Before you Recycle, Consider Upcycling

Before you Recycle, Think “Upcycle”

Have you ever experienced a “white tornado” mindset?  I know I have!  At different times and for many different reasons, we feel the need to refresh and update our homes.  Often, this process involves getting rid of, or recycling, items deemed no longer needed or useful.  Before you make the decision to recycle your unwanted home goods, I encourage you to consider your options for upcyling.

One example of creative upcycling is converting a baby changing table to a modern, stylish bar cart.  Every parent has experienced the thrill of changing that last diaper!  It almost seems like a family right-of-passage to get rid of the changing table when your child is finally potty trained.   But consider this—many changing tables are made of wood and have ample shelving, making them a great option for storage and serving.  With a few simple and inexpensive “tweaks,” your baby’s changing table can be transitioned to a stylish and functional bar or serving cart that your family can enjoy for many more years.  Here’s how it’s done.

Step One:            Remove changing pad, straps and strap hardware.  Fill in holes as necessary, and sand once dry so that the surface is smooth for painting.

Step Two:            Clean the table well with a disinfecting solution in preparation for painting.  Allow to dry.

Step Three:         Choose a paint color.  For my project, which started out as a mint green changing table, I choose a dramatic, glossy black paint.  Depending on where you’ll be using your cart in your home, choose a color that will work well.  For example, a cheerful yellow, red or turquoise makes a fun and updated statement in a kitchen or dining room.  White or black are more traditional and elegant.  I recommend high gloss paint for a lacquered-look finish that is easy to clean.

Step Four:            For increased functionality, consider the addition of brass wheels to your cart’s legs.  Options will vary depending on the leg style of your cart.  My cart’s legs could not accommodate wheels, but I did find nail-on brass swivel gliders that worked well, and created an elegant finish to the cart legs.

Step Five:             Have a mirror or glass cut to size for the top shelf of your cart.  Lowe’s will cut glass and mirrors for free with purchase.  I opted for a mirrored finish for my cart, and together with glossy black paint, created a retro, “mad men” era statement.  Finish your cart with accessories of your choice, such as serving trays, barware, napkins, wine paraphernalia and bread baskets.  You will have not only a functional “new” cart, but also a fun upcycling story to share.