Whether you’re looking for a way to make quick cash or for a longterm side hustle, upcycling items is a great way to make extra money. From clothes to furniture, there are so many things that you can repurpose and sell.
Although almost anything can be upcycled, not everything is ideal for selling. So before you scour your home for unused items to cover in chalk paint, keep reading!
I’m going to share 4 easy and low-cost projects that are guaranteed to sell.
What is an upcycling project?
An upcycling project consists of taking an item that is no longer being used and repurposing it for another use.
Essentially, you take old stuff and make it new. That could be old clothes, old furniture, or using old wood or other materials. Recycled material might help with your upcycling idea and even things like fabric scraps or old books can be used.
This doesn’t mean that you completely transform the item into something else or lose its functionality. Instead, it could simply mean that you change its appearance.
Upcycling also isn’t just limited to used items. You can repurpose new items as well.
Upcycle projects require imagination, creativity, and a bit of skill. You’ll find that these projects can also be profitable.
Types of upcycling projects
Upcycling projects can be categorized by the material or type of item that is being repurposed. The most common are:
There are endless projects that can be done within these categories. Here are some ideas of crafty upcycling product ideas that you can sell.
Crate coffee tables
This project is exactly that you’re imagining-a coffee table made from wooden crates.
It is one of the most popular upcycling projects related to woodworking. In fact, these tables are a trend among mainstream furniture manufacturers as well.
But don’t let the woodworking aspect of this project intimidate you. It’s quick and easy and it doesn’t take a lot of supplies or tools.
Upcycled crate coffee tables sell for as much as $300! Since supplies are minimal, this means that you can make a huge profit.
Mason jar soap dispensers
Mason jars are for more than just canning fruits and vegetables. These jars can be upcycled into farmhouse style storage containers, centerpieces, bird feeders, and more!
Mason jar upcycling is a low-cost project that you can sell.
One project that is a growing trend is turning these jars into soap dispensers and other bathroom storage containers like a toothbrush holder.
Just grab some jars, a soap dispenser top, and some cases acrylic or chalk paint, and you’ve got the makings of a bestselling product.
Upcycled soap dispenser jars sell for $15-$20 on Etsy. With a pack of empty jars being half the cost, this is another crafty project that is also profitable!
Aluminum bottlecap earrings are a nifty upcycle project that you can sell. So instead of tossing your caps in the trash or even recycling them, start saving them to make upcycled earrings.
Don’t have many bottle caps? Ask a local bar or restaurant if they would be willing to give them to you instead of throwing them away.
You’ll need your bottle caps, earring hooks, and a few craft tools for this project.
This handmade jewelry sells for around $5-$10 per pair. However, the more creative you get with adding accessories, the more that you can charge.
Lighted wine bottles
Don’t let your old wine bottles go to waste. Instead, turn them into decor!
Lighted wine bottles are an easy project that requires minimal effort.
This project is simply attaching a strip of battery operated LED lights to a bottle cork and draping it into an old wine bottle. In fact, you can purchase corks with lights already attached to save time.
Take this project a step further by adding vinyl monograms, quotes, and other graphics using a Cricut.
The result is a very chic and cozy centerpiece that can be sold as wedding favors, centerpieces, or holiday decor.
You can sell this project for as much as $30 per bottle.
Where to get creative upcycling ideas
If you’re short on inspiration for upcycle projects, Pinterest and Etsy are always great places to find ideas. Simply searching the word upcycle will return thousand of product ideas that you can choose from.
UpcycleThat.com is also a website that you can visit for ideas. This site is specifically designed to share upcycle ideas and inspiration.
Not only can you find inspiration on UpcycleThat, but you can also sell your items on their platform.
If you happen to be out and about, try visiting your local thrift store or a garage sale to find ideas as well. You may even luck up on some material that you can use for your next project.
Where to find things to upcycle and sell
The first place to look for items to upcycle is your home! You’re sitting in a goldmine of material that can be used for projects.
What items are you no longer using? Try projects centered around these things to not only save on costs but to help reduce waste.
Other low-cost options to consider are garage sales and thrift stores. Both options are great for finding used furniture and even clothes to repurpose.
Remember, your material doesn’t have to be used, so don’t forget to peruse your local crafts stores as well.
How do you sell upcycled items?
Now that you have an idea of items that you can upcycle, it’s time to put them up for sale.
Upcycled items are great products to sell on sites like Etsy, eBay, or Facebook Marketplace. You can also sell them at local craft fairs or markets.
If you’re ready to sell, check out this beginner’s guide to selling upcycled goods. It’ll teach you how to do everything from determining what to sell to pricing your items correctly.
Final thoughts on upcycling projects
As you can see, you can have a lot of fun upcycling items that you can find around your home. It’s a great way to make extra money while also being sustainable.
So, if you’re crafty and enjoy creating, consider these upcycle projects that you can sell!
–-By Fo Alexander