The guide to upcycling: How to give new life to dated objects

Everyone has old junk that they don’t know what to do with. On one hand, some parts of your old stuff are old and worn out, or maybe the designs are just so dated that it just doesn’t ‘go’ with anything in your house. But on the other hand, your stuff might still be semi-functional, and it can just feel like such a waste to throw it out! We’ve all been there. And that’s why we’ve created this list of ways to give new life to your old things. Read on to find some ways you can update the style of dated objects, and how you might repurpose some old stuff altogether! Welcome to your introduction to the art of upcycling!

Updating Styles: Reupholstering

Updating Styles - Reupholstering

Sometimes beauty really is skin deep, at least where furniture is concerned! And that’s why reupholstering your old chairs, sofas, or beds is one of the easiest ways to give them new life. You’d be surprised how much a new cover could transform your tattered old sofa. For style tips on fabric, click here!

But of course, reupholstering can be expensive, and it can cost up to $2000 to professionally reupholster a large sofa. So some people do prefer to look at cost-cutting options. Even though you probably don’t want to scrimp on the fabric and wind up with cheap fabric that doesn’t last, there are people who have opted to use their old clothes, like sturdy denim, as the reupholstery fabric to save costs. Of course, this probably works best for small chair or bench cushions that don’t need as much fabric. If you know how, you could turn this into a fun DIY project to try at home!

Updating Styles: Painting and varnishing

Updating Styles-Painting and varnishing

Like reupholstering, painting and varnishing takes care of the surface appearance of your old furniture, giving it more style and vibrancy. For example, varnishing an old wooden coffee table can give a new shine and polish to the surface, and reduce the likelihood of splinters!

Updating Styles - Painting and varnishing (2)

Over time, the colour of furniture can also fade to the point the furniture itself looks old and dated. In this case, fresh paint can often jazz it up again! But you don’t need to limit yourself to solid colours. To add a touch of extra style to your old furniture, let your artistic sensibilities loose by adding new and beautiful designs and patterns! If you aren’t quite confident in your painting skills, you can always use stencils to add the designs you desire! But if you’re painting anything that frequently comes into contact with food, be sure to use paints that are marked as food-safe and non-toxic!

Repurposing: budget furniture from log cuttings

Repurposing - budget furniture from log cuttings

Did you know you could create a stylish coffee table or end table from a simple slice of a log? Simply sand it down, varnish it, and voila! You’ve got yourself a stylish tabletop that would add plenty of character to any room. If you don’t happen to have a large log slice handy, you could just as easily use wooden planks to create your tabletop. Once you add the table legs, you’ll have a lovely authentic wooden table on a budget!

If you simply can’t seem to get hold of a log slice large enough for an entire coffee-table, smaller ones also have plenty of potential to add style to your home. Small to medium log slices are also sold by many DIY shops at super affordable prices. Log-styled coasters, chopping boards, and display pieces can all look gorgeous when placed in the right setting. If you have little ones at home, displaying small cakes on a tiny log-styled dessert stand can have an enchanting effect – just like your very own fairy’s tea party!

Repurposing: Crates into shelves

Repurposing - Crates into shelves

Fancy the look of the cool display shelves you see in the picture above? It’s surprisingly easy to achieve! Simply take some sturdy crates, sand and varnish, and secure them well to your wall! Not only are they fairly study, but they also create an attention-grabbing space for you to store your lightweight décor! For a more artistic effect, you could try misaligning the crates slightly on your wall. In fact, you don’t even need all the crates to be the same size!

Repurposing: Ladder shelf

Repurposing - Ladder shelf

If you happen to have a herringbone ladder (the kind of ladder where the rungs are identical on both sides of the triangular support), you can turn it into a stylish makeshift shelf! You might choose to extend the surfaces horizontally using a sturdy surface, to create a cascade ladder shelf. Of course, this can require a little bit of advanced carpentry to make sure the surfaces are perfectly secure and can withstand weight.

Repurposing: All-year Christmas lights

Repurposing- All-year Christmas lights

Your Christmas lights don’t only need to come out at Christmas anymore! For the rest of the year, try stringing them up behind your bed to make a beautiful and festive nightlight! The room above uses the shutters as a makeshift noticeboard to attach all their photos of cherished memories, which makes for an even lovelier effect when the overlaying lights illuminate this array. But if you like this look but don’t have shutters behind your bed, no matter! Just attach the photos directly to the lights themselves to mimic this magical effect in your own rooms.

Just one more thing …

Redecorating and DIY upcycling projects can be a lot of fun, but in all this, just remember to be safe! Make sure your DIY structures are very well secured so nothing falls off them, and they’re not likely to break. Make sure the paints and materials you use are safe for you. And most of all, keep your tools out of reach of little ones! Happy upcycling!

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