Recycle, rescue or revamp
Altered art is a broad term that encompasses many styles and genres of art and crafts. Typically, it is an item that has been recycled, rescued, re-vamped or re-used to create an interesting art or craft from. Generally, items have been "altered" or "changed" by means of gluing, painting, collaging, rubber stamping, cutting, tearing, embellishing etc.
Altered Art can be: an inventive experiment; a creative construction; a stimulating sculpture;an expression of the creator/artist/crafter.