3 Cool upcycle craft ideas

Help the save the planet, and get something new you’ll use again and again

Earth Week - Upcycling ideas on Live in the D

What do you think of when you see leftover tin cans? An old paint bucket? Or that cool wine bottle you can’t bring yourself to throw away? They belong in the trash, or maybe the recycling bin but why not instead get a little crafty and upcycle them! Check out these three great ideas.

Upcycle tin cans into office organizer. (Copyright 2021 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit - All rights reserved.)

1) Turn leftover tin cans into an Office Organizer


  • 3-5 Leftover tin cans or containers
  • A small plank of wood to act as your base
  • Liquid Nails
  • Gold spray paint that works on both wood and metal


  • Clean all leftover containers
  • Prep your workspace by putting down a piece of cardboard or newspaper
  • Plan out your organizer by arranging the cans on top of the plank of wood
  • Follow the direction on the Liquid Nails and adhere the cans to the plank of wood like you planned out.
  • Allow them to dry for about 20 minutes, then carefully take them outside to spray paint
  • While spray painting, protect the ground with something you don’t mind getting paint on and protect your hands with gloves. Spray downwind and wear a mask to protect you from inhaling it. Make sure you completely cover the organizer in paint.
  • Allow paint and Liquid Nails to dry. (Typically 24 hours) and then it’s ready for the office.
Upcycle paint can into cool ice bucket (Copyright 2021 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit - All rights reserved.)

2) Transform an old paint can into a cool ice bucket


  • Old paint can
  • Self-adhesive contact paper (look for a waterproof one)
  • Spray paint
  • Fabric measuring tape.


  • Thoroughly clean the paint can. It is okay if some paper is still stuck to the outside, as that’s will be covered up.
  • Take some measurements of the paint can with the fabric measuring tape so you know how to cut the contact paper to wrap around the outside. You will need the circumference, height, and where each of the handle start (their width, height, and location on bucket). I find it works best to make a diagram of what the shape will look like and then write in the appropriate measurements (see diagram below). I also used a quarter to be the cut-out model for the handles.
Diagram for paint bucket craft (Copyright 2021 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit - All rights reserved.)
  • Spray paint the can. Make sure to really get the edges, handle, and inside. Allow it to dry.
  • Using the measurements of the paint can, out the shape of it out of the contact paper.
  • Carefully remove the protective backing and put the contact paper onto the outside of the paint bucket. Make sure it firmly adheres.
  • Then add ice and it is ready to use!
Upcycle old bottles into tiki torches (Copyright 2021 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit - All rights reserved.)

3) Turn a treasured wine bottle into a tiki torch


  • Wine Bottle
  • Tiki Torch wine bottle kit (Includes tiki torch replacement wick, metal stopper, and tiki lid)
  • Funnel
  • Tiki Torch Fuel

*If you don’t want to buy the kit, you can buy it all separately and make the metal stopper using a copper coupling and a washer. Follow directions here.


  • Soak the tiki torch wicks in tiki torch fuel for at least 20 minutes. Make sure they are completely submerged.
  • Using a funnel, fill the wine bottle up with tiki torch fuel. Leave about 1-2″ of space at the top so that it won’t overflow when you put the wick in.
  • If you did not buy the kit, put the metal stopper onto the wick, leaving about 1-2″ of the wick out on one side.
  • Place the wick in the bottle. The metal stopper should snap-in. If you made your own stopper, hot glue it to the top of the bottle.
  • Clip the tiki torch topper to the bottle.
  • Light the wick and watch it keep the bugs away.

About the Author:

Michelle Oliver is a multimedia Journalist for the 10 a.m. lifestyle show, "Live in the D." She is known as "the food girl" because of her two popular food franchises, Dine in the D and Find Your Fix. Michelle also covers stories on homegrown businesses, style, and other fun things happening in the D.