11 Easy Frugal Upcycle Hacks

by Lizzy

One of my favorite things to do in my free time is to peruse the internet and look up upcycled frugal hacks from creative people all around the world.

People are turning their old broken things or even literal rubbish into something useful, practical or just really beautiful.

Today, I want to share the best ones I have found this week, because they are truly inspiring.

Embroidery repair

1. Embroidery repair

If you have pets or children, you will know battered furniture.

Sometimes the structure of the item is completely fine, but there are tears or stains, and it is a shame to have to spend tons of money to replace it.

I have found incredible examples of people turning these imperfections into works of art by using embroidery or patchwork.

Find a motif you like, find some colored threads you like, and repair those corners rather than buying new.

Embroidery repair

Sashiko is a form of visible mending that has gained popularity in the last few years due to its uniqueness and its beauty.

Sashiko is about simple sewing, simple stitching and repairs on torn clothes. This is a great way of being creative and repairing something rather than having it take a trip to the landfill.

If you want to learn how to do it, there are plenty of videos you can find on YouTube.

Frenchic chalk upcycle

2. Frenchic chalk

If you have tired old furniture or even kitchen cupboards that need an overhaul, Frenchic chalk paints are amazing.

Frenchic paint comes in an array of wonderful colors. You just have to clean the object that you are going to paint, and paint it.

The paint itself is self-priming, self-leveling and self-sealing. It upcycles furniture like nothing else, and it is not really that expensive.


3. Decoupage

Another amazing frugal life hack for old furniture, as well as planters, picture frames, scrapbooks, card making, or even covering up patches and stains, is decoupage.

Decoupage is the art of decorating objects by gluing colored paper cutouts onto your chosen item. These can be pictures from magazines, newspapers, leaflets, or any kind of printout.

People have even split paper napkins and used the designs on theirs. You need to use a glue that dries clear and varnish over the top in the end.

It is a very simple process, and a great way to get arty and revamp things.

Wellington boot repair

4. Wellington boot

This picture tickled me on the internet. It is of a drain pipe that is broken at the bottom and therefore leaking in the wrong place.

Some ingenious person has taken an old Wellington boot, chopped the end off, popped it onto the drain pipe, and strapped it on. Due to the angle of the boot, the water runs where it needs to run.

It looks cute, it serves a purpose and it gives an old thing a new life instead of it being thrown out.

Improvised planters

5. Improvised planters

If you love gardening or keeping plants at home but do not love spending lots of money on planters, a great frugal hack to save money is making your own planters from just about anything.

You could use old boots, tires, chipped pots; the list goes on.

This way, you get a very special and creative planter, and you can go even further and pop on a little bit of decoupage if you are planning to keep it indoors.

Upcycled bird feeder

6. Upcycled bird feeder

A lot of us love watching the birds and we have bird feeders in our garden. If you want a bird feeder or want more bird feeders, do not buy one!

Instead, make a pretty one from your rubbish, such as leftover bottles or cans.

Decorate it to your liking and it will become the perfect bird feeder tailored for you.

Rubber glove upcycle

7. Rubber glove upcycle

If you are like me, you tend to get left with one rubber glove, because the other one has a hole and is no longer fit for purpose.

The internet is full of ingenious ideas on what you can do with old rubber gloves.

The most famous one is to cut them down into rubber elastic ties, which can replace elastic bands around the house.

Rubber glove upcycle

However, I have found another great idea that I want to share with you. Somebody has made unique plaster hand planters!

All you need to do is take an old rubber glove, fill it with plaster of Paris, rest it in the correct position while it sets, then cut off the rubber glove, and varnish the planters.

Crayon upcycle

10. Crayon upcycle

If you have a collection of old broken crayons that your children or grandchildren have used, you can melt those broken bits down and make new crayons.

The easiest way to do it seems to be using cupcake papers, popping them in your baking tray, putting in the crayons and sliding the tray in the oven for just ten minutes.

Bring it out, allow them to cool and just peel the paper off. Some people have used silicone cupcake molds or melted down the crayons in an old jug in the microwave and poured them into ice cube trays.

DIY safe

11. DIY safe

Another one of the best frugal hacks in my opinion is turning old things into safes.

One idea that has stood the test of time is using an old book – no burglar is going to look through your books for your valuables.

Cut out the center of an old book, glue it so the remaining pages are sturdy, pop whatever you want to keep safe in there, and keep it on your bookshelf, preferably in the top corner.

DIY safe

People have also done this with old cans. Take a can of baked beans or cooked carrots, use the item, let the can dry, hide your belongings in it and pop it to the back of your store cupboard.

Frugal hacks

These are my favorite frugal living hacks I have found on the internet.

They really got me thinking: what can I do with my things I no longer want or no longer need? Can I create something out of virtually nothing rather than pay for it?

I suggest you ask yourself that as well!

Which idea did you like best? Do you know any other great ways to give your old things a new life? Let me know in the comments!

Join the conversation
  • Marlene Marlene on Jul 13, 2023

    Love my cat. Hate what she's done to my furniture. The embroidery idea might be too challenging for me but it's got me thinking about other ideas I could do to revive the upholstery.

    Great ideas here. Thanks for sharing.

  • Rose Bice Rose Bice on Jul 13, 2023

    Luv the gloves idea. Have plenty I'm gonna try this on. 😊