How To Get Started With Upcycling


The end of one year and the start of a new one tend to give people a renewed sense of creativity and things they want to do. High on that list are hobbies! More specifically, hobbies that take time, have skills and are creative but also something that you do with your hands. 

Photo by Jen Theodore on Unsplash

Hobbies like upcycling have bigger projects that you can get your teeth into, but a quick browse of the internet might leave you feeling overwhelmed. Because it has been around for a while, there are some highly skilled upcyclers - and their work is stunning. BUT! That doesn’t mean that you can get started and get stuck in this hobby. 

Luckily, with a hobby like upcycling, you don’t need much to get started; an old piece of furniture and upcycled fabrics will see you 50% of the way. 


Simple is a relative term here because you might have some skills that work perfectly well when it comes to upcycling - or maybe you have never held a hammer in your life. So keep it as simple as you need to. There are many guides online that can help you start on an easier beginner project. Try to keep in mind that you might mess it up - and that is okay because you’re learning. So keep it simple. 


Many people decide to start a new hobby, and they buy every tool that is in the section of the store for it. The trick is that you only need a small set of tools to start with, and if you carry on the hobby, then treat yourself to higher-quality ones. 

A good base is: brushes in a range of sizes, glue (wood glue and others), sandpaper and other sanders, paint, wood filler, tape measure, a good wood pencil (carpenter pencil), a drill, a screwdriver, a saw. However, over time, you will build a tool kit that fits the type of upcycling that you like to do. 


With so many people sharing their work on the internet, there is plenty of inspiration to have, and there are a couple of upcycling magazines, too! Don’t be afraid to head through thrift stores, dive into DIY programs on the TV, and even pick up natural materials as you take a walk. Let inspiration run free and see what your style of upcycling is. 

Failure is Good

Don’t phrase it as failure - rather, call it experimentation. You can try out techniques and create new ones, but when you do this, try to use materials and parts that you are unlikely to use in another project or are cheap. Being great at something takes a lot of trying to be good at it and trying to learn it in the first place. 


There is nothing worse than finally getting time to work on your hobby - only to realize you haven’t got everything you need to get started. So, one of the key things to make sure you can get stuck in is that if you have a project in mind, try to make sure you have all of the tools and materials you need in advance. 

Hobbies are really important for people who take care of others often and/or have a job on top; here are a couple of other ways to have a more relaxing ‘free time’: A Working Mom's Guide to Making the Weekends Count - Momma4Life

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