Upcycling Inspiration: The Kitchen Edition

Most of us are familiar with the three Rs - Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, but how about Upcycle? Also known as creative reuse, upcycling transforms unused, waste, or useless items into new functional products for a better environmental value. Finding different upcycled homes for your succulents and herbs can be very interesting, and in this article, we'd like to share two of our favourite upcycling projects for you to creatively reuse some of the common items in your kitchen for your urban gardens!

1. Eggs

Eggs are really one of our favourite items in the kitchen. Apart from being tasty, egg have shells that are also good additions to the compost bin if you have one. But have you thought about starting a mini indoor herb garden with a tray of eggshells? It is not only doable, it's extremely practical, especially with the limited space that we have at home. A carton of 6 should sit nicely on a windowsill, and once the plant is ready to be transplanted, both the eggshells and the carton can be composted to provide nutrients to the plant.

What you need:

  • Empty egg shell halves, rinsed
  • Egg carton, preferably the recycled kind (not plastic)
  • Seed-starting mix, or wet soil
  • Seeds (preferably herbs)


  • Put the egg shell halves in its slots of the egg carton and put moist seed-starting mix or the wet soil into the egg shells
  • According to the instructions on the seed pack, place a couple of seeds in the egg shells and leave it in a sunny spot


  • Lightly mist the soil every couple of days as required. Young seedlings do not require too much water, and take care not to over water as there is no drainage.
  • When seedlings have grown, snip off the small seedlings to allow room for the largest one to grow.
When leaves emerge from the seedlings, transplant them over to a bigger pot. You may crush the egg shells directly over the soil and allow it to decompose that way, or throw it into a compost bin for future use.

2. Canned food tins

We often open up our canned food tins, eat whatever is in it and dispose of them easily because what else is there to do with a metal tin can right? Except that there is a use for it, because it serves as an upcycled planter.

What you need:

  • Empty food tin, rinsed
  • Seed-starting mix, or wet soil
  • Seeds
  • Spray paint (optional)
  • Hammer and nail


  • If you'd like to have a standard look for all your tin can planters, spray the outside of the cans the colour of your preference. This is an optional step. Wait for the paint to dry before moving on to the next step
  • Use the hammer and nail to make about 3 draining holes at the bottom of the tin cans
  • Add soil to the tin cans, and add seeds according to the instructions on the seed pack. Leave the tin cans in a sunny spot


  • Choose a plant that is of the right size, colour, and shape that matches the tin can
  • Experiment with flowers if you are an experienced farmer and attain a beautiful rustic look
  • Don't worry about your tin can when it rusts over time, rust will not harm your plants as it is not water soluble

    These are two very simple upcycled planters that we like. Upcycling projects give us space to be creative while at the same time help the environment, and beautify our living spaces with interesting objects. Who says planters and pots have to be of a specific shape and size to look great? We say egg shells and soup cans work too.



    Written by Ange Chua
    Edited by Cynthea Lam

    Ange Chua is an aspiring bird-watcher trying to fix her black thumbs. When she's not writing, you'd find her drinking tea out of teacups or reading in bed with her dog. She thinks her spirit animal is an alpaca.