Upcycling is the new buzz word for recycling and repurposing. Instead of shelling out money for a new expensive piece make the most of what you have, or go bargain hunting in charity shops and make yourself a one off wonder.
Flickr Creative Commons artists are especially fond of upcycling - here are some examples of just how simple and creative it can be .
Storage and drawers
Storage units and drawers are easily customisable and most charity shops have some very reasonably priced pieces in good condition.
Simply finding a design you like can be a good place to start:
All rights reserved by lovekittypink
Lining drawers with pretty designs instantly gives your piece a distinctive look,especially if they contrast the outter design. Make the most of the material that the original piece was made with and use it to accent your new design features.
All rights reserved by Casper James
Varnish will protect any decoration you decide to put on your furniture. Whether it’s paint, paper or scraps it will create a protective layer and help keep things stuck to the surface.
Buy any old chair and you can make it look fabulous in a number of ways.
Printing on textiles
All rights reserved by stanslaw
Screenprinting, or inkjet printing onto textiles to reupholster an existing chair is a great way to put your individual stamp on it. If you have a design in mind that would suit a cushion or chair pad there are many ways you can transfer that onto your furniture easily and effectively. Painting freehand with fabric paints or pens is a cheap and truly individual way to funk up your furniture.
Painting parts of the chair to suit your colour scheme can make it a central feature within your room space.
All rights reserved by Tristan Titeux Director of Custom Carpentry UK
Bold colour against the natural wood grain makes a boring chair a style statement.
All rights reserved by Brian D Cole
Or carrying on the design from the chosen fabric onto the chair itself. Creating matching unique furniture.
Wacky one offs
All rights reserved by Vinella and Krupa
If you're feeling confident and creative, why not experiment? Buying old paintings from vintage shops or antiques dealers and making them into a piece using wood scraps or drift wood can create a whole new look for a room, let alone just the furniture.
Or how about taking one piece of furniture and turning it into another. Some creative Flicker netizens have transformed baths into settees, and old chairs into side tables.
All rights reserved by John@Fairleyforge
There are plenty of examples of upcycling all over the internet so do a quick search, get some inspiration and get making.
Written by Penny Tristram