Recycling Ideas

Give furniture new life by upcycling

To celebrate Recycling Week, we look at how you can breathe fresh life into items around the home to increase their longevity and save them from landfill.

Whether it’s a piece of loved furniture which needs a bit of TLC, a bargain chest of drawers from a second-hand store or, dare we say it, a chair found on the side of a road, many items can be brought back to life with bit of DIY know-how and a sprinkling of imagination.

Here are just a few ideas to offer a bit of inspiration.


A boring bookcase made new

Many of us have got a boring old bookcase in the house. If not, you might well get lucky on sites like Freecycle.

These can easily be rejuvenated by sanding down and painting. A bright colour like blue, red or yellow can be eye-catching, or even half-and-half vertically with two colours. If you’re unsure which paint to use, ask the experts at Leyland SDM.

A really effective trick here is to wallpaper a piece of thin plywood, cut to size, and attach it to the back of the bookcase.  Bright patterned wallpaper works best.


Brrrrring a new look to a fridge or freezer

White fridges and freezers look great when they’re straight out of the packet but they quickly get faded and scuffed.

Before you head online for a replacement, have you considered painting it?

This is easier than it sounds. Simply give the exterior a good scrub down and then mask the areas you don’t want to paint such as the handles, for example. Then head to Leyland SDM and purchase suitable paint. Our friendly staff will be able to help you with this.

A sky blue or red can work well. The more adventurous upcycler might even mask off patterns to create a more interesting fridge.


Turn an old ladder into a trendy clothes rack

We like this one. Old wooden ladders can be put to good use to create a trendy, easily accessible clothing rack.

First, cut the ladder to the desired height – probably about six-and-a-half foot (two metres). You will need two pieces of ladder, one for each side of the rack, so it’ll need to be a long ladder.

Next, sand and paint each section of the ladder. Cut a couple of planks to the desired width – one slightly longer than the other. Screw the longer one to the bottom rungs of the ladders and the second plank a couple of rungs up. These planks can be used as shelving for shoes.

Finally, attach a study wooden pole to the top of the ladders as the clothes rail for hanging.


Create a coffee table from a discarded wooden pallet

The humble wooden pallet is the upcycler’s dream. They can be used for a myriad of projects.

One easy win is to transform a pallet into an outdoor coffee table simply by painting it in your desired shade and attaching metal casters on the corners so that it can be wheeled around the garden.


In the frame with a hallway organiser

Next time you find yourself with an old wooden window frame, consider reusing it before taking it down the tip.

Sand away any bad areas and give it a fresh lick of paint. Next, insert a chalkboard into one of the window sections for notes, and maybe some photos in the others. Attach a wooden baton at the bottom as a small shelf and some hooks underneath for hanging keys and, hey presto, you have a new hallway organiser.