10 of the best upcycling ideas anyone can do!

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  • Country Homes & Interiors inspire with ten of their favourites, from teapot planters to handkerchief bunting

    Tap into your creative side and breathing new life into preloved items…

    Craft vintage vases
    Can’t bring yourself to part with lovely-looking jars and bottles? Incorporate them into your country-decorating scheme with this sweet vase upcycle, perfect for adding a decorative touch to bare shelves and sills. Simply wrap your glass vessels with rustic twine or lace and secure loose ends with glue. Fill with little posies of seasonal wildflowers for a pretty vintage look.

    Show off seed packets
    Sometimes seed packets are just too pretty to throw away. Why not frame them and make a lovely display of your favourites? Source vintage packets online or frame up new ones by simply neatening off edges and mounting on card before inserting into your chosen frame.

    Style up shelves
    Give a plain cupboard a country touch by adding a length of ribbon or braid along the edges of the shelves. Make sure cupboard shelves are free from dust. Choose a trimming with a similar width to the shelf edge then stick along with double sided tape, turning the ends under and tucking in at either end.

    Step up stairways
    Give personality to painted stairs by adding wallpaper to the risers. Soft pastel patterns bring a relaxed charm to any room, perfectly complimented by a striped runner in similar hues on the floor.

    Hang tea towels beautifully
    Peg up towels, cloths and other kitchen textiles on a rail upcycled from a wooden coat hanger. It’s a lovely way to keep your kitchen clutter-free and make the most of unused space. Peg up bundles of dried herbs such as rosemary or lemongrass; not only do they look pretty, they also they act as a gentle fabric freshener – just what you need to keep linens smelling sweet.

    Give a lamp a lift
    Make sure your home stays bright and beautiful with a lovely lighting project. Recover a lampshade with a smart checked fabric and a stylish kilt pin to bring a handsome look to a painted turned-wood base.

    Decorate with bunting
    This easy idea is a great way of displaying favourite handkerchiefs, hand-me-down scarves or even squares of pretty fabric. Hang a length of string or ribbon where the bunting is to go then peg along its length using dolly or pincer pegs. Use wooden styles for a rustic touch or colourful plastic for a jolly look.

    Frame fabrics
    Looking for an affordable way of bringing character and colour to bare walls? Create an eye-catching feature out of lovely fabrics offcuts and a simple wooden embroidery hoop. Position your fabric in the frame so the tightening screw is at the top and central, then tighten well. Flip the hoop over and trim away excess fabric.

    Display favourite finds
    Always stashing lovely postcards, prints, fabrics and trimmings? Why not upcycle a picture frame into an understated backdrop for your beautiful belongings. Measure and mount flexible cork and a length of subtle wallpaper into a frame, then pin up your favourite finds to create an inspiring 3D moodboard.

    Plant up crockery
    Chipped your favourite crockery? Give it a new lease of life by spreading half an inch of gravel across the bottom, adding an inch or so of potting soil, then popping in your favourite houseplant. Why not plant a selection of herbs in matching teacups? Arrange them on your kitchen windowsill for a display that’s both practical and pretty.

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

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