Taking care of our planet is the job of everyone, and that’s why we are totally on board when it comes up upcycling. From reusing old clothing and plastic bottles, to saving money and serving as a role model, there are plenty of upcycle ideas that benefit parents. Keep reading to see our top 12 reasons why everyone benefits from a little repurposing.

You can express yourself creatively.

Bernard Hermant via Unsplash

Whether you love a swipe of a paintbrush, feel handy with a hacksaw or just enjoy a little blood, sweat and tears, upcycling can bring about a huge sense of accomplishment and joy when you express yourself creatively. When you want to feel full of purpose outside the role of being a parent, upcycling projects can help put your mind to good use, all while saving the planet at the same time.

You're being a great role model.


Taking care of our planet starts with us, and our little ones will follow suit. Recycling, being mindful of food waste and only buying what's necessary are all ways to show our kiddos how to take care of our resources.

It’ll keep you out of the art supply store.

Debby Hudson via Unsplash

If your kid goes through art supplies like she's on fire, using materials you might otherwise throw out helps keep costs down (think: corks as stamps, toothbrushes as paintbrushes and TP rolls for just about anything).


You’ll be able to explain the “junk” in the garage.


“Oh that? No, it’s not an old rusty wagon without wheels or a bottom; it’s an upcycling project in progress.” Basically, your hoarding habit just went way up on the coolness scale.

Those tiny concert tees bought pre-kid take on a whole new meaning.

Delia Creates

Don’t give up on your tiny tees. Make them into an uber-cool tote, instead. You’ll be the hippest mom at the farmers market.

Kermit would approve.

Little Bin for Little Hands

It's not easy being green. Do you ever wonder how much recycling actually gets... recycled? Repurpose stuff headed for the bin and you won't have to hope it ends up in the right place.

It’s a great way to get rid of the plastic bags under the sink.

Carolina Pez via Unsplash

Maybe, one day you’ll remember to drop all those bags in the recycling container at the store. Or, you could just use them in an awesome upcycling project. Gorgeous mini planters, anyone?

It forces kids to think outside of the box.

Mike Fox via Unsplash

Give kiddos different and new materials; wait and see what happens. In a flash, cereal boxes, paper towel rolls and old jeans might become a miniature city complete with roads and cars. There’s no end to the creativity!

Empty wine bottles look nicer as candle votives.

Or a chandelier, or a vase, or even a bird feeder. There are tons of creative uses for those bottles (besides pouring a second glass), so drink up! Psst! Save the corks for reason #2.

Your home will have history.

Wooden Earth Ltd

Whether you use old crib bumpers to make a quilt for your first born’s big girl bed, or if the dining room table was made from the scrap wood from your grandfather’s barn—it’s a story you’ll share for years.

You’ll save major cash.

Burst by Shopify

Need building blocks on the quick? Skip Target and try juice cartons filled with sand as an alternative. Want to give the play room an update? Make pillow cushions out of old pajamas. Upcycle, and save cash—plain and simple.

You’ll be the cool parent on trend.

Kelly Sikkema via Unsplash

You’ve giggled with other parents about your neighbor and his upcycled messenger back (gum wrappers, seriously?) but the movement is going mainstream—so why not lead the eco-friendly, playground pack?

—Gabby Cullen & Karly Wood



15 Creative Upcycled Crafts for Kids

25 Ways to Reduce Plastic Waste That Are Actually Doable for Families

Eco-Friendly & Sustainable Brands You’ll Feel Good Investing In


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