Reuse: To use an item again and again for the same purpose.
Repurpose: To reuse an item for another purpose than originally intended. Similar to Upcycle; however, upcycled items are items that are made from recycled materials. For example, purchasing pool noodles at the Dollar Store to make into cute lollipop yard decorations is REPURPOSING rather than making them by reusing ones that were previously purchased for and used in your own swimming pool first; hence, recycling the item to upcycle.

Reused Items

Example: Mason canning jars. 

They are used for the purpose of canning fruits, vegetables, jams etc... They are also used to hold flowers in when one cannot find a vase. Men and women alike will use them for storing buttons, flowers, or the odd assortment of nails and screws. Children will collect bugs or money in them. While they are not used for their original purpose...that is canning food, they are still used for some type of storage. 

The picture to the right is storing rocks. If that is it's only purpose, then it is a reused item. However, once it is used for a decoration, you might be moving into a repurpose, upcycle idea. Even reused jars that are decorated and storing rocks may or may not be considered repurposed. I have decorated jars and cans in my garage storing various items. The purpose is to store items even though I prefer the items to look pretty while storing things in them.

However, if someone uses them as part of their wedding decorations, we would move into the repurposed or upcycled category. Also, if a candle is added, it most definitely would be moving into the realm of repurposing or upcycling depending on if the jar was purchased new as a wedding decoration for example thus repurposed, or it is a cleaned out spaghetti jar that was leftover after you finished with your recipe rather than throwing it out thus upcycled. 


Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn

These lights have beautiful vintage canning jar globes. I do not think Pottery Barn would advertise these as jars they have drilled a whole into in order to store wiring and light bulbs.

Example: Mason canning jars. These are used for another purpose. While you might say that they are storing light, the purpose of the jar is to act as a glass lampshade to shed light and protect the bulb and not truly for storage.


Photo courtesy of the Cottage Chick at Denise in Bloom.

Reuse & Repurpose

Items in this section were completed by me.


These are photos and amounts for every item begin sold.

Photo courtesy of flickr.

A mason jar reused to store rocks with red ribbon twine as wedding decorations.

Craft List