A culmination of little pieces of yourself; little mementos that tell a story about who you are. That’s home.
Upcycling, by definition, is a means of repurposing by-products, unused materials, or discarded items to create something of value, whether artistic or functional. To me, upcycling is more than simple repurposing – it’s a platform you can use to put parts of yourself into the world, parts that make the world just a little bit more beautiful.
In this post, I’ll be providing you with all the tips and crafting hacks to help you create a unique living room using upcycling!
What You’ll Need on Your Toolbelt
Emmert Wolf said that “a man is only as good as his tools”. While your creative spirit will give your concepts life, you’ll need a few items to help you get there!
Each crafter will need a toolbelt that differs greatly from the next, as no two would work on identical projects (generally speaking).
Though this is the case, there are several tools that serve a multitude of functions and which can be used across a great number of projects.
What’s your upcoming project?
I’ll be covering these tools below, but I recommend that you do more research about the tools you’ll need for your own project. Also, keep in mind that some of these tools may not apply to what you’ll be doing. That said, let’s jump in:
- Screwdriver set
- Utility Knife/ Stanley Knife
- Mini Clamps
- Multipurpose Rotary Tool
- Staple Gun
- Electric Drill (preferably with screwdriver setting)
- Jigsaw, Hacksaw, or both
- Screw/ Staple Puller
- Various craft paints
- Various size paint brushes
- Pencils/ Chalk
It’s not just tools that you’ll want to have on hand. Start looking for materials that you can use in your upcycling projects.
Materials like glass (multicolor), wood, paper, fabric, card, plastic, metal, and costume jewelry are all great items to have in your upcycling arsenal!
If you want to get really bouge with your crafting, there are some extra tools that will take your creations to the next level:
- A Pinterest account. Yes, I know. Not quite a “tool” as such, but there is no better way to improve your upcycling quite like a well-used Pinterest profile!
- A computerized embroidery machine. Using a computerized embroidery machine allows you to add intricate detail to your fabrics without having to put in hours of painstaking work.
- A dedicated workstation. A well-organized, dedicated workstation will keep your tools and consumables safe from constant misplacement and ensure that you can simply continue where you left off, instead of continuous packing and unpacking.
Upcycling Creations You Can Start With Today
Upcycling is one of my favorite pastimes.
You truly have an unlimited creative license when fashioning an upcycled item. Truthfully speaking, the only limitation when upcycling is your imagination, though a good starting point never hurts!
Here are some of my favorite upcycled living room items:
- Wine cork coasters
- Acoustic guitar bars
- Tin can flower pots
- Bath sofas
- Shirt cushions
- Grocery basket dressers
- Suitcase side tables
- Lampshade coffee tables
- Surfboard coat rack
- Window frame mirrors
- Wine crate ottomans
- Old door/ barn door coffee/ dining tables
- Ox yoke hat racks
- Painted denim cushion cases
- Window shutter planters
- Jerrycan cabinets
- Vintage TV fish tanks
- Oil barrel coffee table
There are, of course, a ton of other upcycling ideas to choose from. As I mentioned, these are just a few of my personal favorites for the living room.
As you can see, some of these are incredibly obscure and not necessarily the kinds of things that you’d think of, but I hope that they give you a better understanding of just how far you can let your imagination wander when upcycling!
In case you feel like you need more inspiration, here are 86 more upcycling ideas.
Prepping for Your Next Upcycling Project
So, you have your tools and you know what you want to achieve with your project – what’s next?
“When choosing a theme, I start with color. Typically, you’ll want to have two main colors and one or two complementary colors in mind.”
It’s important to select a theme for your living room before you start crafting. If you’re going for a rustic vibe, raw wood and aged metals are must-haves. If farm-style living is more your thing, then burlap and denim are two materials you need to get your hands on!
When choosing a theme, I start with color. Typically, you’ll want to have two main colors and one or two complementary colors in mind.
After you’ve chosen a color, think about the key items you’ll be placing or already have placed in your living room.
Coffee tables, TV stands, ottomans, or even large plants – all of these are things you probably don’t want to get rid of, though their existing colors and patterns may contradict the look you’re aiming for.
By keeping these key items in mind, you can plan for how you are going to incorporate them into your new look. A dash of chalk paint here, a handful of new fabric there, and “voila” – nothing is out of sorts!
It’s also incredibly important to put some thought into the practicality of your creations. It can be tempting to incorporate daintier decor into your living room if you are going for a modern, chic look, but if you have kids or larger pets, something sturdier may be better suited.
Explore Your Creativity!
And that’s about it from me! I hope that these tips help you fall in love with upcycling if you are just starting out.
If you’re a crafting veteran, I hope that this helped get the creative juices flowing! If you have any extra tips or inspirations, tell us all about them in the comments.
Sharing this on social media may help a would-be crafter get started, so be sure to do that if you haven’t already. Until the next time, happy crafting!
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