Before you hit that ‘buy’ button, pause.
What if rather than buying something brand new, you gave something you already own a refresh? Or get something from a charity shop and give it an upgrade?
Not only is this a good environmental habit to get into, but upcycling could save you some serious cash.
Take note from Jill Oliver, 50, who managed to make an old table look super snazzy in just three steps – for a total cost of just £85 (yes, including the table itself).
Jill, a student support worker from Durham, wanted a piece of furniture to complete her cosy living room.
‘I had a wall in my lounge that looked really bare,’ she said.
Taking a browse online, Jill found TV consoles costing upwards of £250 – and didn’t fancy spending that much. Instead, she decided to get creative.
Buying a plain table from Amazon for £64, an a tub of paint for £19.95, she came up with a way to make a piece she loved.
And handily, she already had 120 grit sandpaper, as well as a paint brush and sponge roller, on hand to complete the process.
She said: ‘First, I built the table, which was easy enough to do with the instructions.
‘I gave it a good clean with sugar soap, then a light sand to key the surface.
‘I wiped all the dust away, before painting using a brilliant white shade.
‘I painted the small, tricky areas with a little brush and used a sponge roller for the bigger, flat surfaces.
‘Something you can do is add a little water to the paint for your last coat as it leaves a really nice, line-free finish.
‘I painted three coats and allowed two hours drying time in between each.
‘I used the console within a few days, but they recommend leaving it for around three weeks to cure properly.’
The DIY project took just one day to complete and the console table now looks unrecognisable from its original state.
Jill has previously upcycled her bedside cabinets, a 27-year-old toybox and her wardrobe doors, as well as her hallway by adding panelling.
She believes that people want to give upcycling a try and save themselves money, but sometimes don’t know where to start.
Her top tip? Just get stuck in.
‘The response from people is always lovely when I post my projects and I have lots of messages from people asking questions about how I’ve done something,’ she said.
‘I reply to them all, as I think it’s really important to help people who want to give this a go.
‘Start on a small item from a charity shop or even an old piece of wood.
‘I think you just have to bite the bullet and go for it.’
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