Garden Crafts, gardening

UpCycling for the Kitchen Garden

Be studious in your profession, and you will be learned.  Be industrious and frugal, and you will be rich.  Be sober and temperate, and you will be healthy.  Be in general virtuous, and you will be happy.  At least, you will, by such conduct, stand the best chance for such consequences.

-Benjamin Franklin

Some people are looking for hobbies because they need something to do. Others, want to know how to save money. Then there are others who never tire of trying new things. What could be a thread that binds them? The answer is, a craft known as up-cycling.

Up-cyclying is the form of recycling that involves re-using an item for another purpose. It also may involve a form of crafting. I recently felt inspired by one of my favorite blogs and thought that I would share some of my recent up-cycling projects. The blog I found my inspiration from can be found here:

For starters, there are the seed starting containers I have already demonstrated in this blog–eggshells! I am now having more fun with them by using different colored markers to label them. I will discuss more about my recent garden tasks that involves these shells in an upcoming post but for now, here are the eggshells…


Next up, I have some slightly larger temporary containers. I have folded/rolled Japanese newspapers into loops then secured the bottom with coffee filters. Thin paper is biodegradable and compostable so for roots that are delicate this is like using peat pots (only these containers will only cost you your time instead of money). To bind them into a hold, I used a decorative tape around the outside of the containers. I can always cut the outer layer of paper off before placing the plant in the ground. Another benefit to planting with paper or peat pots is that it will direct the roots to go down instead of out which will make the plants stronger.


I also repurposed coffee tin cans, jars, and bottles. Here I have used rust-o-leum metal paint to cover them which works very well at covering surfaces and leaves a glossy finish. Just know that when you use this type of paint, your paint brush will be a goner at the end of your painting session. I’ve decided that whenever I use it I will pick out as many things to paint as I can in one sitting so that I will not have to sacrifice as many good brushes.



For these glasses, I used acrylic paint. To be truthful, it’s not the greatest for glass but in the spirit of up-cycling I wanted to be frugal and only use what I already had. Acrylic will scratch off of glass very easily. The best route, for decorative glasses only, is to swirl the paint around the inside of the glass until it coats. The only problem for me was that I wanted to cover up logos on the glasses. SO I did a little bit of both and it works out for decorative purposes only. The glasses will be above my cabinet and unlikely to get scratched up there. I used a glue gun to write words on them before painting. I guess these are my ingredients to a happy kitchen: Peace, Faith, Hope, Love, Joy, Bertolli. DSC03137

For my kitchen window planters, I covered coffee tins with scrapbook paper. I took a nail and hammer to make holes in the bottom for good drainage and the lids are now on the bottom as drip trays. DSC03170

The red painted tins were originally a pineapple can and an almond can. Now they house micro greens in my window. This will be my first experience growing sprouts such as this.


Finally, what were once jam jars are now being used to grow new roots. DSC03172

I like crafting and I like gardening. It’s been fun finding ways to bring the two together. So here’s the breakdown of my supplies:

  • Japanese Newspaper (Free when I bought something else in town and they wrapped my breakables in it)
  • Coffee Filters (Pennies, I only needed about 8 out of a package of 150)
  • Scrapbook Paper ($2 worth)
  • Decorative tape (Less than 99 yen. I got the tapes in 3-pack from the 100 yen store)
  • Glass Jars and Bottles (As good as free. I bought the goods they were housed in and used them then had the jars left over).
  • Rust-O-Leum Paint (about $3 and I have plenty left over for future projects)
  • Acrylic Paint (about a dollar a paint jar and use it frequently on wood and canvas)
  • Eggshells (as good as free, I bought the eggs and used them)
  • Markers
  • Soil

Thanks for reading. I hope you will find opportunities to be industrious, frugal, and happy as well.


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