My Adventures in Upcycling 2013

Since watching my favourite make do and mender Kirsty ‘Crafty’ Allsop on the telly I am a bit recycle, upcycle mad. This year I have undertake a few projects and thought it was about time I shared them with you. The first that I undertook after our move was to upcycle the wobbly, weather worn garden bench that the previous owner had left behind:

Upcycled Garden Bench

Tools:  Sharp scissors, hammer, screwdriver and a heavy duty staple gun, Oil Cloth/PVC Fabric and Foam padding. To be honest not much planning goes into my up cycling projects it just so of go with the flow and see what happens.


Up cycled garden bench

I started by painting the metal frame with some Hammerite I found in the garage.

  • Cut the foam padding into strips the same width as the struts.
  • Cut the fabric 2.5 times the width of the struts
  • Then I loosened the struts but left them in place
  • I held the  foam which I had already cut into strips the in place and wrapped the fabric around the strut and staple gunned in place.
  • Once I completed the strut I screwed back into place.
  • Take each strut in turn until all were covered.
  • Used hammer and tacks as required where the staple gun wouldn’t hold or if you want a little more security.

Easy peasy and looks fab even if I do say so myself. I made sure that the oil cloth/pvc fabric completely covered the foam so that water could not get into the foam. Costs:  about £25.00 material and foam. PVC Fabric  purchased from Dunelm Mill.

Upcycled Nest of Tables


Upcycled nest of Tables

Nest of tables purchased from a charity shop for £3.00. Tools:  Sandpaper, Paint, brushes, Optional : Decopatch paper, Acrylic sheeting

  •   Quickly gave the tables a rub down with some sandpaper I found in the garage
  • Cracked open a left over tin of normal silk emulsion, this was in a creamy colour.  I used soft stone as this matched my living room.  Gave each table 3 or 4 coats so that the lovely brown colour disappeared.
  • I left them to dry and a few days later I placed some decopatch paper underneath the acrylic which I have just placed on top to protect the paint.

Costs – tables £3.00, paint left overs from painting the house, acrylic sheet sheeting came from freecycle, decopatch paper £2.oo from my local shop No Two Things.

Upcycled Wing Back Chair

When I bought these chairs home my husband completely freaked.  They are known as the pissy chairs and this seems to have stuck.  Everyone refers to the pissy chairs.

I have been looking through home magazines and have seen loads of chairs all with huge price tags and thought what the hell, I can do that!  Ha that was until I started.  There has been many swearing session, blood and wine consumed during this process.  It wasn’t easy!

I purchased the two chairs which are slightly different as I didn’t really want matching for the bargain price of £15 each from a local charity shop.  Popped to my local Dunelm Mill and bought 3 metres of fabric (too much I know) but it was reduced to £1.99 a metre so thought I had better make sure I had extra, just in case!  I  borrowed a sewing machine from a colleague at work, then I got cracking.

No pattern no and idea where to start and hadn’t touched a sewing machine since about 1987.  Though I found these LINKS helpful and after reading several versions I went for it.

I started at the top and took it section my section trying to cut rectangles and squares and pinning as I went.  It was a very hit and miss attempt but it turned out ok.  Not brilliant by a long chalk but its ok.


Upcycled wingback chair – Pissy Chairs

 Now the other  chair will have to wait!

Good luck with your up cycling ventures.  Now I am off to freecycle to see what else I can find.

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I really appreciate your comments and your time. Elaine