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Upcycled Furniture

Updated on September 30, 2012

From Trash to Treasure - Get a Lot for a Little

Anyone who knows me knows that whenever I come across a fun idea for crafting I can't help but to give it a try for myself. Needless to say when I came across the concept of upcycling and refurbishing old furniture, my thought turned to our overfilled room full of old furniture. We had just purchased our first home, we're on a budget, and had a huge stash of mismatched free furniture from family and friends. What a great idea!

The term upcycling loosely refers to the process of taking damaged or old unused items and returning them to a useable state, often of high quality. You can upcycle literally anything! I've found that the process works great for old furniture and can turn an item you were ready to throw away into a unique and beautiful conversation piece.

Reupholstering

A Whole New Look in Minutes

One of the simplest ways to upcycle a piece of furniture is simply to reupholster it. With the amount of fabric styles, textures, and prints you are only limited by your imagination! The easiest items to try it on are dining style chairs. You'd be amazed what this simple change can do for your decor.

The only items you really need are:

*Your choice of fabric

*A staple gun and staples

*A screw driver

*A flat workspace

*Foam and foam safe glue if replacing the old cushion

I took apart the chair I was reupholstering with the screw driver. The fabric was in complete disrepair so I decided to remove it, rather then put new fabric over it. I used the trusty screwdriver again to remove the old staples holding the fabric on. This was tedious so you may need some patience. When I purchased my fabric I went with a yard per chair which actually left me with plenty of leftover (I see new pillows in my future). The key to making a lovely new chair is to stretch the fabric as tight as possible. Below you will find some visuals for the steps involved in reupholstering.

Video Tutorial for Easy Reupholstery

Here is a simple and easy to follow visual tutorial for reupholstering dining style chairs.

From Start To Finish - My First Attempt at Upcycling

Animal Print Dining Chairs

I had a set of two dining style chairs that were very old, dirty, and ripped. My first order of business was reupholstering. I removed the old fabric but the cushions were still intact and in decent shape. When I went shopping for fabric I was a little overwhelmed by the hundreds of choices available. But that's when I saw it: a beautiful red leopard print design that just shouted "buy me!" I instantly had a vision for my two new chairs.

I used a handheld sander and sanded away all the dirt, grime and old paint. The chairs had some major detail work at the top so I had to hand sand them which was painstakingly time consuming. Finally finished, the real fun began. I chose my color palette and got to work. My chairs actually needed three coats of paint to have the vibrant look I was trying to achieve. I found large flat acrylic paint brushes worked well and then used smaller brushes for detail work and getting into all the tiny crevices and edges. Once dried, I painted the leopard print pattern down the sides for the finishing touch.

My First Upcycled Treasure

Click thumbnail to view full-size
This is the chair in its original condition.After a simple re upholstery job.Just starting to paint the base color.Adding my second color.Fun animal print adds a unique touch.
This is the chair in its original condition.
This is the chair in its original condition.
After a simple re upholstery job.
After a simple re upholstery job.
Just starting to paint the base color.
Just starting to paint the base color.
Adding my second color.
Adding my second color.
Fun animal print adds a unique touch.
Fun animal print adds a unique touch.

Items I Used for My Animal Print Chairs

Awesome Ideas for Upcycling - How others are Transforming Trash to Treasures

Click thumbnail to view full-size
This is beautiful. An ordinary item turned extraordinary. http://www.etsy.com/listing/71172920/unique-earring-stand-fun-surrealisticThis is such a neat idea! You can find more of these nifty creations at http://www.etsy.com/shop/FabTabulousWhat a unique conversation piece. http://www.etsy.com/shop/HeavenlyC?ref=seller_infoA really cool idea to repurpose old license plates into a mailbox. http://www.etsy.com/shop/LicenseToCraft?ref=seller_info
This is beautiful. An ordinary item turned extraordinary. http://www.etsy.com/listing/71172920/unique-earring-stand-fun-surrealistic
This is beautiful. An ordinary item turned extraordinary. http://www.etsy.com/listing/71172920/unique-earring-stand-fun-surrealistic
This is such a neat idea! You can find more of these nifty creations at http://www.etsy.com/shop/FabTabulous
This is such a neat idea! You can find more of these nifty creations at http://www.etsy.com/shop/FabTabulous
What a unique conversation piece. http://www.etsy.com/shop/HeavenlyC?ref=seller_info
What a unique conversation piece. http://www.etsy.com/shop/HeavenlyC?ref=seller_info
A really cool idea to repurpose old license plates into a mailbox. http://www.etsy.com/shop/LicenseToCraft?ref=seller_info
A really cool idea to repurpose old license plates into a mailbox. http://www.etsy.com/shop/LicenseToCraft?ref=seller_info

If so, what was the item you upcycled and how did it turn out?

What items do you think have great potential for upcycling?

Have You Tried Upcycling?

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    • Board-Game-Brooke profile image

      C A Chancellor 

      5 years ago from US/TN

      I haven't, but I think upcycling is a wonderful idea.

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 

      5 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      I'm loving your upcycling ideas!

    • KrystalBee LM profile imageAUTHOR

      KrystalBee LM 

      5 years ago

      @anonymous: Thanks cristin. I'll check it out! I'm always looking for new projects.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      Hi! This is Cristin Frank from EVEofREDUCTION.com. On my blog you can find upcycling projects that are big (a baby changing table upcycled into a desk) to small (crib bars upcycled into hose guides). Plus find tons of furniture makeover tutorials.

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