Now Reading
17 Clever Ideas For Upcycling Old Materials in Your Home Renovation

17 Clever Ideas For Upcycling Old Materials in Your Home Renovation

sustainable renovation of existing buildings

Are you tired of the same old remodeling ideas that involve buying new materials and tossing out the old? Why not lean more into sustainable renovation and eco-friendly renovation by repurposing old materials? Not only will you save money using recycled materials, but you’ll also be doing your part for the environment.

As Building for Change author Ruth Lang shared with Dezeeen when it came to renovation, reuse wasn’t at all a constraint on creativity. In his view, it was quite the opposite and was more of a provocation to be more inventive in using what he already had. Regardless if you’re renovating buildings or your home, take it as an opportunity to merge your creative and inventive juices. To help, here are 17 creative ways to repurpose old materials in your renovation:

Turn Old Dressers Into Vanities

Instead of buying a new vanity for your bathroom, why not transform an old dresser into a one-of-a-kind piece? Remove the top drawers, cut a hole for the sink, and add some plumbing fixtures. Finish it off with a coat of paint and new hardware, and you’ll have a vanity that no one else has.

Recycle Glass Bottles As Lamp Fixtures

Empty wine or beer bottles can be turned into unique lamp fixtures for your home. Clean them out, add a light kit, and you’ll have a conversation piece that adds a touch of personality to your space.

Turn Wooden Crates Into Storage

Wooden crates can be repurposed into versatile storage solutions. Stack them to create a bookshelf or use them individually as organizers for your pantry, closet, or garage. Give them a coat of paint or leave them natural for a rustic look.

Turn Old Window Panes And Frames Into Wall Decor

Old windows or frames can be used to create unique wall decor. Remove the glass, paint the frame, and add a chalkboard, corkboard, or mirror to the center. Hang it on your wall for a statement piece that’s both functional and decorative.

Turn An Old Door Into A Coffee Table

Transform an old door into a one-of-a-kind coffee table. Add legs, sand and paint the surface, and add some decorative hardware. You’ll have a piece that’s both practical and stylish.

Turn Salvaged Wood Into Furniture

Salvaged wood from old buildings or pallets can be turned into beautiful furniture pieces. From benches to tables, the possibilities are endless. Use the natural patina or add a coat of paint to match your decor.

Create A Fireplace Mantle With Salvaged Stone

Salvaged stone can be used to create a stunning fireplace mantle. Use a variety of sizes and colors to create a unique look that adds warmth and texture to your space.

Candle Holder Balusters

Old balusters from staircases or railings can be repurposed into unique candle holders. Drill a hole in the center of the baluster, add a candle, and you’ll have a one-of-a-kind piece that adds a touch of vintage charm to your home.

Repurpose An Old Tub Into A Planter

Old clawfoot tubs can be repurposed into beautiful planters for your garden or patio. Add some drainage holes, fill with soil, and plant your favorite flowers or herbs. You’ll have a statement piece that’s both practical and beautiful.

sustainable renovation

Turn Old Roof Shingles Into A Dog House Or Chicken Coop

Old roof shingles can be used to create a sturdy roof for a dog house or chicken coop. Cut them to size and add some framing to create a shelter that’s both functional and environmentally friendly.

Use Cracked Or Broken Tiles For Landscaping

Cracked and broken tiles from kitchens and bathrooms don’t have to go to waste. You can use them as landscaping material in your garden. Instead of throwing them away, create a unique border for your flower beds. With a little extra creativity, you can use the tiles to create a one-of-a-kind mosaic pathway. 

See Also
benefits of remodeling

Use Old Carpet For Insulation

Instead of throwing away old carpet, why not use it as insulation? Cut the carpet into strips and use it to insulate your attic or walls. Not only will you save money on heating and cooling costs, but you’ll also be reducing waste.

Sell Copper Wire

If you have old electrical wiring lying around, consider selling the copper wire. Copper is a valuable commodity and can fetch a good price at a recycling center. This is not only an eco-friendly option but also a great way to make some extra cash.

Donate Stone Countertops Or Use Them As Backsplash

If you’re replacing stone countertops in your renovation, don’t just toss them out. Consider donating them to a Habitat for Humanity ReStore or use them as a backsplash in your new kitchen. This is a great way to repurpose and reuse materials while also supporting a good cause.

Use Old Bricks And Stone For A Fire Pit

If you’ve got backyard firepit goals, save yourself a bit of money and use old bricks and stones as building material. Depending how much you have, old bricks and stone can create a lovely fire pit with seating.

Use Plastic Bottles To Create A Mini Greenhouse (For Germinating Seeds)

Whether renovating or not, empty plastic bottles always seem to accumulate. Apart from disposing of them accordingly for the recycling center, you can keep some to create mini green houses. Cut a plastic bottle in half and use it to cover a germinating seed. Doing so creates the perfect warm and humid environment a seed would need to sprout and grow. 

Radiator Screens Turned Candle Pillars

Old radiator screens can be turned into beautiful candle pillars. Simply cut the screens to size, roll them into a cylinder, and secure them with wire. Add some candles for a unique and industrial look.

For those willing to give old materials a little love and time, upcycling and repurposing is a great way to add personality and style to your renovation. With a little creativity and ingenuity, you can go the sustainable renovation route and turn old materials into beautiful and functional pieces that no one else has. Give it a try and see how much fun you can have with upcycling!