Upcycle for profit

I have a confession. I love a bargain. I’ve recently labelled myself (not advisable) as having spending anxiety. Part of this anxiety is based on the fact I simply can no longer justify or quantify the amount of money that is charged for stuff. I now upcycle like a woman possessed.

I am totally in love with discovering treasures on Gumtree, carboots or second hand shops. Don’t get me wrong the things I choose may not be beautiful initially but with a little bit of tinkering here or they they have become real talking points in my home (mostly admired pieces but as with any hobby some pieces are better than others).

Kids Art Desk

upcycleThe desk I bought for £8.

I liked the idea of painting it but find that the chalk paint phenomina has meant that the price of some of the paints brings on my aforementioned anxieties. With a bit of googling I found that any chalk based paint will do the job and I liked the bold colour range of the Habitat paints. This one is Kingfisher Blue. I left a little of the original wood exposed as I felt it suited the piece.


Upcycling is a business in it’s own right and once I’d completed this project I had thought of sticking it straight on Gumtree as these where selling on at £60 but practically this piece of furniture is invaluable. It stores all the kids craft supplies and we use it as a desk for when the two of them need separate homework areas.

Upholstered Chair

Grey Chair img_1359 img_1402 img_1412 img_1454







This chair is my pride and joy. I’m not as found on this piece of furniture but I am super proud of my upholstery skills here.

I’m annoyed that I didn’t take more before shots of it for you. I did also attend an upholstery course to complete this project but as it was something I always wanted to do the chair just motivated me to actually enrol. I attended the course for a full weekend, I hadn’t completed the chair by the time I’d left but I came away with enough knowledge to complete the chair and I’m so so proud of my efforts.

Bought for £13 ( I found £2.43 in the chair when I stripped it) and I paied £45 for the fabric which is very good quality upholstery grade fabric that I managed to find a large enough offcut of in my local haberdashery. I also paid £150 for my upholstery course.

So I don’t expect I’ll achieve that if I resell on Gumtree or elsewhere but I’ve loved the experience and I’ve gained skills that I will use again and again. I have another chair and the fabric that has been waiting sometime for me to even start!!

Coffee Table

Coffee tableAnother project my husband and I worked on (again kicking myself for lack of before image here) is a plan chest. We found this in a school auction, it reminded us both of our childhood and we’d seen on Pinterest some really interesting coffee tables made from these. It came is 2 pieces and so we split it down. The one in the picture here is our coffee table. We sold the second unit for £180 on Gumtree, see my previous post on how I ensure I create great listings on Gumtree

Still to do:

I love putting new life into things and have recently acquired a GPlan table and Chairs from Gumtree which is in line for a little makeover although the beauty of my new find is the retro style (I think anyway) I will post pictures at a later date.

The danger of my upcycling/recycling love is I have half finished projects, no time and endless ideas!
I’ve recently connected with Max McMurdo on Twitter and added yet more to my Christmas wishlist by way of a hint to my husband. I find the work I’ve seen Max do on TV fascinating. the man can literally make something beautiful and practical from almost anything.

Share with me any of your upcycling projects or even bits you maybe don’t know what to do with but bought them as they have potential, maybe we could help with a few ideas.


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    • maybtoday
      12/10/2016 / 6:16 am

      Thank you. Oh I did an outdoor corner sofa out of pallets in our old garden. Don’t have it now and it was before I was blogging. I used my kids old cot mattresses as cushions and covered them in waterproof fabric. Good luck with your project 😀

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