20 Apr 2023Mont Marte

Upcycled projects aren’t just fun, they’re also great for the planet and your wallet! Reuse your leftovers or give something a second life with these 13 upcycling project ideas.

1. Create a collage

Flat cardboard box with colourful collage made from recycled magazines and newspapers of a woman with fruit and a toucan.

Image: beetleblossom

Why not get creative and try a collage. Grab some left over magazines, newspapers or catalogues and see what you come up with. We love this cardboard box collage because it’s using even more leftovers to create fun and interesting art. Plus, it’s great for a rainy day project too!

2. Paint on wood panels

Moon face painted on upcycled wooden boards, hanging on a wall above a bed.


Image: shop_sookie_sookie

Old wood panels make for a great artwork and an even more exciting creative challenge! For this upcycled project, apply a coat of gesso to the wood first, this will keep your paint lasting longer and it’ll reduce the acidity levels, so your paint will have a nice, even coat. Then let your imagination roam free and see what you come up with.

3. Add a pop of colour

Three vintage telephones painted in a pop-art style next to seven upcycled ceramic paints too.
Image: silviazacchello

If you don’t have much lying around at home, head to a garage sale or second-hand shop and bring new life into an old item. A touch of colour makes these vintage telephones pop and hey you might even end up gifting your upcycled projects to a friend.

4. DIY Galaxy shoes

A pair of sneakers that have been painted with a space galaxy pattern.

Add some fun to an old pair of sneakers with this DIY galaxy shoe upcycled project. Not too sure where to start? Head over to our project for step by step instructions and add some creative flair to your old kicks.

5. No paper, no problem

A newspaper with a coffee cup painted on top, next to a pencil, paints and brushes.
Image: aonkit.art

You don’t need a brand new canvas to get creative, this recycled newspaper art is a great way to get inspired and recycle the morning paper too. Still stuck for ideas? Try painting your morning routine, your breakfast, the weather or imagine what the day has in store.

6. Surf the creative wave

Painted surfboard with two penguins sitting in an origami boat.

Image: ashley_tayler_designs

We all know, when inspiration hits, you have to chase it! This upcycled surfboard is a great way to add some fun to a plain old surfboard and get creative along the way. Dip into bright colours or try a monochrome feel for a challenge.

7. Try a recycled glass bottle lamp

A recycled glass bottle turned into a lamp with tree silhouette and pot plant next to it.

Glass bottles are pretty easy to come by, but have you ever thought of turning it into a glass bottle lamp? Follow along with our project and turn your old trash into treasure. You can find everything you need and the instructions here.

8. Get stylish with ceramics

Ceramic painted plate of a man with a beard and flowers in both hair and beard.

Image: brusharttasmania

Whether you have a spare plate you don’t use around the house, or you find a hidden gem at a garage sale, reuse an old plate and try ceramic paints. Remember, ceramic paints can’t be used directly with food or drink, so it’s best to keep these for decorative use.

9. Reuse an old wooden pallet

Hand holding a wooden circle of a painted bird.
Image: thehappystrugglingartist

Wooden pallets are often used to keep cardboard boxes together in industrial areas. But they can also be re-used to make some pretty cool recycled art too. Hardware businesses can have leftovers, if you can’t source them yourself or grab an old wooden crate or wooden paint palette and see what you come up with. It might also be an idea to sand the wood back first before painting, depending on the condition and how you’d like your project to look!

10. Make something memorable from music

Purple, blue and white pour painted vinyl record.
Image: artbymaddss

If you have an old CD, cassette tape or record lying around, why not turn it into a work of recycled art? Whether you try painting, markers or pour painting, it’s all about turning something you no longer use into a masterpiece!

11. Take the plunge and try something new

Hand holding a ceramic plate with jellyfish painted on it.

Image: lateliergenevieve

Jump into the deep end and try this upcycling project idea! Reach for the ceramic paints and turn an old plate into something fun or try this idea with fabric paints and upcycle an old cushion or pillow, the choice is yours!

12. Upcycle a skateboard

A blue painted skateboard of a shark laying on green grass.

Image: tianalichaa.art

Whether you have a spare lying around or manage to snap something up at a garage sale, why not reach for the acrylic paint pens and upcycle a skateboard!

13. Create some funky furniture

A colourful coffee table with rainbow acrylic pour paint over the top.


Image: artwithcoeurage

Turn a boring coffee table into a work of art and try upcycling furniture! Think pour painting on a chest of drawers or a table. Not for you? grab some fabric markers and jazz up an old couch or a quilt cover, the world really is your (creative) oyster.

Looking for more ways to upcycle? Check out how to upcycle acrylic paintings or rework your wardrobe with these 16 fabric paint projects to try.

We hope that you feel inspired to create your own upcycled project. Try it for yourself and #montmarteart or tag us @montmarteart on Instagram or Facebook, we’d love to see what you create.