Upcycling has seen a huge boost in popularity in recent years with more and more people wanting to find ways to save money, reuse materials and reduce their impact on the environment. It’s a great way to transform old furniture into something fresh and completely unique rather than sending old stuff to the landfill and buying new things. We’ve put together our top tips for upcycling furniture to help you turn into a pro. Plus, to fund your project, find out how to make some extra money…
Keep your eyes peeled
Every item that you come across can be viewed as an upcycling opportunity. Something might seem ugly at first glance but the trick is to look past the imperfections and find the potential. A good place to start is to look around your house for bits of furniture that have become worn or broken and figure out how you can transform them. Or go online! Check out local buy and sell Facebook pages in your area to find hidden gems. If you need a bit of inspiration, Pinterest is full of wonderfully creative ideas.
You’ve got to start somewhere
If you feel a bit daunted about taking on a project, the best idea is to start small. Technical aspects of upcycling, such as woodwork, can seem overwhelming at first, so why not start with something easy and work your way up? Try some simple painting and then move on to more complicated projects like sanding, staining and waxing as you grow in confidence. Painting is a great place to start because if you mess it up, you can just paint it a different colour!
Don’t get too carried away
If you bite off more than you can chew with your first project you might be tempted to jack the whole thing in, so go steady at the beginning. You might be lusting after a beautifully upcycled French dresser like the one you saw on Pinterest, but if you haven’t got the skills you’ll end up frustrated. Choose something simple, like a chair that needs reupholstering and painting, and don’t rush.
Find your own style
Whilst we highly recommend using the internet for inspiration, you’ll get so much more out of upcycling if you develop and hone your own style. The amazing thing about upcycling is that you end up with totally one-off pieces and this will be extra special if you’ve done it all in your own unique way. Embrace the fact that you’re a one off and your upcycling projects will reflect this; you don’t need to be comparing yourself to other people or projects that you see online.
Embrace your mistakes
Part of the joy of upcycling is that you can make mistakes and it doesn’t matter; just incorporate them into your designs or simply start all over again. Experimentation is an enjoyable part of the process and can lead to your best work, as well as helping you to define your own particular style. If you don’t get it right the first time, don’t worry, as taking risks and embracing your mistakes will help you to learn and develop the skills you need to be an incredible upcycler.