Our Guide to Repurposing Old Household Items – 7 Upcycling Ideas

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Let’s celebrate National Reuse Month by reusing, repurposing, or upcycling some household items that often get discarded without a second thought.

Many of us have the tendency to get rid of anything that is broken, unused, or old, and quickly replace the item without thinking about how it could be repurposed or reused.

October is National Reuse Month, a great opportunity to learn more about reusing, repurposing, and upcycling unused household items. These three words can be encapsulated in one simple definition; taking a thing you are not using and putting it to another use.

Now we’re not telling you to hoard all your unused household items until you have rooms filled with junk. However, if you find you have some of the following products lurking around your home, below are 7 ideas for repurposing everyday household items you probably haven’t considered!



According to Oxfam Ireland, Irish people dump 225,000 tonnes of clothing every year. Instead of throwing away old t-shirts, why not repurpose them into tote bags that can be used for groceries etc. To create a reusable shopping bag; cut the sleeves and neck out of the t-shirt, cut strips along the bottom hem, and tie the strips of fabric together (you can cut the fringing off if preferred).



Repurpose outgrown wellies and make colourful garden plant pots – a simple upcycling project that the whole family can get involved in.


Single Socks

We all have sock singles lying around the house, and where their mates disappear to is an unsolved mystery in every household. Unless you are rocking the odd socks, repurposing them is a great idea. Odd socks make great rags that you can fit your hand into to clean anything around the house, from blinds to toilets, to ceiling fan blades.


Glass Jars

Glass jars can be upcycled into beautiful tea light holders. Create a stained-glass effect on your glass using Sharpies and pop a tea light inside.


Egg Cartons

Egg cartons are another disposable household items that can be upcycled to make a few useful items. One option is to repurpose your used egg cartons into an organiser for small household items, such as jewellery, office supplies or beads.

Another useful household item that can be made from paper egg cartons is seed sprouting containers. Split up your egg carton into single seed pots and plant your seeds. Once the seedlings get big enough to plant, simply wet the whole egg carton cup and plant it into the soil. The soggy paper egg carton will break down over time in the dirt.



Reuse newspaper as a paper towel when cleaning glass and mirrors. Newspaper won’t leave behind any fibres or residue, just a streak-free shine!


Cardboard Toilet Paper Rolls

Toilet paper rolls are something we all have excess of at home. Of course, you can throw these in the recycling bin, however repurposing your paper rolls to make these electronic cord organisers is another great option and will solve the battle of the tangled wires.

Let’s celebrate National Reuse Month by reusing, repurposing, or upcycling some household items that often get discarded without a second thought. We’d love to see pictures of your recreations!