Source Your Things

Upcycling stuff is a lcharity logosot of fun, but the best part for me is looking for things to upcycle or thinking up some great upcycling ideas, then sourcing what I need.

Sometimes it’s something I already own, but often I will look elsewhere to see what bargains I can pick up.

There are many sources available for second hand, unloved or preloved items;

  • Charity Shops (high street and online)
  • Salvage/ Antique Yards
  • Vintage Shops (high street and online)
  • Websites, such as
    • Freecycle.org
    • Preloved.co.uk
    • gumtree.com
    • Ebay
    • recycle.co.uk
  • Car boot sales/ Yard sales
  • Fetes/ Galas – often have bric a brac stalls
  • Auction Sales
  • Ask friends or family to let you know when they having a clear out!

Things to consider when you are picking up things to upcycle

Depending on the intended use for your upcycle you will need to consider a few things. If it is something for yourself and quality isn’t much of an issue then no worries, but if it is something for a gift or to sell, then you will want to consider the quality.

Furniture – Upcycle old furniture, it is usually well made. Upcycling newer pieces is fine too, but if you are upcycling furniture to sell older pieces are a good idea.

Check for wood worm, if it is evident, then you will need to factor this into the cost. However, if you are purchasing your furniture from an antique yard or charity shop signs of woodworm are often historic and will have already been treated, so it is always best to check with the retailer.

Upholstered furniture always requires the sniff test! In my experience if the smell is deep enough into the fabric no amount of airing or febreeze will eradicate it. Even if you are planning on re-upholstering you will also need to replace all of the stuffing to ensure that no odour remains.

Always consider how you are getting the item home! If you can’t fit it into your car then you may have to pay for delivery as well.

Clothing/ Fabric – Your choice of fabric will depend on it’s use. Try and choose the appropriate fabric for your project as it will be easier to work with and will also give a better end result when creating new garments, cushions, teddies, curtains and upholstery.

If you are creating fabric crafts for decoration then the type of fabric often isn’t an issue, which is great because you can use cheap fabric and scrap fabric.

Upholstery, cushions and curtains

  • Heavy duty cotton – for infrequent domestic use
  • Linen – light to medium use
  • Jacquard – cotton mixed with nylon or polyester – heavy duty use
  • Vinyl – synthetic leather – strong and waterproof – medium to heavy use – not good in hot climates
  • Tapestry – strong traditional fabric – medium to heavy use – can be expensive
  • Velvet – strong and soft – good to work with – medium to heavy use – can be difficult to clean

Clothing

  • Cotton Voile or Cotton Lawn – Both very similar – lightweight and semi-sheer
  • Chambray – smooth and lightweight but doesn’t drape as well as the others
  • Denim – heavyweight – little or no drape and no stretch
  • Double gauze – very light and breathable – great for summer dresses
  • Flannel – soft and lightweight – good for colder weather
  • Knit – varies from lightweight to medium weight – there are woven fabrics and knit fabrics which are both great for stretch but the stretch will vary from one to the other.
  • Linen – medium weight – very little stretch but ventilates well – good for summer wear
  • Silk – lightweight and delicate – drapes very well – more difficult to work with
  • Satin – lightweight to heavyweight – also a little more difficult to work with
  • Wool – varies on weight depending on the sheep – hard wearing and versatile – very warm – perfect for colder weather garments

There are so many sources for your upcycling ideas, have fun with it and happy hunting!

5 Comments


  1. // Reply

    Upcycle Things. I found that your article was fun to explore and it was very interesting to learn what to look for when up cycling for things like furniture, clothing etc. Your article was prepared nicely and not with a lot of clutter that would make me click off your site. I really enjoyed hanging around reading more of your blog post. Sweet and simple is what I like. Thanks for sharing this fabulous article. Best wishes.


    1. // Reply

      Thank you Anthony. Sweet and simple is exactly what I was going for.

      I’m so glad you enjoyed my article and I hope to get more posts up soon.

      If you ever have a go at upcycling something let me know how you get on.

      Thanks again.

      Jill 🙂


  2. // Reply

    Hello, I just recently discovered your website, and I really like it. It seems that you really want to help people, and I appreciate it! Upcycling really can be really fun, and it’s also good for the environment because instead of throwing old things away and increasing pollution we can make them useful again!

    Keep up the good work!


    1. // Reply

      Thank you so much Julius. I hope to have more posts up soon. It’s always great to get feedback.

      I do love upcycling and I hope to be able to inspire more people to try it.

      Thanks again.

      Jill 🙂


  3. // Reply

    I love upcycled things I love going to yard sales and flea markets and finding old furniture to clean and make my own.. Older items have so much character and are fun to work with. I like your post very informational with what to do with certain things. I really enjoyed reading your post it was fun.

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