Photograph via snooOG

Upcycling is reusing waste or unwanted materials without destroying them in order to create something new.

What is the difference between Recycling and Upcycling?

Recycling takes waste products, breaks them down, then forms them into something new. Upcycling is reusing waste or unwanted materials without destroying them in order to create something new, which makes upcycling more energy efficient than recycling.

  • Example of recycling: Taking plastic bags, breaking down the materials, reforming it, and turning the used plastic into a new cup.
  • Example of upcycling: Transforming old clothes into a new outfit, bag, or stuffed animal.

More About r/Upcycling

This subreddit is for people who have come together to turn waste or unwanted items into something useful. We encourage reducing, reusing and recycling waste in the traditional fashion, but there are some things that don't recycle well, or would otherwise be thrown away. For these types of materials, we encourage re-purposing the materials.

This space is for anything upcycling. All relevant posts are welcome.

Challenge of The Month

Each month we will have a challenge on the sub. This month's challenge can be found at the top of the page as a post. You will need to upcycle something in the theme we give you and then post a picture of it in the comments of the post

All participants will get a special flair that will get updated when you do more challenges.

Posting Policy

We have a very simple posting policy. We realize that some Redditors have relevant blogs or Etsy shops. It's OK to post them here, but only if you are contributing to the Reddit community more than you are posting and cross-posting your own content.

Where did my post go?

Reddit has an aggressive system for weeding out spam, especially if you're new or cross-posting the same content throughout many subreddits. If you notice your post is missing and doesn't get any responses by the end of the day, just feel free to message the mod to bring attention to the spam trap.

Related Subreddits


184,274 Subscribers


What can I do with this cute little bottle? I like using them for propagation, but don't think opaque will work

23:36 UTC


How do you guys upcycle ginger jars? I’m wanting one but I can’t have things that don’t have a use.

Like many aren’t air tight so I can’t really store food in them, plus they’ll be in my bedroom.

I was thinking of using one for tissues but what do you guys think?

22:08 UTC


How to upcycle my couch?

Hi guys,

This is my couch and I am tired of the colour and would love to upcycle it. Would anyone have any tips or recommendations for this project?

19:39 UTC


Panty hangers

When you buy some panties they come on a rack like this, I always throw them away because I have zero idea how to reuse them!! Anybody have any ideas 💡 ?? Or should I continue to toss?! 🤔

17:11 UTC


Sustainable and innovative textiles in the fashion industry

Hi guys! I'm a fashion model who's passionate about sustainable/slow fashion.

Working directly in the fashion industry, I believe I am one of the very first to see a collection/clothing, and sometimes the way it's produced.Not only the materials that many brands use nowadays are harmful to the environment (and consequently to us), but with the surge of fast fashion, they're also not long-lasting and enduring like we hoped.

So, I started to learn more about sustainability and innovations in fashion, and got so curious about it that I eventually created a YouTube channel to share my discoveries and connect with people who are interested in the same thing.

It would help me a lot if you guys could take a look at my channel and help me build a solid sustainable fashion community together ☺️ This is my latest video:


And I also wanted to ask: what do you think is one of the biggest challenges to make sustainable fashion more accessible to the population?

17:03 UTC


Ideas to upcycle 37 misprinted cotton canvas tote bags

Hey all, I have 37 standard size cotton canvas tote bags that were unfortunately misprinted and not useable for their original purpose. They’re a decent weight natural-colored canvas, blank on one side, with an agave graphic on the other and some letters.

I can certainly donate them, but I also thought they could be cool raw material to upcycle and convert into something different.

Would love any creative ideas! I have a sewing machine and some sewing skills. I also have some old jeans I’ve been saving for a project, so bonus points if you can think of a way to integrate denim (mostly black!).

21:52 UTC


Three tiered plant stand,

I found this on the side of the road next to a garbage can. It had paint spilled all over it. I sanded her down a bit and gave her a retro 1970s vibe paint job and put a few layers of polyurethane.

15:57 UTC


I am making my own chalkbag, but looking for a way to sew the cyclinder shut with the jeans fold as overlap

12:52 UTC


Project finally done!

Hi guys, I came here with this potential project about 7 months ago and I finally finished it. I separated the book selves, painted them and added those Scandanavian style legs. I am even thinking of selling the other one. I love love this! I cant wait to upcycle more things for my home! Thank goodness for Pinterest (Edited to include the 'after' picture.

After! (Please excuse the picture quality!)


08:15 UTC


I made his wood shed using a reclaimed pallet and some leftover wood:

13:36 UTC

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