Thursday, July 30, 2015

Really Simple Upcycling Ideas

Upcycling (aka a fancy word for reusing things) has been a project on my list for a while now, and I've finally made some progress towards that goal as I embrace the "clean hippie" lifestyle (I say that lightly). Work has been quite tiring and the hours have been long as we are renovating the room (yet again) so I haven't blogged as much, sadly. This particular post has been sitting in my drafts for much too long; some of the pictures don't accurately reflect what my layout looks like anymore, but it needs to be published.

Upcycling glass candle jars»Candle Jars: The one I have is a Small Tumbler from Yankee Candle, and it's ideal for shorter items. These are good for makeup storage as they keep everything upright and visible. To reuse the jar, you must first dispose of the half an inch of wax left at the bottom, as well as the metal wick base. You're only supposed to burn the candles until half an inch of wax is left otherwise it could burn the jar and be dangerous. I know a lot of DIY tutorials recommend freezing the jar to get the extra wax out and leave rubbing alcohol in the jar for a few days to dissolve the glue holding down the wick, but in my opinion that's a bit wasteful. I use a different method to save the leftover wax as well. When there is half an inch of melted wax left, I quickly pour the melted wax into a baby food jar with a wick inside. The smaller circumference means that there is more height to burn the leftover wax. To get rid of any further wax in the jar, I use hot water to soak the jar so the wax melts and the glue at the base of the wick softens enough for me to pry off the metal wick base very easily. Finish off washing with soap and water, decorate accordingly if you please, and you're done!

Upcycling tea tins
»Tea Tins: I don't drink tea by my mom does, so she has a lot of these lying around. I use it for makeup brushes and similar items because I don't need to see the handles. Those can be hidden inside the metal tin while I use glass jars for items where I need to see the labels in the jar. Tea tins are fairly simple to reuse, as they only need to be rinsed out and dried. This one is more of an idea or a suggestion of an item for upcycling rather than a how-to.

»Chocolate/Biscuit Boxes: I think it's a universal truth that those metal boxes of Danish "Butter Cookies" are never filled with actual cookies, but more often than not, sewing supplies. Nevertheless, Belgian chocolate boxes and high end baked goods packaging make pretty good storage trays. They look quite nice, as they're decorated with gold trim and whatnot. It's probably not worth mentioning, but they're cute and keep everything together I guess.

Upcycling bead kits
»Bead Kits: I think I was six years old when I received this bead kit for Christmas. The sheer possibility of all the bead combinations was so overwhelming, I could barely even begin to use anything, therefore, it sat in the back of my closet for years virtually untouched. Recently, I had the idea to use it as a jewelry holder when I have enough jewelry to need more storage. Each tier is a box with segmented cubicles to keep everything separated, and the plastic lid makes it visible. I'm fine with the purple framework that holds the trays together, but a cute idea would be to paint it over with silver or gold paint, or perhaps stripes for a slightly fancier look.

Upcycling Ferrero Rocher Cases
»Ferrero Rocher Cases: These make a great small items holder or jewelry box as well. I'm currently using it to hold a few leftover chocolates, earrings, necklaces, and other small items. It looks decent but I can't get rid of the giant Ferrero Rocher logo on the lid, and the small gold sticker in the corner isn't easily removed either. The big ones aren't so easy to come by, so I use a smaller one to hold office supplies like erasers and paper clips on top of an upcycled tissue box (for general storage and extra desk space). The plastic segmenting inside can also be removed and used as a paint palette to hold individual colors.

»Mason Jars: I don't know if this counts because mason jars are used for storage anyway. I recently acquired an old one that my friend used to hold string, and I thought I'd make it into a pencil holder. It only fits a few pens so I'm using two separate containers to store all of them. I have too many at the moment, but in college it'll be more consolidated to only hold my most commonly used supplies, if I decide to keep it that long (gotta have that Pinterest aesthetic).

I have a few short posts lined up, scheduled to post, but I don't know when the next time I'll be able to write a new post is. The end of the summer will be busy, as I'm cleaning up at work, setting up for next year's middle school speech program, packing up and buying things for college, and beginning freshman year. I know I want to start a more regular posting schedule in college, with more diverse content and a more professional look across social media. I'm very excited but unsure about what the next few months will look like, so I don't want to overplan things (contrary to my nature). It'll be an adventure, and I'm going to see where life takes me. ◊

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