How to Up-Cycle Your Way to a Happier Life

Last friday was National Upcycling Day which is obviously very apt for what I do on a day to day basis but it's always good to have a reminder of what exactly that means. Of course it means that myself along with thousands around the world love to take an object or piece of furniture and up cycle it, turn it into something completely different, repurpose, paint, decoupage and generally have fun turning something unloved into something beautiful again, be it vintage or modern furniture, clothing and so on.

How to Up Cycle Your Way to a Happier Life

This is nothing new, the trend for up cycled and shabby chic has been going strong for quite some time now and certainly looks to stay. Which is great. There is far too much emphasis on mass produced items, and that 'throw away' culture that seemed to epitomise most of the last 20 years or more. I'm just as guilty as the next person, but as I get older, I reuse and repurpose more and more.

My grandparents would be horrified at what gets thrown away, mobile phones and other electronics being the worst but not just that, furniture too, getting dumped or thrown away just because we want a different 'look' or interiors style. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel!

I see some amazing pieces at auctions and each time I go, there seems to be more and more people attending. Lots of traders of course but not just that. It's a double edged sword for me, it means more competition for the nice things (!) but does mean that more people see the worth in older and vintage furniture and want it to be loved again. Good for businesses like mine then!

It's also great to see there are lots of lovely businesses now specialising in up cycled, vintage and shabby chic furniture and home wares and companies that sell chalk paint are flourishing as the trend for hand made and home made gets stronger.

I love that creative process of taking something dark wood or a bit tatty and seeing it transformed into something still shabby but a lot more chic! I'm not necessarily a fan of the term shabby chic but it gets the message across!

A recent project of picture frames, bought at auction and transformed:


Picture Frames Before Being Upcycled by Tiddler & Fox


Picture Frames Being Upcycled by Tiddler & Fox


Upcycled Shabby Chic Picture Frames by Tiddler & Fox

This has also got me to thinking about other parts of our lives and how we can not just make the best of it, but create more from what we have; more joy, more creativity, more freedom and more friendships, all from what we have already.

Taking what you already have in your life, be it time, people, a job, and making it better and more satisfying. Can we apply the techniques of enhancing a piece of furniture into techniques to enhance our lives as well? 

I know it's not quite as straightforward as picking up a paint brush and applying some paint to something but can we be a little more grateful for what we have, which allows us to see what we have in a different light?

I practice gratefulness each and every day and find it helps me to see things more positively, even if it's something as simple as being grateful for my cats. Having them means that I never come home to an empty house and they make me feel needed. Not bad outcomes for just taking the time to think about and be grateful for my two fluffy housemates!

If we start to see the positives in our lives rather than focusing on what we don't have, then we can all be a little bit happier. 

So this is not just about buying the latest fashionable thing or doing what others are, it's about appreciation and finding joy in the small things in life. If you are creative, make the most of that and find ways to express it, turn those old curtains into cushions for the spare bed, sew new buttons (preferably my Liberty fabric covered ones!) onto a jacket that you are bored of, paint a plant pot so it looks great in your yellow bathroom, whatever it may be, you may find a lot more joy and satisfaction in creating something from nothing.

Let me know what you get up to and enjoy the process!



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