5 Simple DIY Projects On How To Turn Your Trash Into Treasure

01 September 2016 | By

We’ve all heard the phrase “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.” It’s a great idea — but, an idea that can often become quite time consuming, nonetheless. So, before you spend your weekend dumpster diving for the perfect vintage coffee table or hopping from garage sale to garage sale to find that cute country-style coat rack your great-grandma Gertrude had in the 1920s, save yourself some time and take a look at these ten super simple DIY project ideas that will have you swooning…and saving your social life.

1.) Cassette Tape Desk Caddy

Are you a 90s nostalgia nerd? Then, brilliant — this cassette tape desk caddy makes for the perfect pencil holder and a great conversation starter! It’s easy as pie, all you need is: four cassette tapes and a hot glue gun. Just make a box shape out of the tapes by standing them up vertically, hot glue the sides together, and then voila — coolest…pencil…holder…ever. You can buy a whole bunch of these “oldies but goodies” right off eBay for less than $10, or better yet, poke around in the center console of your parents car — there’s guaranteed to be a few of those little guys in there!

2.) Vintage Suitcase Coffee Table

Who needs wood when you could use a….suitcase?! That’s right — you can make a totally terrific table out of that old vintage suitcase that your great aunt is about to chuck in the trash. Not only is this coffee table cute, it’s also clever because it can serve as a spot to store your stuff! You’ll need: -A vintage suitcase -4 Table legs -8 Flat washers + 4 Wing nuts -Power drill -Paint + Paint brush -Measuring tool. Oh, and be sure to have things like your yard stick and measuring tape handy. (We know, it sounds complicated, but it’s really not — just bear with us.) First, paint the legs any color your little heart desires, just make sure they’re dry first before handling (side note: I like to take the cheaper and easier way out by taking some spray paint rather than whipping out the paint and brush, but to each their own). Next, simply make some measurements as to exactly where you want to position the legs and mark those spots on the bottom surface of the suitcase. Make holes at the points you marked by using a power drill. Place one flat washer onto each table leg before twisting or attaching the legs into the holes you drilled. Then place one flat washer over each hole inside of the suitcase. Finally, twist a wing nut over the top of each table leg to fasten. You’re done!

3.) Pallet Patio Couch

You’ve seen these laying around your local dumpster and you think they’re trash, well, they’re not — they’re total treasures, and here’s why. These wood pallets can make you the most popular person on the block by turning them into furniture to throw this summer’s most perfect patio party. I can count on two hands how many of my 20 and 30-something friends have neglected outdoor spaces that can be put to good use with these babies. Some people like to make this project harder than it needs to be with screws and hammers and cutting tools and yada, yada, yada. But, from my first-hand experience (and if you’re not super fancy), all you really need is: -Wood pallets (minimum two) -Sand paper -Spray paint -Any old mattress or pillows (If you’re working with a small space like I was, all you need are two pallets, a few fluffy pillows, and a wall to create a love seat so lovely you might even get lucky on it.) First, sand all outer surfaces of the pallets to avoid getting splinters in places where splinters should never be, spray paint pallets in desired color and let dry. Stack one pallet on top of the other, place some pillows or old cushions on the pallet and also lean some up against the wall. Then lounge, snooze, nap, repeat.
You can find these bad boys probably within a mile radius of wherever you are. When I tackled this project I found plenty of perfectly useful wood pallets stacked by the dumpsters behind local grocery stores. Don’t go dumpster diving, go dumpster driving, and you’ll be sure to find some just by popping by a few different dumpsters around town. So, save your money on costly furniture and get down with these five-star worthy cute creations!

4.) Window Frame Country Chic Coat Rack

If you’re into vintage and repurposed goods, and you happen to stumble across an old window frame, this pretty project is your jam! Making this must-have item is easy! Just make sure you have: -An old window frame or panel -paint and a paint brush (or spray paint — yes, I am officially spray paint’s #1 fan) -Screw hooks (can easily be found at hardware store or even a dollar store). Paint the frame (and hooks if you want) desired color, let dry. Position and fasten hooks appropriate space apart depending on size and make of frame/panel. Great-grandma Gertrude will be very proud of you.

5.) Plastic Spoon Lamp

We’re taking the “trash” part real seriously on this one. There’s no denying the use of plastic is way harmful to the earth, so what better way to help the environment by upcycling plastic spoons and making them into a super trendy and ecofriendly lamp! We’ve all been to parties or gatherings where far too many plastic cutlery is used and thrown into the trash. Well, next time you’re at one of these social events, if you’re brave enough, bring a bin and kindly ask that all party-goers toss their used plastic spoons in it — some may look at you crazy, but hey — at least you’ll be making Mother Earth happy. You’ll need: -Plastic spoons -Lamp light with a cable -Big plastic bottle -Glue gun -Sharp cutting knife -Pliers. Cut out large hole in bottom of plastic bottle. Cut the handles off all your spoons and hot glue them on the plastic bottle as shown in photo. Then, you must create a collar for the bottleneck to cover it. Do this by gluing a handful of the spoons together creating a circle shape as shown in the image provided. Place the collar appropriately so that it fully covers the neck of the bottle. Lastly, string the lamp cable through the inside of the bottle and install the lightbulb. Hang plastic spoon lamp for all to marvel at. Ikea will want to hire you.

Ready, set, go!

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