Tap into your creative side and breathing new life into preloved items. Avoid the landfill as over 22M pieces of furniture are thrown into land fill in the UK every year. So, recycling or upcycling old items rather than buying new ones helps preserve raw materials, whilst simultaneously saving money and reducing waste. Everyone wins. So what are the great things about taking on an Upcycling project?
Makes the money go further
There is budget furniture available online and on the high street – it wont last forever and you’ll see it everywhere. However, if you already have an old chest of drawers or footstool sitting around or you know someone downsizing, why spend money on new stuff?
The tools to upcycle don’t need to cost the earth and once you have them you are bound to be bitten by the bug! Upcycling tools are the gift that keeps on giving! They are much more affordable than they used to be, and if you treat them in the same way as the DIY toolbox then they take on a new (more essential) role in the home. So, by the time you’ve upcycled a couple of bits, the investment had paid for itself.
There is a great sense of satisfaction
When you sit down and put your G&T (other drinks are available) on an appliqued coffee table that you’ve spent your time creating – it is so much more rewarding than looking at something that you bought that you just know there are 100s of! I get a sense of joy when I look at some of the successes I’ve had – and if they don’t work you just try something else. Great for the mental wellbeing, time caught up in being creative – it’s my me time.
You can create one off pieces of beauty
Rather than buying furniture designed by someone else and bought by everyone else, upcycling means you can create bespoke, personalised pieces that suit your tastes, tell a story and meet your needs. People always comment on items I have given a new life to. Often asking me to have a go with something they were ready to bin. You can give anything your own twist and creative an unexpected effect.
You’re learning a skill
Until recently, ‘make do and mend’ was something our grandparents talked about with nostalgia. Sadly, many of us have lost the skills required to repair broken objects, many of us can’t darn, knit or even sew on a button. There is so much money to save by learning how to use a needle & tread, a hammer, some nails, a glue gun and a staple gun – all essential when fixing a broken table leg or reupholstering a chair. And it’s a skill you can pass down to future generations too. I say this all the time, but the disposable way of life just has to stop, we can’t have instant gratification but we can have satisfaction and purpose when we create something and teach our kids to be handy (and thrifty).
It’s so much easier than you think
You may feel daunted by the idea of building a chair out of a crate or crafting a kitchen counter out of a piece of oak, but upcycling doesn’t have to be complicated. There are plenty of ideas that are easier than they look. For example, a panel of wallpaper on the sides of some draws, varnished and buffed looks stunning and unexpected. Something simple that reflects you will make a huge impact. Once you get confident and try a few things you can up your game on more complex projects.
Make second-hand your first choice – don’t ditch the old, grab some tools, mix some paint, and get going!