FUN COVID-19 Ideas for Recycling/Upcycling

TiC/ Apr 9, 2020/ Art Therapy, Creative, DIY Projects, Recycling, Uncategorised, Upcycling/ 0 comments

Recycling is recovering a product that has been used and putting it through a process to make it into a new version of the same product. Easy example is the junk mail you recycle. This paper gets recycled into either paper for use in printing or paperboard for use in packaging.

Recycling can happen over and over again and depending on the item, there is some loss of recovery (not 100%) each time you go through the cycle. Continuing our paper example, typically paper fibers can be recycled back in to printing papers 8 times. After that, the fibers get too short and then it becomes suitable for paperboard.

Upcycling is using various different products to make something new, but not the same product again. For instance, you can upcycle your old t-shirts into shopping bags by sewing the bottom and making a few cuts on the arms/neck. This is giving a new life to the t-shirt and extending the length of time you can use it. Recycling would be turning the t-shirt back into a t-shirt. Upcycled items might still be recyclable at the end of their ‘second’ life depending on the item in question.

Paper Rolls

Paper rolls from the middle of kitchen paper and toilet paper are something everyone has a constant stream of. While it may seem hard to think of many things to do with these, the abundance of them has caused many people to get really creative, and it turns out there are some really inspiring options!

Whether or not you’re particularly artistic, you should be able to find something to do with them that will keep plenty back from being discarded.

Cardboard Tube Penguins

You will Need

  • Empty toilet paper tubes
  • Black and white paint
  • paintbrushes
  • Craft foam in yellow and black
  • Googly eyes
  • Scissors
  • White glue


  1. Paint white ovals on the front of the toilet paper tubes.
  2. Let that dry (about 5 minutes), then paint the rest of the tube black.
  3. Paint the top 2 inches of the inside of the tube black so that the bare cardboard won’t show
  4. Use the foam to cut out two wings (black), a beak (yellow), and two feet.
  5. Use white glue to attach the eyes, beaks, and feet – let those dry.
  6. Use glue to attach the wings


Here’s a clever new use for old books: Make your own shelves in three simple steps. These lovely shelves can be used to show various things and make a lovely addition to a free wall space.

In a further post we will show you how to use books to create “floating” book shelves as well.

Create Book Shelves

  1. Find some cloth- or leather-bound books with beautiful spines that will work well together as a grouping.
  2. Buy two sets of brackets, using one set for below the books and a single bracket for above. Measure the thickness of each book and start drilling.
  3. Slide each book between the top and bottom brackets before placing light-weight objects on it.


Plastic abounds all over the world in many forms but it is one of the most prolific forms of and there is usually a lot of it laying around our homes.

DIY Plastic Bottle Planter

Here are some simple step-by-step instructions for how to make a DIY plastic bottle planter:

You will Need

  • Empty 2 Liter bottles (of course) – rinsed and de-labled.
  • Scissors or a sharp blade.
  • Some paint brushes (both medium and small sized brushes for detailing) *using a sponge also works well.
  • A white board marker or permanent marker.
  • Acrylic paint (colours of your choice).
  • Another way to use them is for your kids stationary storage, or perhaps a cute money box.


  1. Cut the bottom third of a 2-liter bottle.
  2. Paint the bottle white or the color of your choice.
  3. Use parts of the rest of the bottle to cut out ears.
  4. Draw a face and other features on the bottle.
  5. Fill the bottle with seeds and soil.



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