Upcycling: Turn trash into treasure crafts

Posted by Delia Ivanoff on

Upcycling is a form of recycling, meaning that waste materials do not end up in the landfill, and instead are re-purposed or put back in the supply chain as raw materials for creating new and useable products. Paper, cardboards, glass containers, wood, metal, and textile continue to comprise the bulk of our household wastes. While not all these are recyclable under the common recycling practices, they can be upcycled. This will then result in less consumption of new raw materials. 

Here's are examples of upcycled glass containers I decorated. Can you guess what kind of product these used to contain? Each bottle was painted and I have tried different ways of painting them.

White bottles were painted with chalk paint on the outside. This required repeated sanding, then topped with polycrylic. The chalk paint was easy to apply because it adheres to any surface. A couple of light coats is sufficient. The top clear coat protects it from moisture and also provides a smoother surface for the vinyl design to easily adhere. Gold and magenta butterflies (vinyl) brightened them up nicely. Then I glued some jute twine around the rim to give it the final farmhouse decor look.



For these blue bottles, I painted them with Krylon. Again, two light coats, and no sanding needed. One challenge using this method is to be able to control the spray to make sure it's coating the glass evenly and avoiding paint runs. Once dried, I designed these with dragon flies, using premium vinyl. 


For the sage green colored glasses, I painted these by pouring chalk paint inside the glass, then swirling slowly to make sure the glass is covered evenly. This made it easier than painting outside the glass because I didn't have to sand the surface. The one problem I encountered doing this is the inside does not dry quickly, and paint can actually run down the bottom while you let them dry. Then once the paint dries, it tends to crack. Also, if you plan to paint this way and plan to use this as a fresh flower vase (tiny vases) make sure to coat the paint with polycrylic, to protect the paint from moisture. 

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