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16 upcycling ideas for indoors and outdoors

Upcycling can help you to save money, be more environmentally friendly and fill your home with pieces nobody else will have. Check out these upcycling ideas to get started.

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We can’t say enough good things about upcycling. Whether you’re renovating your house or simply revamping a room, it’s a great way to save money, do good for the environment and fill your rooms with unique items you won’t find anywhere else. In this guide, we’ll share 16 creative upcycling ideas for inside and outside your home.

1. Shabby-chic upcycling furniture ideas: use chalk paint

Upcycling furniture ideas

This wooden chest of drawers has been brightened up with a lick of light-grey chalk paint and new handles. Chalk paint is ideal for painting furniture, and is a great way to breathe new life into tired vintage pieces. Not only does it adhere to wood beautifully without requiring any prep, but it also creates a rustic, slightly distressed finish which is ideal if you like the shabby-chic aesthetic.

2. Fun ideas for upcycling furniture: give old chairs personality

Ideas for upcycling furniture

If you’re looking to bring a bit of fun and personality into your home, why not add handpainted patterns to tired pieces of furniture? This wooden dining chair boasts handpainted spots in rainbow colours. The fact that the owner chose to add a black background makes the colours pop even more, which we love!

3. Recycling projects ideas: hand paint old tiles

recycling projects ideas

If your home contains outdated tiles, there’s no need to bin them. Instead, why not give them a new lease of life with a lick of paint? The handpainted swirls and flowers on these are reminiscent of Victorian floor tiles – they’d look great in a bathroom, kitchen, or even an outdoor BBQ area.

4. Handy upcycle ideas for furniture: repurpose an old ladder for storage

upcycle ideas furniture

An old ladder might not look like much, but it could make a handy storage solution. In this bathroom, a wooden ladder provides useful towel storage. Better still, it also adds an old-school charm and character to the space that a more expensive towel rail might lack.

5. Upcycling clothing ideas: turn your old jeans into cushions

Upcycling clothing ideas

If you’re looking for ways to style your home, don’t go out and buy soft furnishings without first considering if you could repurpose your old clothes. This homeowner has cut up pairs of old jeans to make denim cushion covers. They look so stylish against the light neutrals in this living room!

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6. Recycling furniture ideas: bring indoor furniture out

recycling furniture ideas

If you’re looking to replace bits of indoor furniture, instead of throwing them away why not see if they could work outdoors? This garden boasts a bright painted chair and shelving unit. These miscellaneous items give it a laid-back bohemian vibe that works so well nestled amongst the foliage.

7. Reuse tips: turn old floorboards into shelves

upcycle floorboards

Reclaimed wood floorboards make gorgeous shelving, especially when paired with iron brackets. As well as saving you money, they bring raw beauty and warmth to any space which you simply can’t buy new. We love how these shelves have been styled with trailing plants and dried flowers, helping to bring the outdoors in.

8. Cheap upcycling ideas for furniture: use what you have

upcycling ideas furniture

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box a little when it comes to meeting the needs of your home. This homeowner was clearly in need of a chest of drawers to hide away mounds of toys and bric-a-brac. However, an old open sideboard teamed with fabric baskets does the job just as well while adding heaps of personality.

9. Unusual upcycled gardening ideas: turn old tyres into planters

upcycle tyres

Just about anything can be turned into a garden planter if you put your mind to it – old pots and pans, drawers, and even tyres! This homeowner has raised these old tyres off the ground and painted them in bold stripes before filling them with luscious plants. Not only is it a practical solution to planting, but we also love how the paint brings out the tyres’ tread marks – you can find beauty in the most unexpected of places.

10. Fresh upcycling ideas: inject colour

Fresh upcycling ideas

If you’re looking to restore a piece of antique furniture, adding a splash of colour can often make all the difference. This dressing table has been painted a deep teal. It’s a move that helps to hide any dents and scuff marks as well as to bring this vintage piece into the 21st Century.

11. Storage upcycling ideas: transform crates into shelves

upcycling furniture ideas

Old crates can be handy for storage, but they take up a lot less room when they’re mounted on a wall! Use them to store tools in a garage, cleaning products in a utility room, or fill them with plants in your back garden. These ones have been varnished and spun round so that they look diamond-shaped – in this way, they’re an aesthetic addition to the home, rather than just a practical one!

12. Upcycling garden ideas: make sun loungers out of pallets

upcycling garden ideas

If you’ve taken a big delivery, the chances are you have some free pallets knocking around. Rather than taking them to the tip, why not use them to make garden furniture? This homeowner has painted theirs and made them into handy sun loungers – but pallets can also make great outdoor sofas and raised garden beds!

13. Simple repurposing ideas: use kitchen items as plant pots

Reuse ideas

If you’re new to upcycling, it makes sense to start with a quick and easy project like this. Raid your cupboards or local charity shops to find unused teapots, mugs, sugar bowls, and other odd receptacles. Then, fill them with plants like these succulents and use them to create an indoor garden.

14. Recycling clothing ideas: create a rug out of old garments

Upcycled clothing idea

How much of your wardrobe do you actually wear? If the answer is not a lot, put those unused garments to good use by making them into a rug. There are lots of different methods and styles if you decide to make a rag rug, but whatever you choose, it’ll be a great feature for your home (and you’ll love telling people where you got it from!).

15. Window reuse ideas: make a cold frame

upcycle windows

Replacing your windows? Your old ones can be put to good use, especially if you’re a keen gardener. Use them to make a cold frame and enjoy elongating the growing period for your crops and protecting dormant plants until spring arrives!

16. Savvy upcycling ideas: paint a freestanding kitchen island

Savvy upcycling ideas

Finally, be a savvy homeowner and turn your attention to the items in your home where upcycling could save you the most money. New kitchen costs are high, but painting up an old freestanding kitchen island could save you a fortune. Look how this homeowner has pulled a kitchen together out of upcycled items – they’ve even used cabinet curtains instead of kitchen doors!

Ready to turn your upcycling ideas into a reality? Why not find a trusted handyperson near you to give you a helping hand? Simply search your postcode below to get started.

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