With the bank holidays coming up, it’s been hard to get into the springtime spirit with the dreary weather that we’ve been having in the UK. While barbeques and picnics might be out of the picture for your long weekend plans, there are tons of great ways to stay creative and get some time with the whole family. While we have a few that we love, upcycling is far and away our personal favourite rainy weekend activity.
Upcycling (or creative reuse if you’re feeling fancy) involves rescuing and revamping drab bits of furniture into fab pieces you’ll be keen to show off! There’s no better time to pick up a brand new skill than over the long bank holiday weekend, and upcycling is the sustainable hobby that keeps on giving. In this weeks blog, we’ll be diving into why you should give creative reuse a try, how to choose your pieces and materials, and some tips and tricks for beginners and little ones getting involved.
Why You Should Try Upcycling
One of the main draws of upcycling is that it’s a sustainable alternative to just chucking out old furniture and have them end up in a skip somewhere. With more and more people looking for ways to do their bit and help the environment, upcycling elevates old furniture while making for a fun way to save the planet.
Another reason why reusing old furniture has become so popular is that it gives you the opportunity to give your slightly more boring (or just plain ugly) pieces a revamp on a budget. Who says that you have to throw the whole thing away when you can transform almost anything with just a lick of paint?
That’s another reason why recycling furniture is so popular; it is so easy to do! While you might think of some fiddly carpentry or something to do with a blowtorch would be involved, you can work some serious magic with some decent paint and a trusty paintbrush.
How To Choose Your Pieces
When it comes to picking the furniture you want to upcycle, the only limit is your imagination. If you have some older pieces around the house that are either a little bit dated, or just generally worse for wear, they make for a fantastic project to take on. Whether it’s an old console table, dining room chair, or even a chest of drawers you can use bright paints to transform your O.A.Ps (old age pieces) into a youthful conversation piece.
Keeping with the low cost-benefit a painted makeover can bring, why not go for a cheaper option and elevate it at home? You can grab boring but budget-friendly furniture from big brands or even online, and turn them from uninspiring and generic effects to fabulous one of a kind creations.
You can also find some wallet-friendly bits and bobs that are in need of some TLC at your local charity shop and vintage stores. The timeless look is in right now (a bit of a juxtaposition but you get the idea) so trawling second-hand shops is a great way to do some good while you makeover some pieces. You never know what you might find, so don’t forget to check every nook and cranny.
Upcycling is a creative hobby, so don’t hesitate to go for some out-there ideas. Reusing pallets with a shiny new coat of paint is very popular as an easy project for beginners, and you can also use old crates for fun storage. Or, create an outdoor plant holder with wooden ladders. No matter what you go for, it’s important to make sure that you have the right tools.
How To Choose Your Materials
While you can cut corners on quality when it comes to the furniture or scraps that you’re upcycling (that’s kind of the whole point really) if you want a fantastic finish you’ll be showing off for years to come, it’s important to make sure that you have the right tools to get the look you want.
The Little Greene Paint Company is known for their top-notch paints, and they’re our go-to for giving wooden furniture a whole new look. With heaps of finishes to choose from, as well as gorgeous colours, you can be sure that you’ll find a shade of Little Greene Paint that’s perfect for your project. Whether you fancy a calming blue or a more vibrant red, there are stunning shades ready to go at Taylors, a stockist of Little Greene Paint
You might think that a quick coat of paint is all you need, but there’s a wee bit more to it if you want perfect results. We recommend picking up some sandpaper to quickly whittle down any unsightly bumps and scrapes, as well as some furniture friendly solvent for stripping away 80’s style varnishes.
Tips And Tricks For Beginners
Getting into refurbishing furniture can be a tad daunting, and it’s no wonder! Luckily with the trend of rehabilitating tired pieces really taking off in the last few years, there are tons of social media channels that can teach you all you need to know if you’re starting off from scratch. We also have some wisdom to share however so be sure to take notes!
Like we said earlier, your materials are super important, and if you want good results you should invest in your tools, especially paintbrushes. You can even go for a shabby chic finish by using your sandpaper (remember from earlier?) on your finished piece for a rugged look. When it comes to colour, we recommend choosing shades that compliment not only your home but the furniture itself. For example, light poppy colours pair wonderfully with pallets, and deeper tones add even more elegance to vintage pieces. You can find tons of inspiration online, but make sure to always remember to work with the piece.
Now, we know that there’s nothing more daunting than keeping your wee ones occupied on a rainy day. You might think that involving kids in upcycling is a recipe for disaster, but it can be a really fun hobby for the entire family! You can encourage the little ones to get creative, and there are heaps of projects that add some warming touches to any family home. You can create painted toy crates together, as well as recycled birdhouses, or let them choose some of the colours you use for a personal touch.