July 16, 2013

Recycling in Style: Generic Gifts You can Transform into Trendy Home Décor

Posted by Treetopia in Home Decorating with Treetopia

Find ways to turn duplicate gifts you received into new home décor items or Christmas ornaments

For any occasion we celebrate, we’re bound to receive generic presents from people who did not have enough time to think about what to get for their family or friends. Instead of just storing these items or recycling them as generic gifts for some other occasion, why not repurpose them into trendy and useful home décor. Check out these four commonly given gifts and what easy DIY projects you can do with them:

recycling gifts

Picture Frames

Picture frames are one of the easiest items to find and they’re certainly among the most given, regardless if they have a generic design or customized for the recipient. However, whether one admits it or not, picture frames tend to add clutter to the home, especially now that anyone can just have one digital photo frame flash all their photos.

Instead of stashing more frames into your closet, turn them into something useful instead. You can repaint the frame itself and remove the glass covering, cut up a thin wooden board for the back side, and paint over the inside with chalk board paint so you can use it as a reminders board. Don’t want to use chalk? Use wine bottle corks or a cork sheet to turn your frames into a cork board. You can use it for reminders or as a framed jewelry organizer.

photo frame chalk board


Let’s just all say it: no matter how much everyone loves a nice cup of Joe, there is such a thing as too many mugs. That is, unless the person is known to host coffee and tea parties for a lot of people. If you find yourself with too many mugs or glasses, there’s always a way to use them other than for drinking. The most eco-friendly way is to turn them into plant boxes for your mini garden.

mug planter
photo by Cheryl via flickr. CC BY-SA 2.0

You can also use them as candle holders or as light fixtures. Just poke a hole at the bottom where the wire will pass through, place the base and light bulb inside the mug, and wire it up to wherever you want to install it.


Pillows provide nice cushioning and can increase your comfort levels when sitting down for long periods of time. However, this does not mean that you have to suffer drowning in pillows just because you received a lot of them last Christmas or on your birthday. You can always stitch the pillows together on their longer sides to make a nice, cushy, comforter-like line of pillows for the floor of your living room or bedroom. It’s like an air bed, only softer.



Have you ever received shirts that are not just your style no matter how hard you try to like it? You can always turn them into something else. For instance, you can cut up a shirt’s sleeves and collar and use it as your workout top. Better yet, completely transform it by turning it into a reusable bag that you can utilize to organize small items in your home. Learn how to Turn Your T-Shirts Into Tote Bags from Caitlin Dunn at Brit + Co.

photo by Indie Bands With a Mission via flickr. CC BY 2.0

However, if you don’t want to make so much effort on your duplicates, you can always go to the nearest shelter and donate them.

Do you have any recycling projects like these?

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