I find that most of my upcycling or what I call re-purposing, (since I don't exactly improve the appearance of the items), is for things I can use in the garden or for food storage. For plant supports in my garden, I have used old ladders, discarded lengths of conduit & plumbing pipes & old sheets or blankets as frost covers in a pinch. I also use discarded windows, screens & doors to make cold frames. I use all kinds of food containers as seed starting pots & when they fall apart, then I recycle them. And I even save some of the twiggy cuttings from the previous years & use them to support my peas!
Any of the organic cotton pillow or pet beds that are no longer usable, I remove the filling & use in my nesting 'feeder' for the birds. They love it, but they can't get enough of the sterilized feathers I supply which are a by product of the game bird meat industry & are the most popular nesting material I've ever offered! Unfortunately, I have to buy those.
The nice thing I've discovered about reusing glass jars for food storage is that with my FoodSaver jar adapter, I can reuse canning lids indefinitely to make a vacuum seal on any glass jar that fits them. Now, for the jars that don't fit canning lids, the lids that come with them, if metal, can be re-vacuum sealed if you have a canister vacuum sealer, (I don't). You fill the jar, put the lid on & place the whole thing in the canister attachment for your vacuum sealer, run it & voila, like new! I want to mention that this is only safe with dry ingredients!!! Now that I have the reusable Tattler lids for home canning, all my used or new metal ones are being put to use for storing all my dry goods in glass jars. With the vacuum, the food lasts for years & I have been able to slowly build a pantry. The jars I can't vacuum seal are used to store salt or sugar, things that don't spoil or stale. I recently opened a vacuum sealed jar of crackers that I sealed two years ago. Clearly, they were way past their expiration date, yet when opened, were as fresh as new. I had been so skeptical, but not anymore! I live alone & now I don't have to worry about wasting food because it went bad before I could eat all of it!
Whatever I don't use to death or re-purpose, I donate to charity & if all avenues have been exhausted, I recycle whatever I can. Pretty much the only things that regularly get thrown out are just the used cat litter & any food scraps I can't compost or give to wildlife.
Now, the real trick will be upcycling any of my rechargeable sex toys after they expire! Any ideas are welcome!! It would be funny, if not practical, to make garden art out of them, ha ha! How about a dildo statue? I might be run out of the neighborhood, but I'd be laughing like a loon!
BTW, I saw some nice zebra printed curtains in Kendra's room while I watched her YouTube videos & I'd bet that she made them - so yes she's crafty. Anybody see the funny saying on shirts or pins that says, "I'm so crafty, I make babies!" ha ha ha!