8 Old-school Upcycling Ideas

8 Old-School Upcycling Ideas
cassette coin purse

What is old-school upcycling? Well, it's the process of re-purposing items from when we were younger in order  to form more useful items that can be used today. Take, for example, the cassette tapes that have been sliding around in your junk drawer since high school. Even though you may no longer be able to enjoy the 1980s power ballad recorded on it, you could use it to make a coin purse or a pencil box. There are numerous variations of things you can make if you have a good imagination. Here are just a few ideas of items you may have lying around that could be upcycled.

Image source: http://www.topdreamer.com/15-diy-interesting-and-useful-cassette-tape-reuses/

Turn Old Console TV into a Fish Tank
upcycled console tv fish tank

Remember that old console television that you thought was so cool when you were 20?  If you've cleaned out your garage only to find it now seems to be taking up space and collecting dust, why not turn it into a fun DIY project? You could turn that old console TV into new, stylish home for your fish. In just a handful of simple steps, you can gut the inside of the unit, cut the top of the television, and create a cool new piece for your fish to live within your home. 

Check out the step-by-step instructions here: http://test123-destroyer77.blogspot.com/2013/08/how-to-convert-old-tv-into-fish-tank.html

Recycle Records to Make a Table Lamp
record lamp

Are your old records taking up too much space? What can you do with them? By cutting out the centers of 3-4 standard size records, you can begin to create a table lamp that will surely impress all those who see it in your home. The steps to build it are so simple. All you need to do is drill holes in each record and thread small metal poles through them, adding bolts between each layer to keep the structure standing tall. 

Image source: http://www.recyclart.org/2013/12/vinyl-record-table-lamp/.


Swap Out and Unusable Suitcase for a Cool New Medicine Cabinet
suitcase medicine cabinet

That cool old-school suitcase that you saw in the thrift store can now become a unique medicine cabinet that will surely be conversation starter. By making some cuts through the lid, you can set up for a mirror. Then add some shelves on the inside for toiletries, and you are on your way to a new piece for your bathroom that all your guests will admire. 

Image source: http://www.explosion.com/86487/23-amazing-recycling-ideas-that-will-revive-your-old-stuff-in-your-home/

Make Measurement Tools into a Modern Coat Rack
yard stick coat rack

Need more space for your coats? This upcycled ruler coat rack is cute, functional, and unique. If you have old rulers hanging around the house or find a yard stick at a garage sale, you can easily take on this DIY project; all you need is some ingenuity and a few tools and materials.The instructions for this idea are simple, and the results are pretty awesome. This project is great to do with your kids, and it might even get them to hang up their coats for once.

Check out how to make your own here: http://www.bhg.com/decorating/storage/projects/how-to-make-coat-rack/

Image source: http://dishfunctionaldesigns.blogspot.se/2012/01/you-rule.html?m=1

Bring Light and Learning to Kids' Rooms with Globe Lamps
globe lamp

Want to get your kids excited about geography? This idea may be just the trick to get them talking about it for hours. If you were planning on redoing the lighting in your kids' bedrooms, playroom, or study area, think about repurposing old globes to do so in a much more fun, interesting, and educational way. All you need is an old globe from your local thrift store, light fixtures, and a cord, which you can pick up at your local hardware store. By splitting the globe in two at the seam, you can then drill holes in the top to hook up the fixtures, and voila! You have lamp shades for the kid’s room that they can tell all their friends about.

Check out this YouTube tutorial to see how its done: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=huZ_-RySaPA&list=PL49VV18KYYONdwgL_uMmi8cwFzN2gdpNV&index=4#crlt.pid=camp.NtdbX1mKYRM4

Image source: http://homeiswhatyoumakeit.com/2013/08/30/diy-globe-pendant-light/

Craft a Cool Pencil Holder from Cassette Tapes
tape pencil holder

Not into the mixed tape you got from your high school girlfriend or boyfriend? Now you can love it again. Instead of keeping writing utensils in cups and mugs that you may still want to drink out of someday, you can get rid of the piles of tapes cluttering up your drawers to make new home for all those pens and pencils. The beauty of this idea is that even though you no longer have a deck to play those old mix tapes on, you can still keep souvenirs from your teen years. Finding a way to clean up some clutter and create a unique place for your pens is pretty cool too. 

Image source: http://www.bobvila.com/articles/cassette-tape-recycling/#.Vhvz6exVhBd

DIY Some Dinosaur Earrings
dinosaur earrings

If you have kids, then you know the pain of finding old toys under your feet in the morning. Now you can get some use out of those little dinosaur toys your kids have outgrown without the struggle of painful feet.  When the kids are done with their dinosaurs, you can make a fashion statement out of them. By just cutting the toys in half and adding some clever crafting, you can make fun earrings that are sure to be the envy of the entire PTA.

Image source: http://handmade-jewelry-club.com/2015/03/save-mother-earth-upcycled-jewelry.html

Spruce Up Lighting Fixtures With Old Soup Cans
Spruce Up Lighting Fixtures With Old Soup Cans

Have you always wanted an Andy Warhol piece, but weren't able to afford it? Now you can! Whether you’re making over your dining room or simply adding a bit of flare to your kitchen, these can lighting fixtures will definitely set you apart from the rest. Reusing old soup cans that you would otherwise throw in the recycling bin allows you to save money, while solidifying your place as a home decor trendsetter.  

Image source: http://inhabitat.com/colorful-retro-lights-made-from-recycled-cans/