Upcycling geniuses

We challenge you to try some of these at home.

(Guest post by Brett Caron)

People call 1-800-GOT-JUNK? every single day, and some start off by saying that what they have isn’t junk. These are usually things in good condition, like a TV that’s only slightly out of date or a couch as-yet untouched by cats and children. This is great news, because that means that it’s easier to donate to a local charity that can put it to good use.

But there’s another kind of person. One that can do it themselves, and often with stuff that most people wouldn’t hesitate for a second to call junk.

Two employees at the 1-800-GOT-JUNK? head office (the ‘Junktion’) make upcycled creations regularly–like these log candles and toolbox flower boxes!


On May 23rd, in partnership with Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, 1-800-GOT-JUNK? hosted the Yard Sale for the Cure in Toronto, Canada. Some amazing designers and upcyclers auctioned off incredible work at the event, including these items below:


Everyone’s doing it! Here are some other creative examples of upcycling from around the web:

Chris’s Shotgun Shell Earrings


These high-caliber fashion accessories were produced by Chris from Durham, UK. They’re made from 36 gauge shells collected from his local clay pigeon club. Like a glorious phoenix rising from shards of unsuspecting pottery…

Rosenbaum’s Hanging Garden of Bottles


As part of their Useful Design principles, Rosenbaum didn’t just upcycle bottles for aesthetic purposes. They took a variety of plastic bottles and created a hanging wall of easily replaceable plants. Everything from herbs to flowers, and they can be rotated in and out since plastic is a lot easier to replace than glass.

Best of all, they provide detailed instructions on how to construct the gardens via their blog.

This was developed as part of an extensive remodel in Sao Paulo, Brazil. But with the low-cost setup and convenience, it’s a fixture that almost anyone could maintain.

Arnob Bal’s Milk Carton Throne


A 32nd floor apartment with a tent in the living room was never going to be ordinary, but Arnob didn’t stop there. Between producing music and lavishing attention on his cat Lola, Arnob found the time to realize a childhood dream.

“In the seventh grade, the other science class came to our class to show us their projects on which household waste would make the most durable chair. The winning group used milk cartons to build a modest sized chair for an infant,” he writes in a Facebook album chronicling the process.

Choosing the winning material, Arnob collected a number of juice and milk cartons. Then he rigged it up with tape and newspaper into his studio chair. He didn’t stop there. He made a matching side table using Starbucks boxes for the tabletop. It’s a coffee table. Get it?

Brett Caron is a freelance writer and works with 1-800-GOT-JUNK? as an analyst. He enjoys craft beer and writing, and he can often be found engaged in both at the same time. Connect with Brett via TwitterLinkedIn or Facebook.

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