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7 Ingenious Ways to Upcycle Tired Furniture

Spruce up your home with these clever, crafty ideas

7 Ingenious Ways to Upcycle Tired Furniture

1 Decoupaged Drawers

Magazine pages, vintage newspapers, wallpaper or pretty patterned paper such as Kanban’s Wobblers Scenic Vistas can turn boring old furniture into something to be envied. Simply sand down the drawers and coat them with white chalk paint to give an even background. Once dry, apply glue and layer the papers on, smoothing them down by hand and rubbing wrinkles out with a soft dry cloth. Finish with a glossy sealer like Mod Podge for fantastic results.

2 Photo Frame Shelf

With some clever crafting, you can turn an old picture frame into a shelf. Simply dismantle the frame, removing the glass and the backboard, and use it as a guide to make an MDF box – using 6mm pieces of wood, the two sides can be cut to the same measurement as the side of the backboard, but the top and base need to be 12mm smaller. Use fine sandpaper to sand away any rough edges, and paint. Glue the frame to the front, and the backboard to the back (optional), then attach a sawtooth hanging hook to the top centre back of the box and hang on the wall. Once done, the shelf makes a perfect spot for a small trinket, memento or vase of flowers.

3 Make Over an Office Chair

Many of us are guilty of spending hours sitting on an office chair, either working hard or surfing the net, so the seats wear out pretty quickly. However, with some sewing skills and gorgeous fabric such as Tilda Lazy Days Teal Fabric Fat Quarters, you can revitalise that chair and make it into something that is comfortable to sit on and as attractive as your home. Most office chair seats are fixed in place with a few bolts that are easily unscrewed, then restuff if needed, cover with the pretty fabric, and reattach.

4 Decorate a Knife Block

Most kitchens are home to a standard wooden knife block. They’re not terrible, but also not exciting. Why not give yours a makeover with a lick of paint such as Tim Holtz Distress Paint Collection? You can use metallic shades to tie in with current kitchen trends, or go for bright colours for a funky look – make sure to let your artistic side run wild, and paint all kinds of shapes and patterns.

5 Spruce Up a Wardrobe

Much like how a chest of drawers can be revitalised with some paint and decoupage, a wardrobe can be turned into something truly stylish. Sand down the wardrobe first with sandpaper to remove any old varnish, wearing a dust mask for protection. Give it a coat of white undercoat paint, then another colour that matches the room once dry, using a small foam roller to achieve a good finish. Finish by covering the inside of the wardrobe’s doors with gorgeous paper, such as Hunkydory Super Size Rainbow Mirri Card, avoiding the mirror if there is one.

6 Turn Old Teacups into Charming Candles

Old, unused or cracked teacups can make delightful candle-holders, especially if they have pretty designs on the sides. If you don’t have any yourself, second-hand and charity shops often have old sets. All you need to make the candles is a basic candle making kit such as Eazi Candle Candle-making Starter Kit – simply choose a scent and colour that match the pretty candle holder, and follow the easy instructions. Do make sure that your teacup can handle the heat, though!

7 Turn Old Plates into Fun Chalkboards

Much like the teacup candle holders, old plates with decorative borders can be turned into a wonderful chalkboard notice set for your kitchen. To make them, fix masking tape around the edge of the plate to protect it, and spray the centre with chalkboard paint. Once dry, remove the masking tape and add a hanging loop to the back of the plate with some coordinating ribbon and duct tape. You can use chalk to write down recipes, reminders to yourself, uplifting sentiments or funny messages to your family.