Top Ways to Upcycle Scrap Materials

Scrap Materials

There’s a good chance you have some scrap materials lying around the house, in the garage, or in the garden. Rather than wasting it and sending it to landfill, you can upcycle it and turn it into something new for your home. Not only is this eco-friendly, but it’s also a great opportunity to learn some new craft skills and create something unique for your house. 

Whether you have scrap fabrics or a few spare steel box sections, there’s always something you can do with the materials you have to hand.  If you’re looking for some inspiration, we’ve put together some ideas below that you might want to try. 


For those with spare fabric, a lampshade is a great DIY project to get started on. Whether you have some curtains you no longer use or an old leather jacket that can no longer be worn or donated, as long as you have enough of it, you can make a lampshade covering. 

To do this, measure the height of the lampshade and the distance around it to determine how much fabric you need. Use these measurements to draw out a rectangle on your scrap fabric, and carefully cut around it. It’s a good idea to allow an extra millimeter top and bottom so the fabric can overlap on the interior of the lightshade. You can use fabric glue to secure it in place, or you can use a staple gun. 

You might even choose to add some extra embellishments if you have them to hand, such as tassels, bows, and diamantes if you like a bit of sparkle.


Along the same lines as creating a lampshade out of spare fabric, you can give your coasters and placemats a new lease of life, too. To do this, simply draw around the coaster and add a millimeter onto each edge to allow for overlap. You can use fabric glue or a staple gun to secure the material in place. It’s best to use a thinner material for this to allow the coaster to sit flush and stable on the table. 

Chopping Board 

Have some spare wood lying around? If so, you can create a chopping board using it. You will need a vice, a saw, a sander (or some sandpaper), and some food-grade mineral oil. Essentially, you need to cut the wood to the size you require. If you find that the surface isn’t flat, you may need to plane it. You’ll need to put in some elbow grease to sand the wood, focusing on the edges to avoid splinters. Finally, coat the wood with food-grade mineral oil to ensure it’s safe for use. 

Chopping boards can be expensive, so this is a great way to get one for cheap. For a more in-depth guide on making a chopping board, click here.

Garden Trail 

If you’ve got some slats from an old bed or some old floorboards that have seen better days, consider making a garden train out of them. Cut them to size, sand them down and apply a weatherproof varnish. Then, find an area in your flowerbed or vegetable patch that you frequently walk on and secure them in place using stakes or by weighting them down. This can give your garden an instant facelift and is a very practical use of scrap wood. 


These are just a few of the things you can make from scrap material around your home. Have you got any ideas of what to do with scrap materials? If so, share them below so others can draw inspiration. 


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