Recycling, Reusing & Repurposing Old Furniture: The Essentials |AD

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When you are trying to live a thrifty lifestyle, it’s all part of the fun to try and avoid throwing anything away, and always be hunting for a bargain. As a family, we truly believe that nothing is worth casting aside, and anything and everything can be used again – either for the original purpose or something completely new!

And the great thing about going down the recycling and reusing route is that it is a lot of fun, saves you an enormous amount of money, and gets everyone involved in creativity – what else could you ask for?

The big question for today is: how do you get started? I’m going to go through a few ideas with you, and – hopefully – inspire you to begin recycling and reusing old furniture for many years to come.

Big ideas

There is plenty of inspiration for recycling and repurposing furniture – just have a look around online. Blogs like this one and many others are always a great source of ideas, and even some of the mainstream players such as Houzz and even the Guardian are getting involved. Starting with a blank canvas can be difficult for non-designers, but a few little projects copied from other people will start the creative juices flowing.

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Finding raw materials

Every town and city in the country have places where you can pick up old furniture, from the local rubbish tip to the charity furniture stores. There are bargains everywhere if you are prepared to look hard enough, and it doesn’t take much to start learning about how to fix and repair broken pieces that no one else wants anymore. Try flea markets, second-hand stores, and get acquainted with your local scrap yard, too. Once you start getting your face seen and become a regular customer, you will find that people might even start reserving pieces for you.

Tools, fixtures and fittings

The key to success in recycling, reusing, and repurposing is to invest in a decent set of tools. With proper equipment, your job will be so much easier than it is right now. Sanding tools, high-quality paint brushes, a good saw – all are essential for your recycler’s toolbox. Finding a good source of fixtures and fittings is also important. Get to know the people at your local hardware shop, and invest a little in things like handles, drawer slides, and interesting knick knacks.

A business opportunity?

I’m often amazed when I go into some of the local independent shops and see upcycled shabby chic style furniture, complete with eye-watering price tags. Clearly, there is a market for this kind of thing, so once you get good enough, why not see if you can make a business out of it? Given the price of your raw materials, it doesn’t take much imagination to see there is a huge markup involved.

So – what do you think? Could you spare the time to come up with some exciting new projects? You don’t have to go big right from the off, and the main thing is to get started. Let me know your thoughts about recycling, reusing and repurposing old furniture in the comments section below!

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