Are you a thrifter? Grab my free tips! Click Here!

Ten Fabulous Trash To Treasure Upcycles

December 28, 2018

This post may contain affiliate links.
Upcycle, makeover, recycle and transform that trash to beautiful home decor treasure. Check out these ten fabulous ideas for your home.
Ten Fabulous Trash To Treasure Upcycles
Well, folks, it's hard to believe, but we've come to the end of another year.

What's even harder for me to believe is that this is my sixth...yes, sixth...Exquisitely Unremarkable wrap up.

And even more unbelievable is that today's installment is the 500th article I've published.

500. Yikes that's a lot of words...

Since 2013, I've shared DIYs, crafts, recipes ~ albeit very simple ones ~ personal stories, some silly, some not, and a few random thoughts popped in for good measure.

And while I write about whatever I'm living that week, when I look back each year does seem to have a general theme.

This year, it was all about upcycling...recycling...makeovers or whatever the latest term is for turning something old into something new.

I have always loved a bargain and crafting, so in 2018 I combined the two and shared my projects.

Of course, there were many changes in my personal life, too, and while those posts received the most comments, and I thank you all for the many wonderful words, the internet at large chose the upcycle posts as their favorites.

So join me won't you, as I peek back at the this year's top ten trash to treasure DIYs?

Ten Fabulous Trash To Treasure Upcycles

There's something so charming about a kitchen sink skirt. Unfortunately, the traditional way to add one with a tension rod or ring clips was not possible without damaging my existing cabinets.

And it certainly wasn't practical in my very busy kitchen.

So I got creative and made my cottage kitchen dreams come true with my own sink skirt mount. It actually turned out much better than I ever could've imagined and apparently, I wasn't the only one who thought so.

Turning an old kitchen sink base into a cottage style charmer was my number one most popular post of the year.

Floral kitchen sink skirt DIY that's easy to open in cream kitche

Coming in at a close second, was my faux milk glass DIY. My thrift store glass plates were scratched and cloudy, but just way too pretty to throw away. I'd seen this crafty makeover before, but never tried it myself.

I have to say, it was simple, inexpensive and quick. The three musts for any Exquisitely Unremarkable project. Plus the result was elegant and believable. I wasn't trying to fool anyone, but I dare you to pick the fakes.

Not so easy, huh?

Faux white milk glass dishes, bowl filled with apples and a white flower filled vase on coffee table

At that same thrift store, I found this rooster plate rack for five bucks.

I had absolutely no wall space, but I couldn't leave it behind. I had a hazy idea that he would look great in my garden, but it took a few months for me to wipe away the crafty fog and decide exactly how I was going to use it outdoors.

I have to say, when it finally came together I was so pleased, I would buy another and do it again and again in my cottage style garden.

It adds so much whimsy...and at number three, I guess the online community agrees.

Rusted rooster Plate Rack propped up against the wall

Upcycle number four was a midnight special.

I had picked up an old glass cutting board at a different thrift shop and knew it would be fun to makeover for the fall, but just couldn't get motivated.

After all, it involved decoupage and napkins.

Ugh. Turns out, it was easier than I thought and the result was fabulous.

While I would never really put food on a used wooden cutting board, I have used this glass one many times and the pattern couldn't be more fitting in my kitchen.

I've been looking for more of these cutting boards in the thrift store so I could make one for every season. So far, no luck...but I'm always on the hunt.

Napkin covered glass cutting board on table with fruit and flowers

Ceiling fan blade makeovers are one of my favorite types of DIY crafts. They're so versatile and can be transformed from functional to fabulous in minutes for any season.

While I have traditionally painted them, this spring I decided to embellish one with flowers to welcome guests.

It was a different twist on a basic wooden sign, adding softness and a 3D effect, that was quite popular with regular readers and Pinterest visitors.

It ranks at number five this year, but I have a feeling it's going to be a popular one for a while...easy and sweet.

Would you try this one?

Ceiling Fan Hello Wooden Sign with yellow flowers on table

Next up, my little red truck Christmas plate.

This one was a huge hit and honestly, I think that if I had premiered it earlier in the year, it would've been number one. Everybody loved it.

It was my first dip in the red truck trend pool...and I think it turned out very well. Again, it was easy, inexpensive and done in a jiffy.

I used the last of my scratched plates and a few bargain napkins to make my very own red Christmas truck accessory.

And I think Santa was as pleased as I was.

Red Christmas Truck glass Plate with napkin DIY on table with Santa

So do you see a secondary theme here, friends?

Looks like I had a thing for dishes this year, huh? Truth be told, I am a bit dish obsessed.

There are so many patterns, shapes and sizes that grab me and I have a hard time saying no to a bargain.

However, not all the plates I find are in pristine condition. In the past, I shied away from the less than perfect ones, but this year, I decided to buy first and clean later. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't.

When it came to scratched white dishes, it worked! I found a great way to clean them up and I've been using this method ever since...which is awesome, because this year I also bought new dishes.

White. So far, so good.

Scratched White Dishes

Ok, so I used this trick to fatten up my own flat pillows, but if you found a flat treasure at the thrift store, this tactic would be the way to go.

Yes, it does require some sewing, but it's basic and in a few minutes you'll have fluffy, fat pillows that will make your whole couch look brand new.

Well, at least until your husband decides to sit down on them.

Flat red pillow before stuffing fix on a floral couch

So here's a question. Would you consider a home renovation an upcycle?

It wasn't quite trash to treasure since the home had such great bones, so I suppose makeover is the appropriate word here. Either way, people loved the before and after shots of my 1929 beach cottage.

The home only had two previous owners when we purchased it in 2002 and needed a complete renovation. That's ok, we are DIY diehards and loved every minute of it.

We were smitten with the original structure and didn't want to stray too far from the existing design.

I think we stayed true to that goal. What do you think?

Before and After 1929 Cottage

The tenth most popular DIY upcycle of the year was this very whimsical thrift store vase makeover.

It wasn't innovative in any way, but if you know me at all, then you know that this particular project epitomized me.

It's pretty plain, just a square glass vase, it was dirt cheap, the process I used was ridiculously simple and the word I chose to decorate it is a play on words.

A silly joke, not particularly clever...but it makes me laugh every time I look at it.

And that's me. Exquisitely Unremarkable.

A simple girl, who loves basic, inexpensive decor and most of all, doesn't take any of it too seriously. After all, it's decor, people. If it doesn't make me smile or laugh, then what's the point?

There's enough other stuff to stress me out in any given day, decor should not be one of them.

Flour anyone?

DIY Thrift Store Makeover Glass Vase with FLOUR vinyl decal

And there you have it, the top upcycle craft posts of the year. What I like best about them, is that while I may have made a few seasonal projects, all of these crafts can be adapted for use during any time of the year.

Put your own spin on it.

Make your own magic.

But just remember to enjoy the process.

Or at least, I hope you enjoy reading about it!

Happy New Year!!

Want to peek back even further? You can peek at the archives from 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017.

Kim Signature

Post a Comment | 32 Comments

Hey~ before you go, let me know what you think!

I love comments and respond to them all.

*Please refer to our privacy policy if you have questions regarding your profile and note that comments with links will not be published.

  1. I love all the treasures. Its been a pleasure etting to know you and your precious blog.Happy New Year

    1. Maria, thank you so much and the pleasure has been all mine!! Happy New Year, my friend!

  2. I remember those posts. Fun trip down memory lane. Happy New Year Kim!!!

    1. It's funny, I forget what I did all year until I do a post like this! Middle age is a wonderful thing! 😉 All kidding aside, thank you so much, Lorri. I love seeing your name in the comments, have enjoyed all of our conversations and wish you all the best in 2019!!

  3. Hi Kim,
    It is always fun to go down the memory lane of posts from the year. You really were a crafty person this past year. I think my favorite was when you repurposed the fan blades. Genius. Let hope you can show us more items re loved into new crafted fun things in the new year.
    Hugs and Happy New Year.

    1. Thanks so much, Kris! It's fun to peek back at what I did all year...but I'm always amazed by how much I accomplished. My aging memory forgets half of it!! Ha! I am looking forward to more crafts. Thrift store here I come!

  4. I save your posts (you know, just in case). :) Thanks for all you do. Happy New Year!!

    1. Betty, you are a doll. 🥰 Thank you so much and I wish you a wonderful New Year!!

  5. how can a cozy minimalist non~crafter or DIY'er be so enamored with your wonderful blog?
    because you write so beautifully. you have good taste. you are funny. and you're worth knowing!
    and I like the color red too! LOL!
    have a happy new year darling bean! I know you will! XOXO

    1. Tammy, thank you so much for the super kind words. I love reading your comments and I miss reading your posts. I do hope you return to writing at some point in the future. You have a wonderful way with words...especially when the words are about me! Of course, I could be biased! ☺️😉 Happy New Year, my friend!!

  6. I remember the plates and how to get the scratches off, and I love your skirt, and I LOVE your cottage renovation. Recently, I was visiting a home when I looked at the ceiling, and noticed their fan blade was missing. I didn't ask, but wouldn't that be funny! xoox Happy New Year! Su

    1. Su, I read your comment late last night in bed and started laughing so loud that I woke my husband! That would be funny!! Happy New Year in your gorgeous home!! xoxo

  7. I love the undersink curtain! I have an old fashioned farm sink and I think I'll do this as well. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Oh Karen, your sink sounds wonderful and I'm glad you found some inspiration today! I hope you visit again soon. Happy New Year!

  8. I missed the post on the red truck transfer. Heading over there now! Congrats on your 500th post! That's so exciting!

    1. Thanks so much, Audra…and yes, gotta love those cheap napkins!!

  9. I remember these post! The truck on the plate is my favorite. Congratulations on your 500th post that's awesome, and have a Happy New Year!

  10. Kim, I love these! Your upcycles are great projects and I even saw a couple that I could complete! :-) I use my ceramic stove cleaner to clean my stainless steel cookware. It works perfectly and makes it look brand new. I'm glad to know that it cleans up scratches on plates, I've got a few that need some work! Hope you and the family have a great New Year celebration! Looking forward to what you have to share in 2019! Love and hugs sweet friend!

    1. That cleaner was such a great find, Benita. Every day I find a new use for it...and thank you sweet friend. I hope your New Year is off to a better start than your poor granddaughter's!

  11. Thanks for the look back on some of your wonderful upcycling projects! Happy New Year to you and your family.

    1. Thanks so much, Melanie! I hope 2019 is off to a good start in your neck of the woods!

  12. Wow, 6 years and 500 posts, holy smokes lady!!!I have to go check out that before/after post of your sweet cottage....I know I saw it before but I just love your cottage and can't get enough of it! Happy New Year, sweet friend!!

    1. Thanks Debbie! I know...500 sounds like a lot doesn't it? I couldn't believe it when that number caught my eye. And we totally have the same taste. Sometimes, I see your Christmas tree go by on Instagram and I'm like, hey, that's my house. Oh's Deb's! ☺️

  13. Well done on 500 posts.
    I enjoyed this one.

    Happy New Year Wishes.

    All the best Jan

    1. Thanks so much, Jan! It was fun to peek back!

  14. Kim all so fun to look back on. You are such a talent and I love everything you do. Every time I get to see a little bit of your darling home is joyous to me. I especially love your sink skirt. The roses are so pretty and pleasing. I took mine down and when I look at yours, I don't know why I did. Plans in the coming year to rearrange the kitchen so maybe that would be a good time to put it back up..Happy New Year..xxoJudy

    1. Thanks Judy! I do love that skirt. We had guests over this season and one of the guys had no idea how to get to the garbage pail. It was so funny…like watching an old Carol Burnett skit when they couldn’t find the curtain opening to get backstage! (Did I just date myself?) But other than that it’s worked out very well and we all enjoy the color and softness it’s brought into the room. I can’t wait to see what you’re up to in the kitchen. Fun stuff!

  15. LOVE the kitchen skirt. Been thinking on doing mine like that when I redo the kitchen and after seeing it I think its a GO. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks so much, Pam! I have to say that I love it and it still looks fabulous and clean. Everyone adapts and it's working out great. I hope you'll share it when you do it!