Up-cycling Items at Home


Karla Betancourt

Overalls made by Karla Betancourt out of old jeans.

Mary Smith, journalist

  “Up-cycling” is defined as reusing in such a way to create a product of higher quality or value than the original. Up-cycling is a fun and exciting way to turn a junk pile into brand new things, giving it a unique, clean look.

  At home, a person can turn an old t-shirt into a braided headband or a bunch of old shirts into a no-sew blanket. Old t-shirts are perfect for new tote bags or to give shirts a brand new look.

  Other items around the house can be turned into something brand new with a little cleaning and combining it with other items. A headboard for your bed can be made out of old shutters found at a swap meet.

  Karla Betancourt, a senior at PVHS, said “After everything is planned out, I love watching everything come together and change completely.” She has up-cycled jeans into overalls and tights into thigh socks. Up-cycling changes perspective on the daily items around you because you see them in a brand new way.  

  Up-cycling may be overwhelming for some people, especially when you do not know what to do. There is always the Internet to help run the inspirational process so you can upgrade old items around your house.

  How can you turn old items from around your house into brand new masterpieces? The wonderful website, https://www.loveproperty.com has several ideas for the items from around your home, just put up-cycling in the search bar. There are things such as making a chair out of a suitcase and stool legs or candles out of teacups.

  Betancourt also said, “If you have the patience, try it out. You never know you might like it. It’s nice having something unique. Plus, up-cycling is eco-friendly and you save money.” Instead of buying something new, look around and see if you have the materials and resources to make it at home.

Karla Betancourt

  Up-cycling clothes and other household items repurposes, and keeps trash away from landfills. Up-cycling helps the environment and people’s homes by having less trash laying around and littering the world around us.

  The animals in the environment will live longer lives with less waste in their homes. The animals will have healthier air, cleaner water and happier homes. People will also have healthier food, air and water to drink as well.

  Betancourt suggested, “I usually randomly decide on projects. I’ll see something simple like thigh socks, and I’ll think ‘I have a lot of tights that would be cute thigh socks. How could I do that?’ That’s how my projects usually start.” Scrolling through social media or looking for outfits online, you can find the inspiration.

  To make thigh socks from home you will need legging-style tights, scissors and a sewing machine. Step one is to fold the tights in half and make sure all of the seams match up perfectly. Then you mark a point 4 inches down from the seat seam and mark the measurement. Adjust the measurement to your liking, if you want them shorter or longer. Next, you cut straight across the mark you made preciously. Now, you should have two tubular pieces of fabric, sew the raw end of the fabric, preferably with a zig-zag stitch. Now you rock your new socks and enjoy the accomplishment.

Karla Betancourt

  The inspiration for up-cycling is everywhere. You could be window shopping and notice you have similar items at home. Up-cycling new furniture can be done with screws, glue and hard work.

  After some time on the same project, people may lose some motivation to keep going. To keep the motivation going to complete the project, you can get a friend to help you, take pictures of the progress and upload to social media, or take a small break to get a new idea. Motivation and inspiration are out there constantly so never lose hope on your idea.