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Upcycling All Stars
TIPS
Before you take out the trash, try these clever transformations.
By  Naturally  

I ADMIT IT; it’s very hard for me to resist peering into trash cans, recycling bins or
thriftstore junk piles. I just know there is a castoff waiting to be upcycled into something
cool. I’ve been upcycling—the art of transforming literal trash into treasures—since I was a
kid. I remember my very first project: I took apart an old chair and reupholstered the seat
cushion using a Ralph Lauren sweater I had outgrown. Since then, I’ve come up with
hundreds of projects that I’ve shared on TV, in books and on the pages of Naturally. Here
are some “Hall of Fame” ideas, along with new ones that are super fun and stylish. The
best part? These projects will subtract bits and pieces that were destined for the landfill.

CRAYONS

Broken crayons can be remade into fancy ones in minutes. Just peel off the paper labels
and break them into smaller pieces. Fill silicone molds (these gemstone shaped ones are
from Amazon.com) and melt in a 250-degree oven for about 10 minutes. Stir with a
toothpick (to make marbleized colors) and chill in the fridge for an hour. Pop out and voila!
New gemstone crayons.

WINE CORKS

About 50 wine corks will fill a metal hose clamp (from the plumbing section of the hardware
store) to make an instant trivet; just use a screwdriver to secure them in place.

PLASTIC BOTTLES

The bottoms of plastic soda and water bottles can be upcycled into charming candy holders
in minutes. Just use a zipper (available at crafts or fabric stores) and glue onto two same-
size bottles. Then fill with sweet treats and zip shut.

MAGAZINE ADS

Chanel flowers, anyone? Use the scent strips from perfume advertisements to make
aromatic paper flowers. Just cut out petals and attach with florist’s tape to florist’s wire (all
from the crafts store).