21 Upcycling Hacks for the Classroom

1. Reuse Vertical Gardens: Transform plastic bottles into a captivating vertical garden to grow plants or herbs in the classroom. This educational project teaches students about recycling and sustainability.

2. Bookmarks from Paint Chips: Create bookmarks from unused paint chips, incorporating them into a literacy lesson plan or as rewards for meeting reading goals.

3. Cardboard Seating: Collect large cardboard boxes and turn them into affordable, lightweight seating by covering them with fabric or colorful duct tape.

4. Cereal Box Magazines Holders: Upcycle cereal boxes into magazine holders by cutting and decorating them as desired. This hack helps keep your classroom tidy and organized.

5. Tin Can Pencil Holders: Wash and decorate tin cans with a safe coating to create unique pencil holders that add character to your workspace.

6. Textbook Dust Jackets from Paper Bags: Teach students to create reusable dust jackets for their textbooks out of paper bags, reducing wear and tear on school property.

7. Chalkboard Clipboards: Turn standard clipboards into portable chalkboards using chalkboard paint. These can be used for group work, presentations, or outdoor activities.

8. Egg Carton Organizer: Utilize egg cartons as desk or storage organizers for small items like paper clips, thumbtacks, and erasers.

9. DIY Whiteboard Cleaner: Mix equal parts water and white vinegar in a spray bottle to make an affordable, eco-friendly whiteboard cleaner.

10. Fabric Scraps Decor: Use leftover fabric scraps to create bulletin board borders, decorate chairs, or even make colorful flags for class celebrations.

11. Jeans Pocket Wall Storage: Repurpose old jeans pockets as hanging wall storage for classroom supplies, keeping items within easy reach of students.

12. Clothing Rack Classroom Library: Turn an old clothing rack into a portable classroom library where books are hung on hangers instead of stored on shelves – perfect for limited space.

13. CD Case Calendar: Upcycle empty CD cases to make reusable monthly calendars for classroom organization and scheduling.

14. Pallet Furniture: Transform wooden pallets into functional furniture like bookshelves, benches, or desks with a little creativity and elbow grease.

15. Yogurt Cup Planters: Convert clean yogurt cups into cute planters to grow flowers or herbs for a classroom gardening project.

16. Bottle Cap Art: Collect and paint bottle caps, then use them to create mosaics or murals that showcase student creativity and resourcefulness.

17. Shoebox Storage: Repurpose shoeboxes as storage units by decorating them with paint, paper, or fabric to match the classroom’s theme.

18. Tissue Box Classroom Supplies Dispenser: Reuse tissue boxes as storage for items like craft sticks, flashcards, or manipulatives in an accessible and organized manner.

19. Wine Cork Stamps: Create unique stamps using wine corks and small foam shapes to produce fun arts and crafts projects in the classroom.

20. Milk Jug Scoops: Cut off the bottom of cleaned milk jugs to create handy scoops for classroom activities such as sand or water play.

21. Paper Tube Organization: Collect paper towel and toilet paper tubes to create an affordable storage solution for colored pencils, markers, and crayons that can be mounted on a wall or set on a table for easy access.

With these 21 upcycling hacks for your classroom, you’re sure to create an innovative learning environment that encourages sustainability and resourcefulness among students.

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