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5 Amazing Ideas For Upcycling

Reusing discarded materials or objects to create furniture and fittings is pretty fashionable at the minute - some call it 'upcycling'. 

Furniture shops sell 'shabby chic' items for extortionate prices, so this guide gives you five examples of upcycling that you can do easily without breaking the bank. Almost anything can be reused to create furniture for very little cost, so use this guide as an inspiration and see what you can create in your own home!

Wine is one of the simple pleasures in life. However, once we've finished a bottle we tend to pop it into the recycling bin and move onto the next one. If you're wanting a small, attractive and original table in your home, then next time you finish a bottle consider keeping it to one side. Once you have three or four bottles, all it takes is a simple bit of DIY and you have a small, stylish table. Simply clean the bottles, drill holes the width of the bottle neck into a piece of  wood of your choice, and use the bottles as table legs. Make sure you varnish the wood and you'll have a stylish coffee or decorative table. Or even better, use it as a table for your wine aerator!

If you've got any sturdy hardback books that have been gathering dust at the bottom of a cupboard, why not upcycle them into a funky set of shelves. All you need are some simple shelving brackets; these can even be reused from an old set of shelves you've taken down. Once you've got the brackets screwed into the wall, place the book on top – and if you fancy a change or want to read the book that you're using a shelf, simply swap it with another one.

If you or your kids have skateboarded in the past, chances are the old boards are now  somewhere in the back of the garage. If you dig them out, give them a sand down and a varnish, they make an excellent recycled stool for any extreme sport fan or teenager's bedroom. Although creating and attaching the legs to the skateboard deck involves some focused DIY (various how-to guides can be found on the internet), the look finished product is truly striking!

Vintage tennis rackets are readily available in charity and vintage shops, and although they won't be much use on Centre Court at Wimbledon, they can be used to make a stylish vintage mirror. If you take the rackets to your local glass shop, they should be able to cut you a mirror to size that will fit perfectly within the rim of the racket. Then simply apply mirror adhesive to the back of the glass and attach directly onto the strings of the racket – allow it to dry and hang on your wall.

This is without a doubt one of the most grandiose examples of upcycling you may ever see: a grand piano definitely makes an exquisite book shelf. Often old and non-repairable pianos will be given away for free. Even if the wood inside is not in the best state, only the lid and external wood of the piano really needs to be in good condition. Once you strip away the main body of the instrument, glue the lid to the bottom side of the piano. Give the wood a good sand and varnish and you're ready to mount it to a wall. Pianos are extremely heavy, so it needs to be mounted very securely: heavy duty shelving brackets combined with long TimberLok screws should be enough to safely secure it to the wall. Then add in some simple shelves with any salvaged wood from the piano and decorate as appropriate.