As you will know if you follow me on Instagram I’ve recently got really into upcycling. I mean I’m by no means a professional in this field…but I do like to give it a bash. In the last few months I’ve upcycled a Danish style mid century floral teak mirror for the livingroom using Valspar paint and a vintage mens bicycle that I spray painted with Plastikote spray paint which looks fantastic in the front yard!
I get so much joy out of giving pre-loved furnishings a new lease of life and I’m also a lass who loves a challenge, so when I saw Lynne Lambourne’s post a couple of weeks ago about getting involved with the #pinkcycled project I just knew I had to join in! It wasn’t just the idea of upcycling something in pink however that made me want to sign up, the main reason I took part in this challenge was to help raise money for a very special cause.
The Pink Ribbon Foundation is a trust I had heard of before but I wasn’t fully aware of all of the amazing work they do. They are essentially a grant making trust who fundraises to enable charities to continue with their vital work. This includes providing a highly skilled programme of care, complimentary therapies, counselling for patients and their families, up-date communication materials, awareness programmes, lymphedema care, therapy sessions, specialist equipment extra nurses to care for breast cancer patients, vital research into this terrible disease and much more.
I deliver art therapy sessions to patients with life limiting illnesses on a weekly basis and over the years I have worked with a number of adults who sadly suffer from breast cancer, some of whom I have grown really close to and formed special relationships with. Through doing this job I have become to understand the importance of projects like these and the massive impact it can have on people’s lives.
So the first thing I needed to do for this project was to find a preloved item to upcycle. I visited my local British Heart Foundation to see if I could source out something suitable for restoring. I’ve found some absolute gems in charity shops over the years and the best part of shopping in second hand stores is that your’e helping to raise funds for life saving research and also, you’re saving items from landfill which is so important.
I clapped eyes on a few potential projects but in the end I purchased a vintage child’s rocking chair for £10. As soon as I saw it I thought with a lick of pink paint this would make such a great little plant stand and book shelve for a living space!
Step 1: I firstly gave the chair a little wash and clean then I painted it using a few different products including Annie Sloan chalk paint (in Antionette) as well as some Valspar paint kindly donated to me by my studio neighbour Claire.
Step 2: I added some geo designs to the arms using Valspar paint and frog tape. I’ve recently started following Joanne Condon on Instagram and absolutely love her work, her upcycled furniture and designs really inspire me. She’s the Author of Furniture Crush and an expert in painted furniture and teaches workshops to help people think outside the box. If you’re into upcycling go check out her lovely creations!
Step 3: Once I painted the chair I gave it two coats of varnish to seal it using Polyvine decoraters varnish. I then created a pom-pom garland using scrap pieces of wool from my studio and clover pom pom makers and attached it to the bottom of the chair.
Step 4: I took the chair up to my dads and he fitted a scrap piece of wood from his workshop underneath the chair to create a mini book shelve.
Step 5: Lastly I made a needle felted flamingo using wool felt and pink wool tops and a clover punch tool and attached it to a stick so that it can be used as a fun plant prop!
So that’s how I created my #pinkcycled project which is now available to purchase on the Preloved website for just £25! You can also follow my journey on my insta #pinkcycled highlight. So why not join in too? Find out more here!
Next on the list is an old wooden art desk from the 80’s that I used to use as a child. I can’t wait to get started, I definitely have the bug now!
Rachel x x