Upcycling has become increasingly more popular in recent years, and it’s not hard to see why. Cost-effective, fun and always yielding unique results, personalising and reviving old furniture is a fantastic way to liven up your home without forking out hundreds of pounds on new pieces. We are all spending a lot more time at home these days, so why not start a new project and upcycle some old furniture? Anyone can have a go, so read on for our top tips on creating your fab new furniture.
If this is your first time upcycling a piece of furniture, you might want to start with something small and manageable like an old spice rack or some tired coat hangers. One thing to be sure of, however, is the age-old saying of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. Take your time in deciding what you want to upcycle and have a rough idea of how you would like to improve it before you begin, whether it’s simply a clean and polish or a total revamp, turning your furniture into something completely new.
It can be very tempting to buy a new set of brushes or tins of paint when starting a new project, but you might already have what you need in the house. Before you buy anything, have a thorough sift through what you already have in your shed, garage or cupboard under the stairs. It might have been years since you took on a DIY project, it might only have been days, but knowing what you’ve already got is a good place to start for everyone. It is also a good excuse to have a good clear out and re-organise your space, which we always recommend. When you have a good idea of what tools and supplies you already have, you can move onto deciding what you want to upcycle, or get online shopping for anything you think you might need (or want!) for your project.
If this is the very first upcycling project you have undertaken, chances are you might not have any tools or supplies whatsoever, but that’s okay. Now is the perfect time to buy wisely, and we recommend investing in the best. House Beautiful points out that cheap paint brushes will leave unsightly bristles in your finished piece and don’t give very good coverage, so find a good quality set and look after them – they will last you for years worth of upcycling projects to come.
The same goes for paints and primers; it is simply not worth saving a few pounds only to find you need twice the amount, or worse, you find that in a few weeks the paint begins to flake or fade. Read reviews, ask friends and family what they like to use and find out what the best brands are for your chosen project.
Have you ever noticed how everything in furniture shops looks more or less the same? One of the reasons we love upcycling is because it gives us the chance to create something totally unique and one of a kind – something that no one else will ever have. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and see beyond what is currently on offer online or in the shops. Unleash your inner designer and start planning what you would love to see in your own home. Websites like Pinterest are great if you’re in need of some inspiration, but you can find ideas through everyday items like the flowers in your garden and the colours in your wardrobe. There are no limits to what you can create, so be bold.
One of the great things about the internet is its vast range of free tutorials; from reupholstering old chairs to turning ladders into clothing racks, as seen here in Good Housekeeping Magazine. YouTube is a great place to find guided how-tos on upcycling old furniture and helps to reduce the chances of making mistakes along the way. However, if you have an idea that isn’t on the internet already, why not try it out and record the results for your own tutorial?
Sometimes a lick of paint is all that is needed to bring new life to an old piece of furniture. Dressers, garden chairs and desks can all be revived with the right shade of paint. Look at the surrounding furniture or environment or use a colour wheel to find a shade that you love – these are great if you want to try something new but are unsure about what colours work well together. If you really want to make a statement, try adding accents of silver or gold to smaller items like door knobs and mirror frames.
Beading, stitching and even drawing – accessorising might possibly be the most fun part of an upcycling project. Sometimes the accessories are all that are needed for a piece of furniture to really pop, and you might find that it needs nothing more.
Pom poms are a simple yet effective way to liven up cushions and throws and can be easily made with some cardboard and wool. Jazz up old coat hangers by threading beads through each hook, use a marker pen to create eye-catching lettering on a kitchen noticeboard – get creative!
With so much inspiration out there and upcycling projects the whole family can get involved in, why not have a go at funking up your furniture? Let us know how you get on – we would love to see what you create.
Lauren Williams Interiors is a local company that knows all about upcycling! They offer a bespoke upholstery service in Crickhowell, Abergavenny meaning you can choose your own Shape, Size, Materials, Leg Style, Leg Finishes and even choose from her wide choice of additional details including; Studs, Deep Buttoning, Shallow Buttoning, Square Buttoning, Piping, Pattern Matching and many more! See below for some exquisite examples of her work.
If you would like to bring an old piece of furniture to life contact Lauren directly to discuss your requirements –