The Quick Guide to Upcycling

upcyclingUpcycling isn’t just some “new age” phrase that is bandied about. It is actually the process of converting supposedly useless or waste materials into something practical and beautiful.

Not just for crafty people, upcycling can be a real godsend when it comes to construction or DIY work. Quite often, these raw materials are actually free, and with a little imagination, you can utilise them to give your projects a unique look for an economical price. Here are just a few suggestions:

KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid

While incredibly crafty people can make lampshades from teaspoons or brooms from cola bottles you don’t have to be incredibly artistic to upcycle. Oxfam recently ran an event in the Little Museum in Dublin in association with Crown where they showed what you could do with some paint and a little imagination. A lick of paint could give a whole new lease of life to a piece of furniture.

Neutral pallet

Pallets are one of the most versatile items that you can upcycle. If you’re having large deliveries you probably have some lying around but if not they are usually widely available for free or at very little cost. Being made from wood means they have a multitude of uses. You can take them apart and use the panels to make fences or shelves or leave them intact and use them to create interesting outdoor seating and tables. Check out for ideas.

Dismiss nothing

The saying one man’s meat is another man’s poison is completely true when it comes to upcycling. Websites such as offer free goods that may at first glance seem useless but thinking outside the box will allow you to utilise them. Just because a wardrobe doesn’t have doors it doesn’t mean you can’t add some shelves and make a nice bookcase for example. A dresser without drawers can easily become a funky home entertainment centre. In both these examples there is very little outlay but the finished product will be worth a significant amount.