The benefits of upcycling

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I’ve always been into my upcycling and recycling. Having a young family means I don’t get the chances to peruse the internet, auctions or junk stores like I used to. Even so, I still do the occasional bit of upcycling, as this recent blog post and video shows.

recycle, upcycle
Some recycled metal light fittings. Eye catching, well-designed and upcycled with love.

For me, a decent piece of upcycled furniture is a signature item. It is unique and has a story to tell.

Very often the quality of the build can also be far superior to a modern item you might find in a shop. A little while ago, for instance, I bought a swing top desk for Helen, my eldest daughter. It replaced a horrible plastic stool and cheap fibre board table where she had been doing her school work in the evenings.

It was the kind of thing used in schools throughout the 1970s and it had been lovingly restored. It came with a matching chair and the original ink well for fountain pens was still in the lid. In fact, if you opened the lid and looked inside there were stains from top to bottom where kids had clearly spilled ink while refilling their pens, not to mention some graffiti making quite clear one pupil was no fan of their Latin lessons.

Those are all nice character features, the kind of thing you might find with any old item. Both the desk and chair were very well built. They were much, much better than anything I could have bought for a similar price brand new.

upcycle, recycle,
The upcycled swing-top desk and chair I bought for my daughter last year. It’s much better quality than anything I could have bought brand new.

The big question for an upcycler is where to get your items in the first place. One option is to approach a skip hire and recycling specialist such as CJ Metals. All manner of items are bought to its yards every day, some of which can be renovated and given a new lease of life.

Other options include websites such as Freecycle. Most local communities also have Facebook pages where people swap, sell and exchange items and I’ve had great success using these in the past.

However you chose to go about obtaining your upcycled materials, best of luck. It is well worth it when you take an old item and make it your own.


Disclosure; Light fitting image reproduced under Creative Commons agreement. Article written in association with CJ Metals. 

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