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One Man's Trash Is Another Man's Treasure: 12 Awesome Repurposed Objects

Everywhere we look, there are items that could be repurposed and made anew into different objects — but it’s hard to figure out what to do with all that stuff on your own.

Enter these 12 shopkeepers and companies, who make a living creating stuff everyone covets out of things that no one else wants, from beat-up board games to soda cans to truck siding. This Earth Day, say thanks by supporting these upcyclers who prove time and time again that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. — Jillian Capewell

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  • Bike Chain Tea Light Holders 1 of 12
    Bike Chain Tea Light Holders
    Unchain yourself from boring home decor — or brighten up a bike lover's living room — with these unique tea light holders, made from 100% post-consumer recycled bike chain.
    Get them from Uncommon Goods, $24
  • Freitag Bag 2 of 12
    Freitag Bag
    Did you ever wonder where the tarps on the sides of trucks go? We didn't either, until Freitag came along and showed us that they could be turned into functional, hip messenger bags. Talk about road tripping in style!
    Get it from Freitag, $440
  • Pencil Holder 3 of 12
    Pencil Holder
    Looking for something to complement your colored pencil collection? A multicolored pencil holder! This product is part of a project that aims to reduce the amount of non-recyclable ethyl-vinyl-acetate that ends up in landfills by reusing the material in unique ways. We think that means it deserves a spot on our desk!
    Get it from Touch, $15
  • Billiard Ball Rings 4 of 12
    Billiard Ball Rings
    Wear your upcycling love on your hand with these funky pieces of jewelry, made from old billiard balls — no poolin' around.
    Get them from Eleanor Salazar, $160
  • Burlap Coffee Bag 5 of 12
    Burlap Coffee Bag
    If only your everyday plasticy coffee bags could be transformed into a chic bag like this one, made from an old burlap coffee sack. Turning the material into a cute hobo-style bag with a magnetic closure makes this product chic and eco-friendly.
    Get it from Etsy, $65
  • Antique Letterpress Necklace 6 of 12
    Antique Letterpress Necklace
    For carrying your printing press supplies on the go. Just kidding — but rocking one of these letters salvaged from old letterpresses would be an awesome homage to the written word — and the beauty of reusing!
    Get it from Etsy, $37
  • License Plate Bangle 7 of 12
    License Plate Bangle
    Make a statement with these wrist-toppers, made from old car plates. Pay respects to your home state, or one you've always wanted to travel to — you're officially a licensed upcycler!
    Get it from Little Earth, $30
  • Pull Tab Clutch 8 of 12
    Pull Tab Clutch
    What could you do if you saved all the pull-tabs from the soft drinks you drink each year? One idea — make a pull-tab clutch as cool as this one. If you're not the crafty type, buy this one, which is hand-crocheted from 200 recycled pop-tops.
    Get it from Ecoist, $42
  • Scrabble Notebook 9 of 12
    Scrabble Notebook
    This repurposed game board has several layers of chic: it's the classic word-nerd game of Scrabble, a French edition, and vintage to boot! Use it to write letters to yourself about how awesome you are.
    Get it from Etsy, $11.95
  • Fleabags 10 of 12
    Fleabags
    This might be one you'll have to wait for the holidays or your birthday to receive, but this bag is so nicely structured and durable that it's worth the wait. Made from repurposed and upcycled leathers, this chic satchel is an earth- and style-conscious choice.
    Get it from Fleabags, $440
  • Silver Spoon Money Clip 11 of 12
    Silver Spoon Money Clip
    Some people were born with a silver spoon in their mouths — and some just wrap it around their hard earned cash. This money clip is actually an old spoon (with New Jersey pride!) ... talk about putting your money where your mouth is!
    Get it from Etsy, $65
  • Soda Can Necklace 12 of 12
    Soda Can Necklace
    Taste the rainbow — well, sort of. These funky flowers have been cut from different colored soda cans and sanded down — so the only thing that's sharp is the way you look.
    Get it from Etsy, $15.95

What awesome products have you found that were made from something else?

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