Broken No More: 35+ Ideas For Repurposing Household Items

By Harpreet K

Before you consider banishing your broken bits and bobs to the storeroom abyss, hold that thought! What if we told you there’s a marvelous world of DIY waiting to breathe new life into your old treasures? Yes, really! You can turn those forgotten relics into dazzling décor that’ll have your family, kids, and guests ooh-ing and ahh-ing in amazement. The best part? It’s budget-friendly since everything you need is probably lounging around your home, just waiting for its moment to shine.

All it takes is a pinch of creativity, a dash of patience, and a sprinkle of magic dust (okay, maybe not the last part). Whether you’re eyeing a charming mini-stool or dreaming of a full-fledged home aquarium, this article is your go-to source for gifting inspiration and home décor transformations. So roll up those sleeves and get ready for a DIY adventure like no other!

1. DIY play kitchen for kids

You may have an old entertainment center that is lying around in your house. Instead of throwing it away, you can use it to make a beautiful and cute play kitchen for your kids. It looks so attractive that you may end up playing with it together with your kids!

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The center will do fine, even if it is a little broken. You can get creative and change it however you want. With some paint, creativity, and some decor items like vases and small kitchen utensils, you will be able to make a kitchen your kids will adore and play for hours.

2. Old basket to a recycling center

Everyone has this one old basket that no one uses anymore, and you may also be thinking about throwing it away. Instead of throwing it away, you can repurpose it as your recycling center. Even if your basket has some holes and can’t contain anything, that is okay, too!

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All you need to do for recycling is simply place your waste buckets inside the wicker basket. Now, label the sections accordingly so you are aware of every department. Within no time, you will have a good-looking DIY recycling center that is effective, cost-friendly, and contributes positively to the environment.

3. Phone charging station DIY

Consider reading this hack before you throw your baby lotion in the trash. You can make a phone charging station out of your empty baby lotion. These DIY charging stations come in handy when your charging plugs are up high and your data cables are short in length. It also increases the longevity of cables.

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To kick off your crafting escapade, raid your stash of baby lotion bottles (hopefully empty ones!) and assemble an artful array of paint and decorative doodads. Armed with scissors, a hearty dose of patience, and a sprinkle of fabric magic, you’ll soon conjure up something as charming as this creation.

4. Garden markers with broken pots 

Don’t bid adieu to those terra cotta pots when they take a tumble and break. If your home is also a haven for shattered pot pieces, fear not! This nifty DIY trick will come to your rescue. Grab those broken shards and a handful of markers, and voilà.

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Start by picking out pieces equivalent to your number of plants in the garden. Once you have that, start writing the name of each plant on the pieces. It can be a flower, herb, veggie, or anything in your garden. You can even decorate the pieces with paint for your garden to look even better.

5. Wall art from broken plates

Don’t discard those cracked plates so soon when you can transform them into your dining room wall art. This artful endeavor is especially suited for plates broken into several pieces. Rather than piecing together shattered fragments, focus on larger, more manageable shards. Apply adhesive and filler, and secure them with masking tape. 

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After reassembling, introduce a touch of creativity by tinting the adhesive with paint until the desired hue is achieved. Now apply the colored glue to the gaps, remove the excess, and clean. Allow the plate to set per the adhesive manufacturer’s guidance, and hang it securely for your unique, upcycled display.

6. Birdbath from broken plates

Repurpose those cracked terra cotta planters and broken plates into a birdbath for your garden. Use planters of various sizes, painting them to add a unique touch. Smooth any rough edges or loose clay particles. Stack the pots upside down, starting with the largest on the bottom, followed by the medium-sized and smallest pots. 

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Draw lines below the rims of the smaller pots to define the exposed areas after stacking. Seal the insides of the pots with 2-3 coats of oil-based polyurethane and paint them as desired. Opt for soft, pastel colors for painting intricate flower and pattern designs. Your feathered friends will appreciate your eco-friendly garden addition.

7. Bag from a broken umbrella

To start making a bag out of your umbrella, start by carefully detaching the umbrella cloth from its metal frame. Preserve the small Velcro strap. Fold the umbrella in half and then bring in the sides to form a rectangular shape. Iron the creases and sew along these lines. Trim off any excess material.

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It’s highly recommended to reinforce the edges with additional stitching, especially if you plan to carry heavy items like library books. Your newly created bag is sturdy and perfect for impromptu shopping trips, compact enough to fit in your purse unnoticed. Give a second life to your broken umbrella fabric with this simple sewing project.

8. Glass beads from bottles

Don’t discard broken bottles; transform them into exquisite glass beads with this method. These beads can serve as versatile crafting materials, allowing you to fashion an array of items, from jewelry to wind chimes and beyond. However, it’s vital to exercise caution during this craft due to potential hazards from glass shards. 

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Always prioritize safety and safeguard your eyes. Once you master the technique, the possibilities for crafting with these repurposed bottles become boundless. Embrace the opportunity to breathe new life into old bottles and unlock your creative potential with these handmade glass beads. These will look beautiful as decor in your house and as an ornament.

9. Tea lights from bottle caps

Don’t throw away bottle caps, even though they’re not technically broken. Instead, repurpose them into charming tealight candles, which are especially handy for larger gatherings like weddings. Start by cleaning the bottle caps thoroughly with water and a towel, then insert a wick and carefully pour in melted crayon wax. 

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This eco-friendly project serves a dual purpose: you’re diverting bottle caps from landfills and, helping preserve the environment and finding a creative use for those old, broken crayons. So, next time you pop a bottle cap, remember it can shine brightly as a tealight in your next celebration, all while reducing waste from the ecosystem.

10. Make new crayons from old ones

Don’t discard those broken crayons. Instead, transform them into vibrant rainbow crayons that your kids will absolutely adore. You’ll need a few tin cans, empty prescription bottles, or small plastic film canisters, along with those broken crayons. Begin by melting the crayons in the tin cans (ensure they’re thoroughly cleaned first.

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Then, pour the melted crayons into the containers and let them cool and solidify. These newly-formed crayons offer a variety of vibrant colors, depending on the assortment of broken crayons you have. It’s a simple yet creative project that breathes new life into old crayons while delighting your children. 

11. Ground cover from broken plates

In your garden, consider using broken plates as a colorful alternative to traditional mulch or pebbles in certain areas. Picture this: encircling your trees with a vibrant mosaic of broken plates or terra cotta pot pieces. You have the creative freedom to go for a uniform, elegant look by using plates of a single color.

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You can also mix and match to infuse an element of fun and excitement into your garden. Not only does this DIY add a unique touch to your outdoor space, but it’s also a budget-friendly alternative to traditional landscaping materials like mulch or pea gravel, offering a fresh and distinctive look to your garden zones.

12. Art books from old hardcover books

Don’t be quick to toss out those old books, you know, the ones with pages missing. Instead, repurpose those vintage hardcovers into a functional art book that perfectly organizes your child’s art supplies. It’s a brilliant solution. These art books are compact and conveniently portable, thanks to their built-in handles. 

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Crafting this is simple: you’ll need some fabric to fashion holders for pencils or crayons, along with the handle and the art supplies themselves. So, don’t discard those old books just yet – give them a creative new life as a handy art book that keeps your child’s creative tools organized and ready for adventures.

13. Make cabinet pulls from broken jewelry

Don’t discard your broken bracelets, earrings, and necklaces. Instead, repurpose them into exquisite cabinet pulls, whether for your bathroom or kitchen. Take those damaged jewelry pieces and affix them to a threaded post, which you can easily find at your local hardware store for just around $1. Ensure a secure hold by using epoxy glue.

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Larger pieces of costume jewelry are ideal, but if you have smaller ones, simply glue them onto a base and then attach the base to the post. This clever DIY not only breathes new life into your jewelry but also adds a touch of unique elegance to your cabinets.

14.  Fire pit from a broken washing machine 

Creating a fire pit from a broken washing machine is a unique and eco-friendly project that doesn’t require the entire machine, just the inside drum. By repurposing this drum, you can construct an excellent fire pit for your backyard, preventing a portion of the washer from going to waste. 

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While it does involve some work, it’s surprisingly manageable. You’ll need high-heat paint to finish the project. The washer drum provides an ideal shape for a fire pit, ensuring it’s both functional and visually appealing. Picture yourself enjoying the warmth of the fire on cool evenings while knowing you’ve contributed to reducing waste.

15. Make cool push-ups from broken crayons

You may have been to a stationary where you come across different pencils, art supplies like paint brushes, colored pencils, geometry supplies like dividers, etc. One of these is a push-up crayon, and they can get quite expensive. If you like push-up crayons, then this one is for you.

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Broken crayons can be used in a better way if you repurpose them. You can also use empty glue stick containers as a shell for the crayon. Just wash the containers before you melt crayons into them. After the crayons are back in their solid form, your kids can use them by rolling the crayons. 

16. Designer planters from broken ceramics

If someone in your family has clumsy hands, there may be some broken plates lying around your house. So, Before you throw them away in the dumpster, you can repurpose them by making beautiful designer planters. You just need to know the mosaic method to attach the broken pieces of the dishes into a planter. 

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Gather a strong glue and show off your creativity and make designs and patterns. You can try blending different colors together to create your own concepts. The possibilities are endless! In the end, your planters will be unique, gorgeous and also add style to your gardens.

17. Lights from broken globes

Once a globe breaks, it gets hard to put it back together, even with glue. At such a time, one may think about throwing it away and buying another one. But before you throw it, we may have a better use for it. Recycled art is not only cost-efficient but also promotes environmental sustainability.

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You can take advantage of your creative mind and repurpose it into a stunning, unique light for your kid’s room. Hollow the inside of the globe and paint it with your child’s favorite cartoon or aspirations. Place them over their bed and place a night bulb. It will always cheer them up.

18. Colorful candles from empty jars and crayons 

If you have a habit of collecting glass jars and stockpiling them, then you can finally use them for your next art project. Some broken crayons and a few jars with a thread are all you need for this DIY. Go for mason jars for a rusty-looking candle, and choose your favorite colors.

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Start by cleaning your jars and drying them up for a cleaner and more neat look. Place a thread in the middle once the jar is dry. Next, melt your crayons and pour the liquid into the jars. Once it freezes, your candles will be ready. They can also be a perfect birthday gift idea.  

19. Create something even better from broken jewelry

Once in a while, your jewelry may break, and you may be collecting them for a while. It is okay if you have been confused about what to do with those broken pieces. But worry not; after this DIY, you will have a clear idea of what to do with your jewelry.

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Collect old broken earrings, bracelets, necklaces or broaches, glue, and a magnet. Now, you just have to glue the jewel to a magnet. The possibilities are endless; look for different patterns and colors that go together, and your magnet will be ready. You can use them to add an element of elegance to your refrigerator.

20. Use broken teacups to make bird feeders

Instead of tossing that chipped or broken teacup and saucer, you can transform them into a charming bird feeder. It just takes about an hour, and you can create one for yourself. All you need is a teacup or mug, a saucer, waterproof glue, and something to hang the feeder with. 

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Once assembled, fill it with birdseed, and you’ll have turned what might have been trash into a treasure. Not only will you enjoy the simple beauty of having a cute teacup and saucer in your yard, but your feathered friends will also adore their new feeder. It’s a win-win for both you and the birds.

21. Use broken CDs to make Christmas ornaments

Transform your chipped or scratched CDs into dazzling mini disco ball ornaments to adorn your Christmas tree this holiday season. If your CD is still relatively intact, break it into pieces and then grab your trusty hot glue gun. Once it is complete, it will look charming.

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Use the hot glue gun to affix those CD shards onto glass ornaments for a spectacular effect. While you can attempt this with Styrofoam balls, glass ornaments yield superior results. Choose between clear glass ornaments or ones in various colors, then embellish them with silver CD fragments to create a vibrant and eye-catching festive display.

22. Broken globe turned into a potpourri bowl

Don’t discard that old broken globe that is lying in your house. Instead, repurpose the better half into a charming bowl perfect for showcasing potpourri or even serving whimsical dishes if you paint the interior. To ensure stability when it’s filled, secure a round wooden plaque to the globe’s bottom. 

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You can easily find these plaques at your nearby craft store or craft one from a piece of plywood. Then, simply affix the globe half onto the base, and you’ll have a bowl ready for use. If both halves of your globe are still in good condition, you’ll have the bonus of crafting two bowls.

23. Use your broken bicycle to make a crib mobile

Creating a crib mobile from a broken bicycle wheel may sound daunting, but it’s surprisingly straightforward. You won’t be suspending entire bicycles—just the wheel. The circular shape of the wheel is ideal for a mobile, and its spokes are perfect for hanging various objects. This concept works exceptionally well for educational projects.

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Just like a solar system model, where you need to arrange the planets, the sun, and the moon in sequence. The wheel’s rounded design allows it to spin smoothly, and you can customize it with any object that will capture your child’s attention. You can even incorporate a music box for soothing melodies.

24. Create a shelf from broken dressers

Transforming a broken dresser into stylish map shelves is a clever way to repurpose it. If you find yourself with a dresser that’s seen better days, especially if you don’t need all the drawers, consider this project. Take one of the drawers, and add a map to the bottom.

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Now, mount it flush against the wall to create a charming shadowbox-style shelf perfect for displaying small collectibles. This project is remarkably simple and doesn’t demand the drawer to be in pristine condition. Even if the drawer’s bottom is falling apart, you can salvage the dresser and create these eye-catching shelves instead of discarding them.

25. Bookshelves from a broken ladder

Don’t rush to toss away broken ladders. If you’ve got an old, rickety wooden ladder that’s no longer safe for climbing, consider repurposing it instead. Take it apart and transform the two sections into matching bookshelves. These ladder-based bookshelves can impart a charming rustic touch to your decor. 

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You can now choose to hang them on the wall or lean them securely against it. With each ladder rung providing a sturdy shelf, you’ll have ample space for your books or whatever items you wish to display. It’s a resourceful way to salvage a broken ladder and turn it into functional and stylish shelving.

26. Make a table out of a suitcase

If you have a broken suitcase, especially one of those sturdy vintage ones. Don’t discard it just yet; instead, let’s transform it into something highly practical. By affixing legs to the suitcase, you can craft a stylish table, ideal for your living room or as a charming addition to the foot of your bed. 

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The suitcase provides nifty storage space inside, helping you maintain a clutter-free room. Plus, it exudes a unique vintage charm, making it a perfect fit for those who adore such decor styles. This DIY project breathes new life into your broken suitcase, offering both functionality and a touch of nostalgia to your home.

27. Create a pet bed from a broken vintage suitcase

When you have a pet at home, it’s like having a special best friend by your side. If you have a broken suitcase lying around, then it may be the perfect time to gift your pet best friend a new bedroom. You will surely see its face light up when you present its new bed.

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The first thing that you will have to do is remove the top and soften the edges so that it doesn’t cause any harm to your pets. This is a really easy project, and you also add extra padding and cushions to make it more comfortable for you.

28. Make a sofa out of your bathtub

Surprisingly, an old claw foot bathtub can be transformed into a truly unique couch. The result is undeniably worth the effort. Here’s how you can do it: Begin by cutting out the front of the tub to create space for the couch, then stuff it and paint it to your liking. 

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Rather than discarding that old tub, you can consider crafting this elegant and eye-catching couch. It can find a place in your bedroom, living room, or wherever you could use some extra seating. This innovative project breathes new life into your bathtub, adding both style and functionality to your home.

29. Computer screen aquarium

You can embark on a bit of a project, but the end result is incredibly rewarding, especially for tech enthusiasts. Instead of disposing of that old computer monitor, consider converting it into a captivating fish tank. Kids, in particular, will be thrilled with fish swimming within a repurposed monitor.

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It won’t take up much space, thanks to the monitor’s relatively compact size (though this works better with older, bulkier monitors, not flat screens). So, don’t toss that old monitor just yet; transform it into a unique aquarium that merges technology with aquatic life, breathing new life into your outdated electronics.

30. Outdoor ice chest from your broken refrigerator

Don’t rush to toss that old, broken refrigerator if you’ve replaced it. Instead, consider transforming it into a fantastic outdoor ice chest. Begin by removing all the components that contribute to the refrigerator’s operation (or once did). Then, wrap it in wood, with cedar being an excellent choice.

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Then, you’ll be able to craft an outdoor ice chest tailored for your outdoor kitchen. The fridge’s original racks and baskets can be repurposed for organizing items inside your new ice chest. This sustainable makeover not only spares you a trip to the dump but also provides a useful addition to your outdoor entertaining setup.

31. Make a basket out of broken blinds

Before tossing those broken mini blinds, consider a creative alternative—crafting a nifty little basket that’s quick and easy to make. Utilize a weaving technique, ensuring you staple along the way for added sturdiness. These baskets come together in no time and serve various purposes, from organizing office supplies to tidying up clutter.

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So, rather than discarding your damaged mini blinds, repurpose them into handy, eco-friendly baskets. This way, you not only reduce waste but also add a touch of organization to your space, all with a few simple steps. In the end, after these steps, you will be left with a beautiful basket.

32. Make curtain tiebacks from chipped tea cups

Don’t let those charming teacups go to waste or hide away in the cabinet. Transform them into exquisite Victorian-style curtain tiebacks. Cut a small hole in the cup’s bottom to allow the curtain to pass through, then attach a cup hanger on to the window frame.

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Let the cup’s handle serve as a hook. This elegant touch is ideal for formal dining areas, especially when your china cabinet showcases dishes in a matching pattern. You can elevate your decor with this creative repurposing idea, adding a unique and vintage flair to your curtains while making good use of those lovely teacups.

33. Saucers and tea cups lighting

Don’t let those old, worn-out dishes go to waste. You can turn them into stunning kitchen or breakfast nook lighting fixtures. Grab cups and saucers in matching patterns for a coordinated look, or mix and match for an eclectic vibe. To attach the lighting, it’s best to use a wooden plank.

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This helps keep everything orderly and evenly spaced. It’s a fantastic project that won’t eat up too much of your time, and the result is unique, eye-catching lighting that adds character and charm to your space. So, grab those chipped cups and saucers and get ready to brighten up your home in style.

34. Make a shelf out of a broken door

Before tossing out that old door, think about giving it a new life as a fantastic shelf. With some fabric, batting, and lighting, you can transform it into a functional and charming piece. Your door shelf can stand elegantly in a corner or against a wall. Alternatively, you can add hardware for hanging.

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If you love rustic aesthetics, older doors provide a perfect look. And the best part is, you can customize it with as many shelves as you need and illuminate your books or collectibles with added lights. Don’t let that broken door go to waste; let it become a unique and practical addition to your space.

35. Make a stool from your washing machine

If you ever think about throwing away your old washing machine, remember you can repurpose it by altering it a little bit into something brand new. You will need some stuffing, cushions and padding, along with rolling caster legs. With this, you will be able to make a brand-new stool for your living room.

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Start by taking out the drum of your washing machine. Now, add the stuffing in the drum and the padding as per your desired comfort level. You can go all out on your creativity and complete the design the way you want. The chair will be ready after you attach the wheels.

36. Earring holder from a broken picture frame

If you ever break a photo frame or someone you know does, you don’t need to throw away the frame if only the glass broke. You can use your pretty broken frame to create a meticulous earring display that doesn’t just look great but is also very functional.

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All you need to get started is some wire to hang your earrings. Picture wire is recommended as it performs really well. This can also be a gift idea for your friend’s birthday. You can make different levels and add diversity in the height of levels to accommodate small as well as large earrings.

37. Use your screen door as a pot rack

Don’t be too hasty to toss out that old, broken screen door. Instead, give it a second life as a spacious pot rack. Begin by repainting or refinishing the door to your liking. Then, suspend it from the ceiling using chains. You can attach hooks to the screen section for hanging your pots and pans.

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The top can be used to store lids and other kitchen essentials. This clever repurposing project not only provides excellent organization but also adds a unique and decorative touch to your kitchen. It’s a smart way to make use of that old screen door you were thinking of discarding.

38. Make new napkins from your denim

If your closet’s bursting with torn jeans, don’t rush to toss them! You can turn those denim scraps into fantastic napkins for your summer cookouts. Craft these stylish napkins with minimal sewing and a touch of creativity. Simply fold and stitch the denim to fashion functional pockets for your silverware. 

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This project is a breeze, and it’s adaptable to various materials. Whether you’ve got old jeans stashed away or any damaged clothing, you can seize the opportunity to transform them. Your next barbecue will be a hit with these rustic, repurposed napkins. So, repurpose those worn-out items and impress your guests with your denim napkins!

39. Use broken rackets to make mirrors

Don’t toss those tennis rackets when they start falling apart inside; transform them into mirrors instead! Extract the inner netting from your racket and insert a mirror that fits the space perfectly. You might need to bring measurements (or the whole racket, if that’s easier) to a glass cutter to ensure an ideal mirror shape. 

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Afterward, affix the mirrors to your rackets, and you’re ready to hang them up in your little tennis player’s room or any spot around your house. Turn your old rackets into mirrors and add a touch of sporty flair to your decor. Your home will have a creative touch that reflects your love for tennis.

40. Make lights out of broken drumsticks 

If you have a broken drum kit lying around, consider transforming them into drum lights. These lights are perfect for your rock star’s bedroom, or you can place them in your family room or rec room—wherever suits your style best. They can be made effortlessly, and you can easily suspend them from the ceiling.

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The drums double add a distinctive touch to your lighting setup. If you’re searching for something a little unconventional in your lighting scheme, these drum lights are a perfect choice. Plus, you’re doing your part to keep those drums out of the local landfill and giving them a purpose in your home.

41. Turn your old gloves into stuffed animals

When your gloves usually wear out after just one season, don’t toss them aside. Transform them into stuffed animals. This delightful project is perfect to kickstart your Christmas preparations—these make fantastic presents for all the children on your gift list. This DIY is easy, as gloves are everywhere in winter. 

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Even if your gloves have missing fingertips, it’s a suitable project because you’ll be removing them anyway. You’ll need to do hand sewing for this. By repurposing your old gloves into adorable stuffed animals, you not only make them last longer but also create heartfelt, handmade gifts that will bring joy to your kids.

42. Transform empty toilet paper rolls into art

Empty toilet paper rolls aren’t just destined for the trash. You can turn them into wall art, making recycling a creative endeavor. Craft your art in a variety of designs, with paint in any color you desire. The best part? Nobody except you will realize that this decor started as a cardboard toilet paper roll. 

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You’ll not only spruce up your space but also reduce the number of rolls hitting the trash every week. So, if you’re someone who loves recycling, this project is perfect for you. Transform those empty rolls into something beautiful and give them a second life as stunning wall art.

43. Turn broken ladders into birdhouse stands 

When your old wooden ladders become too risky for you to use, transform them into charming birdhouse stands. If they’re wooden, personalize them with a fresh coat of paint or embrace their weathered, rustic charm. All you have to do is place your birdhouses on top, and for extra stability, consider securing them with screws.

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Imagine these stands adorning your garden, adding a touch of whimsy and a cozy haven for your feathered friends. With a bit of creativity and those retired ladders, you’ll breathe new life into your garden. Reuse these ladders by creating birdhouse stands that bring joy to both you and the birds that visit your garden.

44. Make a bag from a torn basketball

Your basketball won’t stay inflated forever. Cheaper ones tend to lose air quickly, and if there’s a sizable hole, reinflating becomes impossible. But before you think about discarding it, consider turning it into a stylish and exceptionally cute bag—a perfect fit for a sporty girl like you. 

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It makes for an excellent gift idea, whether for your little cheerleader or a mom who’s always there to support her athletes. So, instead of parting with that ball, upcycle it into a sporty bag that’ll not only showcase your love for the game but also add a trendy and personalized touch to your style.

45. Make a bench from a broken bed

You can turn your old headboard and footboard into a charming corner bench for your little ones. Simply attach the two pieces together, craft the seat, and then paint it in the color of your choice. Top it off with a comfy cushion, and your kids will absolutely adore sitting here for meals or playtime.

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Whether you place it in the dining room or on your deck for extra seating, it’s a versatile addition. This project is a fantastic way for you to repurpose those leftover parts from your broken beds. So, roll up your sleeves and create a cozy spot where your little ones can enjoy their time.