4 Crafty Ways to Upcycle Product Packaging

by | Updated: April 14th, 2017 | Read time: 3 minutes

April is Earth month, and what better way to honor Mother Earth than to repurpose some of her many generous gifts?

If you recycle regularly, your efforts are greatly appreciated. But if you’re ready to take the “Three R’s” (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) to the next level, following are four smart yet surprisingly simple recycling projects that can turn that “trash” into treasure in mere minutes!

Diy Project Glass Jar Wrapped with Burlap, Lace and Twine on Table with Scissors | Vitacost.com/Blog

1. Transform an empty wine bottle into a chic soap dispenser

The vino may be long gone, but that doesn’t mean the bottle has outlived its usefulness. Transform it into an elegant soap dispenser!

Materials: Empty wine bottle, preferred embellishments, dish soap, sealant, bottle pourer


  1. Rinse out wine bottle and remove labels.
  2. Decorate bottle with paint, glass glitter (it’s a thing!), stickers and/or other embellishments of your choosing. (Note: If you decide to go for the glitter, be sure to spray the bottle with a protective sealant after it dries.)
  3. Fill bottle with dish soap.
  4. Insert the pourer and voila!

2. Convert a shoebox into a stylish storage box

You’ve purchased the perfect pair (score!), but think twice before you bid the shoebox adieu. Turn it into a decoupage storage box for your most treasured keepsakes.

Materials: Gift wrap, scrapbook paper and/or magazines; shoebox, preferred embellishments, sealant, paint brush, scissors, glue


  1. Arrange and glue the gift wrap, scrapbook paper and/or magazine cutouts onto the box in a decorative fashion (think old school collage!).
  2. Add glitter, stickers, photos and other embellishments of your choosing.
  3. Use paint brush to coat the box with a protective sealant.

 3. Turn glass jars into beachy candle holders

Jam, jelly, salsa, tahini, pasta sauce… What do you do with the glass jars after these sweet and savory staples have been depleted? Transform them into easy, breezy candle holders, of course!

Materials: Glass jar(s), craft (or actual) sand, seashells, twine, pillar candles, hot glue gun, hot glue


  1. Rinse out jar and remove labels.
  2. Apply hot glue to the bottom of the candle and place it inside the jar.
  3. Fill jar with enough sand to further secure candle in place.
  4. Position seashells around candle, if desired.
  5. Tie twine in a bow at top of jar.
  6. If one simple seaside candle holder is good, several are great, so gather empty glass bottles in a variety of shapes and sizes and repeat!

 4. Transform an empty milk (or O.J.) carton into a bountiful bird feeder

You’re down to the last drop, but don’t toss that milk or orange juice carton into the recycle bin just yet! Turn it into a restaurant for your feathered friends.

Materials: Empty carton, marker, paint, twine, bird seed, scissors, paint brush


  1. Rinse out carton.
  2. Use marker to draw bird-sized entrances on three sides of the carton. Make sure entrances are identical in size, and allow approximately two inches of space beneath each.
  3. Use scissors to cut out the entrances.
  4. Paint the outside of the carton in your desired shade/design and allow it to dry.
  5. Poke two holes in top of carton (one on each side) and feed one end of the twine through each, leaving sufficient slack in the middle to hang the feeder. Knot twine on each side.
  6. Fill carton with a generous amount of bird seed and hang from your favorite tree.