Christmas Gifts on a Budget: Up-cycling is the Answer

Stay within budget this holiday season with up-cycled Christmas gifts. Take an afternoon and clean out all your closets, search the corners of your basement and attic for new, nearly new or usable, unwanted items. Leave no stone unturned and do not assume anything is trash. Think outside the gift giving box this season; look at old unused items that may have parts that can be reused for other interesting and unique gifts. To make up-cycling for holiday and Christmas gifts work, you will need to be a little crafty, however the end result will be a unique and personal gift.

Broken or unused appliances have many components, which will contribute to a variety of up-cycling projects. Knobs are great for adding interest to a kitchen themed picture frame. The metal on old pop-up toasters and toaster ovens can often be repurposed for small jewelry or craft projects if removed carefully with the sharp edges filed.

Old tea cups and saucers become mini bird baths and bird feeders. Using epoxy, attach a saucer to a garden stake. Galvanized pipe for plumbing is perfect. Epoxy the tea cup to the saucer. Voila, one instant bird bath or feeder. These darling gifts are a perfect way to up-cycle your chipped or mismatched china, while remaining environmentally friendly and reducing landfill pileups. If you have china that is past the point of usefulness, broken or severely cracked, break it some more to create mosaic tiles for other craft projects.  I did this once when I was younger and made a table for my parents. Never toss china or tile into the garbage bin; these little well used and cracked porcelain treasures are up-cycling at its best.

Create picture frames, trivets, wall hangings and more with old china. Anywhere you might use glass or tile for mosaic work, replace with broken china. Cover plant pots for one off coordinated dining room décor. Cover thrift store finds such as boxes and crates with dish shards for an awesome magazine rack. The possibilities are endless.

Old used and broken computer keyboards become new picture frames or trinket boxes for the tech-head in your life. Collect the broken keyboards and begin removing the keys, sort and store in small containers or zip lock style baggies. Start with a small project to get the hang of it. Cover a small picture frame with your gift recipient’s initials or spell out a phrase on a repurposed painted trinket box, using a hot glue gun to attach the keys. These are great conversation pieces and are on target for office party gifts.

Two liter soda bottles become holders for hair accessories in the bathroom. Old power cords from appliances are great for stripping and using the fine wire for other craft and jewelry projects.

Look around and see what your home has to offer up in the way of materials for up-cycled gifts. You can sell dvds or music CDs and games can become themed coasters in the right crafter’s hands.

So, have you up-cycled before? What kinds of cool things have you made? 

This post was provided by Music Magpie. 


Christmas Gifts on a Budget: Up-cycling is the Answer — 10 Comments

  1. I am thoroughly impressed because these are such creative options. I have thrown away some of the very things you suggest could be repurposed, which isn’t surprising but is interesting. I’ll have to rethink how I evaluate trash.

  2. These are great ideas. But I think the key is to think outside the box and get creative. I love the idea of taking old china and using it as a mosaic for another project like table top. Great ideas!

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