Upcycling with Emmaus UK for National Recycle Week

Emmaus finalI recently joined forces with the Emmaus UK charity for National Recycle Week to help spread the word on recycling and upcycling. 

Emmaus supports formerly homeless people by giving them a home, meaningful work in a social enterprise and an opportunity to get themselves back on their feet again.
Their communities across the UK work with people who have experienced homelessness to provides an opportunity to regain their self-esteem and give them a chance to make a real contribution to their community.

National Recycle Week is in its 16th year and Emmaus UK challenged a few bloggers and upcyclers to create something with items from their shops to encourage people to reuse and upcycle. I’m lucky enough to live just a mile away from Emmaus North East and regularly visit anyway so this was a great chance to help them out too.

Charity shops really are a treasure trove for upcyclers and if you’re anything like me then you can see the beauty in all the unwanted and unloved things in them. There are a few things you can always find in charity shops aside from clothes… vinyl records, incomplete dinner sets, ornaments, books and mismatched glassware. I know vinyl lovers will hate me for this but I use old vinyl as table mats!IMG_3917

My Recycle Week Project

For my project I chose a single plate which was beautiful and a few pieces of glassware. There was a vinegar bottle, small vase and a couple of small glass trinket pots.Emmaus before shot.jpg

I decided to paint them and tried out a few techniques before deciding on the final one. I tried my ideas out on some jam jars first. I loved the plate as it was, so wanted to use that as my starting point and create something simple and elegant.

I settled on pastel colours and first I tried out chalk paint inside the jars, swirling the paint around inside, which did work but I thought it may have been tricky with the vinegar bottle.

So I settled on spray paint. I used the new spray version of Rust-Oleum chalky finish furniture paint in China Rose, which gives the same matt effect as the brush on version but you don’t need to finish with wax. It’s possibly my new favourite paint. I also went for Rust-Oleum Universal Gloss White spray.

Image credit – thanks to Rust-Oleum

The pieces went from unloved on a shelf to my bedside table as a jewellery stand. I’m really happy with how they turned out and hope it encourages people to think differently about homewares in charity shops and how they can restyle or upcycle them for their home.

Emmaus final

Read about the other Emmaus UK Recycle Week projects here from Lynne Lambourne,  Kate Beavis,  Hester Van Overbeek, and Medina Grillo.


5 thoughts on “Upcycling with Emmaus UK for National Recycle Week

  1. I didn’t realise there was an Emmaus in the North East! I’ve visited them in France, where they are massive and brilliant. I need to look them up here too. I love what you have done with these items – your creativity knows no bounds!!

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