAR pine (available at your local Builders Warehouse) to make your own crates. You can even add castor wheels onto the base of your crate coffee table to make it mobile.


back to top

Plastic milk container MilkWave light

Like most households, I go through plenty of plastic containers of milk each week. Rather than throw these out and add to the already disastrous amounts of plastic on our dumps, you can turn plastic milk containers into amazing contemporary light fittings. The MilkWaves lampshade is designed as an easy DIY project. It's a lampshade that can be used as a pendant or uplighting floor lamp.

Recycled can cutlery holder

Use recycled cans to make a cutlery holder that can be used for indoor and outdoor entertaining. You can use six cans for cutlery or seven cans if you want to add a serviette holder at one end. Pieces of leather recycled from an old handbag serve as a handle and labels for the cans.


Best recycled can ideas

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of ideas for recycling aluminium or tin cans into creations for a home. While many of the ideas shouldn't be seen on display in any home, there are plenty of creative ideas that are worthy to be put out on display.


Make your own cookie cutters

It can be frustrating when catering for a special event or party and not being able to find nice cookie cutters. During December I made a variety of Christmas cookies - and couldn't find any nice cookie cutters and ended up making my own shapes. Recycled aluminium cans are perfect for making your own cookie cutters.


Practical recycled pallet wine rack ideas

With your pallets in hand, before you start crafting your wine rack, put on your thinking cap and design a wine rack that will look good on a wall in your home. There are some weird and tacky wine racks out there that I would be embarrassed to have on display. And while you might be using reclaimed timber, it's still nice to put that timber to good use.


back to top

Recycled plastic bottle flower holder

Make attractive wire hanging flower holders with empty plastic bottles and some wire. You can fill them with fresh cut flowers and hang them above an outdoor garden table, on a patio or balcony, or bend the wire at the base to allow them to stand upright for an attractive display of fresh flowers for a home.


Don't forget to recycle

The holiday season is a time of over indulgence and excess. We eat more food, we consume more drinks and we pack our dustbins and trash cans with waste. This season, think before you throw and look for ways to repurpose and recycle plastic waste rather than throwing it away. Here's a roundup of some of our more popular recycling craft projects.


Egg carton roses

Having previously featured an article on using egg cartons to make roses, I just had to share this project as well. Normal egg cartons are cut to petal shapes, painted and formed into exquisite roses that you can put on display, or use to embellish projects.


Dining table topper for rectangular table

While a lazy susan turntable is perfect for a square or circular dining table, you can add a simple table topper to make add height and space to a rectangular table. This table topper is rustic, but you can add more detail for a traditional table setting.


Upcycle old towels into a super-soft bath mat

Although it isn't time for spring cleaning, getting your home sorted for the holidays is a project you will be tackling very soon. With this is mind, gather together old towels... those that are so thin they are more like tissue paper than towels, and turn them into super-soft mats for a bathroom or bedroom.


back to top

Box shelves from recycled crates

If you buy your veggies in bulk, chances are you get to take home a wood crate now and then. Here's a wonderful way to put those crates to good use... as box shelves for a wall display.



Serviette rings from cardboard tubes

I know this project has been around and around, but with the holidays so close I thought it might be nice to refresh the idea of using cardboard tubes to make decorative serviette holders for the festive table.


Make your own concrete knobs

When times are tough - the tough get DIYing! Here's a way to put those incandescent light bulbs still sitting in a cupboard to good use, since we have now swapped over the more energy efficient lighting options. Use the bulbs to make concrete knobs.


From rags to riches... or at least beautiful rugs!

Rag rugs have been around for ages, but I haven't previously been very impressed with what I have seen. Lately, however, there are some really adorable designs that are popping up for a nursery or children's bedroom. Here are two charming pink-hued rag rugs.


back to top

Decorative cushion cover with t-shirt scraps

Still hoarding last year's t-shirts, despite the fact that they are full of holes? Time to cut them up and make this decorative cushion cover. You can use a single t-shirt, or combine coloured t-shirts for an even more decorative effect.


Repurpose an old tyre into a comfortable seat

Today is my day for recycling projects. I have come across so many great ways to recycle and upcycle and here's another one to add to the list. Using old tyres isn't a new idea and I have seen quite a few recycling projects using tyres, but I do like these quick and easy chairs for the garden.


Get creative with plastic crates

Upcycling plastic crates is the new fad in recycling. They are strong and tough and you can use them in various ways for storage, but I love the new craze for turning plastic crates into upholstered stools.


Reclaimed timber garden swing chair

The ideas for using reclaimed timber just keep on coming. These reclaimed timber garden swing chair is made from timber pallets and is just the place to relax in the shade of some trees on a hot summer day.


Crafts using bottle caps

There are so many amazing craft ideas that make use of bottle caps, both plastic and metal, and it's a fun and affordable way to revamp or dress up an old piece of furniture or craft something new. If you are looking for a rainy day project, or a way to keep the kids occupied during school holidays, start collecting plastic and metal bottle caps for a variety of craft projects.

back to top

Plastic bottles make favour boxes

One of the ladies attending a workshop mentioned how to make party favours using the base of a plastic bottle. Not quite understanding what she meant, I experimented with different ways and lo and behold, you can make fantastic party favour containers with a plastic bottle. Here's how...


Restore vintage steamer trunk

If you are lucky enough to discover a vintage steamer trunk you have the choice of revamping or restoring the piece. Restoring a steamer trunk involves a bit of woodworking, metal and leather work and is extremely rewarding once you see the finished result.


Upcycle washing machine drum into firepit

Here's how to turn a washing machine drum into a firepit. It s a super-easy project and the design of the stainless steel drum is perfect for a fire. The small holes around the drum not only allow for oxygen flow to the fire but also make for a pretty light show. Although this one has welded feet, you can leave these off.


Mason jar or glass jar outdoor pendant lights

Although you use mason jars - or pickling jars - to make these gorgeous outdoor pendant lamps, you can also use empty glass jars that you would normally throw away. With summer around the corner, this is a quick and easy way to add style and soft lighting to your patio or deck.


Make new pine like reclaimed timber or old wood

Not everyone is able to find reclaimed timber but wants the look of reclaimed timber furniture. I discovered a way to make ordinary laminated pine shelving look like the reclaimed timber furniture you find in many home decor stores. The trick is to use Woodoc Gel Stain and some common household products to age new timber and make it look authentic.


Branch out with ideas for windows

This idea is not a new one, but it's definitely a great idea if you are a looking for an affordable way to hang curtains and add interest to country, cottage or rustic room decor. Using a branch as a curtain rod definitely catches attention and you don't need to spend any money for this project.


back to top