Written by: Colleen Duncan

You may already recycle, but take it further with these simple DIYs. Your trash bin thank you and you’ll have new eye-catching pieces for your home!

1.Old T-shirts/scraps of fabric: A new season means piles of last-season’s unwanted clothing. Stained, shrunk, or just what were you thinking outdated, use them to make a t-shirt rug for your bathroom, bedroom, or doorstep.

How To:

  • Gather old/unwanted t-shirts.
  • Cut into inch thick strips, length-wise.
  • Using three pieces at a time, braid the strips. When a strip runs out, simply tie another strip to the end of it to continue the braid.
  • When you’re out of strips and have one massive braided rope, spiral it into a circle rug shape.
  • After you’ve got it in place, sew the layers of the spiral together to bind the rug.

Optional: Sew fabric to the back to hide any messy stiches.



2.Magazines/newspapers: A magazine subscription can leave a person with stacks and stacks of old news. Turn these colorful pages into something for your home: magazine coasters! They’re more fun than those boring wooden disks other homes have!

How To:

  • Tear the pages out of your magazines.
  • Cut pages into 3 inch strips.
  • Fold the strips in half lengthwise, and then in half again, so you have a long, thick strip to work with.
  • With a line of glue, secure the strip closed.
  • Once you have a number of finished strips that are dried, tightly curl the strips into a spiral.
  • Once you finish a strip, continue the coil by gluing the tip of the next strip to the bottom.
  • Add enough strips to make a spiral big enough to hold a glass.

Optional (But highly recommended): Spray the finished, dried coaster with a water-proof sealant to protect against moisture. Let sealant dry completely before use.


3.Metal cans: Set the mood with a DIY candle holder. Simply grab a drill and a cleaned metal can, and you’ve got yourself a candle-holder perfect for a night of ambience.

How To:

  • Draw a pattern of dots onto a scrap piece of paper and tape onto your tin can.
  • With a hammer and nail or power-drill, nail holes into your desired pattern, then remove the scrap paper.
  • Add a tea-light candle and you’re all set!

Optional: Further decorate your can by painting or adding glitter.

Picture from Pure Green Magazine

4. Produce cartons: Use bio-degradable cartons that hold tomatoes or eggs from farmers markets and grocery stores to start your garden. The cartons are the right size for new plants, and the carton will break down in the soil when the plant is ready to grow bigger.

How To:

  • Plant your bud or seeds into the natural carton.
  • Plant the entire carton into your garden, and let nature do the rest.

    DIY 4
    Photo from Home Made Simple

5. Glass bottles: Extra bottles from a party? Instead of throwing them out, paint or decorate them into pretty flower vases.

How To:

  • Using glass paint or glass spray-paint, decorate your cleaned beverage bottles in the pattern of your choice.
  • You can experiment with matte, translucent, and metallic paints to give each bottle a different look.
  • Optional: Use twine or industrial string to hang the bottles outside. Be careful to tie the string securely so they do not fall and break!


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