Items you can upcycle in your home

Wednesday October 2 2019

An old kettle upcycled into a kettle lamp.

An old kettle upcycled into a kettle lamp. Photo by Cherng Tyan Su 

By Esther Oluka

Have there been times you buy something to use within your household and after it has served its purpose, you throw it away?
It could be a towel, container, bottles or even a kitchen utensil.

Well, sometimes there is no actual need to throw away used household items no matter how old and scarred it has become. These items can be reused in different ways around the house.

Bottles and containers
Many times when people buy items from the supermarket, there are always high chances that they may purchase at least one element packed in either a bottle or container.

It could be biscuits, yoghurt or juice. But after let’s say, for instance, that you have finished munching away those biscuits, what do you then do with the container?
For the case of Mary Apolot, a housewife, she normally reuses the empty containers for storing other kinds of food items.

“I normally tend to use the containers for keeping in things like salt, sugar, tealeaves and kinds of food spices,” she says.
For empty bottles like those of soda and wine, Apolot says she normally repaints them in desirable colours and there afterwards grows in different kinds of flowers.

Old towels
Towels are one of the many household items that people keep buying in their homes. But what do they do with the old ones? “I turn them into rags,” says Enid Mbabazi, a mother of two, adding, “And, they actually do mop the house very well.”
When she is not turning them into rags, Mbabazi tears them into tiny small pieces and utilises the different bits for cleaning windows, tables and sink.


Kitchenware, dinnerware
There are times one may want to revamp their kitchen, dining area and in so doing, they may want to get rid of some of the old stock including bowls, kettles, forks, spoons, and cups.
“Some of these can serve as decorative pieces around the house,” Annie Karungi, an interior designer, says.
She adds, “For example, these can be used as part of your vintage decoration.”

Vintage decoration often involves beautifying a home with old items including those more than a decade old.
Karungi says for items like old forks, one may opt to use them as hooks.
For old cups, besides using them as decorative pieces around the house, one may decide to use them as candle holders or for even storing other household items, including jewellery.

There are different purposes empty boxes can serve around the house. They can for example be used for storing in items like books or shoes.
In some homes, some children have been noted to cut empty boxes into desirable shapes and later pin them onto either the fridge or wall to serve as wall paper. Such children tend to use mostly empty boxes from cereals such as cornflakes.

In some other cases, empty boxes can also be recycled and used as either shopping bags or even handmade sketch books. Aaron Matovu, who works at a printing stationery at Nasser road in Kampala, says from time to time, he receives clients including home owners interested in recycling empty boxes into shopping bags.
“I have turned empty cereal boxes into beautiful shopping bags,” he says.

Old egg trays
There are different ways of reusing old egg trays. For those who keep losing jewellery, this kind of tray can be helpful for keeping your rings, necklaces and earrings.

Besides using them for keeping jewellery, old trays can also be used for storing any foodstuff, including apples, oranges and berries.
Also, they can serve as decorative pieces around the house.

When stuck with an old household item…
In case you don’t know what to do with an old item lying around your house, ask people, especially interior designers for ideas. Usually, they have creative concepts on how to make use of old household items. You can also search for ideas on revamping old household items online. Here, you will get a number of answers.