So here is my next furniture up-cycling project. It was a mirror from a brilliant charity shop for just £4!. I scoured the local tile merchants only to discover MOST do not keep broken tiles or recycle them, in fact they just throw them away!
Luckily I found one store that had some end of line tiles which he was about to throw away (Madness!) So I purchased a few colours for about 10p each. Now I think that’s still saving something that would have been in landfill even if they weren’t broken tiles!!
Now as promised in my last furniture restoration post, I did look for eco-friendly material to do the job.
I found a home made grout recipe from the ‘Care2' website and eco friendly paint from the 'Milk Paint' Website!…unfortunately I've never grouted anything before so I am unable to tell you what it was like to work with, it seemed fine but I have nothing to compare it too. Also luckily I had a builder friend who could help me out with the sand and cement so cannot comment on the price difference either….sorry!
But…it felt good to make something knowing it is non-toxic and re-using things that would otherwise go to waste.
As always the best thing is I MADE IT! So I will love it forever and it will not get thrown away for a newer model in 6 months!
My next project is a quirky shelf for spices using seriously found things!!..
One of the reasons this blog exists is because I am lucky enough to have been given a scholarship from my university. In fact the scholarship is from British author Lee Child who has kindly given the university a pot of money for people who have an interest in a career in the environmental area.
I have decided to record how I use the scholarship and the experiences I have along the way.
I had to write a statement to say why I would benefit from the scholarship and what I would do with it in the hope I would be chosen to receive it. My statement included…
I am studying youth and community work and am interested in work with young people within an environmental project or charity setting.
In preparation for this I would like to take courses in things like, organic farming, permaculture, environmental change, low impact dwellings and much more.
I was successful and the story so far is…
'How to set up a low impact smallholding'. This course is ran at Monkton Wyld Court in Devon.
'Furniture restoration' and ‘Making natural dyes’. These courses are ran at the Derbyshire eco centre.
Introductory tour at the Hockerton Housing Project in Nottingham.
7 days WWOOFing (World Wide Opportunities in Organic Farming) at Pengraig farm in Wales which hosts the 'Majical Youth Theatre Project' and the 'Integral Ecology Centre'.
I have applied for and am keeping my fingers crossed for a volunteer position at Ecoworks in Nottingham. The position is a community garden support worker.
When I have been on each adventure there will be pictures and stories to share and more detail on what happens at theses amazing organisations.
This is what I’ve got planned so far and I am looking at other opportunities at places like…
So I’m trying my hand at furniture restoration. I’m moving into a new house soon and my plan is to live a lot more sustainably!
Firstly I’m going to avoid the usual visits to large Swedish furniture stores and other such chains. Charity shops are the way forward, It’s a lot cheaper than the superstores and usually the furniture is much better quality and more unique. If you’re lucky it will be in good condition or only in need of a small amount of TLC. I personally love the really broken stuff that they will give away for free!!
Also once you’ve taken the time and imagination to create something like this, the likelihood is you’ll love it and treasure it. A step away from the throw away society we live in!
Now…the problem is recycling is great but this cupboard is painted with emulsion and gloss and fixed with shiny brass handles all from a chain DIY store!
Step 1 ..finding old items good for restoring
Step 2 ..get creative
Step 3..STOP.. I need to find out how to do this with less damaging materials and more recycled fittings!
Watch this space, the research begins………