Things You Can Make Out of Recycled Materials for a Project

Written by katherine kally
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With a spark of imagination and a little ingenuity, you can make decorative and functional projects for your home and garden out of recycled materials. Think twice before discarding a glass pickle jar or a coffee can, for example; it doesn't take much to turn both of these into decorative garden lighting. Channel your creativity and turn trash into functional treasures.


Recycle broken dishes and tiles from a home makeover project into decorative mosaic art for your home and garden. Break the dishes and the tiles into small pieces by placing them into a plastic bag, sealing the bag, wrapping it in a towel and striking it with a hammer. Attach the bits to recycled wood crates, wood boards, old furniture, wood trays and bowling balls with mosaic glue or waterproof construction adhesive to make designs for your home. Space the pieces between 1/8 and 1/4 inches apart to add grout, or arrange them close together for a grout-free mosaic project.

Architectural Elements

Recycle old shutters, windows and doors to make creative projects for your home. Add table legs to the four corners of an old window to make a coffee table; stack and glue decorative wine or glass liquor bottles to make distinctive table legs. Clear construction adhesive or viscous craft glue work to glue the stacked bottles together. Add a vertical wood board to the bottom mullion of an old window or every 10 inches along the height of an old shutter to make a wall shelf. Connect three old doors, shutters or windows along the longest edges with hinges to make a room divider.

Garden Projects

<p> has some great ideas for garden projects using recycled items. Create garden art from recycled metal, home furnishings and recreational materials. Rescue bowling balls from thrift stores and yard sales, insert rebar or copper pipe into one of the finger holes and stake them in your garden as decorative elements. Make metal cutouts from flattened oil drums or flashing as display art to camouflage or enhance a wood or metal fence. Trace an image onto the metal, then cut it out using tin snips. Make a raised garden bed by recycling old box springs; remove the fabric and the springs, cover the wood frame with plastic and fill it with soil. You can also spray paint the springs, mould one end around a copper pipe or rebar pole and use them as flower stakes.

Decorative Art

Recycle paper materials, such as magazines, wrapping paper, junk mail and greeting cards, into art and accessories. Cut the images and words into small pieces and then attach them to recycled glass jars, cans, scrap wood and cardboard with découpage glue. The glass jars and cans become decorative storage or candle holders. Scrap wood and cardboard covered with decoupaged images become wall art. Découpage glue is available in a variety of sheens and special finishes, such as glow-in-the-dark and glitter, from local craft stores.

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