7 Creative Upcycling Ideas That Sell

When we upcycle or take something that’s about to be thrown out and give it a new function, we do our own share of helping the planet. We reduce waste and conserve natural resources (because you don’t have to buy a new home decor, accessory, or even furniture—depending on what you decide to make). We also get to practice a bit of our creativity, which has its own share of benefits—from helping us cope with stress to honing our problem-solving skills. 

Save for rainbows and world peace, upcycling a discarded object brings so many good things. We also get to save money, and for some Common Room makers, even make money out of it. Get some upcycling inspo from their clever creations and it might just spark your own upcycling project. 

Never need a new hair tie ever again.

When you see scrap fabrics, do you just see scrap or potential? Threadstory in Common Room made eco-friendly scrunchies (and even ascot scarves) from scrap fabrics. These 1990s fashion trend will never go out of style as long as they’re upcycled.

Save the trees!

Oh, the many possibilities of scrap wood when you look at it with upcycling in mind. Cut the Scrap turns them into useful Claw Wooden Mobile Stand. Depending on how big the scrap wood you find, you can also turn them into shelves, wood art, bookends, planter holders, etc.

Turning old bags into paper.

When it comes to making handmade paper, you can easily use scrap papers headed for the bin. Kasa Ko shows us you can also use pulp of old donated handbags (yup, you read that right) to make them. Since they’re handmade, their thickness and texture may vary, which we love.

Turning barong into earrings.

Before you lay to rest that vintage Barong Tagalog you spied on at your dad’s closet, did you know you can upcycle them into stylish earrings or wall art? Lover of everything vintage, Glorious Dias reworked fabrics from old barongs into fashion and home accessories that retain their vintage flair. 


Caps for crafts.

When you open a bottle of soda, the bottle caps are the first thing to go, but not for Sapinsapin Tanzan. They hand painted them and turned them into unique pins and hair clips

Easy trinkets to make.

Popjunklove has been showing us for many years that small pieces of felt fabrics can be turned into something cute and worthy of a business. Aside from their adorable plushies, you can start with something small like keychains and bookmarks


Old school meets new school.

Who knew you can turn old cassette tapes into mp3 players. Make It Up thought of it and they’ve given listening to music a mix of analog vibes and digital sound. Using a micro SD card and with 4 hours of playback time, it’s enough (we hope) to help you endure rush hour traffic.


Thinking of other ways to upcycle or just get your crafting skills on? Check the videos in our Common Room PH YouTube channel, particularly our playlists for We Try Things (learn to DIY glass bottle cutting or cement vase) and We Make Things (sew your own felt plushies, crochet scrunchies, etc.). 

—written by Mabel David-Pilar
Mabel has been a writer and editor for many publications including a teen fashion magazine and a book on the most endangered Philippine trees. She spends most of her time writing, illustrating, stalking Common Room’s online shop, and making ferments. Together with her sisters, she co-created startersisters.com to celebrate fermentation and eating more plants!