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There are so many fantastic benefits to ‘upcycling’ or turning an old piece of furniture into something new. It’s good for the environment seeing as less is going to landfill (and less demand to factories for new furniture) but you also get to create something unique. Plus it’s fun too, you can teach yourself new techniques and let your creative juices flow. Whether you love experimenting with color or pulling out the power tools, there’s something in the hobby for you. Here are some ideas to inspire you to start upcycling!
One of the easiest upcycling projects you can do is by transforming an old piece of furniture. Junk shops, Facebook Groups, and classified sites are almost always getting rid of old fashioned pieces. You might even find furniture at the junk yard or local recycling site. These may look old and outdated, but since a lot of old furniture was made using solid wood, it gives you the perfect blank canvas. You could simply sand and paint, you could remove the handles and replace them with something more modern. You could replace the legs, add drawer liners– whatever you like. The finished result will be something truly unique, you’ll have modernized and brought back to life an old piece and allow it to be used for years to come. Want proof – take a walk in your local area where the hipsters hang out and look in the boutique furniture stores there – I am sure you’ll find equivalent products for mega-bucks!
Palettes or Wood
If you can’t get hold of any old furniture, there’s plenty you can do with just palettes and wood. A palette can be transformed into things like a coffee table or a hanging herb planter. A large piece of wood with some foam backing and material can be transformed into a headboard. You can even upcycle things like your kitchen cupboard doors and wooden front doors. Wood is an easy material to work with so ideal for beginners, just make sure you use the right products and are doing a thorough preparation before starting.
I also spoke with a builder friend of mine – recently he was paid serious top dollar for creating a ‘palette wall’ in a local pub – fashioned out of wooden palettes and given that shabby look.
Metal can be a little trickier to work with than wood, but there are tonnes of great ways to work with the material. Using a brass shim stock assortment you could create incredible wall art, or you could modernize garden furniture, mirrors and other items using primer and spray paint. If you’re going to be upcycling items to be used outdoors, be absolutely sure you’re using the right paint- something durable and weatherproof is essential. In the case of things like garden furniture that’s going to have people sat on it as well as sitting outside all year, it has to be right to stop it from wearing too quickly.
There are tons of projects you can have fun creating when it comes to upcycling. You could completely kit out your house without spending much at all, or you could start a side business and sell what you make if you enjoy it. It’s a fun, productive hobby that gets you up and about and allows you to use your creativity.
Are you on board with upcycling? Have you started any projects like this?