10 Upcycling Ideas for Earth Day

Celebrate Earth Day this year by using your AP Lazer to upcycle old materials you have lying around the house. Not quite sure what upcycling is? Just check out these 10 cool ideas that we found. 

1. Bland Jacket → Edgy Accessory

Drawn Laser-Cut Jacket

For inspiration on how to upgrade your old attire, take a look at some of the pretty incredible laser cut pieces that fashion designer Elvira ‘t Hart is creating in the Netherlands. (Be aware of the type of fabric and whether there is plastic/PVC/vinyl involved at it can be harmful to you and your laser machine.) 

2. Wood Scraps → Funky Jewelry

Laser-Cut Ring

Use up any small scraps of wood you have leftover from your last project to laser cut some fun new jewelry! Charms are easy to throw onto a chain or cord for a necklace, but we really like Esty user CliveRoddy’s neat-o stackable landscape rings. 

3. Mismatched Silverware → Garden Markers

Donnadiddit Laser Etched Garden Markers

We found this idea from designer, fabricator, and laser lover, The Owl & The Hourglass, Donna Diddit. Although these are no longer available at her online store, you can take a look at these handy and crafty garden markers on her Pinterest page. Get your own ready just in time for spring planting! 

4. Cardboard Boxes → Animal Head Decorations

3D Laser Cut Animal Heads
Sure, you could pay up to $40 for one of those trendy cardboard deer heads from a retailer like CBSAFARI. Or you could just use Instructables user Soupraok’s free template and tutorial to make your own, basically for free. Condense steps 2-4 into one process by using your AP Lazer to cut out all the pieces perfectly! 

5. Cardboard Boxes → Lamp Shades

Cardboard Box Lamp Shade

Say you’re not into the whole animal head idea, but you’ve still got all this extra cardboard lying around. Turns out that cardboard lampshades – i.e., “scrap lights” – are just as trendy! And with some of them pricing well into hundreds of dollars, even we’re wondering if we should’ve gone into the lamp business… A simple design, something like David Graas’s “Not a lamp”, is a great starting place. 

6. Spare Glass Jars → Labeled Storage

Picture Of Repurposed Etched Glass Spice Jars...

WUVIE on Instructables used a process of stencils and etching cream to create these Starbucks-bottles-turned-spice-jars. But you’re clever and know that you can skip the fuss and mess by etching your extra glass jars and bottles with your AP Lazer and rotary device. Storing your bulk spices, grains, and baking needs have never been easier or more organized. 

7. Empty Wine Bottles → Flower Vases

Upcycled Laser Etched Wine Bottles

If you’ve got a bunch of empty wine bottles lying around, we won’t judge. Use your AP Lazer and rotary device to turn those extra bottles into beautiful, decorative vases. Avid upcycler Johnnie Collier of Saved By Love Creations also went the etching cream route for her bottles, but with an AP Lazer, you can go doily decorative, functionally labeled, or seasonally festive with yours.

8. Extra Fabric → Basically Anything

Fabric Scrap Mat

As a creative crafter, you already know that Pinterest has 1,001 projects for you to use up scrap fabric. However, arguably the worst part of any of these projects is cutting out your pieces. But with your AP Lazer, it’s suddenly a breeze to crank out as many of the exact same pieces as you could ever need! Snag some free state outline vectors to get started on your own Scrap Map, like the one created by The little green bean on Hometalk. 

9. Old Phone Case → New Phone Case

Laser Engraved Wood Phone Case

Sure, this one’s a bit of a stretch as far as upcycling goes, but making something old *feel* new – even if you’re still using it for the same purpose – is the whole point, right? At the moment, wood is definitely the most popular choice for laser engraved phone cases (like the incredible Laser9 one you see here). But with an AP Lazer, you can update yours even if it’s leather, silicone, or metal. 

10. Old Paper → New Wall Art

Laser Cut Paper Wreath

Remember anything can up-cycled with just a little time and a dream. Turn that finger painting your kid did when they were two into a neat decor piece that you all can enjoy in their new apartment. (Photo from Silvia Raga.)

So let’s see what you make! Share your projects with us by uploading a photo and tagging us on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, or LinkedIn.


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