Upcycling Ideas For Throwaway Materials

If you’re a tradesman, problem solving forms a part of your daily job, and considering the price of raw materials, you are constantly aware of reducing unnecessary waste in order to cut on costs. Next time you’re at work, inspect the site and look for gems such as unused pallets, wood cut offs and piping. These materials are often foregone and taken to dumps after a specific project has been completed, but can be transformed into something both beautiful and functional – with some crafty work of course!

We have searched the web far and wide and racked up a list of interesting ideas to inspire you to up-cycle (that is to reuse discarded objects or material in such a way as to create something of higher value than it was in its original state). These were our favourite DIY projects…  

Pallet Work Bench Pallets can be found virtually anywhere and are surprisingly hardy as they are meant for carrying heavy loads of bricks and shipments. This neat looking workbench was made from a few wooden pallets and is put together very simply. See the steps on Instructables

wooden crate table

 [Credit: tlp801 on Instructables]

Magic 2-In-1 Table

Here’s another great idea to make use of all the unused wood cut-offs that you might be hoarding in your workshop or garage: create a 2-in-1 table, perfect for both inside and outside your home. As an upright table, it works well as a laptop stand or side table.  Flipped to the ground, this 2-in-1 table makes for a chic coffee table. View the tutorial on Instructable’s by Dezine

table made from wood planks

[Credit: Dezine on Instructables]

Pipe Table Legs

If you’re looking to add a bit of edginess to your home, or enjoy the industrial look, this DIY idea is just for you. Aluminium plumbing pipes make sturdy table legs and can be shaped into many designs. Here pipes are joined together to form desk table legs, but the same idea can be applied to a range of furniture formats including shelves and chairs. 

table made of pipes

[Credit: A Swacker on Instructables]

Hat Chandelier

Classic hats like the ones in the picture below might not be worn by every man today, but could be appreciated in a different way. Collect top hats and bowler hats – whatever vintage headwear you desire - and create unique lighting for your lounge, dining room or office, by using the hat as a lampshade for your hanging light bulbs. You can find tips to get started on Scraphacker.   

hat chandelier

[Credit: Scraphacker]

Rustic Ladder Bookcase

Instead of getting rid of your dusty and cobweb-covered wooden ladder, consider turning it into a simple mounted bookcase. The final product is a statement piece to awe your visitors. 

ladder shelf

[Source: unkown]

Reclaimed Window Greenhouse

Old window frames are often unsuitable for reuse in homes, but considering the cost of a good window frame, you might want to find other uses for them. Here a greenhouse was cleverly constructed by using reclaimed window frames. There are many designs to approach this concept – have a look at the plans by Cheft on Instructables as an example. 

using crutches as shelf

[Credit: Dose.com]

Wooden Crutch Bookcase

Not everyone has wooden crutches lying around somewhere, but this idea just goes to show what can be done if one’s imagination is put to the test. Have a look at the finishing details of the piece by Mamie Jane.

window house

Do you have any DIY projects to share with us? Please send your photos to us and we’ll feature you on our blog! Before you get started on your next DIY project, be sure to get your kit prepared – take a look at the best Dickies painting & decorating wear including overalls, painter’s trousers, kneepads and more. 

painter and decorator