Smart upcycling and repurposing ideas for the new year from Max McMurdo

Max McMurdo sitting on a wooden chair

If Christmas comes but once a year why the heck do we buy so much stuff? Decorations, presents, fancy foot wear, hilarious headgear.…. you name it, we buy it. 

Here are a few tips from TV presenter and upcycling supremo Max McMurdo for turning some of the day’s excess into stylish pieces for the new year. It’s easy, useful and more importantly, it’s fun.

1. Get use out of unwanted Christmas gifts

Monkey toy made out of socks

Create fun sock monkey toys using those unwanted Christmas socks. Simply stuff with wadding, hand or machine stitch into legs, arms and a face, use recycled buttons for the eyes and nose or, for a more child friendly version, use embroidery stitches. Easy to follow online tutorials are widely available. 

2. Out with the old, in with the new? No chance!

Old bike turned into a new chair

Got a new bike for Christmas? Do not discard of the old one, make this quirky bicycle stool seat to freshen up your New Year home. Step by step tutorials are available in my book ‘Upcycling’. 

3. Repurpose all those bottles

Empty bottles repurposed into lamps

While you’re working your way through the liquid gifts from the big day, use the empty bottles to create this beautiful wine bottle lamp paired with palette wood. Bottle cutters are easy to get hold of online.

4. Use old toys to create hooks for kids

Toys made into wardrobe hooks with Sugru

Use the kids’ old or broken toys to create fun hooks for the bedroom by sticking them to the wardrobe with Sugru Mouldable Glue. For a how-to guide, visit our page: Make child-friendly wardrobe hooks from toys.

5. Turn a sweet box into a porthole mirror!

Sweet box turned into a porthole mirror with Sugru

Repurpose a left over Christmas sweets box to create an illuminated porthole mirror. Simply spray the box and lid gold, drill holes using a hole saw, fix in the lights using Sugru and attach a mirror to the front.

Do you have any practical, fun tips on how to re-purpose unwanted things or re-using everyday objects you would normally discard? Let us know by sharing your story! Email [email protected] with pictures and a little bit about your project, or simply tag us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. We always love to hear from you.