We all have a piece of furniture in our home or our garden that’s looking a little bit worn out.
Why not treat it to a little customisation, some fresh paint or new handles and allow it to brighten your surroundings once again?
Upcycling is really having its moment in Britain and around the world, and not just because it saves us money, and gives our homes and gardens a unique feel, but it also saves the planet!
British households produce 280m tonnes of trash each year, which is why it’s time to fight back the global trend of mass production and mass consumption and join thousands of homeowners who are increasingly more interested in refurbishing old furniture, and making something unique and personal that no one else is going to have in their own home.
Let’s see what you can do to give new life to your old garden furniture and make something unique yet inexpensive that will brighten up your garden and save you some money in the process.
But first let’s see what upcycling is, for those who are new to all this.
What is Upcycling?
Upcycling is taking an old and worn out item that you would have otherwise thrown out or recycled and giving it a new life by turning it into something creative that you can use. You can also use items you find, not just the ones you have lying around in and around your home and garden.
It’s a pretty basic concept yet it’s started to become very popular, especially since we’ve become more and more aware of how we’re affecting the environment and what we can do to reduce our carbon footprint.
Upcycling is definitely number one on that list, and that’s why more and more people are starting to practice it. The best thing is, most of the time you don't need expensive tools to complete the job. Some basic garden tools, which can be easily bought on Amazon or at your local DIY will shop, will be sufficient.
The term was coined back in the mid-90s. Today it is interpreted as a way of making something unique and creative from discarded old items and continue using it.
To put things a bit more into perspective here are some examples of up-cycling:
• A skirt made from an old shirt.
• Table and chairs made from salvaged barn wood.
• Chairs or flower beds made from old tires.
• Planters made using an old wooden sewing cabinet or soup cans.
• A door mat made from an old garden hose.
• A rustic garden gate made from an old metal headboard.
There are a lot more examples like these ones, so let’s get right to it!
In this article we’ll try to focus more on up-cycling garden furniture, so stick with me if you want to learn a few of the best ways to up-cycle your unwanted items and make your garden really stand out.
Ways to Up-Cycle Old Garden Furniture ...
Before buying something new, you should first consider what you already have at home that can be up-cycled to meet your needs, and before throwing things into the bin, you should always consider their other possible uses.
You might be pleasantly surprised once you find out how many of your old items can be used to make something new and beautiful, without spending a penny.
Here are some of our favourite ways to up-cycle garden furniture:
1. Old Tyres Or Suitcases For Flower Beds ...
Old tyres can make interesting and unique flower beds and can give your garden a unique look. These mini-gardens need less water, absorb more heat because of the black rubber and the soil also warms up much faster because it’s above the ground. This gives the plants additional heat that stimulates them to grow faster.
You can also use an old suitcase, an old sink or a hollow log, which will all make original and cheerful flower beds.
2. Pallet Garden Furniture ...
Old pallets can be used to make all kinds of different garden furniture. They require minimal DIY expertise and minimal work and can make a nice table and a seating area.
They give your garden a relaxed, rustic vibe, and are often used by bars and outdoor cafes for that same purpose. You can stick to a natural look and just add a matt varnish to the pallets, or make them stand out by painting them in vibrant colours or by adding colourful cushions.
3. Old Boots For Planters ...
Planting flowers in garden boxes or clay pots is one way to go, but why not plant them in old boots you would otherwise throw out? It’s an easy, effortless DIY project that doesn’t require any tools, just some soil, flowers or seeds and of course your old boots. It’s a simple project that even a beginner DIY enthusiast can accomplish.
We all have a few pairs of old, worn-out shoes or boots we keep lying around because we don’t want to throw them out, so why not give them new life by re-purposing them and using them as a way to make your garden really stand out and give it a unique look?
4. Pallets For Growing Herbs And Vegetables ...
Building garden beds from old pallets is a simple DIY project that’s suitable for beginners and doesn’t require a lot of tools and expertise.
If you have some shipping pallets lying around, or you can get them from a storage facility for a good price, you can build yourself some pretty good-looking and useful garden beds where you can grow herbs and veggies in your garden.
You only need a hammer, a saw and some nails and you’re good to go. These garden beds are inexpensive and surprisingly durable.
You can even turn the pallets into a nifty greenhouse. You’ll need no more than two pallets and a piece of glass to cover the top. This way you can even grow herbs and veggies in colder climates.
You could even make a raised garden bed with wheels so that you can move it and re-position it when needed.
5. Old Bed Headboard As A Rustic Gate And Vice Versa ...
You can use an old headboard as a garden gate to give your garden a unique and interesting look. The interesting thing is that this trick works both ways.
If you have an antique garden gate that would go with the whole design of your bedroom you can use it as a headboard and give your room a whole new rustic look.
6. Antique Bookcase As A Bar ...
If you have a worn out antique bookcase that you were planning on replacing or throwing out, you can restore it and re-purpose it as a handy bar that you can have in your living room, on the patio or by the pool, wherever is more convenient for you.
You can use it to store wine or champagne glasses, and have all your bottles of alcohol neatly stored in one place.
7. Old Bathtub As A Sitting Area ...
There are multiple creative ways to re-purpose and upcycle your old bathtub.
One particular way that is very useful, not to mention unique, is to turn your bathtub into a sitting area or a nice couch.
This will give your garden an edgy and unique look and will make for a nice conversation starter.
All you need to do is clean up the outside and inside of the bathtub, mark it out so you know where to cut and use a saw to cut out the marked out part so that it can begin to look like a couch.
Lastly you’ll need to remove the panel, clean up the edges and paint the outside and inside of the tub and you’re almost done.
The last step is to add some finishing touches like a mattress and some pillows and your couch is good to go.