Design Ideas to Recycle and Reimagine

There was a time, long ago, when people recycled their goods to save money.  Old cigar boxes doubled as catch-all trays and glass milk bottles made perfectly suitable vases for the flower of the week.  As time went on, the look of certain products changed; reusing a cardboard milk carton was more tacky than chic. Products were designed to be one-and-done and if we wanted something, we went out and bought it.  Here, we talk about various design ideas to recycle – and turn these neglected items into some of  your favorite pieces.

Design Ideas to Recycle and Re-imagine – A Challenge

Today, the idea of recycling and re-purposing a product has become a challenge that many creatives are eager to accept.  No longer thought of as a way to save money, recycling has become a way to create something beautiful from something that might otherwise be discarded. In fact, people are willing to spend twice as much for an item that appears to be rough and well-used.

Shopping

In the past, people would frequent antique shops and vintage clothing stores to save money.  Today, antique stores are wondrous places where a person might be lucky enough to score a piece of the past to decorate the present.  Vintage clothing shop finds are walking down the runway at fashion week and inspiring a retro revolution. What once was lost now is found and transformed.

Today’s product lines have changed and most companies are using classic, clean, and neutral packaging; perfect for re-purposing.  Simply buying a refillable pump-style soap canister that matches the décor of your bathroom is a way to reuse a simple item, but when it comes to decorating your home, today’s recycling today goes well beyond that.

recycled-metal

Reclaimed Wood & Paper

Reclaimed wood is one of the most popular materials for decorating your home today.  Many DIY home shows utilize reclaimed wood to refurbish an old home, making it look exciting and new. By now you’ve heard of ship-lap, a wood paneling typically made from pinewood, which was used in old homes and barns.  In general, reclaimed wood from older homes and barns can be made from any type of hardwood (such as elm, oak, and beech) or softwood (such as pine or Douglas fir). You can decorate with reclaimed wood in many ways, including: 

  •  Bookshelves
  •  Kitchen cabinetry
  •  Bed frames
  •  Wooden beams
  •  Dining room table
  •  Picture frames, Mirror frames

Reclaimed wood can also be found in artistic pieces with Americana, country, or oceanic designs. Try incorporating a piece at a time to see if you like the feel it gives to your room. A weathered driftwood floor lamp by Uttermost can be a great piece to start with.  Below is the Malone Mirror  – the frame is made from recycled newspaper.

recycled-newspaper-frame

Wine Corks

Every time you pop open a bottle of spirits, save that cork for decorative purposes.  Corks can be cut, shaped, or left fully intact to create amazing designs. Cork is both rustic and classic at the same time. Even if you’re a tea teetotaler, you can purchase recycled wine corks at most craft stores.  Their neutral color means that they can be used in a variety of settings, so it can be used to improve just about any room in the home. All you really need is a little glue and a lot of creativity.  Wine corks can be used as: 

  •  Votive candles
  •  Trivets
  •  Bath mats
  •  Cork stamps
  •  Cork board
  •  Succulent planters

cork-recycled

Glass

Glass is always a beautiful and classy addition to any home décor. Glass bottles come in so many shapes, sizes, and designs it almost seems criminal to throw them into the recycling bin.  If you have extra wine bottles you can’t seem to part with, give them a new life.  The same can be said for glass jars, too!

  •  Glass bottle candles
  •  Glass bottle candle holders
  •  Glass  bottle hanging garden
  •  Bottle chandelier
  •  Bottle fence
  •  Glass jar picture frames
  •  Jarred terrariums
  •  String light illuminating jars

Recycled Glass Bottles

 

Metal and Pipes

For a design that is truly rough and structurally sound, one can’t go wrong with scrap metal design.  Best of all, you don’t need to be a welder to create something spectacular. The more worn the item is, the better it will look. Trust us. Try the following changes for metal items: 

  •  Wood saw coat hanger
  •  Water pitcher wind chime
  •  Tuba bird bath
  •  Metal bucket lamp shade
  •  Fork time coat hooks

Recycled pipes can become:

  •  Coat racks
  •  Tables and chairs
  •  Desk legs
  •  Wall sconces
  •  Book-racks

Make your home into a place where your friends will ask you how much you paid for any piece.  Watch their faces when you tell them you made it yourself from recycled materials. Let your design ideas loose and your home will be as unique as you want it to be.

Almost Anything

recycled-suitcase

Photo Source:  Recycled Things

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