I really (really!) enjoy discovering fun items at Goodwill that I can take home and upcycle into something new. I’ve come up with some weird and wonderful ideas over the years.

(My #1 All-Time Favorite Goodwill Upcycle Project is this cute alien crafted from old bowls and kitchen utensils.)

But every once in a while, I find something that seems really interesting in the store. Then I get home, and I just can’t seem to make it work. I was going to call this post Goodwill Upcycle Fails,… but then I remembered one of my favorite quotes from Susan B. Anthony.

Failure is impossible.

So today, I’m sharing with you: Goodwill Upcycle Projects That I Haven’t Figured Out … Yet!

** If you have any ideas for these things, please let me know in the comments. I would love some inspiration!

Heart-Shaped Wire Rack ($3.99)

I thought this heart-shaped wire rack would be an easy-peasy upcycle project. Spray paint the heart a bright color, add a few upcycled plant containers and hang it on my backyard fence. Done!

Wrong! It turns out the shelves on the rack are not very tall. My littlest pots barely fit, but there wasn’t really enough room for the plants to grow. That easy-peasy idea wasn’t going to work.

Then I thought maybe I could spell out the word L-O-V-E and use the heart in place of the letter O. But what would I use to make the other letters? I’m thinking maybe cut up a wood pallet since the L, V and E are all formed with straight lines. 

Now I just need to find a wood pallet to try out this not-so-easy-peasy idea …

Candle-Holder Flame Thing ($6.99)

I really liked the shape of this when I pulled it off the shelf at Goodwill. It looks like a flame to me. 

I think it was intended to be used as a candle holder. That seems like an awfully big holder for two little votive candles. Maybe the small containers held little pots of succulents? I wasn’t 100% sure what-the-heck this thing was or what I was going to make with it.

But I was sure I would think of something. 

Unfortunately, I haven’t thought of anything … yet.

I am truly stumped on this one, but I’m holding on to it until inspiration finds me.

Bowling Pin ($3.99)

Finally, I present to you this bowling pin! 

It’s actually a miniature duckpin bowling pin. In all my life, I had never held a bowling pin in my hands before, let alone had an opportunity to purchase one.

So I purchased it, of course!

Now what?

I think in the right setting, this little bowling pin could be an interesting home decor item on a shelf or mantel. Maybe next to a stack of books. 

My original idea was to challenge myself by transforming it into a lamp. You can purchase kits at the home improvement store and add wiring to pretty much any object to transform it into a lamp. That part sounds easy, but I’m stuck on how to drill the hole through the bowling pin so I can run the wire through it. 

I’ve never drilled a hole into a bowling pin before. Honestly, I’m a little afraid to try this. (Although I am very curious about what the inside of a bowling pin looks like.) 

So my Goodwill bowling pin waits patiently for me to figure out what to do with it.

* * * 

That’s the thing about upcycling. Most of it is just experimenting and playing around with an idea until you like how it turns out. But sometimes, the ideas don’t come together as easily as you anticipated. That’s OK. 

Eventually, I’ll figure out something wonderful to do with these three weird items. And if that fails, I can always donate them back to Goodwill so somebody else can give it a try!

For more inspiration, check out these Finding Your Good posts: