Pin Me

Quick and Easy Green Home Projects for Reuse

written by: Cheryl Gabbert•edited by: Sarah Malburg•updated: 11/2/2010

Recycling plastics, paper, and aluminum can be rewarding, but finding new ways to use old household items is another way to recycle. The following article contains quick and easy green projects for reuse. You'll discover ways to reuse many of the old items you find around the house.

  • slide 1 of 3

    The Kitchen

    Recycling is more than just saving aluminum, glass and plastics. Here are some quick and easy green projects for reuse in your home.

    Coffee Cans

    We'll start with the kitchen. There are a lot of old kitchen items that can be reused, creating something completely new. Use old coffee cans to make a set of canisters for holding items like popcorn, candies, or cookies. Simply wash the can. Spray paint the can with primer, then with a color that goes well with your kitchen. Use stencils if you like, to decorate the canister, or stencil a word that describes what the contents will be, like "Cookies"

    Fabric or Curtains

    Create a table runner using an old piece of fabric or a curtain that you no longer use. You don't have to be a seamstress, just cut a rectangle to the length you want, and hem the sides. Sew tassels onto the four corners for an even fancier look. Top the runner with a vase of flowers and you'll have a nice, new kitchen pick-me-up.

    Gift Baskets

    Display mismatched, worn baskets on top of your kitchen cabinets with coordinating dishtowels draped over the tops. You can keep small kitchen items in the baskets, or even place dried flowers and plants in them. The dishtowels will hide any imperfections, and the baskets will add a nice touch to your kitchen decor.

  • slide 2 of 3

    The Bathroom


    Shower puffs that have seen better days make nice cleaning tools. Once your puff is ready to be retired, don't throw it away. Instead, use it to clean the sink and bathtub. It's an effective, yet gentle scrubber for porcelain tiles and basins.

    Make Your Own Spa Kit

    Reuse items found lying around the house to create your own bathroom spa kit. An old basket lined with a hand towel makes a great container for your spa getaway kit. Keep homemade facial masks and natural scrubs in old, used bottles or plastic containers. Make your own scented tarts for a tart warmer using the leftovers from old votives. Simply melt the bits of candle in a tart warmer and remove any wick. Keep your new spa "tarts" in an old, small margarine jar. You can also melt down candle scraps to make new candles.

  • slide 3 of 3

    The Playroom

    Baby Wipe Containers

    Save colorful baby wipe containers and stack them on a shelf in your playroom filled with small toys. Label the containers so that your child can see at a glance what's inside each one. If your little one is too young to read, print out a picture to label them.


    Decorate a child-size table and chairs to match the playroom decor using leftover wallpaper scraps. Just cut out several pictures you want to use and paste them on the table. Decoupage the pictures using decoupage glue. Finally coat with a layer of polyurethane for a smooth and peel-proof finish.


    Make a puppet show theatre from a big, used cardboard box. Cut out a big square hole for a stage, and let your kids decorate the box with paint. They'll love putting on puppet shows in their new puppet theatre.

    Coffee Cans

    Make toy cubby holes using coffee cans and hot glue. Save up a bunch of large coffee cans. Place each can on its side, and hot glue the sizes, side by side. Then, stack a second layer of coffee cans over the first, so that the second layer of cans sits in between the cans on the first layer. Secure the second layer with glue. You can add as many layers as you like. Place toys or other small play items in the coffee cans. It looks a bit like a beehive when you're done.

    These green projects for reuse in the home can quickly and easily be done using items that you might normally throw away. Why not give new life to some of these old items and gain something new and useful in the process?