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Make Do and Mend with January Upcycling

Christmas 2018 is but a distant but sweet memory for us here at Crimbotrees, but we’re looking forward to spring and a new season of growth for our Scottish grown Christmas trees ready for the 2019 season.

Hobby or Lucrative Side Hustle?

Speaking of growth – how about the personal kind? If you’re looking for a hobby that will fill the long January evenings then you might like to give upcycling a go. It’s easier than you think and could turn an unloved item that’s seen better days into a modern masterpiece! You might even turn it into a lucrative side hustle.

Where to start?

First thing is to look round the house for a small item that’s suitable for your first attempt at upcycling. A picture frame is a good starting point and can be given a new lease of life in less than an hour, before moving on to perhaps a small side table. If there’s nothing at home that fits the bill, pop along to a local charity shop and pick up a bargain. You’ll soon develop an eye for the kind of item that’s upcyclable.

What do you need?

Don’t be tempted to jump in with both feet and spend a fortune. Start small. DIY shops or bargain stores have a great range of chalk based paint in different colours that lends itself well to the shabby chic vintage look. Often they don’t need primer, you can just paint and go, and most of them have built in wax so it’s all done in one step. However, you might want to give the surface a light sandpapering or a clean with sugar soap solution to remove any grease build up first. Try a small area first to check.

Some small paint brushes and/or small rollers are essential, but as the chalk paint is water based, cleaning them is a doddle. Running under the tap to remove any paint residue will have them good as new in no time. If you take a break from painting a project for a cuppa, you can always pop the paint covered brush or roller (wipe the worst off first) in a plastic carrier bag tied at the handle then you’re ready to go again.

Professional Finish

The great news is that the shabby chic look is easy to achieve, without the need for much more in the way of additional coats. You can also apply stencils using a different coloured paint or metallic wax to add a bit more decoration. A quick search of ebay will reveal thousands of stencils just right for upcycling projects.

Mastered the Basics?

Once you’ve mastered the basics of using chalk based paint, you might like to try wallpapering furniture. Trendy wallpaper can transform a chest of drawers for example. You’ll need adhesive and a top coat for that job – the good news is that they’re often combined in one product so they’re dual purpose. Measure or draw round the piece of the item you want to wallpaper, and then – and don’t miss this step for a professional finish – soak the wallpaper in warm water for a few minutes and peel away the backing layer leaving just the decorative part and apply to the surface of the item. Use a smoothing tool to smooth out any creases or bubbles and coat with several layers of top coat for a glossy, durable finish.

We’d love to see your finished projects. Tag us #crimbotrees on social media and we’ll share your handiwork!

Our friend over at Edinburgh Self Storage have put together this handy blog on growing your side hustle




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