The lovely folk in my phone (the ones who follow me on Insta) frequently ask where my living room table is from. I often feel like I need to apologise they can’t bag themselves one as it was actually an upcycle project.
Said table started life in my parents living room with a wrought iron base and a wicker top, rather like classic conservatory furniture. When they bought a new table about ten years ago the old one was shipped off to our house. Around the same time my niece had started walking and liked nothing more than gnawing down on the table top and as her steps improved she proceeded to bite her way around the entire table leaving the reside of a haystack. We threw away the top and put the table legs into storage and then, at the height of the rustic furniture trend, we crafted a top from some abandoned palettes creating an upcycled coffee table.
I am a big fan of upcycling, though sometimes I have to admit I’ve spent far too long trying to repurpose something that I could have bought fairly inexpensively anyway. On the whole though it’s always worth taking a second glance at an object before you get rid or potentially purchasing something with the sole purpose of giving it a new lease of life.
Hot on the heels of Lisa’s Ikea hacks yesterday I’m sharing my favourite resources for DIY and upcycling projects. It’s all well and good mentioning about how a lick of paint and new handles can revolutionise a chest of drawers but where do you get the hardware from in the first place?!
eBay is my favourite place to start when looking for new knobs and knockers. Both Charlotte and I have purchased several sets of vintage style print shop cup handles from eBay and I found a set of castors on there too for my old TV cabinet upcycle.
It’s obviously a good place to start to get a piece of furniture in the first place. My old dressing table and bureau were both about £20 each from there.
Also another great place for hardware and handles. The leather pull handles in my old downstairs loo were found inexpensively on the popular marketplace. I’m considering getting a similar style leather brackets to act as supports for a new shelf.
I’m currently scouring Gumtree for a potential new-to-me garage side door. Gumtree and Freecycle are excellent resources for regular household items which you’d expect to have to buy new. A lucky couple recently left my house £10 lighter with the old glass doors from my dining room. I was tickled pink we hadn’t had to take them to the tip and they were thrilled they’d got a bargain. Everyone’s a winner.
I’ve confessed before, The Poundshop is my guilty pleasure. Always good for slightly random things that can cost a fortune elsewhere. I once papered the inside of a cabinet with a roll of wallpaper picked up from the pound shop and yep you guessed it, it cost a quid.
Much like the Poundshop, I get my kicks in B&M and Wilko. Wilko’s hardware department has vastly improved over the last few years, plus their spray paint is exceptionally cheap if you’re after a quick fix. (In case you’re interested though my spray paint of choice is always Montana Grey which you can usually get at Amazon).
Independent DIY Store
These places are a dying breed unfortunately but are so good when you just need a couple of screws or a bolt or two for a project. They also seem particullarly good for niche items like angled saws which might be tricky to get hold of. They often have very curious pricing with some things dirt cheap and others eye wateringly expensive. The one in my old village was epic and I was gutted when it closed down.
Antique Shops and Flea Markets
My hometown of Sheffield is an absolute treasure trove of vintage shops. I once picked up a vintage soda syphon from one of my favourite antique stores which James drilled with a tile drill bit so I could thread fairy lights through. Voila, a cute lamp for a bar cart.
Skips and Tips
Always a good idea to ask the owner of the skip before you start delving through it but that’s where I grabbed a few palettes from for the aforementioned table upcycle. The mirror in my old bathroom was just one english pound from the shop at the recycling centre and sprayed with grey paint it looks like it cost far more.
It goes without saying we start any repurposing project with a trip to B&Q or Homebase but hopefully this post has sparked a few other ideas too. Where do you get your hardware and other bits and bobs from? Any resources you’d love to share for treasures which instantly elevate the most mundane of furniture?