Are You Searching for Upcycling Ideas in NC?

Are You Searching for Upcycling Ideas in NC?

Maybe you’re like me — you love the thrill of adding something new into your life. It might be a modernized end table. Or perhaps it’s a piece of art. One of my favorites is a fresh pair of shoes. But I also don’t like wasting resources. In other words, I am constantly looking for upcycling ideas.

Image courtesy of Utopia by Cho on Unsplash.

There are plenty of ways you can extend the life of your furniture or give a new shape to your shirt. And what’s more, you might even make your unused knickknacks can be transformed into jewelry.

But what is upcycling?

To start, upcycling is different from recycling. When you recycle something — glass, paper or plastic — it gets broken down and made into something new. Usually, the new product is worth less than the original.

There are many possibilities for items that you can upcycle. Below, we have a list of items to consider, including a few upcycling ideas to spur your imagination.

However, upcycling transforms something old or unused and gives it a new function. This transformation often means that the original item is changed into something more valuable and useful. As an example, you could remake a worn-out tire into a piece of wall art.

Want an idea of which items to upcycle?

  • Clothes — If you’re upcycling clothes, consider turning an old button-down shirt into a dress for your child or shredding a used shirt to weave a scarf. Or you could transform faded rags into a rug for the front porch.
  • Furniture — For ideas on upcycling furniture, instead of throwing out that worn wood bench, you can turn it into a vintage shelf. Or maybe you repurpose an unused pot as an end table.
  • Shoes — Upcycling shoes can be a chance for you to create art. Redecorate your fraying sneakers with new material, or add a vibrant paint job. You could even bronze them for a statue or gift.
  • Jewelry — The ways for upcycling jewelry are near endless. Take that long-forgotten key and turn it into a pendant for a necklace. Let your imagination run wild with your old things.
  • Old books — You’d be surprised what you can do with upcycling old books. Transform the spine of a book into a bookmark. Even better, take the pages from a book to construct a wreath, flower or other decoration.   
  • Luxury items — Perhaps you’re looking for ideas for upcycling last season’s old Louis Vuitton? If so, think about having a tailor turn that handbag or purse into a face mask — keeping you safe while also looking luxurious.

Want some upcycling ideas from NC resources?

Another way to upcycle is to shop at stores that specialize in reclaimed, vintage or thrift goods. And there are plenty of thrift stores in NC where you can start your upcycle project.

Here are just a few to get you going. Check out Reconsidered Goods in Greensboro, Junk Recyclers in Asheville or the Upcycling Store in Knightdale. You can also find plenty of upcycled NC items on Etsy.

Don’t forget to catch our other thrift-store insights! Or, if you’re in the mood to shop, see our tips for holiday gifts that support local businesses.