Upcycling Flea Market

Are you an innovative individual who is environmentally conscious? Or you're strapped for cash and are trying to renovate your home on a budget. Or do you like creating beautiful things?

It's time to give upcycling a try! Upcycling is when you refashion an unwanted product and turn it into something better. For example, an old door might be turned into a dining room table. It's a fun hobby that allows you to be creative. It also has a tremendous positive impact on the environment. Instead of unwanted items getting tossed into landfills, they get repurposed into something new.

If you're ready to hit the flea market and find your next project, here are some tips to help you get started!

Think outside the box.

Sometimes, a piece of furniture needs a makeover. Other times, you might need to think of different ways to use the piece. For example, just because a dresser is missing a few drawers doesn't mean it isn't good anymore. It can be turned into something new, including a bench, media center, desk, and more! Upcycling sometimes means forgetting old functions and coming up with new functions. Think outside the box and get creative.

Shop thrifty

When looking around flea markets, you might find some vintage pieces perfect for upcycling. However, always check the price tag before committing to the piece. Some flea markets and antique stores highly priced vintage furniture because the piece is rare. While vintage pieces are usually built well and are popular choices for upcycling, there might be more modern furniture that is just as solid at a cheaper price. Also, remember to check out thrift stores- you can find some fantastic things cheaply

Make sure it is solid.

If you're looking to upcycle furniture, choose furniture that will last. You'll come across plenty of dirty and dusty pieces with flakes of paint chipping off of them. Dirt, dust, and paint are all cosmetic. Look past all of that and see if the structure of the furniture is solid. It's easy to clean an ugly piece of solid furniture, but it's not so easy making a cheap piece of furniture stand the test of time.

Look for inspiration

If you need help figuring out where to start, check out what other folks are upcycling. Upcycling is such a popular hobby that there are websites, blogs, YouTube channels, and Pinterest boards dedicated to people sharing the projects they've completed. It's easy to find before and after photos of projects. Most people also write instructions on how they completed a project or at least provide some general tips on completing a similar project. Seeing what others are doing can inspire you to try your own project! 

Stock your workshop

Before you begin upcycling projects, having some supplies on hand is a good idea. List all the materials you think you'll need and start shopping. Check out Austral Wright Metals if you want to stock the metal supplies in your workshop. Check out your local home improvement store for quality paint brushes and other tools. The more prepared you are, the easier it is to get started!

Finish the job

If you start a project, finish it. This means completing all project steps, plus protecting it after all the work you put into it. If you're working with a wooden piece, sometimes a coat of wax, varnish, or paint is needed to help finish the piece properly.

Don't be afraid.

If you're new to upcycling, you might be nervous that you'll damage a piece or be unable to make it look exactly the way you want. However, don't let that fear hold you back. Do it anyway and do the best job that you can. Part of upcycling is learning how to complete projects along the way. Instead of viewing a mistake as a failure, view it as a learning experience. The more you practice and the more you experiment, the more tricks of the trade you'll learn! 

Final thoughts

If you're ready to get creative with upcycling, remember the above tips next time you visit the flea market! You don't have to go into the flea market with a specific project in mind. Sometimes, looking around at discarded items is all the inspiration you need. Someone else's trash could become your treasure.