Monday, 27 March 2017

Upcycling // Tips and tricks for getting started

I love thinking about different ways to help me cultivate a warm yet stylish home environment. I’ve often found myself getting lost on the Internet or in interior magazines, figuring out the latest trends or simply trying to understand the best way to save space in my small terraced home. What’s most important to me though, is making sure my home has a bit of character!

It’s those little quirks of originality borne from your imagination that mark the fact that this is your home. I’ve found that a wonderful way to do this is through upcycling, where you take something destined for the dump, and turn it into something that is different, better and truly your own.

Upcycling can save vast amounts of money, unleash your creativity, and you honestly don’t need to be a professional carpenter. I hope my guide on some of the basics of upcycling will get you revved up for your own tiny transformations.


Starting small

It’s easy to get lost in the plethora of upcycling projects that have overrun Pinterest, and make a million grand plans to turn suitcases into beds and beds into fireplaces. The enthusiasm is great, but like with everything, it’s best to start small to get into the mood and rhythm of your upcycling adventures. Find something already in your home, like an unused stool, and get started will a simple sanding down and repainting. So easy right? Remember, upcycling needn’t cost a fortune either – otherwise, you might as well have just bought something new.

Elbow grease and what else?

Turning trash into treasure needs the right equipment, your own ingenuity and just that little bit of elbow grease. If you enjoyed your first couple of small projects, why not start stocking up on some of the essential tools as your projects get bigger and more creative:
  • Paint stripper - to get rid of any coats of paint and finishes
  • Power sander and sandpaper – for sanding the surface once you’ve stripped the paint
  • Paint sprayer – can save you a lot of time when you want to coat your furniture quickly
  • Brushes – good quality brushes create smooth, beautiful colourings and minimise the messy appearance of brush strokes
  • Glue gun – like the ones available at Kenyon Adhesives can help you to stick on appliques and knick knacks onto your nearly-finished pieces, giving them that final cute touch

It’s the little things

It’s those inspired finishing touches that can truly make your upcycled project; they are the cherry on the cake so to speak. Things like replacing simple knobs on doors to more ornate ones you may have found at a car boot sale, sticking on little appliques or knick knacks as already mentioned, maybe some buttons or fake flowers, or even a bit of wallpaper onto a surface. These can make all the difference and create such a pretty end product.

Remember most of all to have fun with it! Make your upcycling experience as vibrant as the furniture you create, and you’ll never want to stop.
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