Upcycle Your Home For Less


If you are getting tired of how your home looks and you want to freshen things up, there is an easier and more affordable way than to buy brand new items for your home.

Upcycling is something a lot of people are doing, taking old and vintage furniture and giving it new life. 

Whether it is an old bureau that you want to make into a PC table for your room or an old bedside cabinet that you want to repaint and fit into your new nursery, upcycling could save you money and give you a whole new passion project. 

What Is Upcycling?

Upcycling can work on many items, from furniture to clothing. It is simply taking something old and giving it new life, whether this is a coat of paint onto a unit or tie-dying your old grey top that has stains. It is amazing what tie-dye can hide. 

Upcycling is also using things to save them from going into recycling centers, so if you have an old glass candle holder repurposing the glass or container that the candle was in, this would be upcycling. 

You may want to use an old container to plant flowers or an old Yankee Candle jar as a small vase for cut flowers. Each of these things could be upcycled as it saves those items from going to waste. 

Buying secondhand furniture and clothing can also be referred to as upcycling, as you are not buying new and buying more things to go into rotation in the world. The more things we buy new, the more things that will go to waste in the end. If we can reuse more items or resell, the less there will be sold new. 

How To Start?

When first starting with upcycling, many people will buy something for their home or use something they already have. A good place to start is with a bedside cabinet, sand it down to get all of the paint and gloss off what was originally on, and start redecorating. 

Whether you want to add a design or simply repaint a different colour to give a new lease of life or feel like you have something new. Upcycling can save you a lot of money, more so if you are redecorating and changing the colour scheme in your home or room. 

If you do not have furniture and you are just starting, look on free sites and groups such as Facebook Marketplace. Find something you like and follow the steps above, sand down, and repaint. You will be amazed at just how much of a difference this can make to almost anything. 

If you are looking at upcycling something bigger like a wardrobe, you can add different shelves and things inside to give you the space you need that it may not offer. Bigger projects will cost more than just repainting and making everything look new but can save you a lot of money compared to buying a new wardrobe. 

Upcycling will also allow you to make any item into exactly what you need. Whether this is just extra space to store your shoes or more rails for your clothes, perhaps you want a wardrobe for a nursery for your new baby, and you need more storage for future clothes with a smaller place for clothes for now. 

Upcycling and doing it yourself will save you time, give you something to focus on, and allow you to personalise it perfectly.

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Simple Starters

If you feel like upcycling a bedside table or a wardrobe is too much for your first attempt, you can start smaller.

One of the best things to start with when learning to upcycle and add things to your home is using plastic bottles to make herb gardens. 

You can do this by cutting up your old soda bottles and adding your herbs in; by putting one half of the soda bottle inside the other, you can fill the bottom and water your herbs. This is also a fantastic idea for people who struggle to keep plants alive. 

Use candle jars and other glassware, such as jam jars, as table organizers for your desk. You can decorate these with stickers, markers, or paint to help them fit your room if you wish. You can use them to store paperclips and any other knickknacks you may want on your desk, saving you money and helping you tidy up.

Business Opportunity?

Some people have made themselves a business by buying and selling things after they have been upcycled. If you are looking for a small side business to help earn a little extra money, you can often make a profit when upcycling. 

You may choose to upcycle old pieces of material and create reusable facecloths to sell, or you may create some unique furniture to sell to other people. This can be things as simple as upcycling and selling storage for toys or decorating and upcycling old cribs to sell to people. 

Using old broken pottery and making bird feeders or planters could also help you build a business. Save any broken or chipped cups, paint them, and fill them with feed and fats for birds. Whether you choose to hang these yourself or sell them online, unique and quirky things like these can become very popular. 

When looking at making upcycling as your business, it is a good idea to consider how long you have been upcycling.  You should also do some research into the kind of things people enjoy and will buy. It is also worth timing when you are going to start your own business; some things will sell better at certain times of the year. 


Upcycling can be a fun way to change your furniture or start a small side business. Whether you want to redecorate or you are looking for a cheap hobby to keep you busy and make a little extra money. 

Upcycling can not only save you money when redecorating, but it is better for the environment. The more you reuse, the less waste there is.

If you are interested in trying upcycling, start small and build up. You will be amazed at what you can achieve with some sandpaper and paint.

Photo of author


Nicole Sage

Nicole Sage is the founder of Sleek-chic Interiors and is a highly experienced interiors writer and skilled home renovator who has a passion for all things design. She has been featured as an authority at Pinterest, Ideal Home, Daily Mail and in countless other interviews. For 8 years, Nicole has written, observed key interior trends, renovated and undertaken interior short courses at the renown KLC school where she has gained her grounding interior design principles. With a keen eye for detail and a love of creativity, she shares her expertise on the latest interior trends, practical DIY tutorials, and styling inspiration to help others transform their homes into stunning spaces. With a commitment to delivering informative and engaging content, Nicole inspires and empowers readers to explore their own unique sense of style and create beautiful, personalised interiors. Contact her at hello@sleek-chic.co.uk for interiors advice, colour questions and any commentary.

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