There's a big buzz around repurposing and upcycling at the moment, and it's easy to see why: preventing waste is one area where frugal and green living come together, and if you're not already worrying about the state of the planet, the odds are you'll have given some thought to your financial predicament.
Over the next few weeks we'll be looking into all sorts of creative ways you can re-use objects around the home and turn them into unique objects that are even better than new. This week, the theme is lighting: follow the jump for some great ideas for lighting up your home in style using free or inexpensive materials that would otherwise go to waste.
Egg carton fairy lights
These wonderful 'flower fairy lights' by Esprit Cabane were made using chopped up egg boxes which have been mounted on an ordinary string of Chritsmas lights to make tiny lampshades. It's a great way of using up those irregular-shaped boxes, and creates a really cosy, warm glow that's perfect for special occasions or just to cheer up your room. You can find out how it's done in detail here.
Bike Wheel Lamp
An ambitious project - but an inspiring one! Georgia Terrell on Junkyard Style made this chandelier from an old bike wheel with vintage beads dangling from chains. She made a festive one at Christmas with baubles too, and the principle is really pretty simple. If you've got a bike that's had its last outing, why not give this a go? The results are stunnnig,
A lamp from an old blender
Electronic waste is notoriously difficult to dispose of responsibly, so if you've got an old blender that's made its last smoothie and you feel like a challenge, why not follow these instructions on how to turn it into a smart, contemporary lamp?
This is a surprisingly easy project, that requires no more than a screwdriver, basic light socket (available from most DIY stores) and an energy-saving lightbulb. The result will be a genuinely useful conversation piece that will have your friends gazing in awe at your creative ingenuity!
Revive an old lampshade
Katie at Good Hooking transformed a very plain lampshade into something much more stylish, using paper is from an Arts & Crafts wrapping paper book. You can also revamp a lampshade using fabric, and there's a great tutorial here on how to do it, and there's info on another lamp revamp here.
Make a basic chandelier using glass jars
Casa Sugar have a tutorial here that shows you how to make a beautiful tea light chandelier from glass jars. This is a really easy project that works well for parties. Personally, I love the way that these lamps remind me of the swinging globes in Little Big Planet!
Make a yoghurt pot lamp
I've seen almost identical lamps fetch hundreds in upmarket furniture stores, so after seeing this clever 'pudding' lamp made from plastic yoghurt containers on Craftster, I'm itching to have a go at making my own. The main hardship of the project, according to it maker Kianee, was eating the yoghurt contained in all those pots...
To mount the yog pots, Kianee explains that she 'just stringed the containers together with little metal rings, put them on a lampshade ring and ... done!' What a simple recipe for a truly sophisticated piece of home decoration!
Make a canning jar lamp
Canning jar lamps make wonderfully retro, endlessly customisable, money saving projects that are also a great way to re-use old storage jars and lampshads that might otherwise have been chucked away to clutter up the planet. And they're coming back in vogue, so now's the time to get your DIY hat on and make one of your own!
You'll find all the instructions you need here to make canning jar lamps of various sorts, with some great suggestions for how to fill your jar with weighty yet attractive objects. You can use anything from coins, to toys, to colourful layers of dried soup mix to make your lamp's base