7 Trash-Bound Things You Never Thought of Keeping but Should

June 8, 2015 Updated: June 8, 2015

Did you know that there are plenty of things we toss out every day that are actually completely reusable? Of course, a burnt out lightbulb can’t be given a new glow, but it can become high-end home decor! And if you’re recycling your soda cans without pulling off those useful tabs first, you’re wasting a golden opportunity. Take a look at this list of 7 free supplies getting tossed, to find out if your trash can is actually a crafter’s treasure trove.

1. Bare Paper Towel Rolls

Project via Heather @Viral Upcycle
Project via Heather @Viral Upcycle

Instead of throwing those cardboard tubes into the trash or even the recycling bin, turn them into art! Cut up paper towel rolls are the perfect thing to create eye-catching murals, like this colorful peacock, to display in your home. Give some to kid’s, for a fun summer craft that will inspire their creativity.

2. Empty Soup Cans

Project via Mary @At Home on the Bay
Project via Mary @At Home on the Bay

Once you’ve finished dinner, wash your empty soup can along with the dishes, and then reuse it as a helpful container for office supplies, flowers, or hair accessories. This cozy design is a great way to display summer flowers with a little splash of textured color.

3. Unwanted Kid’s Toys

Project via Michelle @Weekend Craft
Project via Michelle @Weekend Craft

No matter how much love they once got, these plastic figurines are sitting on shelves or in boxes and gathering dust. Don’t toss them though – donate unwanted toys to children in need, or turn them into quirky and cute decor for your home. This dinosaur planter is an easy way to unwanted junk into a bookshelf accessory.

4. Used Plastic Spoons

Project via Kristi @Addicted 2 Decorating
Project via Kristi @Addicted 2 Decorating

It’s as gross to wash used plastic spoons as it is to wash regular silverware, so don’t let this idea give you the heebee geebees. You’ve got a free craft supply on your hands – it’s so worth the wash to make a mirror this unique!

5. Tabs Pulled From Soda Cans

Project via Kathy @Petticoat Junktion
Project via Kathy @Petticoat Junktion

After that tab has done its job and helped you enjoy your cool beverage, remove it from the can and use it to hang heavier pictures or pieces of art. Use the free tabs in place of picture hanging hardware, and add a small piece of felt to keep them from leaving a mark on your wall.

6. Planks From a Busted Fence

Project via Tasha @Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body
Project via Tasha @Designer Trapped in a Lawyer’s Body

If you’re replacing that old, broken fence, don’t toss all the planks. If there are any healthy, sturdy boards among the bunch, use them to plank a wall in your home. If only a few boards survive the damage from time and the outdoors, cover a smaller area, like your foyer, or one wall in a bathroom.

7. Burnt Out Lightbulbs

Project via Sondra @Sondra Lyn at Home
Project via Sondra @Sondra Lyn at Home

When a light goes out in your home, try this bright idea for the leftover bulb! Using twine and glue, turn tired lightbulbs into chic decorative pears, perfect for displaying a bowl on your coffee table, or arranging artfully on a mantel or bookshelf.

For more upcycling ideas and inspirations, check out Hometalk’s upcycling and repurposing page!

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