Get creative: Unusual items to upcycle

Getting inspiration for home decorating ideas doesn't always mean you need to trawl through glossy brochures and traipse through your favourite homewares store.

Sure, you can get some great ideas from these sources. But rather than forking out a small fortune to revamp your living spaces and bedrooms, why not think about upcycling?

The art of taking items used for one purpose and tweaking them for a different purpose entirely is hardly a new concept. However, it sure is a popular one! You'd be surprised at what a splash of paint can do, while other projects may require some basic DIY tools.

We've got two clever upcycling ideas we're sure you'll love. One will bring a splash of colour to your garden, whether it's in your front yard to neighbours to see or at the rear of your property. The other decorating idea is not only an aesthetically-pleasing one, it's also incredibly practical!

An old tool box

If you're a homeowner with a garage overflowing with stuff you never use, there might be an upcycling opportunity right underneath your nose. 

A metal tool tote that's not used, perhaps because you've upgraded, shouldn't be thrown in the trash. Instead, you can repurpose it for the garden, of all places.

Select a shade that's going to make an impact, such as Resene Red Tape, Resene Elvis or Resene Centre Stage.

Use a drill to make four to six evenly spaced holes in the bottom of the container. Then, sand down the tool box to get rid of any nicks and corrosion. 

Following this, apply a primer and a few coats your selected paint, inside and out. Once the toolbox is dry, fill it with soil and some fertiliser. Add perennials or succulents and place that previously unwanted toolbox in a prominent position in your garden, where it's sure to shine!

If you can't decide which shade to paint the tool box, use the Resene Find-A-Colour tool. Choose a shade similar to the plants you've chosen, and select the complementary or split complementary option. Once you hit enter, the tool will present you with a range of shades that will look truly striking.

An unwanted photo frame

Have you got a large multi-compartment photo frame that you don't use? There's a novel way to breathe some fresh life into it!

If the back is damaged, you'll need to replace it with some hardboard. However, if it's in otherwise good knick, you're good to go. At the most, you might like to gently sand down the interior to ensure it's smooth.

Make sure you eliminate any grime and dust on the frame, before painting the dividers with a fiesty shade that will match the interior aesthetic of your home. You can select a hue that's the same as your existing living room accessories, or choose a complementary tone.

Whether it's something punchy like Resene Flashback or a gentle yellow-cream like Resene Dutch White, there is no shortage of colours on offer. It's a good idea to use builders' tape to avoid paint seeping into the backboard. 

Once the paint has dried, apply Resene Blackboard Paint to the individual compartments, on the backboard. Once it has dried, you can attach some removable hooks to your living room or kitchen wall and hang up your crafty chalkboard.

There are plenty of spaces for different ideas. For instance, if you hang the frame in the kitchen, you might reserve one compartment for your must buys during the next grocery shop, another for the kids to draw in and a further compartment for your own to-do list!

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