Sunday 16 October 2011

Upcycle for Fun and for the Earth

The word 'Upcycling' refers to taking something that is old or useless and giving it new life.  This process has become very popular and to save on our planets' resources it is now more important than ever.  I would like to share with you a couple of my upcycling projects on items that may of otherwise been left to the curb.

My chair
I found this lonely old contemporary styled chair and immediately saw potential.  I had no idea what I wanted it for but I was up for the simple challenge to reinvent it's look.

After an hour of removing staples, I was nearly there!
I purchased some new foam, chose a contemporary flocked fabric and began the process of  re-upholstering the seat. I found it best to start at a corner, pull the fabric tight and begin stapling.  The wooden piece was painted a creamy white and I freshened up it's thin legs and frame by spraying them in a semi-gloss black.  I screwed it all back together and...

Just a little bit of TLC and the chair is better than new!
My other project was to convert a french provincial style mirror into a cork/eraser board.  This project was a little more in depth than the chair and I was excited about the process.

Here is the mirror...and me!
After removing the mirror I lightly sanded down and primed the frame. I applied a black satin finish paint  with a  small foam roller to the wood. (although spray painting it would work too).  I purchased an eraser board from Staples that was just the perfect size to fit into approximately half the frame.  After painstakingly removing its' frame, I placed the eraser board into the top half of my newly painted frame.

At Home Depot I purchased some thick cork board which they very kindly cut for me to the exact measurements to fit into the remainder of the frame.  I glued a small silver t-bar between the cork and eraser board to hold it securely in place.  I added some simple, colourful detail to the top of the frame and re-applied the backing.  The final outcome....

Not the best picture, but you get the idea.

 What do you think?  Both of these upcycled items now have a place in my home office & I love them! 

This was used as a filing cabinet 

I found this piece of furniture for Janet, owner of  Paint It Like New.  It's a bit deceiving as the extra hardware makes it appear to have 4 drawers when in reality it only has 2 really deep drawers.  Here is what Janets' dresser looked like after it had been sanded and sprayed...

The piece is totally modernised and I especially love the hardware

Janet painted the dresser the same colour as her head board which gives a cohesive look to 2 completely different pieces of furniture.  The paint is a pearl finish by Benjamin Moore, colour  'Nightshade' 2116-10.  A pretty big transformation from the dull filing cabinet. Nice job!  If your hungry for more makeovers, check out this blog on 'Before and After' projects.

 I highly recommend Burlington based company 'Paint it Like New' where Janet and her team provide quality re-spray painting of furniture. 'Upcycle Furnishings!' is a new service they offer that allows you to purchase a one of a kind item and spray it in the Benjamin Moore colour of your choice.  Visit  to find out more.  You'll be glad you did your part in salvaging something and giving it a new life!

Have you upcycled something?  I would love to see it.  If you are you looking for a specific item, I can help.  Contact me by e-mail:

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