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7 amazing upcycling ideas and how to execute them

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Upcycling old chairs: two chairs with partially sawn off seats, mounted on a blue wall as hangers for clothes and other items.
You’re sure to be surprised by our seven upcycling ideas, like these chairs-turned-clothes hangers.

At the start of a new year, clear-outs are at the top of many people’s lists. But you don’t have to throw everything away; some items can be turned into real treasures – for example, an old ladder can easily be transformed into shelves! Here we describe this and six other incredible upcycling projects. You may not even recognise the original item at first glance!

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Upcycling in the kitchen

Old colanders are used as lamp shades for hanging lights.
Did you ever think colanders could double up as lamp shades? © istock

Old colanders aren’t really much use in the kitchen anymore. But as lampshades, they can flood your dining room or kitchen with warm, cosy light! Our tip: for a more retro look and feel, rummage around in a second-hand shop or vintage flea market – you’re bound to find colanders there from decades ago.

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Ladder-shelves: be creative with your storage

An old ladder used for painting that’s been repurposed as shelves.
Smart yet simple: shelving made from an old ladder. © kiezcouture

Our second upcycling project (from the Blog kiezcouture) is easier to put together than any IKEA shelving, and is unique: shelves made from an old ladder. All you need is a ladder with rungs, some wooden boards for the shelves, plus screws. Use a cordless combi drill to secure the shelves to the ladder.

And here’s another thing you can use an old ladder for: a DIY coat hanger. Click here for step-by-step instructions.

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TIP: A STYLISH SPLASH OF COLOUR

A used ladder covered in old paint will make your new shelving or warbrobe truly unique.

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Storage 2.0: wave goodbye to messy drawers

A wall cabinet made from a drawer is mounted in a bathroom, containing hand towels, decorative shells and a photo frame.
What could you possibly do with an old drawer …? Make a wall cabinet, of course! © confessionsofaserialdiyer.com

Having too many drawers is never a good thing, because you can easily end up accumulating way too much stuff over the years. Here’s one trick to help you out: simply remove the drawers from the chest and hang them on the wall instead. It’s best to remove the handles first. You can see before and after pictures here.

If you need even more storage, you can easily fit some wooden shelves in your cabinet with screws and a cordless combi drill. But don’t go overboard when filling the shelves – remember, open cabinets like this look better neat and tidy.

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Designer furniture or upcycling project?

: An upcycling concept for a side table: the table top is made from glued-together magazine holders, attached to the metal legs of an old stool.
Can you guess what the table surface is made from? © Kenneth Yeoh

Who would’ve guessed that this stylish table was made from glued together magazine holders and a stool? As well as offering a place to stow your magazines and newspapers, you can also rest your coffee mug or laptop on top. Clever, eh?

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Welcome to your new home, clothes!

Clothes hangers made from sawn-off chairs mounted to the wall.
These clothes hangers made from sawn-off chairs are perfect for the hallway or bedroom.

Is your chair broken, with only three good legs left? Wait – don’t throw it out! Because here comes project number five: clothes hangers made from sawn-off chairs, mounted to the wall. You’ll need the following tools and equipment: circular saw, multi-sander, pencil, ear protection, safety glasses, screw clamps, one or two chairs, a wooden slat, four screws (4 x 50 mm, D x L) and two wall anchors and screws for mounting.

First, use the pencil and wooden slat to mark up a line on the chair for sawing. Try to ensure that it is as straight as possible. Then secure the chair with the screw clamps and saw along the line. The wooden slat, which you’ll later attach to the wall to help secure the chair, should be sawn down so that it’s as long as the width of the chair. After sawing, sand down the chair thoroughly. For seats with decorative details, this is much easier using a sanding roller.

Now it’s time to mount your chairs: select a suitable wall anchor and screws to secure the wooden slat to the wall. In our tutorial on determining what type of wall you have, we tell you exactly what you need. As soon as the slat is mounted to the wall, you can set the chair on it and screw it in – and hey presto, you have somewhere new to hang up your clothes!

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A room with a (new) view

An old wooden window frame transformed into a picture frame, hanging on the wall.
With a picture frame made from an old window frame, you can choose to enjoy whichever view you like. © resandes

Here’s a stylish idea that’s sure to catch the eye: a picture frame made from an old wooden window frame. Simply attach some plywood to the back of the window, fill it with pictures and you’re done. Photos from your favourite holidays are a particularly fun addition!

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Time flies, especially when you have kids

An old headboard from a bed turned into coat hangers and painted white.
An old bed headboard painted white can be transformed into a coat hanger using some hooks. © myrepurposedlife

As your children grow older, you may be left wondering what to do with their old beds. Whatever you do, don’t hurry to throw them away. With a fresh lick of paint and some hooks, you can transform an old bed into coat hangers for your hallway. What’s more, you’ll have a constant reminder of just how little your little ones used to be. You can find instructions for this project on the myrepurposedlife blog.


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Bosch does not accept any responsibility for the instructions stored here. Bosch would also like to point out that you follow these instructions at your own risk. For your own safety, please take all the necessary precautions.