Upcycling 101: How to decorate your house with ‘junk’

‘Upcycling’ is the process of taking something destined for the trash, and repurposing it into a useful object. Our franchise partners regularly come across junk where the item, or its components, could potentially find other uses with just a little TLC!

Alison Belbin, Franchise Partner for Vancouver Island (Victoria and Nanaimo, BC), decorated her son’s room with used skateboard parts—what an impact it makes! Consider taking something you love and upcycling it into funky room décor:


Skateboard shelf: This skateboard was kept intact and mounted on the wall with shelf brackets. Simple, practical and effective!


Skateboard truck coat hooks: Skateboard trucks (with wheels still attached) were screwed into the wall to make for creative coat and backpack hooks—a fun way to keep kid stuff organized and off the floor.


Skateboard wheel closet knobs: Attach wheels to the closet doors, and voilà: knobs!


Easy to install: You can mount most light, flat objects with brackets. Here, an old snowboard was made into a shelf to match the skateboard deck.

Upcycling seems to run in this family: Alison’s sister-in-law has also decked out her home with pieces that she’s turned from junk to gems!


The seats from these chairs were constructed with antique curtains and padding from old cushions. The desk, once white, was painted green and outfitted with different knobs.


This old window has been given a new lease on life as a decorative light (there are Christmas lights behind it). Tracing paper was carefully glued to the glass panes to give it a soft, opaque look.


shelf legs

She painted the shelf yellow, added dressy paper to the inside, and attached legs that had been salvaged separately.


Glass mason jars (this one is also wrapped in twine) make great planters and vases!

Have you tried upcycling? Are you a ‘salvager’? Show us your photos by leaving a link in the comments!

Sam Landa is PR Manager for 1-800-GOT-JUNK?. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Environment & Sustainability, and in her spare time, she enjoys playing live music and writing. Connect with Sam on  or LinkedIn.

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