Recycled Gift Ideas DIY: 17 Gift Ideas

By Rebekah Pierce

Looking for a way to reduce your environmental impact? Check out these DIY recycled gift ideas! Not only are they earth-friendly, but they’re also a great way to show someone you care about them. Here are some fun recycled gift ideas to show your friends and family you care – and that you care about the planet.

What Is A Recycled Gift?

Just as the name implies, recycled gifts are made out of materials that at one point, had some other use.

Instead of throwing these items away, the items can be reused to form items that are suitable for regifting as presents.

These gifts are not only thoughtful, but they’re also environmentally friendly. You can make them just about as personal as can be, allowing you to give a gift that is truly one-of-a-kind. 

If you’re concerned about how to make a gift thoughtful  – and not tacky – don’t worry. There are plenty of recycled gift ideas you can choose from. We’ll give you some suggestions in this post! 

What Can You Make Out Of Recycled Items? 17 Gift Ideas

Here are some fun recycled gift ideas to try. 

1. Tee Shirt Pillow

Have a bunch of old tee-shirts lying around? Don’t throw them away when they’re stained or no longer fit. Instead, make tee shirt pillows.

You don’t have to be a talented seamstress in order to do this, either. Making a tee shirt pillow is as simple as doing some cutting and basic stitching. 

2. Photo Coasters 

Have some leftover tiles? You can make your own gorgeous marble coasters and use Mod Podge to adhere your favorite photos to them for a thoughtful touch. 

3. Tee Shirt Bag

Another way to get rid of all of your old tee-shirts? Make a bag or backpack! It doesn’t take long and you might not even have to do any sewing.

4. DIY Cork Board

There are all kinds of crafts you can make out of recycled or used wine corks (or even bottles). It takes less than an hour!

5. Homemade Wreath 

You can make homemade wreaths out of just about anything. Whether it’s a wreath made out of old fabric scraps or one made out of bottle caps, the options are endless for making fun new designs. 

6. Sock Teddy Bear

When you have orphaned socks, what do you normally do with them? Please don’t say you throw them in the trash! Instead, you can make a sock teddy bear. This is a great way to breathe new life into an old, tattered pair of socks – or to make use of that one stray sock. 

7. Leather Bookmarks

When you have an old belt that’s past its prime and is no longer useful, you may want to consider cutting it into strips. The strips can be used as bookmarks and in many other crafts. It’s a great way to reuse and recycle old leather!

8. Pallet…Anything!

If you’re skilled (even moderately so) with a hammer, you might want to consider repurposing some old pallets. You can make just about anything out of an old pallet, including free-standing pallet herb gardens and even furniture.

9. Tire Ottoman

Have some old tires kicking around? These are some of the most difficult items to get rid of because they aren’t always accepted at landfills – and they aren’t recyclable, either. 

You can stack multiple tires on top of each other and cover them with fabric or even rope to create a stylish and functional ottoman for your living room. 

Here’s a video of how to do it: 

10. Popsicle Stick Ornaments

Popsicle sticks are everywhere – and if you have kids, you likely have your fair share kicking around. You can easily fashion popsicle sticks into just about any kind of ornament you choose – they make for a great gift.

11. Surfboard Bookshelf

This one is a little more complex, but if you have some basic woodworking skills, you can easily make a surfboard bookshelf (for your favorite books) out of old boards you’re no longer using. It’s a great way to impress the lover of the waves in your life!

12. Bottle Cap Ornaments

Do you enjoy drinking beer – but hate all the waste those bottle caps generate? If so, you might want to try making some bottle cap ornaments. Glue a few together and you have a whimsical snowman – the perfect Christmas gift. 

13. Magazine Jewelry

By rolling up old magazine pages, you can fashion some seriously stylish necklaces and bracelets for the fashionista in your life. 

14. Styrofoam Stamp

Why not give a custom stamp to the environmentally friendly person in your life? You can put someone’s initials on the stamp or an important message. Here’s a tutorial you can follow. 

15. Tin Can Snack Container

This recycled gift is the perfect stocking stuffer for the child in your life. You can give the snack container on its own or fill it up with snacks, candy, or cookies. Paint anything you’d like on the can, like the Grinch, Santa Clause, or another one of your kid’s favorite characters.

16. Shirt Apron

Have an old shirt? You can make a gardening or cooking apron for the person in your life who loves either of those things. Here’s a quick tutorial to help you get started.

17. Bottle Cap Magnets

You can make magnets out of bottle caps – and give them as stocking stuffers, birthday gifts, or even keep them for your own decorations. 

Start Recycling – and Start Gifting! – Today

Don’t want to make these recycled gifts yourself? Don’t worry – there are plenty of companies out there, like Allbirds, that specialize in doing just that for you. They’ll take the work off your hands!

If you are looking for some unique gift ideas that don’t involve spending a fortune, consider recycled gifts. These presents can be made from items that would have otherwise been thrown away, and they often have a more personal touch than store-bought gifts.

We’ve shown you how to make several different recycled gift ideas, so now it’s time for you to get creative and start crafting. 

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