Upcycled Coffee table

Upcycle Upperhand

Author: Lauren Coleman

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?!

Auction Sites
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.

Value Retailers
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?

Lauren likes Paris, Prosecco and Paint Charts
Follow Lauren on instagram @mrslaurencoleman
This post may include affiliate links.
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20 thoughts on “Upcycle Upperhand

  1. Freecycle is fantastic, we once got rid of a leaky caravan, that we’d lived in, while renovating our cottage, it went within hours, to a lady that wanted an office in her barn, result for both of us. If any of your readers live in Worcestershire there is a fabulous place called Bringsty Vintage Living on the A44 between Worcester and Bromyard, tons of old furniture to recycle and lots interesting items for the home. Some have already been upcycled but I prefer to go into the trailers in the side yard, there you’ll find plenty of stuff to get creative with and reasonable prices too. I’ve had chairs, wardrobes and chests from there, all now upcycled. You’ll find them on Facebook. Bromyard is worth a trip to after too, lovely little shop called the French Nest tucked away in square, they even do paint courses, if you aren’t confident in tackling things without guidance.

    1. We love Bringsty Vintage Eileen. We got our gorgeous pine table from there for a snip and the most beautiful post office sorting drawers for about £15. I must take a trip to French Nest next time we are over that way xx

      1. It’s a brilliant shop Lottie, the lady that owns it is so talented, last time I went in she’d painted a horrible chair with French Chic chalk paint and the green velvet material looked like leather after the paint effect, incredible, might be a photo on her Facebook page. X

  2. Thanks Lauren great ideas. I do love an up cycle just preparing for painting/papering a bookcase. I live in Sheffield and wondered if you would mind sharing the name of your fav shop?

    1. Hi Vicky! We are obsessed with the salvage yard in Sheffield on Abbeydale Rd. It is FULL to bursting with amazing treasures. We bought an original Victorian tiled fireplace from there for a bargain and a Belfast sink for £20. They will haggle on price too, especially if you are buying larger items. I have yet to fully restore the items we bought but I will get round to it one day!

      1. Thanks Hannah always driven past and thought it looks good. I have been following your renovations on IG so looking forward to seeing the results ?

  3. Hi Vicky. What an excellent place to live 🙂
    I love Sheffield Antiques Centre (the one on Broadfield Road) – I’ve bought lots of styling props from there and also Heeley Bank Antiques too – I’ve bought loads of treasures for my garden from there x

    1. It is a great place ?. I know where you mean. Never tried Heeley bank before so will definitely have a look x

      1. I got a copper moscow mule cup in there for £1. I was very happy!
        It’s a nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon having a mooch around there x

  4. I love a bit of freecycle. Admittedly I’ve only ever got a set of wine glasses for a party (still who doesn’t like free glassware) so it’s more for getting rid of things for me but I’m just so pleased when something goes to a new home rather than our overfilled loft or the tip. I need to stop being so lazy and actually try to sell some of the better things to fund some little projects of our own.

    1. It feels like such a rigmarole to sell stuff doesn’t it? Writing the ad and taking the pics. I’m selling my old upholstered headboard and still haven’t got round to advertising it yet.
      Yay for free glassware! x

  5. Great tips Lauren. I try to recycle things where I can, so it’s always so inspiring to see what you make with your second hand pieces. I think we should all waste less and try and make do with what we’ve got, as resources are so limited. It’s great to see that upcycling can be fun and look really great. Excellent post.

    1. Thanks M-J. I’m trying to be much more conscious and reworking what I already have, and cut back too. There’s even a few online retailers I’m not planning on purchasing from again as their packaging seemed so wasteful.

  6. Great post Lauren – more of these please!!! I love a bit of upcycling.
    My sister lives in North Yorkshire and there is a great shop called Little Eden Interiors in Easingwold which is definitely worth a visit for second hand pieces ripe for upcycling. I bought a small wardrobe there in the summer for £50 which I painted with chalk paint. Looks great now and was perfect for my spare room. Little Eden Interiors are moving to York at the end of January.
    If anyone knows of some good second places in Cheltenham then I’d love to know where.

  7. Love all of this!! Did you paint that beautiful chest of drawers in the dark coal blue sort of colour?? I am in love with it! If you did, what was the paint you uses?? I have just this afternoon bought a horrible wooden sideboard that is screaming out to be upcycled and that colour paint would be perfect!

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