Friday, March 14, 2014

Guest Post - 3 Upcycling Ideas to Get You Started

The time has come. You’ve got a house full of… stuff, for lack of a better word, and it needs to go. Whether if you’re planning on a new minimalist lifestyle, where you’re scaling back to the bare necessities, or you’re simply after a fresh (and tidier) start, you’re ready for a change. That old sofa with the coffee stains on its cover, the kitchen table with the one stumpy leg, those horrible lace curtains that your mum gave you, that belonged in the 80s… they’re going to go to a better place.

They don’t fit in your home, that much is true. But at the same time, it seems such a shame to simply toss them out and have to replace them. You have a critical look at the items in question, and assess them with a wondering eye. Could you… perhaps they could… maybe with a little bit of DIY? Welcome to the first step of upcycling, where anything is possible with a bit of elbow grease and some tender loving care. Here are 3 ideas below to start you on your DIY career:

  1. The Doily Candle Holder, by spirelloskrimskramserier

    The Doily Candle Holder, by spirelloskrimskramserier

    Possibly one of the easiest upcycling ideas to ever grace Pintrest, but one which also yields one of the prettiest results. All that’s needed is a balloon, some sugar starch, and lace doilies or the previously mentioned hideous curtains which can be cut up. Soak the lace in sugar starch before beginning, and then simply blow up the balloon and layer the pieces of lace over. When it’s completely dried, you should have a beautiful spherical candle holder with spectacular patterns to shape the light through.

  2. Sofa Slipcovers, by

    Sofa Slipcovers, by

    Take another look at that sofa. Apart from the coffee stains on the upholstery, there isn’t much wrong with it, and replacing a whole sofa is awfully costly. Instead, refresh your sofa with a thorough clean and vacuum – even leather can be treated with a specialised leather shampoo. Failing that, if it can’t be cleaned, or you simply fancy a different look for your living room, you can design and sew yourself a new slipcover for your sofa. Whether a loose, draped version or a smarter version as shown above, slipcovers are relatively simple to make, and can save you a tidy bundle instead of buying a new couch altogether.

  3. DIY Bench, by piperriley

    DIY Bench, by piperriley

    Lay some foam cushion on top, and pin your desired fabric over the top to make a suitable slipcover. A quick wash of paint if needed can help complete the image, and voila! A new centrepiece for the room.

If these upcycling ideas don’t get your creative juices flowing, there’s still another way to keep with the green spirit. Home clearance services can both move and purchase unwanted items at their resell price, earning you a pretty penny, and then going on to sell and donate as much as possible. As they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure… and rightfully so.

Anita Wong is a writer at Go Up, all-in-one design, web and inbound marketing agency in London.When she isn't busy dealing with the intricacies of digital marketing, she takes a break to put her less serious thoughts on Twitter here: