Pinterest Nightmare #257: It’s Not Garbage, It’s Upcycled!

We all know that Pinterest can help us find many ways to spend our money. Why, without Pinterest, Ashley would have no chance of receiving a bust of Ryan Gosling lovingly crafted from materials of questionable origin for her next birthday! That’s what we would call a crying shame at The Dose of Reality.

But what I didn’t know until this week was that Pinterest can teach you new things and also save the world…yes, SAVE THE WORLD!

As I was Pinteresting earlier this week, I ran across a fantastic pin. Admittedly, at first I thought it was a picture of the bottom of someone’s trashcan. It turns out that is wasn’t trash at all because it was UPCYCLED!

Not hip to upcycling? Don’t worry. I’d never heard of this magical thing either.

According to Wikipedia, upcycling is defined as:

“the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value.”

Hello! What fool doesn’t want to take their waste materials and craft them into products of higher quality?

Feast your eyes on the pin that introduced me to upcycling:

Pinterest Nightmare #257a: Upcycled CD Necklace


DIY upcycled necklace as pinned from

It’s hard to take in all that beauty. I know.

I had no idea you could take an old CD (probably Richard Marx), a wad of ribbon from your 2003 baby shower, and the chain from an outgrown swing set and UPCYCLE it into the “product of higher quality” you see here! It’s a revelation!

It’s not taking up space in the landfill if it’s hanging around your neck!

The only problem I have now is deciding which garbage pail I want to raid so I can upcycle a necklace of my own. (I’m thinking the bathroom pail because used Q-tips seem like the perfect upcycling material. A case can also be made for the kitchen can. It’s filled with used coffee filters and the tuna fish container from my lunch.)

I was so impressed by this fashion accessory, I kept my eyes open on Pinterest this week for other upcycling pins. I was not disappointed.

Pinterest Nightmare #257b: Upcycled Jello Tupperlight:


Upcycled Jello Tupperlight as pinned from BootsNGus.

Totally genius, amiright?! They even use the lid! How many light fixtures do you have with a burpable lid? Exactly.

Oh sure, naysayers will whine that the Tupperware plastic isn’t up to code for an electrical fixture. What if it melts and catches fire from the heat of the bulb? Blah, blah, blah. You pay your homeowners insurance for a reason, right?

But this final upcycled beauty of the week might be my favorite. It’s also available for purchase so know you’re getting professional level upcycling.


Pinterest Nightmare #257c: Upcycled Crochet Tablecloth Tunic


Upcycled Vintage Crochet Tunic as pinned from SunHeart Goddess Clothing

Yes. That is a shirt made from a tablecloth. You won’t believe this, but the website says that it fits everyone from a size XS-4XL.

How many other tunics can make that claim? I’m thinking none.

And as our friend Susan from This Happy Mom commented on Pinterest: “It goes well with the upcycled quilt she’s wearing as a skirt.” Word.

If you don’t mind the tiny splotch of gravy from Thanksgiving near the right arm hole and have $235 burning a hole in your pocket, this can be yours.

Thanks to Pinterest, trash day just got a whole lot more exciting!

Oh, Pinterest. No…just no.




Pinterest Nightmare #257: It’s Not Garbage, It’s Upcycled! — 119 Comments

  1. Once I saw a website where a gal bought something from a thrift shop every day (week?) and up cycled it to a new outfit. That was awesome because she was so clever she would make, like, a dress out of a ghostbusters costume or something. Of course I read the whole archive in a week and I’m now too lazy to google it and see the web address to link here.

    • THAT sounds awesome! She was taking items and making them into a superior product…tablecloth tunic, not so much. 😀

  2. Hmmm… There’s a word to describe what I think about these items….it’s on the tip of my tongue…. Oh wait, I remember. GROSS. Yuck, can do too.

    • Agreed, Leah! You could also go with “terrible” or even “horrific”. Some things belong in the landfill.

  3. No no NO Pinterest!! I means tupperlight?! That is just taking things TOO far!! There has got to me something better they could be doing with their time like cleaning my house or doing my laundry. Those clothes and necklace hurt my eyeballs. Ain’t NOBODY got time for that.

  4. Maybe I can make something out of the swing set that no one has used in years. I love that jello Tupperlight…wow. I’m all for upcycling but there is such a thing as taking it too far. But thank you once again for your genius post that has us all laughing. Hope you are going to join our link party!!

    • Agreed! There’s upcycling and then there’s…this stuff. Yikes!! We joined the link party!! Whoo Hoo!

  5. Ladies, you need to put a warning label on posts this funny. I almost ruined my own quilt skirt with all the coffee I just spit up. Next time let me know so I can get a proper bib in place first.

  6. I was looking at the necklace and thinking, “Oh my daughter would like that!” And then I saw the Jello one and I was like..”Ok…but no.” And then the real treat, the real feast, was still waiting. I LOVE old, crusty tablecloth tunics. I really do! I’m running off to make one now. Hope my husband doesn’t mind that I’m using our only tablecloth that his father brought home for us from India. I’m just too excited to wait!

    • Well, you’re the creative type, Tamara. You’ve got to let your creative flag fly. I’m sure your husband won’t mind sacrificing a family heirloom for the sake of such beautiful fashion. I’ll be looking out for the pictures of the finished product!!! 😀

  7. I started to quote all of the things that made me laugh in this post, but I may as well just cut and paste the entire thing. Damn, ladies…thanks for morning ab workout!

  8. OMG…I sat here alternating between my jaw dropping and laughing so hard I almost spit out my tea. I think I might be speechless and that never happens. I have worn shirts that inadvertently looked like a tablecloth (thank you very much 1985) but to wear one on purpose that once was one? Ummm…no. That CD necklace looks like something Gia would make in preschool that I would have to suffer through wearing in order to not hurt her feelings. I agree…no, Pinterest…no.

    • Hahaha! We thought the same thing about the necklace. It is totally preschool-tastic. (Except we’d much rather have the traditional macaroni necklace brought home!!)

  9. What did Richard Marx ever do to you!!?!?! My daughter would be so in to this trend. She never wants to throw anything away. She always has some weirdo idea of what she can make out of old ribbons and popped balloons!!

    • Hahahaha. Poor Richard Marx! Would you feel better if we used a Michael Bolton? I bet Frances could do A LOT better than the offerings we found today!

    • Hahahaha. Too true, Alison. I’d give it a pass as a tablecloth because it was probably made by someone’s granny…but as a tunic…NO!

  10. I’m a relatively new follower so it took me a minute to hear your sarcasm. I live on the eastern shore where I constantly find myself questioning the looks of what people are wearing. lol thanks for this rather interesting post. haga

    • Hahaha! I didn’t know the eastern shore had so many interesting fashion finds! I’ll have to keep my eyes open the next time I’m in your neck of the woods!!

      Glad you liked the post, Kerry! And so glad you’re here!! 😀

    • I love sewing. (In fact, I’m in the middle of sewing 15 pairs of shorts for Lucy’s 3rd grade play right now!)

      WOW…she *is* talented!! That is Project Runway level re-purposing right there. It’s WAY harder to take garments and give them a whole new life that to sew from a pattern. AMAZING!!

      But yes, CDs and wrapping ribbon is probably best not upcycled into jewelry. It’s best to leave jewelry making to actual professionals like you!! 🙂

    • You are SO RIGHT, Allison! Who knew that family heirloom tablecloths might bring in more than the old silver?!! Hahahaha!

  11. Tupperlights ……so does the light burn the plastic if its gets hot….my Tupperware can barely handle the dishwasher I don’t know about light fixtures. The dress though….and people talk about me wearing sweats all the time smh

    • YES! I think the tupperlight will definitely warp and likely catch fire if you turn on the light. Upcycle that!!

      Sweats are a huge improvement over a tablecloth tunic! Wear your sweats proudly, Kita!!

  12. I don’t know what is scarier: those particular items or that I ACTUALLY know people who would not only make but USE such items…DAILY! Seriously! I think upcycling is a way to validate hoarding in a lot of cases (though I am not totally against it, though I’m for the “re-purpose” end of upcycling rather than the “I saved it from the landfill by adding a bow” end). I mean, if you can turn it into “art”, you can keep it, it seems. Just. Not. Right. Period.

    • It’s just not right, Julie. Putting a bow on trash, just gives you trash with a bow. Which is still trash.

      • Agreed 100%!

        Lisa, I wanted you to know that I made a variation to that Strawberry Spinach Salad recipe so that you can sub out the strawberries. Any fruit would work: raspberries, apples, even oranges or grapefruit – whatever you fancy that sounds good. 🙂

  13. I’m cracking up…my mother in law is a Tupperware hoarder (former seller) and I’m 99% positive I have that exact jello mold in the cabinet from a Christmas past! Now I finally know what I can do with it!! 🙂

    • Upcycle that baby, Angela! Now you know the secret! Don’t forget to use the lid, too. That takes it from “meh” to “dazzling”!

  14. I have to admit that these Friday posts are what I look forward to at the end of the week…wow, I just can’e believe how creative some people can be. I wish I was that talented. Who knows how much money I could have been saving making my own jewelry and lighting fixtures!!

  15. Oh my gosh, I’m going to have nightmares from this batch of pins! Who knew there was such a dark side to Pinterest? :-O

    I think my “favorite” is the jello light. I hope their home insurance is paid up and no one is standing under the light when it goes. At least if the homeowner is wearing that stylish tablecloth and quilt, she can upcycle it one last time into a “smother the flames” blanket.

  16. I can think of two words to describe these items…delusional and weird…and if I have to think of another one…goofy..just goofy!! !(taken from Night at the Museum 2)

    • Hahahaha. We do take our Pinterest Nightmares very seriously around here, Eva! You must give pins with this kind of beauty their due.
      So glad you found us! Welcome!!

  17. Oh My GOD! That tunic! My EYES!! It looks exactly like what it is…a table cloth. Also, I think the skirt she’s wearing makes it so much worse….LOL! I love reading these pinterest nightmare posts. Keep ’em coming 😀

    • The skirt does compliment the entire look to perfection, doesn’t it?
      We’ll keep them coming, Xae, as long as people keep pinning!! 😀

    • There you go, Kate! PERFECT!! Don’t forget to accessorize with your favorite upcycled necklace! But try to take it down a notch from the one we featured here. You wouldn’t want to outdo the bride!! 😀

  18. I guess the old saying, one man’s trash is another man’s…tent tablecloth tunic. Pinteresting for sure. I have a wallet made of old gum wrappers and upc codes and thought that was pretty tight. I just realized though I got nothin’ on that necklace. I mean, I can think of some ladies over at “Women Behind Bars” that might want to peruse through the upcycled jewelry box. Love your girls’ pinterest nightmares, keep em coming! Happy Friday!

    • Bwahahahahaha. That’s how we remember the saying too, Karen!!

      You could make a mean set of brass knuckles from the chain on that necklace! Total weapon potential!

  19. Funny, funny. Reminds me of when George ate an eclair out of the trash on Seinfeld.
    $235 has to be a typo, right? It’s not like they actually do anything to the old tablecloth, looks like they just drape it around you.

    • It was still above the rim, John. That doesn’t count!!

      Unfortunately the $235 was correct. But I will point out that it hadn’t sold. I bet she knocks it down to $200 by the end of the week.

  20. HA HA HA! I would totally give that…neck decor…to my mother as a gift and sit there as serious as can be! She would be like, “Oh, how nice! This is beautiful” when inside she’d really be thinking, “You can’t be my daughter, you freak!” LOLOL

    • The greatest thing about the tunic is that you don’t even have to worry about sizing. One size fits all!!

      (Poor Richard Marx. Ok, fine…we can use an Air Supply CD instead)

    • You could get a neck crick with all the things you can shake your head at on Pinterest!! It should come with a safety warning!!

  21. Well, my husband has been complaining that our recycling bin is overfull every week, now I have the solution! I am sure he will completely understand and support my new hobby. I have a vision of a pair of mini table lamps from my plastic infant formula cans and those plastic things you need to peel off milk container tops would make a great jewely set. I am SO. EXCITED.

    • Now you’re thinking, Christie! From essential nutrition to home decor for the formula cans…and an emptier recycling bin! That will be upcycling at it’s best!!

      I do think the milk caps would make stunning earrings. You have a knack for this.

    • And what a statement you will be able to make with a piece like that, Andrea! We’ll definitely want a pic!

    • Me either, Jeanne!!
      And yes, I am almost positive the Tupperware would melt and most likely catch fire. Crazy!!!

  22. OH. MY. GOSH. WHAT. THE? Pinterest no…just no. That top is definitely the cream of the crop!!! Oh wait- there’s some cream on it you say? Exactly. From nana’s coffee in 1865. Fresh from the cow. 😉

  23. Dudes. This type of thing is rampant in Seattle. I am all for saving the earth, but I draw the line at wearing my old tablecloth to a dinner party. My husband and I were just laughing the other day because we took our kid to a ‘craft’ center where they have bins of upcycled items for kids to make crafts with. So we basically paid to have our kid play with someone’s trash.

    • Hahahahaha. Seattle sounds like an upcyclers dream city, Amy!! We were slower to catch on here in Charlotte.

  24. This is when I remember why I hate crafts. Because most people are completely useless at them. And they spend all this time and the result is really, really NOT greater than the sum of its parts, and then you are supposed to appreciate it, when I just want to run away screaming.

    My gosh, that necklace is horrifying. As for the upcycled crochet tablecloth… wow, she really wanted it to look like a tablecloth, didn’t she? If she had worn it with leggings and a wide belt I might have just shrugged it off, but that… no, now I am in full “shaking my head, feeling embarrassed for her” mode 😉

    • Hahahaha. You describe crafting perfectly…PERFECTLY. Some people have it mastered…but most do not!! (at least the ones who pin to Pinterest don’t)

    • Bwahahaha. Someone was bound to buy it eventually, I guess. You’ve got to get a photo next time!!

    • Exactly, Carli! Riches are just within our reach if we can work a glue gun and we don’t set our cans out on pick up day!

  25. OMG, and to think without Pinterest we might not even know these things exist!! That’s even worse then the actual horror of these creations.

    • Hahaha. Yes!! Pinterest is what you make it, Amy. You are missing out on a lot of gems!!! Re-activate!! 🙂

    • We are literally throwing away untold potential riches every time it’s trash day, Laurie. Who knew?!

  26. I was just thinking about the term “upcycling” this week and how ridiculous it is. Our generation just loves to make up new words to sound hip online. But truly, that tablecloth dress/poncho/tunic… I need one of those! If she had a 10 percent off sale I would be sold. It is so versatile – I can eat off of it without shame or fear and it is SO flattering! I can just see myself now, picking up the kids from middle school in this and then inviting their friends and them to join in on a picnic (on my outfit). That’s not embarrassing at all, right?

    • It’s actually perfect for the mom on the go, Leah! Clothes that can multi-task!! (If that tablecloth lady doesn’t do sales, I bet you could make her an offer…..)

    • The necklace wouldn’t be the same without the swing set chain and decorative ribbon, Joi! But we’ll keep this in mind when your birthday comes around…

  27. I have also never heard of the term UPcycling but it gets the thums DOWN (pun intended) from me.
    What’s next??? Old sneaker now a planter??? Old coffee filters now a strapless bra cup??? Old, rusted paperclip earrings???

    • GAH!!! Don’t give the upcyclers any ideas, Dana!!! I’m sure to find these suggestions on pins any day now!!

    • I’m sure there are lovely ways to recycle. They aren’t on Pinterest…but I’m sure they exist.

    • So glad you found us, Diana!! If you make the light we desperately want to know: How long does it take before it bursts into flames? 10 minutes? An hour?

    • Upcycling is certainly…special, isn’t it?! (at least on Pinterest) It’s brings a smile to my face though perhaps not for the crafter intended reasons.

  28. With the exception of the safety hazard Jello mold, the problem with these upcycled projects is the execution. The CD necklace would be kind of cool if it didn’t have all that random ribbon and chain–picture it with three faceted black beads on either side, and a striking black cord instead. The tablecloth top is not entirely a lost cause, either, under a wide leather belt and paired with some nice jeans.

    • The devil is always in the details, Sharon! (I’m still not so sure about that tablecloth tunic, though….)

  29. Pingback: Pinterest Nightmare #220: The Remember Ring - The Dose of Reality

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