Now Easter half-term is over (at the time of writing) perhaps you’re stuck for ideas to get your young people doing something worthwhile during Whitson or even over the long long summer holidays?
Most people know that upcycling is a great way to give old furniture a new lease of life. It can also be a fun and rewarding activity for people of all ages. However, it’s not always easy to get young people involved or fired up to join in.
Upcycling can be a perfect holiday project which will keep kids age 10 and over entertained for days plus they could end up with a newly refurbished bedroom that they’ve designed themselves – and on a shoestring budget.
THE SEVEN STEPS TO SUCCESS
1. Make it fun!
Help them choose the pieces they want to upcycle whether that’s their existing furniture or a charity find, Facebook Marketplace etc. And give them plenty of creative freedom. If you can’t help getting involved, grab your own piece and join them upcycling! Your Young Upcycler can get their friends involved and throw a painty party! Set up an upcycling workshop in your home (all will be fine, just remember to protect the floors and nearby furniture).
2. Start with the basics
Start with some smaller projects – bedside cabinets are perfect and very plentiful secondhand. They never cost very much and are easy to store until your youngster is ready to get the paints out. Ensure it is structurally sound with minimal need for fixing.
Paints: the best paint to start your upcycling quest is undoubtedly Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. It may not be the cheapest on the market but you will be thankful for the quality of this brand plus there is next to no preparation required. Yep, you can pretty much just dive straight in with the colour. Much the same goes for brushes. All brushes will get the paint on the furniture but some will get it on better, more evenly, giving an overall quality finish which will last.
3. Be patient
Upcycling furniture takes time and patience from both you and your young upcycler. Don’t expect them to create a masterpiece overnight. Just let them enjoy the process and be proud of their accomplishments, no matter how small they may seem.
4. Get inspired
There are many great resources available online such as Pinterest and Etsy plus of course there’s plenty of inspiration to be found on the Upcycle Arcade website. Any of these sources can help your youngster find their artistic flair and be empowered to go bold with their imagination.
5. Let them experiment
Upcycling is all about experimentation. So don’t be afraid to let them try new things. You never know what they might come up with. After all, if their finished piece it’s not to their liking, they can always repaint it.
6. Get help
Upcycle Arcade have created an online school just for this purpose. Everything in one place, in bit-sized easy to follow video tutorials where you and your Young Upcycler can learn at your own pace.
7. Share away
Once they’ve completed their project, get them to share it with the world! And to be proud. They can post photos of their ‘new’ furniture on social media plus their achievements may encourage their friends to also pick up a paintbrush.
Upcycling furniture is a great way to teach young people about sustainability, creativity, and craftsmanship. It’s also a fun and rewarding activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. So, what’s stopping you?