Posts Tagged ‘holidays’

Last Minute Gift Ideas from Upcycled Materials

diy gifts banner

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and if you still haven’t finished your shopping, you’re probably shaking in your Santa boots. Never fear, we’ve collected a few last minute DIY gift ideas, and you won’t even have to leave your house. Check out the step-by-step instructions for each below.

Coffee Cozy

Teacup Candle

Sock Monkey

Valet Tray

Wrap It Up With Reusable Materials

Americans throw away 25 percent more trash between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, which accounts 25 million tons of extra garbage. If every American family wrapped just three presents in reuseable materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields. And if every family reused just two feet of ribbon, the amount of ribbon saved could tie a bow around the entire planet.
Check out these cool ideas for wrapping gifts with materials you already have lying around the house.


Wrap a wine bottle in a dish towel

Use old maps, comics or pages from a magazine to wrap gifts

Give your gift giving some pizzazz with buttons or even paint sample cards

paint chips
Use fabric from old clothes or accessories to wrap gifts


Five Gift Ideas for Your Favorite Recycler

My sister lives in Oakland, CA, where plastic bags — the ones you get at the grocery store or shopping mall — have been banned and paper bags will cost you upwards of 25 cents each, which means residents have to become creative in finding ways to get their purchases from the store to their homes. So this holiday season, I decided to gift her a set of super strong and machine washable canvas bags to make the task a little easier. I was even able to have it monogrammed. Check out these other cool gift ideas for the recycler in your life.







Mint coral canvas bag from the Cute Kiwi












Composting starter kit from Drip Irrigation

















Step-n-Sort stainless steel recycle bin from Bed Bath & Beyond













Glass drinking straws from EcoStraw








shopping cart




Grocery Cart Helper from



How to Upcycle Those Plastic Halloween Pumpkins

Of all the Halloween decorations, the plastic pumpkin is often the most quickly discarded. These dollar store decorations are great for collecting and dispensing candy, but after trick-or-treating is over, the pumpkins can easily end up in landfills where they take hundreds of years to degrade.
Instead of tossing them, turn them into treasures with a little paint and paper.

Use metallic spray paint to turn old plastic pumpkins into modern decorative pieces.

gold pumpkin

Wrapping paper decoupage gives pumpkins a festive look for the winter holidays.


Cotton wrapped pumpkins make perfect snowmen.


Terra cotta colored paint turns plastic pumpkins into garden planters.


Upcycled Gifts That Will Make Dad Proud

Father’s Day is June 21. Celebrate your #1 guy – and give back to Mother Earth – with these creative gifts made from upcycled materials.

Turn an old bicycle brake pad into a super cool clock for Dad’s man cave. Get the instructions here.


Put a new spin on the traditional necktie with this creative keychain kids can fashion from one of Dad’s old ties. Learn how here.

tie keychain

Here’s a Father’s Day gift that’s fun for Dad and kids – not to mention delicious. After all the Popsicles have been eaten, use the sticks and a favorite photo to make a picture puzzle. See more here.


Looking for something to do with all Dad’s old comic books he refuses to part with? Upcycle them into cool beverage coasters. Learn how here.

comic book covers

Celebrate Memorial Day With Patriotic Upcycling Projects

What’s more patriotic than preserving this beautiful country for future generations by reducing the amount of waste that goes into our landfills? Displaying that patriotism with these super cool flag-inspired projects.

Turn an old shutter into a patriotic display.

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This flag made from upcycled baseball bats is as American as apple pie and, well, baseball.

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Upcycled soda and beer bottle caps combine to make this beautiful “red, white and brew” wreath.

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Dyed or painted scraps of burlap — or old jeans or T-shirts — form the basis for this flag-inspired banner.

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No flag to fly? No problem. Paint  old soup cans red, white and blue and use them as planters in your garden or along your front walkway.

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