Fancy having a go at upcycling, but need some ideas? Here are 5 suggestions to get you started.

Teacup candles

This great idea is a relatively simple way of using up old candles and gives a new use to a teacup and saucer which used to belong to a set. This would make a great gift, or of course, it can be kept for yourself!

If you don’t have any teacups, check out the pages of Friday-Ad for details of car boot sales in your area, or visit local charity shops, as you can often find incomplete tea sets for sale at bargain prices. You can also find tea sets and other china & pottery on the Friday-ad

Photo credit: Marcie on Flickr.

Photo credit: Marcie on Flickr.

You will need:

  • A teacup
  • Old candles
  • Wicks
  • Tongs
  • A saucepan and a dish/pan you can easily but securely balance on top of it
  • A pencil
  • Oven gloves

Method:

  • Cut a wick two inches longer than the height of the teacup. Tie one end of the wick to the middle of the pencil.
  • Place the pencil across the top of the cup so that the wick hangs down in the centre.
  • Add water (about an inch deep) into saucepan. Rest the other pan/dish on top of the saucepan and add the old candles to it.
  • Heat the water gently until the old candles turn to liquid, then turn the heat off. Remove old wicks using the tongs.
  • While wearing oven gloves, carefully pour the wax into the teacup, taking care to avoid the pencil and stopping about half an inch below the cup’s rim.
  • Allow the wax to set for about an hour. Untie the pencil and trim the wick until about 1cm is left. Leave for at least 24 hours before lighting.

DIY Cat Tent

Check out this great idea – an upcycled T-shirt tent for the feline in your life! To make this crafty den for your cat you also need a square piece of cardboard (15×15 inches), two wire hangers, tape and safety pins! Get your hand on some old t-shirts to use for the project on the Friday-Ad

Photo credit: http://mousebreath.com/

Photo credit: http://mousebreath.com/

Method:

  • Cut the squiggly ‘hook’ part of each hanger so that you are left with two long wires. Shape the hangers into a curved shaped that will go from corner to corner of your cardboard
  • If your cardboard is a bit flimsy – reinforce it with tape or more cardboard.
  • Poke a hole in each corner of the cardboard using the end of one of the hangers.
  • Tape the two hangers together so they criss-cross tidily over the cardboard, forming a tent shape.
  • Push the ends four of your hanger ‘x’ into the four holes you just made in the cardboard.
  • Bend the last inch of the wires down that come out at the back of the cardboard and tape them to secure.
  • Pull the shirt over the tent frame so that the neck hole is in the front middle and the bottom of the shirt is trailing behind the tent frame.
  • Fold up the excess from the bottom of the shirt and tighten it up so the neck hole is taut – safety pin the bottom in place. Pull the sleeves tight and safe them in place as well.
  • The T-shirt MUST be tight over the frame so, if necessary, keep tucking and safety pinning it until this is achieved.

Your cat tent is finished. Stand back and admire your work whilst your cat enjoys their new hideaway (or ignores it, you know what cats are like…)

Make an old window into a coffee table

Check out these 4 old Georgian-style sash windows for sale. In just a few steps you can turn one of these into an inspired coffee table with storage inside!

Photo credit: Ohgloryvintage.com

Photo credit: Ohgloryvintage.com

Method:

  • If window needs it, sand down, paint and finish as desired. The colour choice is up to you!
  • Measure the dimensions of the window and build a ‘box’ to fit these dimensions. You can use old barn board or cedar planks and make your box however deep you like, depending on how much stuff you’d like to store in your coffee table.
  • Get some legs! These can be from an old coffee table, a flea market or, if you’re building a deep ottoman-style coffee table, four bits of wood cut to the same height.
  • Paint the box and legs.
  • Attach the window to the box with 2 – 3 hinges and voila! Stand back and admire the one-off masterpiece you’ve created!

Guitar Shelves

There always plenty of acoustic guitars for sale in our classifieds – we saw this inspirational upcycle and thought it was a great way to use a guitar not quite fit for its original purpose. Check out how you can do it yourself in a few easy steps!

Photo credit: www.homedit.com

Photo credit: www.homedit.com

Method

  • Remove the strings of the guitar.
  • Clamp down the guitar and cut off the front with a hand saw. Be sure to cut around the fretboard.
  • Measure the inside of the guitar where you would like the shelves to go and cut some sturdy wood to the correct size. You can use any wood you like, so long as its strong!
  • With the guitar lying on its back, glue the shelves into the desired place and hold for a few seconds to let the glue set. Leave to dry.
  • Drill screws through the sides of the guitar where the shelves are for extra strength.
  • Sand down the guitar and then the rest is up to you! Paint the guitar and finish it to a high standard or leave it in it’s rustic original form!

Pallet desk

We regularly have whole pallets or offcuts advertised on the Friday-Ad. Snap them up at a great price and then Upcycle them – the possibilities are endless. Check out this pallet desk – a quirky and interesting piece of furniture.

Photo credit: Pierre Vedel on Flickr

Photo credit: Pierre Vedel on Flickr

With a bit of work you can transform old pallets into quirky pieces of furniture. You’ll be the envy of all your friends with a desk like this! For more used items for sale and pieces ripe for upcycling, head on over to the Friday-Ad