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Give old items a second life with upcycling Upcycling is the process of turning something unwanted into a beautiful and useful object. While the term may be new, the concept isn’t. People have been repurposing things forever. Not only does it keep items out of landfills, it also gives you an outlet to show off your personal style. There are two ways to upcycle: you can give something a makeover while preserving its original use, or you can change its intended purpose altogether. Almost anything can be upcycled, including furniture, used clothes and items you’d normally throw out like tin cans and glass jars. If you don’t have anything around the house you can use, check out local second hand shops or flea markets. Remember that whatever you’re using will retain its properties, meaning that if the dresser you’d like to paint is falling apart, a new look won’t change that. You may need to repair items before upcycling them. Projects to try Are you excited to start upcycling but not sure where to begin? Here are a few ideas: • old chairs can be given new life with a coat of paint and colorful cushions. • jam jars can be painted to create pretty storage for the bathroom or to create one-of-a-kind light fixtures. • old wooden ladders can be sanded and used to hang blankets or become rustic bookshelves. • tin cans can be covered in fabric and used as penholders in an office. For more inspiration, browse online. With a little time and imagination, you’ll be on your way to becoming an accomplished upcycler.