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Save Big, Craft More: Use Upcycled Materials for Your Next DIY Project

This post is brought to you by Mary Egan of Craft Foxes.


We all know that times are tough and you can’t always afford to buy new crafting materials or supplies. But never fear – there are crafting supplies and opportunities right under your nose! Your teacup collection can become a new dessert stand and old sweaters can become smart accent pillows for the couch. The possibilities are endless when you start to view everything through the lens of upcycling. Upcycling is a great way to create new and exciting items out of things you already own and may not use. Here are four fun upcycling crafts that might just spark your innovative side.

This book purse is one of the most popular upcycled craft ideas. It may pain some bibliophiles to dismember their favorite stories, but this is a great way to show your appreciation of the written word and display your crafting skills. For this craft, you’ll need an old book, some fabric to line the inside of your handbag, glue, a utility knife, and a sewing machine. It’s a great craft for book lovers of any age, but also a great craft for teens. Use this craft as an opportunity to teach them that they can make their own fun and unique handbags without spending a great deal of money.

Let’s face it—we all have t-shirts lying around that could use some jazzing up. Rather than leaving that blank, white t-shirt all crumpled at the back of your dresser drawer, why not upcycle it and create a whole new piece of clothing? This cool, DIY t-shirt design can be done simply with some fabric paint and the eraser on a pencil. Simply dip your eraser into the paint and begin creating a pattern you’d like on your T-shirt. Create any shape or design — it’s up to you! For more great upcycling ideas, check out 11 Creative T Shirt Crafts for Kids and Teens on FaveCrafts.

Visit CraftFoxes for more information on how to upcycle an old T-shirt!

Teacups are a beautiful accessory to keep around the house and you can even use them to create new home decor pieces. For instance, teacups make great candleholders! They can become light fixtures, flower pots, dessert stands or even wall clocks. The great thing about teacups is that they come as ready-made crafting pieces. They already have gorgeous designs on them—all they need to add is your imagination. Once you’ve finished creating a Teacup Candleholder, create a Teapot Flowers Topiary for your table.

At the end of winter, you might find that you have some sweaters that no longer fit you, or you simply don’t like the look anymore. Here is a fun and frugal way to recycle those sweaters and create a pretty patchwork accent for a couch or armchair. You’ll need to cut your sweaters into eighteen 7-inch squares to cover a 20-inch square pillow form. Simply sew the squares to the pillow and you’ve got a great new piece with which to decorate your home. Still in the mood to create? Check out another creative tutorial for Recycled Sweater Throw Pillows.


Have you tried any upcycled crafts lately? What did you make?