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Upcycling: DIY Projects – Making Holiday Gifts

Posted on: December 10, 2017

Do you like to go hunting for your next great treasure at antique stores and thrift shops in the Williamsburg VA area?  There are endless options of what you can do with some of those finds to create unique and interesting holiday gifts.

Your family and friends will love receiving a gift they know you have put a lot of thought, time and effort into … and all just for them. With that in mind, let’s look at some ideas for your next upcycling project.

Upcycling with Books and Magazines

Go to any thrift or antique store and you’re sure to find books, and lots of them – many of them at very economical prices, oftentimes a dollar or less. This means that by using books to create new items, you can create some really extraordinary gifts without laying out a lot of cash.

Create a small Christmas Tree or Snowman for someone who could use a little Christmas cheer.

Make a gorgeous pair of quilled earrings using a colorful page from a magazine.

Books can be used to create an end table or an end table with a little twist. A set of encyclopedias work especially well. Here is an excellent tutorial to make sure your stack of books holds up.

Use a piece of glass, a large board, or an old door and lots of books to create a desk, coffee table or side table.

Books can be used to make shelves. This one does a nice play on words with Humpty Dumpty and the egg beater, plus the second book title being “All the Kings Men.”

How about a storage box or book safe? It can be compartmented, or it could be composed of one large compartment. Maybe a little more difficult, but how about an interesting shape … like a heart, for instance.

You can use the techniques in this video to decoupage any piece of wooden furniture or shelves using comic books. How fun would it be to take your kid’s or grandkid’s coloring projects and do the same thing? Or, to use cookbooks to create something for someone’s kitchen?

You’ll find lots of great ideas for books here at 30+ Great Upcycling Ideas for Vintage Old Book Pages.

Upcycling Watches and Clocks

Using the decorative faces from a couple of old watches, you can create a pair of Watch Face Earrings. Then using some of the extra watch parts, metal washers, old metal buttons and a few jewelry findings, make a unique bracelet. Gears and other inner workings from old clocks would also make interesting components to use with a bracelet like this. Personalize the bracelet by inserting a special photo or other item, like an initial, behind the watch glass to give it a special little touch.

Turn any item into a clock with a clock kit you can get at a craft store or on Amazon. Here are a few ideas to get you started: Use a mustard tin for a chef you know, an old saw blade for a woodworker, a vintage book for a book lover or a bicycle gear or wheel rim for a cyclist.

Upcycling with Old Dishes

Use this reverse stencil technique to turn any dish into a unique gift idea. Plates can be hung on the walls or converted into clocks. Cups and bowls can be made into candles. Glasses into candles or pencil holders.

Other Fun Ideas and Sites

Here are a few other links with lots of interesting ideas for gifts. Check them out. You’re sure to find inspiration for the DIYer in you.

Well, that about wraps things up. You’re sure to have found a few ideas to make gift giving much easier this year. And there’s a whole lot of satisfaction in knowing that you created it.

And that’s a good thing too, especially if you live here at Verena at the Reserve. Our family-like atmosphere at our Willamsburg VA independent living community means you’re sure to have lots of family and friends to exchange gifts with this holiday season. Contact us to learn more. And then get out your paintbrush and glue gun, plus one of your amazing antique store treasures and begin creating a very special Christmas gift for someone you love.