saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. But what if something is old or broken? Do we fix it and if it can’t be fixed, is our only option to dispose of it? DIY lovers across the globe would most certainly disagree. Most items can be reused and repurposed meaning that they can still be useful to us albeit in a different way and without adding to our every increasing waste stream.
What is more, DIY projects that seek to reuse items can help us tap into our creative self, have some fun with family and friends and all the time create something that will be visually pleasing and helpful in our daily life!
So here are some brilliant ideas for reusing things to get you started!
Old ladders into shelves
Old wooden or other types of ladders are often clunky objects which are difficult to get rid of. If your ladder is broken, you can stabilise it against a wall and use the steps as shelves. If the latter can balance on itself with its legs open, then you can also use it as a bookcase or shelves by joining the steps with a long piece of wood. For a more spectacular effect, you can repaint your ladder into a bright colour for a modern and sleek design. You can reuse flat wood pieces from other old furniture to form shelves; the pieces of wood would be balanced on the ladder’s steps.
There are many parts from old furniture that can also be used as shelves. For example, drawers from old desks or chests can be hung against the wall¹.
Old tyres into ottomans
Old car tyres can be and should be recycled. Materials from properly recycled tyres can be used in a wide range of applications such as artificial sports pitches, flooring or carpet underlay². But if you have a spare tyre at hand and would like to reuse it, one great and stylish idea is to make an ottoman!
The old tyre will need to be cleaned and dried. You will also need some sort of rope – you can opt for coarser rope for a more rural theme or a nautical themed one, it all depends on your preferences! You will need quite a bit of this rope as the intention is to cover the entire tyre with the rope. You will need some thick cardboard to cover the sides of the tyre to create a level surface. Using a hot glue gun, you can attach the rope creating a snail on the flat surface of the tyre and going down to its sides¹. For greater comfort, add some pillows on top!
Broken pots turned into garden accessories
Pieces from broken garden pots can be used as garden markers for your flower beds or your home-grown vegetables. Terra cotta pots would be great for this sort of project and this would work with even one pot. You can write the name of your flowers, vegetables or vegetables with a marker and place the broken piece of pot where the plant is. You can personalise these and even add some artwork if you are so inclined³! Old teacups can also be used in your garden as birdfeeders.
Use picture frames as trays or to store jewellery
If you have a broken photo frame or larger picture frame do not be tempted to throw it away. Decide if you want to give it a fresh coat of paint and you can use the frame to create a unique tray. Similarly, by attaching a piece of string or other cord on the two sides of the frame you can store earrings in a stylish and convenient way⁴.
Broken CDs and DVDs into beautiful ornaments
A lot of us will not have many CDs and DVDs which we no longer use. Some of them might be even broken. If so, don’t throw the pieces away. The shiny and reflective side of the pieces of CDs can be used to create unique ornaments and items. For instance, by gluing pieces of CDs on a plain platter you can create a snazzy decoration.