Upcycling ideas and projects

Crafty giraffes, get ready for some fun upcycling projects

Upcycling is all about breathing new life into old items – be it furniture, home accessories or, even clothing.

Whether you’re a seasoned upcycling pro or a complete beginner, you’ve come to the right place – we have a huge range of upcycling projects for you to try, with ideas for one hour quick fixes and longer weekend projects to really get stuck into.

Think of upcycling as recycling old items into much prettier pieces for your home. So before you chuck out that tired old stool or ditch your dated desk for a swanky new piece of furniture, stop and think about how your beloved pieces could be updated and re-used.

Before we share our favourite upcycling crafts, here are some general top tips for starting a project:

1. Gather all your upcycling equipment together before you start – this will help keep your stress levels at bay as you work through your project.

2. Mistakes happen – don’t panic if they do. Most are completely recoverable.

3. If you want to have a go at upcycling but are worried about runing a piece of furniture you use regularly, check out your local car boot sales and junk shops for bargains you won’t mind using as guinea pigs.

4. Mix your fabrics, textures, colours and materials.

5. Always lightly sand wood furniture down before painting – it will make a huge difference to the finish and is easily done.

6. Have fun! Upcycling is meant to be a lot of fun, so don’t get too stressed if the finished project isn’t quite as perfect as you imagined. You made it, so it’s going to look homemade.

Ready to give it a go? Here are our favourite upcycling projects – let us know how you get on…

Ikea furniture hacks

Ikea essentials seen better days? Try these very easy ideas for sprucing up your Swedish furniture with just a lick of paint and a spot of sanding.

Reinvent your table

Your kitchen table sure takes the strain when it comes to wear and tear. Scratches, chips and grease stains can all make for a very sad state of affairs indeed – so give the heart of your home an instant lift with our top four ways to upcycle a table top.

Add a touch of metallic

We’ve got five crafty ideas to add a splash of metallic to every room.

Style a stool

Web editor Natalie breathed new tropical life into an old stool with a weekend upcycling class. She’s shares her step-by-step picture guide to giving it a go at home.

An idea for every weekend

National Upcycling Day kicked off in June, and to celebrate, Country Homes and Interiors put together a job lot of easy upcycling projects that anyone (yes, even you!) can do. Which one will you try?

Wow with washi tape

Don’t miss our 10 brilliant ways to add wow factor to your home with washi tape.

Born again belongings

From suitcase tables to make-your-own copper lighting, our ‘born again belongings’ will make you re-think the items in your home that have seen better days. Project, ahoy!

Hacks for kids

We all know children usually have the best room in the house (and the most fun!) but you can make their own space even more special with these DIY hacks that will change your life (well, change your child’s bedroom, anyway…).

Upcycle a chair

For this project you need two things:
An old chair that needs a bit of love and two hours to spare on a weekend. The results are wow-inducing.

Junk shop upcycling

If, like us, you can’t resist a bargain from a junk or charity shop, you’re likely to end up with hoarder tendencies and more furniture and accessories than you’ll ever need. Try these craft ideas for impulse purchases.

Paint effects

Spruce up your home in a flash with these ideas for stunning (but very simple) paint decorating effects.

Craft a cabinet

A lick of paint packs a punch with this colourful cabinet project.

Time on your hands?

Whether you’ve got an hour to spare or a long weekend to fill, our DIY decorating hub has upcycling and crafts ideas
for short and sweet or long and involved projects.

Style a shelf

This one really is super simple. Our step-by-step video shows you how to upcycle a simple pine shelf into an original thing of beauty.

Go for fabulous folk

An ordinary table lamp has an folk-inspired makeover in this upcycling video.

Transform a picture frame

The results of this one have to be seen to be believed – a picture frame becomes a handy tea tray before your very eyes…

Style up your sideboard

Our ‘Craft Corner’ video series shows you how to create all sorts of pieces with a real individual feel. Find out how to give a simple sideboard a new lease of life with our step-by-step guide.

Ready for a challenge?

Watch our latest video series to see what our editors picked up for £20. Check out how they managed to transform their buys into beautiful items for the home.

For more decorating inspiration, craft ideas and cleaning hacks don’t miss our dedicated DIY guide.

Video Of The Week

Have you tried any of our craft projects? Let us know how you got on in the comments box below.

Ideal Home loves...