Turning Trash Into Upcycled Treasure


They say one persons trash is another person’s treasure. This couldn’t be more true in the world of upcycling! Check out this infographic showing a few very creative upcycling projects and recycling statistics.

Source: Inhabitat


A Snapshot of the Recycling Industry

Recycled materials supply 40% of the global raw material needs

75% of solid waste is recyclable but only 30% is actually recycled

Clothing and household textiles make up almost 5% of all garbage in landfills.

1.6 million people are active in the recycling industry worldwide

600 million tonnes of recyclables are handled each year

The annual turnover of the recycling industry is $200 billion

1 Million plastic bags are consumed per minute and only 1% of them are recycled worldwide

5 Inspiring Upcycled Products

Paper Book Chair

  • Original Use: Old books that were no longer needed because of e-books
  • Upcycled Use: Statement Chair

Guitar String Bracelet

  • Original use: Discarded bronze guitar strings and guitar string ball ends
  • Upcycled Use: Unique cuff bracelet incorporating vintage sheet music

Pallet Tree House

  • Original Use: Wooden pallets
  • Architectural tree house on the beach

The Recycled Orchestra

  • Original  Use: Oil cans, drain pipes, aluminum bowls and plumbing materials
  • Upcycled Use: An orchestra of musical instruments with cellos made from oil cans, violins from aluminum bowls, and flutes crafted from discarded plumbing

Piano Fountain

  • Original Use: An 1885 steinway piano that had termite damage to the inner structure that was beyond repair
  • Upcycled Use: A garden fountain. It has a 2000 gallon per hour pump into the pond and a flex hose from the pump up into the piano. A construction of PVC is used to distribute the water across the keys and sealed with fiberglass resin

3 Easy Eco Friendly DIY Projects

Project #1 Best For Trend Setters Wood Log Coffee Table

You need:

  • 3x Tree Stumps
  • Sand Paper
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Polycrylic


  1. Take a fallen tree stump that is dry and seasoned
  2. You will know it is seasoned because the bark gives way easily
  3. Remove the bark
  4. Sand down the stump vigorously
  5. Prime the stump
  6. Paint the stump with paint suitable for wood e.g Anne Sloan Chalk Paint
  7. Once dry, seal the entire stump with polycrylic gloss seal protector and let dry

Project #2 Kitchen Ware Planters Best for Green Fingers

You need:

  • Old pots/kettles
  • Outdoor small plants
  • Soil and plant food
  • Spicy paint
  • Varnish


  1. Wash out old ware with hot soapy water
  2. Spray paint if needed and use varnish to seal it
  3. Fill half way with soil
  4. Pot the plant
  5. Add plant food and water the plant

Project #3 Best for Kids Butterfly Frame

You need:

  • Paint color palette samples
  • An old frame
  • Scissors
  • Butterfly stencil
  • Glue


  1. Spray paint the frame the same color as the card
  2. Select paint color palette samples in variable shades
  3. Using the stencil cut out approximately 25 butterflies
  4. Glue the butterflies to the card in a pattern of your choice
  5. Place the card into the old frame