Rebecca from Home Seasons is guest posting here today with tips on upcycling!
If you want unique and cheap furniture, upcycling used furnishings is your best bet. Upcycling has become quite a trend in the DIY and crafting world. People create remarkable and unusual items that cannot be found anywhere else. "What is upcycling?" you ask? Upcycling is the process of repurposing items (such as furniture, clothes, or anything that can be reused) and turning them into items that are worth a lot more than they would have been. Furniture serves as good upcycling pieces because there is a lot of potential to be achieved. Not to mention, there are large quantities of discarded furniture that could use a little revamping.
Well-made furniture is hard to come by. You might not have noticed, but many conglomerate home furnishing companies have started to skimp on material. The large demand of cheap furniture has decreased the quality of furniture by considerable amount. A fiberboard table will never last as long as a solid wood carved table. To find inexpensive, hard-wearing furniture, we must find items that were made long ago to ensure quality and craftsmanship. One way is to find second hand furniture. With a good, sturdy foundation, all it usually needs is a little TLC (a new paint job, a little sanding, new upholstery, etc). Here are a few tips to recreate three popular upcycling themes.
The Shabby Chic Look - This theme is most popular among girls (and a few boys!). Shabby chic is a look in which the furniture carries a slight bit of a weathered and whimsical appearance. The color schemes are usually light pastel colors with a slight bit of brown to emphasize wear. Buying this theme from the store is actually quite expensive. A mass produced, shabby chic dresser can run you up to $300. However, have no fear. This effect is not too difficult to reproduce. The tip is to paint coats of 2 different colors. Sand away the top layer to expose the under layer of color. Remember to use a matte top coat to enhance the look. Don't worry about it appearing ragged or old. Shabby chic is all about embracing the unkempt look!
The Disguised Look - You have reached a pivotal point of your upcycling career if you are able to successfully execute this theme. The goal is turn your item(s) into something completely different. Now, this doesn't mean converting a stool into a step ladder (we all know those two are almost one in the same). Something more along the lines of converting two chair frames into a bench (found this idea from www.dornob.com)! When you are able to extract the essence of an item and turn it into something that is very dissimilar, you can almost create anything! This theme requires a lot more experimentation and creativity, so take your time! Take some risks and you might end up with a unique, one of a kind piece!
There are many other themes and looks that you can apply to your upcycled furniture. These three are merely a few tips to help you get started on your projects. Once you come upon a style that you really like, do a little research on the internet. See how others have used certain materials to create their pieces. Don't be afraid to get inspired by others.