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Five everyday items to upcycle today

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Recycle, reduce, reuse

You’ve heard the words “recycle, reduce and reuse.” Let’s change the word reuse to upcycle. It’s a trend wherein you reuse an old item in a new, funky way. It can involve painting, building or sewing something for fashion or home use. There are many ways you can upcycle old things around your house and from the thrift store to create character and style in your home.

Dresser

This piece of furniture is often found in bedrooms holding clothes. Looking at it, it seems kind of ordinary. If you find yourself bored with your dresser, perhaps you should consider painting it a bold colour. That is the easiest way to breathe new life into your décor. Other times a dresser just looks beaten up and worn out.

Try decoupage and add some interest with old pages from books, maps or sheet music. Paint the edges off-white and, when dry, distress it with sandpaper for a vintage look.

Missing drawers are worse than missing bits of hardware so thinking outside the box may be needed. If you possess some carpentry skills, you can measure and cut out a piece of plywood to fit inside the missing drawer space. With some paint and care, it can now be used as a media center for your TV and consoles. The drawers that are still intact can hold DVDs, games and toys.

Window frames

Walking around an antique store, you might see old window frames and wonder, “what could those be used for?” The answer is many things. You can use window frames for displaying photos and artwork. Just add paint, a piece of wood to the back and a hook for hanging. Pop out the glass and replace with corkboard for a unique message board. You can even use the same thing for hanging jewelry in an artful way. Of course, these projects are thinking in the traditional sense of a window that is vertical. Flip it over and you have a surface for a table. You can buy old table legs and attach them to the frame. This one-of-a-kind piece would stand out in any living room.

Utensils

Forks, knives and spoons aren’t just for eating. There are some unique sets you can find at thrift stores that would be perfect for drawer pulls and handles on cupboards. This look would be quite at home in anyone’s kitchen. Is your clock missing the minute hand? Try replacing them with an old butter knife and cheese knife. If you’re creatively inclined, a splay of spoons would add a starburst effect to a round mirror. Also, a couple of brackets attached to an old rolling pin would make for an interesting tea towel rack. And don’t be limited to just kitchen utensils. For the handy guy, a unique set of wrench hooks would look great in his workshop. Bending them will require some heavy-duty tools, but the effect will be worth it.

Old suitcases

Don’t pack your suitcase away just yet. These old vintage suitcases are a great find in this day of wheeling luggage. And they are being reused in some creative ways. By adding some table legs, these become unique end tables with room for storage. Open it up, add cushions and upholstery to create a chair. Have a cat or dog? Remove the top and add a cushion to make a cute bed for them. Taken apart, a suitcase can be transformed into a display case for keepsakes or bookshelf.

Clothes

If you’re hesitant to get rid of an old piece of clothing, you can repurpose it to fit your décor. T-shirts and sweaters can be made into comfy pillow covers. Some sewing skill is required, obviously. However, if you’re looking for something with a little less skill, you can make a unique set of drapes with an old skirt and pair of scissors. A cute patterned top can add flair to a dated lamp cover. Since they’re your old clothes, you know you will like them in your décor for years to come.

By Meagan Dieroff 

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