7 upcycling projects that will change your life

Revamp items in your home with these tried and tested upcycling ideas

Personalise your home by revamping exisiting accessories or items of furniture. Whether that means a transformation with paint or giving a simple item a whole new purpose, there are plenty of fun ways to upcycle. Take a look at these inspiring ideas, some of which are so clever, we’re pretty sure they’ll actually change your life!

1. Create a recycling station

Firstly, find an old wooden fruit crate and give it a coat of wood stain. Screw casters on wheels to ensure it’s easy to manoeuvre around your home. Pop a few plastic boxes insude the crate so you can throw paper, plastic and glass into separate tubs. Line each box with a plastic bag to ensure easy disposal. Now you’re ready to start recycling!

2. Upcycle a cabinet

Start by removing the shelves and lightly sanding your chosen cabinet. Wipe clean and coat with primer. Paint the wood with gloss paint and leave to dry. Carefully measure and cut wallpaper to fit inside the back of the cabinet. Apply PVA glue and stick the wallpaper in place. Voila!

3. Turn teacups into scented candles

Begin by cutting a piece of wick for each teacup (4cm longer than the height) and tie onto the middle of a straw. Balance this across the top of the teacup so the wick hangs down to the bottom. Boil the wax in a saucepan and add food colouring and essential oils. Fill the cup with the melted wax and leave to cool. Finish by removing the straw and trimming the wick.

4. Create beautiful wall art with tea towels

Turn a pretty tea towel into wall art. Simply wash, iron and frame a pretty design. Then hang on the wall either individually or among a collection of framed prints.

5. Make your own industrial copper lampshades

Find an old metal-framed lampshade and remove the fabric from the shade. Place each frame upside down on newspaper and coat with copper-coloured spray paint. Spray the bulb fitting too for a funky, modern look.

6. Create your own vases

Start by scooping paint into a plastic jug and adding the same amount of water. Mix, then pour into a glass jar (that you want to use as a vase) and swirl around until evenly covered. Dry the jar upside down on greaseproof paper for 48 hours lifting it occasionally to wipe the rim. To finish, pop an old spice jar with water inside to put the flower stems in, rathe than filling it directly as this will wash away the apint.

7. Upcycle an old tray

Find an old tray and measure inside to cut your map to fit. Spread a thin layer of PVA glue on the tray and lay the map over the top. Use a soft cloth to get rid of any air bubbles. Allow to dry fully then add another layer of PVA glue to seal. Simple!

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