Mask holder, cleaning liquid among useful items you can DIY using things found at home to save money & the environment

You can learn almost anything online.

Sumita Thiagarajan | Sponsored | November 28, 2020, 10:00 AM

With the uncertainty of Covid-19, some of us might be more careful about what we spend on during 2020.

However, one thing that saving money often can teach us is the value of being resourceful.

Not being able to buy something doesn’t mean you might have to deprive yourself of the item. Instead, you can look around your home to find existing material to upcycle into new items.

Learning how to be more resourceful

If you’re looking for free online workshops to learn how to be more resourceful, you will be glad to know that this year’s Clean and Green Singapore (CGS) Carnival has a variety of online workshops on upcycling.

The annual event will be held online on Nov. 28 and Nov. 29 via Clean and Green Singapore’s microsite.

So, what are some items you can make from the things found around your home?

1. Face masks from old t-shirts

While it’s a lot easier to buy a new mask, making your own face mask at home can be quite rewarding too.

To source materials for a face mask, you just need to look in your wardrobe, where you can use an old t-shirt or multiple t-shirts to make a mask.

Photo via quiltygardener/Instagram

And if you need a plastic holder for your mask, you can upcycle your old plastic folders (that you use for holding notes or documents (as seen below):

Photo by NEA

Workshop details:

  • DIY mask holder workshop: Nov. 28
  • T-shirt face mask workshop: Nov. 29 at 12noon

Visit this link here to join the workshops.

2. Cleaning liquid from fruit peels

Another useful cleaning liquid you can make on your own to clean kitchen countertops or surfaces around the home.

Using citrus rinds, or the skin of fruits such as oranges and lemons, soaked in water and sugar to produce a cheap and powerful cleaning liquid.

Photo by NEA

Workshop details: DIY enzyme cleaner (with Mark Lee): Nov. 28

Visit this link here to join the workshop.

3. Coin purse from juice or milk cartons

As for old fruit juice boxes or milk cartons, you can convert them into fashionable coin purses or card holders.

Here’s what they might look like when they are upcycled:

Photo via Terra’s website

Get your empty carton ready and join the free virtual workshop.

Workshop details: DIY coin purse: Nov. 29 at 12.30pm

Visit this link here to join the workshop.

4. LED lamp from glass bottles or containers

Other items that we might often have too many in the kitchen are glass containers from jams, spreads or beverages.

Instead of recycling these items, you can pop a thin string of LED lights in them (once they are cleaned and dried) and you have a lovely glass lamp.

You can decorate the outside of the lamps with stickers or markers to give them a ‘stained glass’ feeling.

Photo by NEA

If you’re feeling inspired after the workshop, you could even make LED lamps with other glass containers, such as the ones below:

Image via terravillage/Instagram

Those looking to attend a free virtual workshop that walks you through the steps of making a lamp can join the session here.

Workshop details: Glass bottle LED lamp workshop: Nov. 28 at 6pm

5. Paper bowl from newspapers

As for newspapers and magazines lying around the home, you can turn them into decorative bowls.

These can be useful in organising keys, coins or other small items in your daily life.

Here are two examples of upcycled newspaper bowls:

Photo via threads.upcycled/Instagram

Photo via upcycling.papier.kunst/Instagram

Workshop details: DIY newspaper bowl: Nov. 29 at 9.30am

Visit this link here to join the workshop.

Bonus: Repair household appliances at home

For electrical items, it might be tempting to buy new electronics when current appliances stop working.

Sometimes, you can bring ‘spoilt’ appliances back to shape with a bit of help from volunteers from Repair Kopitiam.

Details: View the first video of a series of instructional videos on how to repair common household appliances on Nov. 29 at 9am.

More details on CGS 2020’s programme can be found here.

The writer of this sponsored article by the National Environment Agency swears by the effectiveness of homemade cleaning liquid in getting rid of kitchen grease.

Top photos via terravillage/Instagram and NEA.