If recycling is taking our rubbish and smashing it up to make something new from it then upcycling is taking our rubbish and updating it to give it a new lease of life. This is becoming a fashionable thing to do with many great web sites to inspire us. One of my favourites has to be http://www.upside.ie/
I guess I have always been a bit of an upcycler – after all, where possible Pat and I have always done our best to reuse anything we found around the Yank’s House. We have also been very open to collecting other peoples rubbish e.g. our kitchen cupboards being a prime example http://ckrestoration.blogspot.ie/2012/11/the-yanks-house-kitchen.html and reworking them to fit our needs.
So as the Yank’s House approaches completion the issue of filling it with home comforts comes to the fore. How best can we furnish the house on a very low budget? This question got me researching the idea of upcycling old furniture.
I decided my first project should be a modest affair. I have had this old chair for many years and even in its broken state I have been reluctant to throw it away.
With a bit of help from Pat we stripped back this little chair to it bare bones. Then Pat repaired one leg that had become detached over the years.
I purchased a trial pot size of Autentico, Pure and natural paint in Summer Sky. This set me back €7.50. The instructions say you can use this paint over any other paint or varnish finish without sanding. So it is very hassle free. I gave my chair a few coats to get a good cover.
I picked up a remnant of fabric in the sales for €3 to cover the seat. I had some foam rescued from a broken armchair for the cushion – upcycling at its best and Pat found a piece of timber in the shed we were able to use. Once this new seat was screwed down onto my painted chair we were finished.
I will let you judge for yourselves but I am very happy with my newly upcycled bedroom chair and am itching now for a bigger project.
My chair has cost me a total of €10.50 to update.
So now is a good time to sort out all the rubbish and see what you have. I also keep an eye on what my friends are throwing away. You never know what you might find. There are also web sites where people advertise items they no longer what and many will let you just take these items away.
I am on the lookout now for a dressing table. Maybe I will get one for free somewhere.
You can seal the paintwork with a water based sealer if the item is going to get a lot of use e.g. tables and dressers etc. So why not have a go yourself and let us know at Yank's house how you got on.