3 Easy Earth Day Recycle Bin Projects
In honor of Earth Day, I'm sharing 3 Easy Upcycle Recycle Bin Projects.
In addition, I'm sharing awesome trash to treasure project ideas from my friends.
Here where I live, we have to pay for recycling. I recycle everything I can, even bringing home recyclables from camping trips. But to be perfectly honest, I'm skeptical about the whole recycling concept. There have been times when the regular trash pickup took away the items in my recycling bin.
As the idea of upcycle recycle bin projects was bounced around in our group, I started holding some items out of the bin in preparation for my project. Because I chose to do an easy project, I opted to call my post 3 Easy Earth Day Recycle Bin Projects.
From Waste to Wow
How to Wrap a Popcorn Tin with Rope
I had two Christmas popcorn tins in my stash. One was smooth and can easily be spray painted.
However this one's design is raised, and if I spray painted it, the design would still show through.
Therefore, I opted for wrapping it with rope. I'm not sure, but I don't think I've done this before.
There were several packages of rope in my stash from The Dollar Tree. It looked to me like it would be enough. IT WAS NOT. I'll explain that as we go along.
Begin Wrapping the Rope at the Bottom of the Metal Tin
I love this battery operated Ryobi Glue gun because not dealing with a cord is so much more pleasant! Also, it rests on the large battery and there's no tipping over, or having to rest it on that silly wire support that other glue guns have. Bonus, it gets really hot, and the hot glue flows really well.
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It's not difficult at all, so there aren't a lot of directions for this project. Run a bead of hot glue, lay down the rope, don't burn your fingers REPEAT.
How Much Rope and How Many Glue Sticks Will I Need?
I recommend making sure you have enough rope (and glue sticks on hand). Have you noticed the shrinkflation we're going through? First, the popcorn tins are not near as large as they used to be. Second, the original rope I had on hand cost me $1, and it was 13.5 ft in length. Having to run to the store to buy more rope, the new pieces now cost $1.25 and they were only 9.5 ft in length.
All in all, it took nearly, are you ready for this, 60 FEET of rope. I used three of the 13.5, and two of the 9.5. I had eight extra long glue sticks, and used 6 of them.
The last two packages of rope are ever so slightly different than the original three, I'm hoping it's not too noticeable.
What can you do with a recycled popcorn tin?
There are many creative ways to repurpose an upcycled popcorn tin! Here are a few ideas:
- Storage container: Popcorn tins can be used to store a variety of items such as cookies, snacks, craft supplies, or office supplies. Simply clean the tin thoroughly and customize it with paint, paper, or fabric to match your style.
- Gift container: Popcorn tins can make unique gift containers for holidays or special occasions. Fill the tin with small gifts or treats and decorate it with wrapping paper or ribbons.
- Trash Can: Decorate the tin however you like, perhaps wrapping with rope, or spray painting to use as a recycle bin for paper in your office, or a unique waste bin beside your bed.
- Planter: Popcorn tins can be used as planters for small plants. Simply add soil and a plant and decorate the tin to match your decor. The lid may be used as a tray for the bottom, if you choose to add drainage holes.
- Toy storage: Popcorn tins can be repurposed as toy storage for small children. Fill the tin with small toys and decorate it with stickers or paint. As a bonus, you can glue a large wooden knob on top to make the container easier for small children to open.
- Pet food container: These handy tins can also be used to store pet food. They are airtight and keep the food fresh. Simply add a label to the tin to indicate the contents.
I love this idea to upcycle recycle bin items, don't you?
Recycle Bin Projects | Trash Can
So, now that you know I had to buy more rope, you can see it right? But did you notice it in the before and after picture at the top of this article?
Popcorn Tin Planter
I think it's less noticeable with the flowers in it, don't you?
Grocery Bag Organizer
For this project, I'm upcycling two items from the recycle bin. Not only am I reusing the Kleenex box, I'm also getting double duty out of the grocery bags--instead of buying more bags.
Where do you store your grocery bags? Do you stuff them inside of themselves and hang them on the back of your kitchen chair? No, wait, that's ME. At home, I just cram them in a cabinet or someplace else willy nilly. However, in the camper I need two corrals for the bulging bags. I don not have room to cram them anywhere.
I have been using pop-up paper towels in the camper bathroom for years as toilet paper. Why? BecauseI learned early on that the RV toilet paper is pitiful, but yet you still shouldn't put it in the toilet. Therefore, the pop up towels go in the trash, and the trash gets taken out daily.
Because I have empty boxes, I would just stuff the box as full as I could get it with the grocery bags. Then, last year I had a better idea! More about that in a minute.
First, I began by removing the plastic film to open up the top of the box a little more. You can see my contact paper in the image above. I had this on hand, and it was a decent pattern, so I went with it.
The box is pretty, why use contact paper?
If you look closely, you can see my box is getting a little tattered. Covering it with contact paper will help protect the box, and hold the seams together better.
Wrapping a Box with Contact Paper
So, I measured, marked and cut the contact paper to size, and started wrapping it like a present. You can see I cut the top piece away, so I could start folding the sides and bottom.
The right angled side was folded first, then the left side, and finally the bottom was folded up, with a slight overlap on the top to seal everything off. (I did remove that little piece that was leftover after I cut the "seams" for folding.
It was time to cut the contact paper away to reveal the opening of the kleenex box. I tucked them on the inside, and used the scraps I cut away on the inside to hide the brown cardboard. (see image below)
After putting the scraps in place, it's time to "stuff" the box with grocery bags.
Yep, you could do it like this, the way I used to do it. But remember I said I found a better way last year?
How to Roll a Grocery Bag
I found this way of rolling grocery bags to be the best.
- Fold in half (optional fold in half again for a more compact roll)
- Next fold over the handles
- Begin rolling the grocery bag from the bottom.
Folding from the bottom allows the air to escape. Tucking the handles out of the way gives a much neater "bundle" for stuffing the box.
How Many Grocery Bags ???
I counted the bags before I rolled them. Boy, was I amazed at how many bags I was able to neatly stuff in the box. I think it was a lot more than I could have gotten in there the "old" way!
As I mentioned, the Kleenex hand towel boxes are generally very pretty if you want to skip the contact paper altogether.
Grocery Bag Organization in the Camper
I have a small cubby space in the kitchen over the microwave. It's very easy to grab a new bag every evening after I take out the garbage.
At home, I've rolled my bags by folding twice, and have them stored (stuffed) into a sandwich bag box. You may think it's time consuming to roll the grocery bags, but this is something you could quickly and easily do while watching your favorite show. Roll enough to last you all month, then get in the habit of rolling the small stash when you come home from the grocery. Let's upcycle recycle bin items!
More Easy Recycle Bin Projects
Did you spot this little vase in my recycle bin image? No, of course it wasn't a vase, it was a Cracker Barrel syrup bottle. Years ago, I made tiny vases with micro perfume bottles. I still have one I use for staging small items and it resides in my bedroom. You can see that one in my article "Desk into Chest".
This recycle bin project was so easy!
First, I used a hair dryer to remove the label. I also removed the plastic ring. Next, I used Goo Gone to clean the sticky residue off the glass bottle.
What is my secret tip for using Goo Gone? Resist the urge to use a paper towel. I keep this old rag in a baggie with my Goo Gone. It makes all the difference in the world. I simply put a small amount of the magic potion on the cloth, and rub it on the glue. Voila! It's all gone. Lastly, I wash the bottle in warm soapy water.
You will probably be seeing this tiny vase in the future.
Small vignettes are so fun, don't you agree?
Related Content From My Repurposed Life
- Solar Light Fixture with Wine Bottles
- Painted Jars and Wine Bottles
- Spray Painting Glass with Stainless Steel Paint
- Upcycle Laundry Detergent Jugs
- Repurpose Coffee Creamer Containers
- Coffee Container Printables
- Reusing Dish Detergent Bottles for Outdoor Spaces
Creative Ways to Upcycle Your Recycle Bin Projects into Home Decor and More
- DIY Wine Botte Tiki Torch
- DIY Upcycle Ideas from Your Recycle Bin (You are here, thank you!)
- Upcycling a Coffee Canister with Cork Fabric
- Recycling Bin Propagation Station
- How to Upcycle Aluminum Cans Into Vases
- Recycle Bin Craft
Gail Wilson is the author and mastermind behind My Repurposed Life. She is obsessed with finding potential in unexpected places and believes that with a little hard work and imagination, any old thing can be made useful again, including herself!
Gail reinvented herself during a midlife crisis and has found purpose again. She hopes you will find new ideas for old things and pick up a few tools along the way.