5 upcycling projects to try in 2016

If you’re looking for a new hobby in 2016, why not have a go at upcycling and bring something old, unused or in a rundown condition back to life? There are many things you can do to transform much-loved furniture such as adding castors or rubbing down paintwork and you might even fancy trawling charity/second hand shops for gems to revive. Anything can be achieved with a little creativity, after all, so let your imagination run free and have a go at these five upcycling projects.

Decoupage re-design

Decoupage is a form of art which basically involves covering an item in different varieties and textures of paper and sealing with varnish to give a beautiful shine. Almost anything can be decorated in this way, so how about sprucing up an old desk with newspaper clippings or giving your bedside table a different vibe by using cuttings from a magazine?

Make a patchwork from old clothes

If you’ve got a bunch of old clothes that are out-of-date or don’t fit you anymore, your first thoughts might be to put them in a clothes recycling bin or donate them to charity. Both of these options are better than throwing them into the bin; however, wouldn’t it be cool to make a patchwork quilt from garments you don’t need? All you have to do is cut squares out of unwanted jeans, shirts, dresses and such like before sewing them together in a pattern. The results are incredible and your quit will become somewhat of a keepsake.

Book page cards

Anyone can go into a shop and buy a card for a special, sad or memorable occasion, but handmade stationary is far more sentimental. With this in mind, you could always try making book page cards by cutting your favourite quotes or passages from old novels that you don’t need or read anymore and sticking them to a piece black card. You can then cut out another shape in black card such as a swan or flower to stick over the top which will create a lovely silhouette effect.

Create a shabby chic dressing table

While buying shiny new furniture can be a pleasure, sometimes it’s nice to take something you own and give it a shaggy chic twist. If you’ve a wooden dressing table that could do with a facelift, for instance, try sanding it down and painting it in your favourite colour. When the paint is dry, take a piece of sandpaper and lightly rub areas of paint away until you achieve the desired effect. Finally, add some novelty draw knobs and the job will be complete.

Map coasters

Many upcycling ideas will blow your mind including map coasters which make for a simple yet visually striking upcycling activity. To make these, simply cut circles out of a disused map and stick them onto cork circles of the same size using an adhesive. Paint the top and sides with glue sealant and after they dry, paint them again with lacquer – hey presto.

It’s amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it, so it’s well worth giving some of these ideas a go.