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Upcycling for the Holidays

Posted by Goodwill Staff on Dec 16, 2020 8:49:51 AM

New to the concept of upcycling? No worries – this is exactly the right place to start.

Upcycling is the process of taking an object that has served its original purpose and refurbishing it to serve a new one. DIY-ers have been making these kinds of transformations for years, but as conversations surrounding environmental impact and sustainability become more commonplace – so, too, does the concept of upcycling. 

Luckily for our upcycling newbies, the holidays are a fantastic time to give it a try. Whether you’re looking to rotate décor, preparing to host a holiday gathering, or seeking affordable gift options, we have the perfect seasonal upcycling suggestions for you. Take a look: 

Custom Coffee Mug Gift 

Creating a custom coffee mug gift can be anywhere from avant-garde to minimalist, making it an ideal upcycling project for just about anyone. Find a plain, ceramic mug and use oil-based Sharpies to create a masterpiece. Set the design by baking the mug at 425° F for 45 minutes. Once cool, fill with candies or hot chocolate packets to round out a cute gift for a friend or family member! 

Sweater Pillow Cover 

Transform décor and save great sweaters! Instead of collecting seasonal throw pillows, save money and space by adding sweater covers to your existing ones. Cut the sleeves and neck off of an old sweater and stich up the holes. Next, insert the throw pillow, and tuck the edges of the sweater into the bottom. That’s it; just a few simple steps can repurpose a beloved sweater and give your home a cozy holiday feel.

Mason Jar Cookie Recipe 

A sweet way to upcycle a mason jar is with some sugar – and we mean that quite literally. Take the dry ingredients from a tried-and-true cookie recipe and layer them into a mason jar. Tie the recipe around the filled jar with a festive ribbon to gift a loved one with a rewarding activity. And, with so many popular uses for mason jars these days – this could truly be a gift that keeps on giving. 

Holiday-Themed Card Table Makeover 

Card tables are a popular and cost-efficient way to create some extra space during family gatherings. As a bonus, their simple build lends itself to easy upgrading. Unscrew the top of a card table, then lightly sand the frame before spray painting it with a fresh, new color. Place the table top face down on a festive tablecloth. Trim the tablecloth with a few inches of extra space remaining to fold over and hot glue to the bottom of the table top. Screw the renovated top back in, and get ready for compliments on the “new” card table!


Looking for a few materials to get started on your first upcycling project? There’s a Goodwill location near you that will be sure to have the items you need. 

Topics: Christmas, DIY Christmas decor