It’s only been three months since I switched from my old ways to a purposeful way of living, but I’m so far from where I began. I’m using products that are better for me and the Earth, skipping fast fashion, and making food choices that I’m really proud of. I’m also spending my time doing things that I never thought that I’d do.
On top of going to tea parties and making my own candles, I’ve also tried my hands at upcycling. Let me break that term down, for the people who might not be familiar. Basically, it’s taking something old and making it new again. Giving a well-loved object a new life.
The upcycling opportunity kind of just fell into my lap. My mom was driving home one day and found a bunch of old luggage that someone was throwing out. She asked if I wanted it, and I just couldn’t let such great items go to waste. So I decided that it would be my first project, I have always been a crafter and loved repurposing things, but this time was way bigger than before.
I won’t keep you waiting. Here’s a look at the final product:
As you can probably tell, this project took a lot of work. Thankfully, I had the help of my grandparents, so we knocked it out in one day. As complicated as it was, I really enjoyed doing it. Not only did I get to give a new life to a forgotten item, but I got to spend some quality one-on-one time with my grandparents too.
The hard work started with shopping for supplies. Since I got the luggage for free, I had more money to spend on fabric, legs, and other random items I needed. This part was really fun.
When I started out, I had no idea at all what I was doing. Like I said, I have never upcycled something this big before. So I did what any newbie would do — wandered around Lowe’s for a while.
My biggest piece of advice when upcycling is to have fun with it. I had never done anything that involved power tools before. Nor did I have any idea where to start. But once you start getting the gears turning, they just don’t stop. Odds are that there is someone at the home improvement store to help you.
My second biggest tip for you is to keep your receipts. While I was walking around, I found tons of items that could possibly work. It wasn’t the most thought out plan ever, but that’s what I did. Because I kept all my receipts, I got to return everything that didn’t work.
The hardest part of the project was trying to get the luggage to stay open. The typical hinge wouldn’t hold it up right, so we had to screw a board into it, for the hinge on right. After that, it was pretty much smooth sailing.
My favorite part was figuring out what fabric to use. There were hundreds of different choices. When I first walked in, I was seriously overwhelmed. I knew that I wanted some sort of floral print, but there were tons to choose from. Thankfully, a lot of them happened to be on sale too.
I settled on something that was bold but not over-the-top. I think the colors work really well with the mustard yellow luggage. It all seems to work well with the color I painted the legs as well. The little throw pillows are my tickets from when I went to London that I made for a while ago.
I feel really good about this project. To think that it could just be sitting in the dumpster somewhere blows my mind. This definitely isn’t the last item I’ll be saving either. I had way too much fun with this project to stop now!
I’d love to hear what you think! What other projects do you think I should tackle in the future?