Interview With Home Design Bloggers: Upcycling and Repurposing

Upcycling and repurposing is a huge trend right now and it’s not surprising when you look at the incredible pieces being made! Not only is the result fantastic but the experience is wonderful too – from the excitement of hunting down pieces to fix up, to the satisfaction of adding the final touches.

We asked some of the fabulous bloggers from our Top Home Design Blogs list about their experiences with upcycling and repurposing.

picture of Cait from blog My House, My Canvas

Cait of My House, My Canvas

On her favourite finds:

As cliché as it sounds, my best find for repurposing is the first piece I ever did. I bought this old, beat up hall tree from this couple's garage that I found online. The piece was big, beautiful and solid, and I scored it for just $50. I took it home and gave it some much needed TLC. I fixed up the hardware, painted the piece black and distressed it with tiny 1 inch pieces of sand paper. It took me forever, but I really wanted it to be perfect.

Once the piece was complete, I had every intention of keeping it for my home, until my husband said "That looks amazing, you should think about selling it. You could make some good money". So, I gave it a shot. Why not?!?! I listed it online, and surprisingly, it sold within minutes. That one piece gave me the confidence to start my own small business. I had people emailing me asking for another hall tree, and somehow, over the last year, I've been able to track down 4 more, fix them up, and sell them. I'm always on the hunt for those hall trees.

Her top tips:

Don't expect to pick it up right away. Practice makes perfect, so don't give up! Start small. Don't overwhelm yourself with a huge piece. Choose something that you aren't attached to, so you can practice and not worry about making mistakes. Once you are comfortable with your technique and materials, tackle something a bit bigger.

Take your time. Sometimes I have unfinished pieces in my house for months. If I can't decide on a colour, I leave the piece until I'm ready. Don't try and get a piece done right away. It's best to do it over a few days, a few weeks, or even months. If your colour or technique just isn't looking right, step away for a day or two and come back to it.  Don't ever forget that upcycling is fun, it's a hobby, it's a passion, it's an art.

image of hall tree beforeimage of hall tree after



Kathy of Petticoat Junktion

Kathy of Petticoat Junktion

On her favourite finds:

I enjoy repurposing vintage radio cabinets. I have been lucky enough to find several over the past couple of years. They make great cabinets for storing quilts, etc.

 Her top tips:

Go to your local junk/flea market shops and look for things that speak to you. When you find that special object, take it home and use it in a creative way. You can make a craft of some kind or just display your find!!



image of cabinet before repurposePicture of a tricycle red radio cabinet


picture of Lauren from 2.	The Endearing Home Lauren of The Endearing Home

On her favourite finds:

My best find and favourite upcycling/repurposing project so far has been a wooden garden crate. One afternoon when I was out shopping with some friends we were about to go into an antique shop and noticed a man selling miscellaneous items in the parking lot. Among these items were wooden crates that were used to transport flowers and priced at $5.00 each. These crates were dirty and needed to be cleaned up, but they were sturdy, well made and definitely had potential to be turned into something pretty and with a purpose. I gave the crate a makeover with some paint, wax and inexpensive handles and turned it into a tray.

Her top tips:

I have had good luck finding great deals and unique items at thrift shops.  For example, I recently found a very inexpensive frame that I purchased for a few dollars and turned into a memo board and jewellery holder. The best finds to me are those that only cost a few dollars or are found in unexpected places, like the recycle bin, glass jars are full of potential! I think the key to finding things that will work for upcycling and repurposing projects is to look beyond an ordinary object and instead seeing its potential to transform it into something beautiful or useful or both. Also, think about what supplies you may already have at home, what you may need to purchase and the skills required for the project. These are things I definitely keep in mind with my thrifty budget and limited DIY skills.

picture of a garden cratepicture of upcycled crate

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