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12 Ingenious DIY Upcycle Ideas for Beginners. Feel Good, Eco-Friendly, Home Decor Starts Here!

Are you moving into a new home on a budget or are you just tired of that wheel of consumption that’s been putting our planet in danger? Upcycling what you already have helps you save the planet AND your money.

The recent UN IPCC report on climate change has made us all feel the urgency to reduce our carbon footprint. Eco Conscious homewares are a great place to start! Ready to check out these slow home-decor ideas?

So we scoured Instagram to get you some visual interiors upcycling ideas to help you re-ignite your creative juices below and reuse, recycle and renovate more of what you do have.

Creative Patterns + Fresh Accessories + Paint = Easy Furniture Makeovers!

What’s the simplest way to begin your upcycling adventure?

Repaint of course? Start with (non-antique) old wooden furniture you may have found in your granny’s attic or neighbourhood skip. Maybe you’ve acquired a flea market/car boot sale/charity shop find and want to pimp it up a bit?

But first things first...

Prep The Furniture Pieces Before You Begin!

Erin Spain’s HOW TO PAINT FURNITURE: A BEGINNER’S GUIDE is a good place to start . Here are some of the main points to remember if working with Wooden furniture.

  • Clean the old piece by first removing movable parts like drawers and using Wooden Furniture Oil Soap if you can. Make sure the end result is dry and dust free.

  • Give it a Sanding to remove any old gloss paint that may already be there. If the surface is free from gloss paint already, just skip this step.

  • Put on some Primer to cover any stains or discolorations in the wood.

  • NB: Use Fine-Grit Sandpaper to lightly sand between EVERY coat of paint for an even finish. Remove the sanding dust each time ideally with tack cloth.

  • Use Semi-Gloss Paint like an interior latex paint to avoid a flat finish.

  • A Paint Sprayer or small roller gives it a more even finish as well. You don’t want the appearance of brush strokes on your finished product.

  • Post-painting, ensure you let it Dry 24 hours.

  • Seal It with a top coat or finishing wax. Alternatively just leave it alone and let it cure for about 30 days.

Option 1 - All Over Paint Job

You could start with refreshing your new piece with an all over paint job that ties in with your new home decor palette. Or use the piece to create a quirky accent with a bright splash of colour.

This is a perfect way for customizing a very basic Ikea or old flatpack piece into a showstopper that reeks of personality.

Check out this great example from Crown Paints