Three Easy Upcycling Hacks for the New Year

Learn how to make a teacup candle, cushion cover and storage box from your existing household items!

Getting ready for some pre-spring cleaning just before the New Year?

If you simply can’t bear to throw out your old items, here’s how you can give an old T-shirt or a chipped teacup a new lease of life – simply upcycle them!

Upcycling is a growing trend where everyday objects are creatively re-purposed into new, useful and unique items. And it’s no wonder why: besides reducing waste, you can completely customize your creations to bring out your personality. Think storage boxes lined by your favourite paisley prints from an old dress.

Plus, making your own items is more affordable than buying new things all the time! So, check out these three quick and easy DIY upcycling hacks that will give your home décor a fresh look for the coming year. The best part is, they’re super fun and safe for beginners!

A Cuppa Candle

Transform old cups and saucers into a cute candle centrepiece.

Combine two of the most comforting things in the world and make yourself a gorgeous teacup candle. This project is so easy to do you can even get the kids involved! Just make sure you keep a good eye on them while melting the wax because it gets very hot. You can keep things simple and follow the instructions below or get extra creative and add a bit of food colouring to your wax to make it look even prettier. Or for a heavenly scent with a soothing effect, sprinkle in essential oils from BsaB before the wax cools!

You only need 5 things to make your own teacup candle.


  • Candle with wick
  • Saucepan
  • Teacup
  • Saucer
  • Scissors


Melt the candle over medium heat in a saucepan and pour the melted wax into a teacup. Secure the wick in the middle of the teacup and leave it untouched until the wax has completely set. Once the wax hardens, cut the wick to the right size, place your teacup on the saucer and enjoy your new beautiful candle.

You can find the full step-by-step instructions here.

Dress to Impress

Use a t-shirt with inspirational words for a burst of motivation whenever you see it.

If your favourite cushions are starting to look a bit old and shabby, give them a new lease of life by creating one-of-a-kind covers with old t-shirts. Go through your wardrobe and pull out a couple of t-shirts with eye-catching images or inspiring words on them and get to work! Don’t have any t-shirts you’re willing to part with? Pop into H&M or Cotton On and pick up a couple of affordable statement shirts!

These basic items can help you transform your cushions into unique creations.


  • Statement tee or a nice shirt with embellishments
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Cushion
  • Sewing machine/needle and thread/iron-on adhesive tape


Find a t-shirt that’s a little bigger than the cushion you want to cover. Use a pair of sharp scissors to cut sections out of the t-shirt to create the front and back cushion covers. Pin all the pieces together then sew along the sides, and trim off any excess material. Don’t worry about being neat – you won’t see any of the rough edges by the end of this project. Simply turn the cushion cover inside-out, stuff your cushion inside and place it somewhere where all your guests can admire it.

Pro-tip: If you don’t own a sewing machine or have forgotten how to sew (from your home-ec days), you can simply use iron-on strips of adhesive tape.

Get the full step-by-step instructions here.

Think Outside of the Box

Need an organizer to store stationery or random items at home?

Instead of just throwing old cardboard boxes away, you can create beautiful liners and use them around the home to store your stationery or knick-knacks. These crafty storage boxes are incredibly handy for keeping things like jewellery, keys and coins –  things that can easily get lost if we don’t keep track of them!

Create beautiful customised storage boxes from these simple items.


  • Fabric
  • Cardboard box
  • Tape measure
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine/needle and thread


Measure all sides of the cardboard box then cut out a piece of fabric for each of the four sides and the bottom. Remember to add a few extra centimetres to your measurements for allowance, so when you finally wrap the box with the fabric, it won’t be so tight. Carefully pin all the sides together then sew along each side. Sew on an additional top hem to keep it neat and tidy. Finally, pin then sew on the bottom piece of fabric, tuck it into the box and enjoy your new DIY storage solution!

Pro-tip: Be careful when measuring the box and double check your calculations before you cut the fabric, as if your measurements are shorter by just a few centimetres, your liner won’t fit as snuggly as it could.

Check out the full step-by-step instructions here.

Get materials from POPULAR Bookstore and to further spruce up your creations, visit Umistrong Art Store & Art Studio for some gorgeous watercolour paints.

So, the next time you’re ready to throw an old cup or some clothes in the bin – don’t! Unleash your creative side and think about how you can turn a pre-loved item into something special for your home that you’ll cherish for years to come!

No Comments Yet

Comments are closed

Scroll Up