Materials and Tools to Get Started
You will need some basic materials and tools to get started with upcycling. If you already have an array of tools in your garage, there is no point in buying more. You can add tools to your collection as you need them for particular projects. If you don’t have basic tools, get a starter kit.
Look for something that offers you:
Various screws, nails, and fasteners
You can buy tools second hand too from pawn shops and estate sales if you don’t want to spend much to get the items you need.
Some additional times that come in very handy for upcycling include:
Getting your Items to Use
Many of the items you will use for upcycling, you can get from your own home. Go through your house room by room. Look for items you no longer use, and they are merely taking up space. Instead of tossing them out, put them into boxes for your upcycling projects. As you compile items, think about what you would like to create with them.
Spread the Word
If you let your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, and even people at church know what you are doing, they can save items for you. They would otherwise likely just toss those items out. They will be happy to box them up for you to have. This is a wonderful way to grow your supply of items to work from quickly.
Spend some time exploring second-hand options. You can find great items to work with for the art of upcycling. Spend some time visiting garage or yard sales to see what people have to offer. Go to second-hand stores including the Goodwill and Salvation Army. Pawnshops and estate sales can also warrant some very good finds for you.
Sorting and Separating
It is a good idea to sort out your materials so you know what you have. Boxes or bins work very well for this. Use an old trash can to store your metal and your wood pieces in. Buttons, gems, and other decorative items can be placed in jars or vases.
Keep your material and old clothing in boxes or other storage containers. If you have plenty of it, you may wish to break it down by type of material. That way you can easily find items that are a good fit for a particular project you may be working on.
What to Create
Deciding what you will create can be the most difficult sometimes. Perhaps you take a look at what you collected and then start to formulate ideas from it. Maybe you already have a project in mind, and you are trying to get all of the necessary items you need to make it.
If you aren’t sure what to create, there are plenty of ideas to be found online. You can look at the step by step instructions for them and make what you desire. You can also look at images to get an idea for a personalized piece of work with that image as the underlying foundation.
There are quite a few videos found online too that will walk you through the steps for a given type of project. These videos can be very useful if you are new to upcycling. They can also be useful if you get stuck when you have a particular project underway. The information can help you to get it successfully completed.
In the following chapters, we will cover some of the different categories of projects you can work on. Each category will also feature a project example with instructions.