Up-Cycling Furniture
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About this course

This course is suitable for anyone with an interest in Interiors and decorating furniture and would like to try out some simple techniques onto small items readily available at home. The sessions are aimed at giving you some small items to work on in class and present you with some original ideas about how to up-cycle items that are normally discarded at home, including tin cans, glass jars, cardboard and newspaper. You will also try out some simple painting techniques. It may also be suggested that you bring in small items like a lampshade and  items of furniture that you may decorate in a particular style and using a specific decorative technique.

What will I learn?

The aim of the sessions is to give an insight in to the possibilities of up-cycling, some ideas that you may use in order to change items that you have around the house or have picked up at fairs, having seen the potential to change them. It is always inspiring to work as a group, learning from other people’s skills and experience, to give you the confidence to up-cycle your own items. As you go around, you will begin to see the potential in lots of different items and furniture. People are now looking for a more personal approach to home decorating and starting with these sessions, should help you get started. It is designed to inspire and encourage personal response.

On completion, you should be able to: 

  • Produce a sample board testing out some simple paint techniques
  • Make and decorate a simple frame using a technique called decoupage
  • Decorate and change the use of tin cans and glass jars
  • Draw a pattern on to a lampshade or box and paint it in a specific decorative style
  • Paint a small item of furniture using one of the techniques that you have explored

The following topics will be covered during the course:

  •  A brief look at some up-cycled items and discussion about the types of techniques that have been used. There will also be sample pieces for you to look at
  • A look at the work of the Bloomsbury group who were the first modern day artists to paint and decorate furniture
  • A brief look at Utility furniture
  • A look at interesting ways that items have been up-cycled by others
  • Simple paper manipulation using newspaper and magazines
  • Experimenting with simple paint techniques
  • Decorating small items using simple paint techniques


Entry requirements
There are no entry requirements associated with this course.
Study, assessment and qualifications

Assessment is informal, based on your personal targets and the learning outcomes, and will be undertaken regularly with you by the course tutor. There are no final qualifications associated with this course.

Additional costs and information

You will need to bring small items of furniture, frames, boxes, lampshades, materials and equipment for decorating your chosen items, ie specialist paints, brushes, rollers, glues, papers, if you do not already have these items to hand.

You may also wish to bring with you some inspirational material such as pictures torn from magazines or photos of items that you are inspired by to share with the group or pictures of items that you have already worked on. Alternatively, you may bring in small items or photos of items that you are considering working on in order to get some ideas from the group.


What could I do next?

You may wish to enrol on Introduction to Interior design, which will allow you to move forward from single items into designing whole room schemes.