From Trash to Treasure: Upcycled Mountain Landscape

diy May 16, 2022
How to upcycle your trash and turn it into art

What do you call a crafty pirates recycling bin?  A treasure chest! Today we’re going to be channeling our inner crafty pirate and turn some trash into treasure.  Before we begin, HELLO! I’m so glad you’re here.  My name is Chloe (you can find me on Instagram under the name @loveotherslettering) and I LOVE upcycling everyday things and turning them into art.  

Today I’ll be teaching you how to take some old cereal boxes (or whatever you have lying around!) into a beautiful mountain landscape.  Let’s begin!!



  • Any old cardboard packaging, boxes, containers, or even thick magazines/scrap paper
  • One piece of thicker cardboard - ensure it’s thick enough to act like mounting tape (see image below)
  • Glue
  • Photo frame - try to find one which has a ‘raised edge’ on the inside (see image below), otherwise Leslie Espino from @leslieespinoart on Instagram has a great tip to turn your normal frame into a 3D frame
  • Pencil
  • Eraser
  • Scissors OR exacto knife/stanley knife/box cutter
  • Cutting mat
  • Ruler
  • Something to trace a circle with



Step 1: Gather Your “Trash”


Use any old things you have lying around for recycling - try to find things with different shades & one piece of thicker cardboard, which will act as “mounting tape” later on.



Step 2: Prepare Your “Trash”


Backing: Cut one piece down to the same size as your frame - this will be what you stick everything onto later and will be your background.  If you’re feeling adventurous - feel free to paint it another colour!



Cut all your boxes open so you’re working with the nice, untouched cardboard on the inside.

Step 3: Sketch Out the Mountain Scene


Roughly sketch out a mountain scene onto your backing board.  You can have as many mountains as you like, depending on how many different shades of cardboard/paper you have!



Always wanted to get into sketching but didn't know where to start? Grab yourself a copy of Mindful Sketching and prepare to explore and discover.


Step 4: Make the Moon/Sun & Mountains!


Sketch your mountains onto different piece of cardboard & then cut them out.

TIP: try to arrange your cardboard/paper from dark to light from the bottom - this will mimic real life mountains!



Trace something circular to make your moon & then cut it out - I found some shiny parts on an old calendar, which I was very happy with!


You should end up with pieces like this - feel free to use old magazines as well - it ends up having a pretty cool effect!


You can also bend or scrunch up the cardboard/paper to give your mountains more texture.



Step 5: Cut Thicker Cardboard Into Strips


Grab your thicker cardboard & cut it into strips that will fit behind your mountains.


Step 6: Glue It All Together!


Glue each mountain together with the piece of thicker cardboard in between so it gives it an elevated/3D look - it helps to add dimension. You could always skip the thicker cardboard too if you don’t have any at home!




Don’t forget the moon!



Stick everything together & give it enough time to dry before putting it in the frame.



Pop it in the frame and then TA DA! Your new treasure - a beautiful upcycled mountain view for your home.  If you end up making this I would LOVE to see it! Please feel free to tag me on Instagram @loveotherslettering.  Feel free to shoot me any questions as well!  If your profile is set to private, please send it to me in a message, as it completely warms my heart when I see all the creative things people get up to!  Thank you so much for being here!




Chloe has practiced lettering for 6 years & launched ‘Love Others Lettering’ in 2019 with a desire to combine her two passions - sustainability & calligraphy.  She chose the name as a friendly reminder to herself to ‘Love Others’ - by being conscious of the impact she leaves - to the Environment & to others.


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