Etsy Journal

Explore ideas and inspiration for creative living

14 Reclaimed, Recycled, and Reused Creations on Etsy

by Shoko Wanger

Apr 19, 2016

Etsy sellers are an inventive lot — a fact proven by these wildly creative items crafted from repurposed materials, from guitar strings to book pages.


For many, spring is a time for fresh starts, and in the spirit of celebrating the beauty in both the new and the renewed, we thought we'd put the spotlight on some of the best of Etsy's upcycled wares. Among the haul: jewelry made from copper guitar strings; cat toys stuffed with plastic and pistachio shells; melted mason jars; and a lamp with a vintage Tupperware foundation. The takeaway? That there's no limit to what can be repurposed, reimagined, or reinvented — and, on a deeper note, that it's never too late to start over.
cat-001 Marvelous Melissa
A perfect treat for mischievous felines, this crinkly, organic catnip–filled mouse is made from an old sock, worn shoelaces, bits of recycled plastic, and a few pistachio shells (for extra crunch).
tupperlamp Lampified
Here, Massachussetts-based shop Lampified (which makes lighting fixtures out of everything from spice tins to vintage Thermoses) brings new life to old jade Tupperware and a crimson-colored picnic plate.

girlskirt Sneaky Pea
According to Sneaky Pea's expert seamstress Bridget, this skirt, made from flower-splashed vintage fabric, is perfect when paired with "a cotton blouse, a mustard-colored sweater, [and] a cool day."
spoonrest Midwest Finds
Talk about taking the heat! These kiln-melted mason jars — none shaped quite the same — can be used as dishes, spoon rests, or one-of-a-kind kitchen catch-alls.
pianodesk Monk and Honey
Shop owners Brandon and Pamela Munoz have given an abandoned piano a new lease on life with a salvaged wood desktop in place of keys. (The instrument's strings remain intact, in view, and ready to hold memos at eye level.)
glassleaf Western Art Glass
This delicate glass elm leaf was once an Anchor Steam beer bottle. Prefer a different color or beverage brand? Its creator, Brian Western, can make custom foliage using the bottle of your choice.
ombranecklace Paper Statement
All of Paper Statement shop owner Doris Häusler's exquisitely crafted jewelry, ornaments, and sculptures are made using paper or cardboard; this necklace, part of her CARTA collection, was fashioned from the pages of old books.
quilt Wise Craft
Designer Blair Stocker's memory quilt marries a mix of fabrics, old and new.
il_570xN.671169513_nuha Peg Dry Goods
The top portion of this handsome clutch is made from a cheery vintage floral; the bottom gets its strength from repurposed vintage leather.
copperbangles Chapter Three Creations
Mismatched sections of wrapped gold wire give these bracelets, made from copper guitar strings, a little jazzy flair.
facetbookends WeAreMFEO
The faceted edges of these barn wood bookends are meant to resemble those on Oregon's famed Haystack Rock.
terrariumbulb eGarden Studio
Anyone who's unable to keep a plant alive will love this simple light bulb terrarium, which requires weekly spritzing — and very little else.

il_570xN.944284850_gact Dishfunctional Designs
Dishfunctional Designs creates modern-yet-traditional jewelry using broken china. This elegant heart pendant was handcrafted from antique blue and white transferware china.

driftwoodcandelabra Drifting Concepts
Outfitted with six votive candle plates, this elegant tangle of driftwood makes a show-stopping centerpiece.

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Shoko Wanger

Shoko Wanger is a writer living in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. She is the author of the blog Sho & Tell, which features a mix of quirky art, thoughtful writing, and a carefully-curated assortment of unique Internet finds. She loves books, cheese, and her friends; has an incurable case of wanderlust; and hopes to one day live in a treehouse.