The Upcycle Challenge Entries

At the end of the Upcycle Challenge, when the winners had been voted on and announced, we decided that the competition was so good we would showcase the many other entries in the competition that showed some creative thinking and reuse of materials that otherwise would have been disposed of.

So we're going to put up pictures of different entries and give a bit of background and show how many people are actually engaging in upcycling. They may not know that what they do is called 'upcycling' but they capture the ethos of it perfectly.



Today’s entry for the Upcycled Challenge is from Diana in Limerick.

Diana took an old chest of drawers, which had a missing drawer, and an old headboard that had spent a long time sad and alone. The top and one of the drawers was removed such that the bottom two drawers were left with the full height of the sides.

A curve was cut into the sides and some of the scrap wood was used to create arm rests. The headboard was then fit to the back of the unit and the top of the chest of drawers was upholstered and fit in place as a seat.

It was then painted and the original handles were reattached to complete the final chair, which looks like something you could curl up in with a good book and a cuppa!

Quite the transformation!!!


Our latest instalment in the showcase of the entries for the #UpcycleChallenge16 is from Aoife in Cork.

Aoife was out walking with her kids and they spotted what they later found out to be a cable wheel. Aoife decided that it would make a great table….as you naturally do, when you see a cable wheel...

So the kids were recruited, and the wheel was flipped and rolled up hill and down dale until they got it home. Then, that moment when you realise it’s not going to fit down by the side of the house.
But it did. Just.

Not everyone thought it had a new life to live – it was suggested to Aoife it might be better off in a skip! “No chance”, she said and set to work.

The wheel was sanded and painted, except for what would be the table top. Why was that not sanded? Because there were leftover kitchen tiles that had gathered years’ of dust that would be smashed to make a mosaic-type surface. The grout from that time was used to apply the mosaic and presto! They have beautiful garden table.

So, an old, abandoned wooden cable wheel was transformed into a new garden table with the use of some elbow grease, paint, leftover kitchen tiles and grout!

Griffeen Tidy Towns

The Griffeen Tidy Towns team carried out a clean-up during which they picked up lots of hub caps from the side of the roads.

Their wonderful idea for the reuse of these dirty, discarded hubcaps began with a trip to the local car-wash where they were cleaned. Once the clean hubcaps dried, they were spray-painted with a base colour and then hand-painted flower images onto them. Local children were involved in the painting process :)

The painted hubcaps were then attached to wooden stems and 'planted' at local roundabouts!

Not only did they brighten up the roundabouts but they did it with items once set for disposal. Needless to say they were commended for their creativity and waste prevention by the Tidy Towns judges!

Bualadh bos!


Ruth, from Mayo, got this table from her friend. It had belonged to her grandmother who had since passed away.

The table was in a state of disrepair and was in need of a good clean sanding. Under the glass top was a red felt liner which was glued on. This was stripped off and the surface underneath was cleaned and sealed.

Next, it was painted, using chalk paint (Cocoa) and then painted in a metallic copper paint, except for the surface which was left with the Cocoa finish.

She then glued on 374 one-cent coins, which had been cleaned (in salt and vinegar) and then polished. These coins are going to be taken out of circulation shortly so she thought it would be a nice table top to have in the future. 

The glass top was cleaned and replaced and so the coins will be protected.

Ruth gave the table back to her friend who now has a reminder of her beloved grandmother in her home!

Ruth upcycles as a hobby and she decided to enter to see if she was any good!!! I think we can all agree that Ruth has produced a lovely piece of furniture that would look good in any home!

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