The words vintage, retro, upcycled, reclaimed are all very on trend these days and it seems if you add any one of these words before anything, it can instantly increase the price of the item drastically and also increase the desire for that item!
While everyone was going mad for shabby chic a few years ago and chalk paint was the best thing since slice bread – and still is!, in more recent times the trend has moved a step further and there seems no restrictions on what ‘junk’ can be ‘upcycled’. How does that well known saying go? – ‘one persons junk is another persons treasure’. This has become so true! Objects such as pallets, scaffolding and old apple crates are now all the rage and can be turned into some amazing pieces of furniture with some crazy price tags. Pop into google images or pinterest the search term ‘pallet furniture’ and have a look for yourself!
The high price is not due to the high cost of the materials or even to the time it’s taken to make it but is down to the labels such as vintage, reclaimed or upcycled attached to it. I’m personally far too tight to be paying those sorts of prices, especially when I get the stock for Crafty Monkey delivered on pallets and have a friend who’s a scaffolder! Plus I can hardly say I’m a crafty sort and then not be prepared to make it myself!
This last year I’ve made an array of things which as I blog about them I will put links on the list below so you can click through and have a look at my handy work. The list includes:
- Danny’s Beach Bar
- BBQ Table
- Garden Seating (I actually bought this from someone local who had made it)
From apple crates:
- Bookcase/Shelving Unit
- Coffee Table
- Bench for my dining table
I would encourage anyone to get out there and give it a go, I’m your average person whose wood work skills consist of what I learnt at school 30 odd years ago and haven’t really been utilised since so I’d say if I can do it then most people can unless you are hopeless at DIY.
It’s also great for the soul making something usable and completing a task from start to finish!
Go on I dare you…
As for sourcing pallets, apple crates and scaffolding then pallets are pretty easy to get hold of. You can try driving around your nearest industrial estate – you will be sure to find some piled up or perhaps the backs of shops in your local high street – obviously always politely ask the business and never just take them. Most businesses will be only too happy to be relieved of them, however be aware that there’s certain pallets, I believe the red or blue one’s that always get returned and if they don’t then companies have to fork out and pay for them. Alternatively, you could always put a post on a facebook selling site pages or gumtree etc asking for them – I’ve seen people request them here and am always very happy to offer my one’s as it saves me having to dispose of them. Some people may charge a couple of quid for them but if you ask nicely enough I’m sure most will be happy for you to have them for free.
As for scaffolding well your best bet is making friends with your local scaffolder or there’s a good website that was recommended to me by my scaffolder friend where I picked up a few pieces at Scaffolding Direct, that advertises high quality products at low cost prices! That’s what we like! I was really impressed with the service and you can have your poles custom cut at, if my memory serves me correctly, no extra cost. I remember they arrived very quickly and well wrapped – some bits a bit too well wrapped! There was also no minimum order value and no need to have a trade account!
Apple crates or wine crates – now these are a bit more tricky to get your hands on as it’s a thing of past and not something that is commonplace these days, well not authentic one’s. You see a lot of newly made one’s but if you want a truly vintage one that doesn’t cost the earth then you’re going to have to mix a bit of hunting around with a bit of luck! I saved a search on ebay so it would notify me of any new listings for fruit crates and I was really lucky that someone local to me was having a house clearance after the death of her elderly father. Before retiring he had worked on the markets, owning a fruit stall and he had near on 100 proper vintage fruit crates! They were happy for me to just get rid of them for them so they only cost me a few quid each and they threw a few in that were not in the best of condition.
Now to leave you with a bit of inspiration, take a look at this article where a couple has done out most of their house with reclaimed items! Fabulous!