A guide to quirky homeware upcycling alternatives

To highlight the launch of our ‘refresh your home for less’ campaign, we have provided you with a simple guide to our favourite upcycling tricks – Pritt sticks at the ready!

Porcelain bowls filled with bulbs

One thing our stores have an abundance of is high quality porcelain just waiting for a new home, but instead of using these items for the purpose in which they were intended, why not go all out and make into a quirky decorative piece for your home. This is one of the easiest upcycle tricks we have tried our hand at, and the cheapest – so go on, give it a go!

Bowl Planter

All you need is a deep bowl, compost and bulbs, we recommend using flowers such as Hyacinths to create maximum impact!

Create your own cushions

Many of our stores have a great selection of fabric available. That could be a pair of pre-loved curtains, a throw, or a duvet set, and all of these can be re-worked into cushions that will add an individual touch to your living room or bedroom. Google have many templates available for this in all different shapes and sizes so the only difficult part is choosing which one works for your room.

Turn a vintage mug or teapot into a planter

Yes you heard us right, a tea pot planter! A vintage tea pot or mug creates an unusual planter that we guarantee will have all your friends asking where you purchased it from! It’s a very simple upcycling trick, that doesn’t take more than five minutes to put together.

Doggy Planter


Check out this handy guide from giddy up workshop!


Pass me that teapot!

Frame unusual fabrics

Similar to creating your own cushions but less work, this is a low cost alternative to shelling out for wall art. We love using vintage silk scarfs for this in addition to old fabrics as you can often find some beautiful designs. Once you have found a preferred frame in-store, you just need to find the fabric. Simply pop out the old image or painting (yes old paintings have some amazing frames) and place your chosen fabric inside . Then Ta Da! Your custom created wall art is born!

Vinatge Print

Turn a pretty tea cup into a candle

If like us, you love nothing more than softly lit room filled with candles, then this upcycling trick is right up your candle-loving street! First thing’s first, find a teacup you’re happy with; we have lots in stores so you will be spoilt for choice.


tea cup blog

Candle making kits can be picked up online for as little as 1.99, and with tea cups in store from 49p, you are certain to save £££ compared to new versions on the high-street.

Please be careful when making candles and ensure you follow the manufacturer’s guidance at all times.

Make wall art out of old book pages and frame

This is simple but oh-so-effective, and the choice available is endless!

Choose a book in one of our stores – there are so many options you could choose, such as a childhood classic like Alice in Wonderland for the kids’ bedroom, vintage music books or for the more romantic, why not try a poetry book. You could even frame your favourite Bridget Jones Diary!

blog phot frames
Image Credit – asortoffairytalegirl.blogspot.co.uk

Feeling inspired to get upcycling – head into your local Barnardo’s today and see what you can find. 

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