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Upcycling is a trend that continues to grow and if you weren’t already invested, there’s no better time than the present to get started. It’s a relatively easy and very creative way to reduce household waste and save money, where you take something that’s old and unwanted and turn it into something new and worth holding onto.

  • Be equipped
  • Start simple
  • Get creative
  • Look for inspiration
  • Ask around
  • Don't forget to prep
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Be equipped

You’ll need to make sure you’ve got everything you need to get the best results out of any project you set your sights on. Some basic materials and tools that any upcycler should have in their arsenal include sandpaper or a sander, paint and brushes, white spirit, a drill, a hammer, a saw, screwdrivers and adhesives. These should see you through most endeavours without any issues.

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Start simple

If you’re still finding your feet, it’s important to set yourself realistic goals to begin with. Start small and simple - something you know you can finish. If you try something too ambitious and don’t end up completing it, it will only discourage you. Once you gain some confidence, start taking larger strides with more complicated projects.

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Get creative

The whole idea of upcycling is to be as creative as possible, so make sure you think twice before throwing anything away. Everything can be given a completely bespoke design that works best for your space, or someone else’s if you’re making it as a gift.

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Look for inspiration

There’s loads of help online and finding inspiration for your upcycling can have a huge impact on your own ideas. Don’t be afraid to look around and see what kind of things can be taken and applied to your own projects, even if you aren’t particularly struggling creatively.

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Ask around

If you need actual items to work on, the easiest way to get started is to ask friends and family members if they have any old or unwanted items. Anything with little to no cost is crucial when you’re just starting out, so it’s not a big loss if things don’t turn out the way you’d hoped.

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Don't forget to prep

In order to get the best results, you need to put the work in beforehand. A lot of the items you want to upcycle won’t be in the best condition obviously, so always give them a good wash and wipe down to start with. Then, particularly for wooden furniture, give them a good sand to encourage your paint to stick.