At Vast, we know there’s something unique and exciting in recycling old materials and creating something new and useful. Not to mention how much fun home DIY projects can be! We’ve given you some hot recycling tips before, but there’s just so much more that can be done with old materials at home. So without further ado, here are our favourite home DIY recycling projects.
Plastic bottle vertical garden
This concept was brought to life by Brazilian design firm Rosenbaum. Rosenbaum made a TV series where teams went through dozens of Brazilian homes in an attempt to execute dramatic makeovers of interior and exterior spaces. There work featured many DIY and recycling ideas, and the results speak for themselves.
Plastic bottle vertical gardens look great, are easy to make, extremely functional and recycle so much otherwise wasted plastic. There’s no need to consume multiple 2L soft drink bottles to make this project come to life; any old plastic bottle will do! Here’s everything you need to know to bring Rosenbaum’s idea to life in your own home.
- 2-litre plastic bottle, empty and clean
- Clothesline rope, twine, or wire
- Washers (two per bottle if rope or wire is chosen)
- Seedlings (herbs, vegetables, or other plants are all OK)
- First, you’ll need to secure the bottle. Make two holes in the top of the cylinder and two holes in the bottom. (You will also need a small at the bottom of the bottle as the water used to irrigate seedlings needs to drain.)
- Thread your line, rope, twine or wire through the holes made to secure the bottle and tie a large knot.
- Attach to the wall and plant away!
Pastic jar birdhouse
Springs not too far off now and not only do we have the warmer weather and longer days to look forward to, but it’s also fun to feed the birds!
- A small plastic jar like a peanut butter jar.
- 3 inches of 1/8 inch dowel (round wood).
- 8 inches (20cm) of wire or string.
- Waterproof glue or hot melt glue.
*We recommend leaving the cutting and hot glueing to grown-up hands.
- Wash out a small empty plastic peanut butter container or something similar.
- Remove the label using hot soapy water. If you let it soak a while, it will come off a lot easier.
- Cut a 2.5cm hole, so the bottom of the hole is about 2-3cm up from the bottom of the container.
- Make a small hole just below the 2.5cm hole, big enough for the piece of wood dowel.
- Poke the 1/8 inch dowel into the small hole and glue it in place.
- Poke another small hole in the middle of the lid for the wire or string to go through.
- Run the string or wire through the hole in a loop and tie it off in a big not so it won’t pull out.
- Put the lid on the jar, and there you have it, a bird feeder.
Our top tip:
You can bake the bird seed at 250°C for half an hour if you’re not into seeds sprouting in your garden or lawn!
Yoghurt paint cups
Kids love yoghurt, and it’s easy for the little plastic yoghurt containers to rack up fast. Well, the fun doesn’t have to end when the yoghurt is gone. With a quick rinse, yoghurt containers have a nearly endless amount of uses:
- Seedling containers
- Guitar picks
- Sand toys
- Kitchen scoop
- Bead container
And of course our favourite: paint containers!
Antique Ladder Shelves
There’s no excuse to let old ladders lie around and collect dust. Even if it means a quick trip to your local antique or second-hand store, antique ladder shelves make for a great afternoon project.
With only a little DIY, old ladders can be repurposed as excellent shelves for succulents, photos, jewellery or make-up; the list goes on! Suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, the simple balance of old and new makes for an elegant decorative piece.
Plastic bottle piggy bank
- Empty bottle
- Double-sided tape
- Hot-glue gun
- PIpe cleaner
- Rinse an empty bottle with hot soapy water; let dry.
- Cut features such as eyes, ears, and nostrils from construction paper (ears should have tabs).
- Attach with double-sided tape, as shown.
- Tape patterned paper around body.
- Hot-glue empty thread spools on for legs.
- Cut a slot at the top for coins, and a hole in back to insert a pipe-cleaner tail.
Glass jar candle holders
Don’t let sticky labels and stubborn food remnants deter you from reusing glass jars. Put them in a bowl of boiling water and let them soak for a few hours or even overnight. Labels will be easy to remove once done soaking, and any remaining gunk should be easily sorted with a quick wash. Sterilise your jars after cleaning if you want to use them to store food items.
There’s an endless list of second-hand uses for glass jars, including:
- Preserving leftover paint
- Toothbrush holder
- Button organiser
- Herb and spice storage.
And of course our favourite: the candle holder.
That’s it for our top at home DIY recycling projects. They’re cheap, they’re easy, and they look great. Now it’s up to you to recycle that old rubbish and bring our ideas to life in your own home!