I am writing this from the gorgeous town, Somerset West. I am a proud stay at home mom with 2 pretty little darlings and a handy handsome husband.
Sometime last year I felt the need to do something more with my day to day life. I needed to do something more creative than think of ways to hide vegetables in my kids’ meals!
I thought I would be the last one to try jog and catch up with the Furniture Upcycle Wagon. There are so many examples online. You really can upcycle anything without damaging our lockdown – adjusted, dwindling bank accounts. After flicking through Gumtree and Marketplace, I found this lovely old Hall Stand for R200. Perfect! I did a bit of research between folding laundry and unpacking the dishwasher so that I had a list of what products I needed and where to source them. With 2 kids, I couldn’t spend time wandering aimlessly around stores. That’s a luxury!
Gloves on, I started with wiping the piece down with sugar soap and water to remove any dirt and dust. Next I unscrewed the old hooks, mirror and lid. After lightly sanding and scraping the old varnish off, I learnt that if you use Chalk paint, you can just apply straight anyway without any prep work needing to be done! It really is an amazing product. There are many local brands to choose from, you don’t need to only use the imported brands. And the colours….oh my goodness the colour choices are endless.
I applied 2 coats of Chalk Paint in Pebble Blue and a clear wood varnish. I wanted to really try a few more techniques. Stencilling looked interesting so I bought a simple patterned adhesive backed one and applied it to the inside of the lid. It took a lot of patience and an almost-dry brush dabbing motion, but it worked! Another technique that I had heard about was decoupage. Again, after watching a YouTube tutorial, I was ready with my serviettes and tin of Modge Podge. It was really easy and fun.
I then reapplied the mirror with double sided tape, screwed the lid back on, lined the inside of the tray with a cork tile and finally finished by buying some new hooks and knobs.
This project took over a year. We even moved houses with it before it was completed. But it was worth it. My family see and use it every day and that is what I honestly love about it.
Thrifting is a hot trend, so go hit up second-hand markets (when the bans are lifted, which will hopefully be soon) and local charity shops. Absolutely anything can be upcycled. It’s a sustainable and cost-effective option and anyone can do it. There is no end to one’s creativity.