Reducing waste through upcycling, repurposing, refashioning and reloving.

Upcycle: New juice for old cartons (milk too!)


I recently joined Good. Because it's cool. And there I discovered that the largest recycled structure ever made was made of milk cartons - 45,000 of them (see pic below). Collected from approx 100 colleges (article here). This got me wondering about repurposing milk and juice cartons because, like soda cans and beer bottles, they pile up around us. First, let me say this: Cartons CAN BE RECYCLED in many parts of the US (check your local programs). Perhaps you already knew this. I wasn't sure, so I checked. And apparently, like me, a lot of people assume they are not recyclable. We're wrong. 

However, you can also make some pretty cool stuff out of these very common packages. So here's some inspiration:



The current world-record-holding recycled structure, built in Granada, Spain. Probably not something you want to make!  But below, are some things I hope you will ...




Simple, "cheapo" phone rest!  DIY at SeriousCraft 


Weave a basket from an old orange juice carton ... tutorial here 


Love this milk carton planter!  Complete how-to here 


A sweet, hanging version of the planter - DIY at Oh So Very Pretty


A juice carton gift box!  Sweet.  Find out how at Craft Place 


Weave a little carton coaster ... 


WeUpcycle created this juice carton tote bag ... as far as I can tell, you could do this using the same technique as the paper bag I posted last week.




A simple, delightful, milk carton dump trunk. DIY at Origami Mommy 


See the little slit in the top of the box (top left image) ... it's a spring piggy bank!



Lots of great milk/juice carton doll houses out there ... picked this Gnome Home for the insane attention to detail!


Posting about an advent calendar in February is a bit silly. But it's such a sweet idea, how could I not!  Pin it to your "Holiday" board ... it'll keep.  From Marie Clair


Very springy woven flower vases ... fun technique too! Care of Paper Plate and Plane 


You've seen these juice carton wallets before ... they're still really clever



Great image and a beautiful upcycle! Found the image on Pinterest and unfortunately it's a hangover from their start-up days ... when pins didn't need to actually link to anything. Anyways, I'm sorry I can't credit this - I hunted to no avail. Go here for something resembling instructions. 


Cartons turned into lamps ... pretty!


A nightlight created using an old milk carton seems appropriate right?  DIY here


Any makeover involving concrete impresses me. So this lamp is .... impressive. Good instructions at Homemade Modern


Two sweet variations on the bird-feeder idea.

1. Buttons and Twigs

2. Green and Arty