Looking for a creative outlet that doesn’t break the bank? Maybe during lockdown you busied yourself with remodeling a room (or many) in your home. Since then, you have been on a hunt for the perfect dresser (couch, table, what have you), but just can’t seem to find the right one. Instead of replacing your current furniture, you should consider all of the unique upcycling ideas.
The practice of upcycling is when you take a pre-owned item and turn it into something new! Furniture is a great place to start your upcycling adventures. While you are giving an item a second life, be considerate about what items you choose to upcycle. Take the time to select a quality piece of furniture either from your home, or a secondhand store, such as ReStore). Material quality, design, and structural integrity are three key things to look for when deciding whether or not a piece of furniture is worth upcycling.
What Do You Need to Get Started?
After selecting your blank canvas, it’s time to get your supplies in order. The best practice is to start a project with all the supplies you may need to complete it. This helps your project get off on the right foot and increases the likelihood of you completing it. Here are a few things you may want to have when getting ready to upgrade a piece of furniture:
Once all your tools are in order, it's time to get cracking! If you are looking to repaint a piece, it is suggested that you sand off the pre-existing color. Once sanded, add a layer of primer before going in with your color of choice. This increases the lifetime of the paint's vibrancy. If you are going with the staining route, you will also need to sand the furniture surface before starting. Need a little more inspiration? Take a walk around your local home furniture store or browse Pinterest to see what catches your attention. If you can dream it, you can do it!
What Are the Benefits of Upcycling?
The name upcycling, as you might have guessed, comes from its close cousin, recycling. While recycling is turning an item into an entirely new thing, both terms share a common theme of reusing materials. In a world full of surplus, hanging on to items and giving them a second life is one way you can make an impact on our environment. Have some pieces you don’t care to upcycle? Instead of dropping them at the nearest dump, consider donating them to one of Habitat for Humanity's ReStore locations. Learn about what you can donate by viewing our Donation Guide.
Upcycling a piece of furniture with good bones can leave you with a custom piece that you can enjoy for the rest of your lifetime. If you end up wanting to search for something new, you can donate your upcycled piece and give inspiration to others who happen upon it. Some additional benefits to upcycling are:
- Helps the environment by keeping items out of landfills
- Is a fun project to pass the time with friends, family, or on your own
- Offers a new, creative outlet for you to explore
- Allows for you to learn new skills and take satisfaction in creating something with your own two hands
- Excuse to shop at ReStore– who doesn’t love that?
So the next time you are thinking about purchasing a brand new piece of furniture, challenge yourself to think of ways to upgrade what you already have. Keep your eyes peeled for inspiration, and happy creating!