Perhaps you’ve heard of the term upcycling? It’s been used a lot lately and has been sparking a movement across Australia and abroad that is hard to miss. If you watch “The Living Room” you’ve probably seen a few episodes where a couple upcycled a piece of furniture for a fraction of the price it would have cost to purchase.
Upcycling is when you take things that would otherwise be thrown away and repurpose them into something useful or attractive. People have been upcycling for ages. In fact, before the industrial revolution people would upcycle items all the time because it was easier, faster and more cost effective than purchasing something new.
Once the industrial revolution really hit and products could be mass produced – we found it easier to simply buy what we wanted and throw it away after it served it’s purpose. Within the last 10 years or so, however, the DIY movement has been gaining traction once again.
This is partially in response to a backlash by the general public against mass produced items and a yearning for things that are unique, one of a kind and “crafted”. Awareness of our impact on the environment is another factor that plays into our obsession with DIY and upcycled items. As we become more aware of our carbon footprint, the desire to find ways of repurposing old items for new uses is becoming stronger.
So, how can you start upcycling items in your home to create that one of a kind “crafted” look?
Well, you can upcycle just about anything in your home but first let’s take a look at the difference between upcycling and re-using. Upcycling means that you are either finding a new use for an object in its current state or modifying the object and using it for a new purpose. Either way, the object you are upcycling will have a use that is different from what was originally intended.
A couple of examples of this are:
- Using an old sweater to create felted purses or hats
- Taking old glass bottles and using them as pavers for a patio
- Turning a child’s crib into a desk
- Using reclaimed wood as a fire place mantel
Re-using an object means exactly that: you are re-using it for its original purpose. So, re-upholstering your old, worn sofa and using it as seating is not considered upcycling.
There are literally tons of ways that you can upcycle things in your home and the possibilities are only limited by your imagination.
Upcycling is one of the hottest trends in home décor right now and it won’t be going away anytime soon. It’s a great way to express your creativity while adding a touch of character to your home and keeping waste out of our landfills.
Do you have any upcycling projects that you’ve done? Tell us about them in the comments below.
All photos via Pinterest