Have you ever seen an item at a friend’s house and thought how uniquely they repurposed it? Reusing materials is the best way to extend their life and give each resulting creation a story. Exploring the possibilities with just a little bit of creative thinking is exciting. Here are DIY home projects you can do with reclaimed materials.


Whether you have leftover tile from an earlier renovation or find some broken pieces, there are many practical ways to transform it. You can use larger intact parts as a top for a new side table or as stepping stones outside in the yard. Small tiles make perfect coasters to extend the life of your coffee table. You can also attach a magnet to the back and write notes to the family on the fridge.


Glass jars are some of the more accessible materials to repurpose. They’re easy to passively collect through finished grocery products such as pasta sauce. Organizing junk drawers or crafting stations becomes a breeze with a few jars to hold similar items, such as colored pencils, binder clips, or other office supplies. They also make ideal containers to use for tea light candles or fairy lights. Both of these ideas could be perfect for mood lighting across the house, in the bathroom, or even on the patio table outside.

Broken Glass

If your jars are broken, don’t worry. Broken glass makes a beautiful addition to DIY home projects you can do with reclaimed materials. Crushed-up glass is perfect for aquarium substrate, a mobile or wind chime, or—combined with concrete—a colorful top for a backyard patio stool. With these two substances, you can also use broken stained glass or kitchenware to spruce up a bland birdbath.


When most people hear the word “reclaimed,” they probably think of wood. It’s no surprise, given how versatile wood is in our lives. Reclaimed hardwood flooring is one of the most popular ways to get into DIYing. Even beginners can make a bed headboard, a simple bookshelf, or a bathtub reading tray. With just a little bit more experience (or ambition), you can try making a wall organizer for your mail and magazines or even a house number decoration.

The internet offers endless ideas for how to repurpose old or broken materials for your home or backyard. What once was your own trash could be your future self’s treasure.