Upcycling is growing more popular every day in home trends across the globe. Not only is more people loving the rustic, distressed designs in their home but it’s giving us all a chance to salvage trash into treasure and possibly saving a few pennies in the process.
For those that don’t know what upcycling is, according to the true definition, it’s when you “reuse discarded objects or material in such a way as to create a product of a higher quality or value than the original.” I love taking something that you are going to throw out and turning it into something that is useful and new for your home.
You don’t have to be talented in carpentry or design to start upcycling. It can be as simple as turning an old white skinny bookshelf on it’s side, repainting it and adding baskets in the spaces and throwing cushions on top of it, to create useful and simple bench seat under a window. Or go even smaller, take an old wooden chipped frame, sand it down and repaint, add a mirror instead of glass to create an unique mirror for your hallway, or paint the glass with chalk paint and use it as a family calendar, message board or more. Your options, in the upcycling world, are endless.
The best part of upcycling is you are helping the environment by reusing things that just fill our landfills up and making your home unqiue in the process. It’s a win-win for everyone. For those DIY lovers it’s a great creative challenge to see what you can make out of old furniture and home accessories that are laying around the house or that others are giving away or throwing away.
I love to go shopping at yard sales or flea markets or second handstores to find little things I can make into big treasures. Sometimes I decide to resell the finished products on ebay and make some money for my next project but mostly I love them too much to part with and find a place in my home for them.
Playing around with different home trends and different design themes is my favorite pastime. My home is forever evolving and changing with me although to my husband’s dismay of course. I have been searching online for some more upcycling living inspiration and looking to create a great space in my back room and office space when I return to the UK from the states. If I could find the right piece of distressed wood I would love to upcycle it as a desk for my new office space. I think it really adds character to an office and would create a great table to use for food photography as well. Bonus.
Pinterest is another great place for inspiration on upcycling projects. I forewarn you, it will suck you into it’s heavenly creations, and you will want to go turn everything in your house into something new. That’s the beauty of upcycling: there are no rules, no limitations, just you and your creative mind and what it can envision something to turn into.
FIVE TIPS FOR UPCYCLE BEGINNERS:
1. Start your first project small
2. First try sanding and repainting something.
3. Research home living websites and pinterest for guidance and ideas.
4. Use things you already have in your home before you start yard sale hopping, flea market jumping and buying from second stores. (that will come in time).
5. MOST IMPORTANT: Don’t spend a fortune trying to upcycle something. The idea is to remake something that will add value to your creation not cost you an arm and a leg for it when you could have bought something similar brand new for less.
Have you ever upcycled something for your home or for someone? I would love to hear what projects you are working on at the minute, leave a comment below. Or you can tweet me your project if you have wrote about it on your blog.
In the meantime, pop over to my new upcycle pinterest board and see what projects I have in store for the future.
Those whisks are awesome! If I had anywhere to hang them I would totally have them in my house! x
Me too, I absolutely love them. They are awesome and looking on pinterest there are a million upcycling projects I already want to tackle for my house. lol
Michelle Reeves (The Essex Barn) says
I’m so with you on upcycling Jenny – we’re really big on repurposing things at The Essex Barn. Turning our mezzanine into a 12-seater dining table was our biggest one yet! I’ve also got a frame that I’m currently turning into a notice board for my daughters room and we turned old black CD shelves from our fireplace into brightly coloured book shelves for the kids rooms. Once you get started it’s totally addictive! Popping over to see your Pinterest board now for some more inspiration x #ShareWithMe
Thankyou for hosting, great post, I keep toying with the idea of upcycling a couple of bits of furniture lurking in out store room… every time I chicken out! You make it sound so straight forward, I really should just get on with it!
You Baby Me Mummy says
Love the idea of upcycling. I totally love those whisks, they are awesome x
Lyn bown says
I love the whisk candleholders. They’re great. Thanks for the useful tips.
Me too they are one of my favorite ideas from pinterest for sure. So trendy too!
The simplest things look so pretty sometimes once upcycled don’t they? I am always looking at a very old chest of drawers my mum has and thinking it would look so good once sanded down and painted!
Megan - truly madly kids says
Up cycling is fantastic. I love scouring flea markets for picture frames and mirrors, even the odd bit of furniture. I’m with you!
Everything mummy says
I have a side board in my lounge at the moment that need sanding down and paining it’ll look lovely once its done it is just finding the time I am alway amazed with what people come up with! #sharewithme
Emma's Mamma says
Upcycling is great! If all goes well, we’ll soon be moving into our very own country cottage and I can’t wait to start upcycling things to fit our new old style house! Love the whisk photo – will definitely pop over to your pinterest board for inspiration x #sharewithme
Mama, My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows says
Those whisks are perfect. I’m terrible for getting carried away and paying a fortune recreating something I saw on Pinterest which in theory should have been cheap or free.
Mummy Fever says
Those whisks are stunning – how clever. I really must try a few things, never seem to have the time for a project #sharewithme
Silly Mummy says
This is great! Love the whisks! #sharewithme
Love the idea of upcycling. It’s the first thing I try to do when I feel I need something in the house. Before I even look for something in the store, I find something we already have and repurpose it in some other way. It’s worked out well and has saved us, not only time, but money as well. Thanks for the idea, and for hosting us this week on #sharewithme!
I didn’t realize there was a term for this! My husband has been able to re-paint and re-purpose two things thus far that we found off Craigslist for next to nothing. 1. old dresser turned into a double bathroom vanity 2. three old bookcases turned into built in shelving. We love the sturdy solid wood construction of the old furniture – it lasts for years and years.
Merlinda Little (@pixiedusk) says
I am always using my laundry tubs as pots. My son put stickers on them to cover the brand! Though now that my plants are getting too big for the tubs I still try to use them for new plants.
I dabble in a bit of upcycling – some great tips! Unfortunately I started way to big and then often end up cursing myself midway through projects for even going there haha #sharewithme
I love upcycling things – though there’s not much time since my daughter was born – We often visit antique shops on the look out for anything we can upcycle for our house 🙂
Elaine @ Entertaining Elliot says
I love seeing what people do with old boring bits of furniture, and I always feel a bit envious because I’m not at all creative with things like that! #sharewithme
Becky, Cuddle Fairy says
Upcycling is such a great idea to give life to unwanted items. I love your tips for beginners – especially not spending a lot to make it, that’d defeat the purpose but I bet it’d be easy to get carried away. #sharewithme
Random Musings says
I love the idea of upcycling but I just never seem to find the time to do it – I should do before and after pics for my blog then I would make more effort to finish lol! Love the whisks 🙂 Thanks for hosting #sharewithme
Those whisk tea light holders are gorgeous! What an amazing idea. Once my two are in school and I have a bit more time to myself, I’m really going to concentrate on doing up the house, and I’d really like to try some upcycling then. Until that day comes (and it’s a while away), I can live vicariously through blogs and Pinterest — hooray. #sharewithme
Sara @ Handy Herbs says
We love up cycling here. It has mainly been things like old chests of drawers and other wooden furniture but have done other more random things like spending hours sticky pretty sequins onto jam jars for tea lights to go in for wedding table decorations! Love the whisks!! Thanks for hosting #Sharewithme
I have never upcycled something but would love to try it. my mum used to do quite a bit #sharewithme
My mother was the queen of it too and I think I need to start doing more of it like I used to. It’s so fun.
Sophie @ Mum, M & More says
I have just featured an upcycle project on my blog. We have upcycled our bedside tables. I am massively into changing and making something a little bit ugly, into something pretty!! 🙂 x
Oh I will have to stop by and have a look sounds amazing. I could read and pin them all day long on pinterest. Need to start doing them more often instead of just lusting after them. lol Thanks.
Tracey Williams says
I love the idea of upcycling and only wish I was more creative. I have seen some lovely garden furniture which was past its best, but has lovingly been sanded down and repainted. I would love to do something like that for our garden x
Thank you so much Tracey I could spend my days upcycling everything love it so much. Love making something new out of something old. Oh sounds amazing. A new coat of paint is a good trick too! 😉
I absolutely love to upcycle! In fact there’s at least one thing I’ve up-cycled in every room of our house, except the bathroom. I mostly like to paint old items of furniture. I love finding bits on eBay and sprucing them up! Some of my favourite items of furniture cost less than £30 xxx #ShareWithMe
Vicki Montague says
You are brilliant! I wish I was as create as you. You are right that there are lots of places to find inspiration…but I just get too much of it and then don’t take any of it forward if you know what I mean!!! Inspiration overload I call it 😉
Kirsten Toyne says
I have plans for some units that I no longer like but somewhere between family, blogging, seeing clients and writing a book it has not happened. I winder why! Your post does make me want to haul out the paint right now though.
Katy (What Katy Said) says
I lack imagination for upcycling- I would never in a million years have thought of that for the whisks!! What an great idea for a kitchen!!! Thanks for hosting #Sharewithme xx
I love the whisk tea light holders – so simple but so effective! I have done a few small projects, repainting things with spray paint – it’s so much fun, and way quicker than normal paint. Becky x #sharewithme
Isabella @ www.fairiesandpirates.com says
I’m not massive on crafts and DIY, mainly due to lack of time, but I once upcycled an antique bureau with some white chalk paint and gave it a new, shabby chic look, and I loved it. Would have never thought of the whisks idea, but they look fab!
Oh that sounds absolutely amazing. I love chalk paint. The whisk idea is a huge favorite from pinterest of mine. Thanks. I am not craft with small crafts though usually. lol I try little things here and there but not often enough.
Trista, Domesticated Momster says
I always have such good intention when it comes to projects. **stares at the two framed chalkboards she got on clearance cause their paint is all chippe** I will get to them someday. Lately between family, blogging, housework, and painting crafts with my kids….my own projects have gotten put on hold. I also will apologize for I am behind in my commenting…but I will get it done…along with everything else. Thank you for hostessing the wonderful #sharewithme.
Oh I feel you there just isn’t ever enough time in the day to do all of it is there? You are not alone at all in that. I feel the same. I have projects from years ago still waiting to be done. That dang pinterest fills my head with them and never have the time.