12 Cool Ways to Make Treasure Out of Trash


Before you drag your garbage and recycling to the curb, read this article! There's so much you can do with an old jar, can, or cardboard box. All you need to do is clean it up and get creative. Here are 12 crafty projects that will literally turn your trash into treasures. (See also: 15 Ways to Recycle and Reuse Old T-Shirts)

1. Glass Jars

Martha Stewart shares that your discarded glass jars can be a beautiful feature in your decor. Simply rinse them out, let them dry, and then pour some dishwasher-safe enamel paint inside. Hang each bottle upside-down for at least 48 hours before using.

2. Wipes Containers

Do you have tons of wipes containers destined for recycling? I do. Try using them to make plastic bag dispensers! Clean out the wipe container, decorate it however you like, and then assemble your plastic grocery and shopping bags. Stash the dispenser in your car, in your kitchen, or wherever else you might need bags.

3. Coffee Cans

Transform all those kicked coffee cans into useful storage containers in your kitchen. Of course, you can use them whenever they end up empty. But spiff them up a bit with spray paint and chalkboard labels. First wash them in your dishwasher. Then fill with newspaper while you paint to keep the inside safe for your ingredients. Let them cure for five days before using.

4. Milk Jugs

Save one of your milk jugs to make this simple watering can. Your plants will thank you. All you do is wash out the jug, heat a needle to poke holes into the cap, and fill with water. Make a big one for outdoors, a small one for indoor plants, and a tiny one for your kid to play with in the bath.

5. Cardboard Boxes

Get a load of this cardboard storage system! This project would work well with frozen food boxes or even pizza boxes. Make sure your boxes are clean, then cover them with colorful wrapping paper. Label them for easy organization, and you're done. I'd love to store some of my favorite record albums this way.

6. Bottle Caps

I love this project to transform plastic bottle caps into alphabet magnets for your refrigerator. Collect at least 26 caps, then glue letters into them using cutouts from dated magazines. Stick some self-adhesive magnetic tape on the back and let your child go wild.

7. Toilet Paper Rolls

Save your toilet paper rolls and turn them into these adorable gift boxes. Pick off any remaining paper, flatten the roll with your hand, cut the ends into half circles with scissors, and fold the sides to close. Then decorate however suits your mood using ribbon, paint, stickers, and bows.

8. Liquor Bottles

Take an empty liquor bottle and turn it into something useful. For example, this Patron soap dispenser looks great and helps you keep your hands clean. Drill a hole into the cork top of your bottle. Then take the top off one of your old soap dispensers and thread it through the hole. Fill with soap. For bottles that don't have cork tops, try just screwing the pump into place.

9. Rice Bags

We eat lots of rice in our house. A couple years ago, I turned one of the burlap rice bags into a nifty throw pillow to decorate our family room. Just cut off the handles of the bag, stuff it with cotton filler, and close the zipper. If your bag doesn't have a zipper, simply sew it shut with a straight stitch. (See also: 7 Basic Sewing Tricks That Will Save You Money)

10. Cereal Boxes

My daughter wants a piñata for her birthday this year. I saw this mini piñata project a while back where the base is made from cereal boxes. Just use scissors and an X-acto knife to make your shape. Cover the whole thing with crepe paper, and fasten with glue and tape. Don't forget to make a trap door so you can fill it with goodies!

11. Wine Corks

I've seen a million and one different wine cork projects over the years. This bath mat may just be the most practical of the bunch. Now, you'll need some patience (or lots of vino-loving friends) to collect all 175 corks to complete this project. Cut each cork lengthwise, arrange them in a rectangle, and cut a piece of shelf liner to size. You'll then hot glue all the corks into place on the liner.

12. Juice Cartons

Corral all your change into one of these cool juice carton purses. Pull open the top of the carton and clean it out. Cut off the bottom of the container and measure for a few more precise cuts. Fold the sides in like an accordion. Then keep folding and fastening until you're done. Keep it in your car so you're never out of quarters for the meter again.

What new uses have you found for your old trash?

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Guest's picture

those are great ideas!

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