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DIY: The Joy of Upycling Furniture

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram (if you don’t, you should 😉), you’ll know that I love upcycling furniture. It’s just so satisfying; upcycling combines my love of crafts, creativity, and interior design with being eco-friendly and saving money.

In this post, I’d like to share more of my upcycling projects and inspire you to start upcycling yourself.

What is upcycling?

Upcycling is the process of taking an existing item and turning it into something of a higher value or quality. This could be as simple as reupholstering an old chair or giving it a new coat of paint. The only limit is what you already own and your creativity and imagination.

What are the benefits of upcycling furniture?

There are so many benefits to upcycling furniture, you’ll wonder why you didn’t start sooner.

1. Save money

You can save money by upcycling furniture. By using items you already own, you won’t have to buy new and expensive items. Just be sure to set an appropriate budget for your upcycling materials. You might even be able to sell your upcycled furniture for more money than you bought it for.

2. More Sustainable

The process of upcycling items contributes to a circular economy - a model of production and consumption which involves sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing, and recycling existing materials and products as long as possible. A circular economy produces less waste and reduces the demand for new items.

3. Better Mental health

Creativity is proven to reduce anxiety, depression, and stress. It can help you manage negative emotions and channel them into creating something new and beautiful.

4. More Sentimental Value

You might find that you place more sentimental value on upcycled furniture. Items that you save from going to waste and upgrade are a joy to have around the home and tell a story.

Upcycling Projects

I’ve worked on plenty of upcycling projects over the last few years. I’d like to share some of them with you to get you inspired to upcycle yourself.

1. Corkboard

I owned a standard brown corkboard but felt that its colour was a bit too harsh for its surroundings. I wanted somewhere bright and pristine to display pictures and cards on.

I did some research and found out it's fine to paint cork. I used Zinsser Bull Eye 123 as a primer. I gave it four thick coats until I couldn’t see the cork anymore and then let it dry for a day.

2. Divan

I bought a new duvet set and removed the fabric valance from the bed. However, I didn’t like the divan base that was now showing.

I looked at the cost of a new bed but didn’t want to spend that much money. I thought I’d try painting it instead.

I set to work with black Zinsser Allcoat, a water-based paint that covers everything.

The result looks great and solved my problem.

3. Headboard

Next, I reupholstered the headboard in mustard velvet fabric I already owned. I didn’t remove the old fabric from the headboard, I just stapled the new fabric on top. A simple way to make a cost-effective improvement to existing furniture.

💡 Bonus tip: Pull the fabric tightly and evenly when stapling and make sure your corner is neat.

4. Bedside Lamp

I wanted the accessories in my bedroom to match in colour. I easily changed the bedside lamp base by spraying it with a black matt spray paint by Rust-Oleum.

Now, the lamp and the divan complement each other and bring a sense of unity to the room.

5. Drawers

An upcycling detail you might miss when looking at the picture of my bedroom is the drawer handles.

Instead of a conventional wooden handle, I made a loop from an old belt and attached it to the drawer with studs.

6. Pot

Finally, I painted the plant pot black with Zinsser Allcoat to match the other highlights in the bedroom. Although it is a minor change, the matching colour of the divan, lamp, and pot makes the room much more aesthetically pleasing.

Get started

I hope I've inspired you to try upcycling furniture. Just remember all the benefits of upcycling: saving money, sustainable for the planet, and great for boosting creativity and mental health.

If you need imaginative but practical interior design advice, please get in touch or book an interior design consultation here.

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