A WOMAN has admitted how she's obsessed with upcycling projects and has filled her home with her DIY creations as she "hates" throwing anything away.
Renu Singh, 44, from London believes she has saved hundreds by turning old items ready to be thrown away into quirky new decor for her home using her clever DIY skills.
The web and graphic designer has used Lego, lolly sticks, old skateboards, broken discs, iPhone boxes, wardrobe doors and more in her upcycling projects.
Some of her DIY makeovers have cost as little as 1 and Renu believes this is the best way to fix the "environmental mess" caused by throwing things away.
The self-confessed hoarder said: "Since I was very young I have always been a bit of a hoarder. I hate to see things being thrown away when they can be easily fixed and reused.
"We are creating such an environmental mess by randomly disposing things that would end up in the landfill.
"By upcycling we reduce the need for new production and therefore reduce air pollution, water pollution, greenhouse emissions and what not!"
Renu creates quirky pieces of decor for her home - and it all started after her husband moaned about her hoarding stuff and lectured her on how to declutter.
Her upcycling obsession grew after she turned a broken picture frame into a vertical chess board for their family home.
Despite the frames glass being broken and ready to be binned, Renu recognised the wooden frame was in good condition and set about creating a fancy chessboard with it.
She said: "The problem was that it was not square but rectangular so it challenged me even more. But the end result was very satisfying!
"Then as my son got older, I started sorting out toys he had outgrown. I was planning to give them away to charity but kept them on the side for a while.
"The box of Lego bricks fell open one day and I thought of a great idea to make something useful out of them - so I used the pieces to make a Lego lipstick stand."
Renu believes she has saved herself hundreds of pounds thanks to the upcycling items she has made for her home.
She no longer throws items away before trying to make something out of them and she has even seen similar products being sold in shops for a couple of hundred quid.
The mother recently found the familys old coffee table which was about to be dumped at the skip - so she grabbed it and tried to give it a modern makeover.
Renu spent hours cutting old CD and DVD discs into tiny pieces and used them to create a mosaic top for the table.
She said: "I started with sanding the top and polishing the metallic bits. A touch of black paint followed and then the actual work started.
"I carefully stuck the CD and DVD pieces on using hot glue. I covered the table top with epoxy resin to give it a shiny look.
"The final look was amazing with an almost glass-like shimmer. I think the coffee table is now similar to ones in shops sold for 400."
Then Renus obsession with upcycling old unused tyres began - and she used the former car parts to create seats, foot stools and garden planters.
The DIY enthusiast feels strongly about tyres - she believes they are a "massive burden on the environment" and a "challenging source of waste".
She feels the components in tyres are ecologically problematic and non-biodegradable, therefore consuming valued space in landfills.
Renu said: "I decided to do something about it and make products out of waste tyres, which otherwise would have been in landfill or burned - creating a lot of air pollution.
"I made trendy looking seats using old worn out tyres, nylon ropes and a wooden base with foam overlay for comfortable seating.
"I also made tyre foot stools to add to our home decor as well as using old tyres for garden planters.
"I have even sold my tyre seats in a charity auction for 90!"
Renu has also made several items from pallet wood, including basic shelves, which would retail at 50 - 60 in Homebase or B&Q.
She added: "Just because a wooden pallet has reached the end of its life transporting goods all around the world doesnt mean its become useless!"
She created a cue stand for their office pool table and a pallet shelf for the garden to hold the familys Bluetooth speaker.
The mother has even reused her sons old skateboard - which was gathering dust in the garage - to create a new ceiling light with a retro and funky theme.
Renu also upcycles old candles by melting down the leftovers with colourful crayons and using essential oils to make them fragrant again.
Her upcycling doesnt stop there - she used an old wardrobe door to create a breakfast table for her kitchen and even lolly sticks to create photo frames.
She said: "All the candies and lollies consumed during the recent heatwave gave me an idea to create these photo frames which I spent quite a few hours working on.
"The end result however was very satisfying and looks wonderful.
"Similar hexagonal frames are being sold in B&M for 9.99 each but I made them for free!"
Renu also turned her husbands old iPhones boxes into a stylish wall cabinet for candles and figurines for just 1 using just Poundland spray paint.
She said her husband had been waiting to chuck the iPhone boxes out but Renu was convinced she could use them to store bits and bobs around the house.
She said: "On this particular week he gave me an ultimatum that either the boxes get thrown today or you use them.
"I rolled up my sleeves and started working on it. When I started getting the boxes out of the drawer, I had already pictured what I would be doing.
"I created a display unit by gluing them together and using a staple gun for extra robustness. I used Poundland spray cans to paint them black.
"I deliberately didnt paint the back to prove to my husband that those are indeed the iPhone boxes he was so keen to throw out.
"My favourite quote to reiterate is one mans trash is another ones treasure.
Renu is keen to continue upcycling everything she can in her home and thinks it is great she can save money too.
Instead of upcycling her "dated and worn" kitchen worktops, she recently gave them a fresh makeover and saved hundreds by using Fablon sticky back plastic and self-adhesive film.
The obsessed upcycling DIYer is now encouraging others to get involved in upcycling things rather than throwing items away.
She said: "You do not need to be a professional to try it! Learn from videos and posts on Facebook.
"Take small steps at a time but the end result will make you feel proud for not only saving a lot of money but also doing something good for the environment too.
"People should realise that they were going to bin it anyway so whats the harm in giving it a go upcycling first!"
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In other DIY news, thissingle mum spent five years overhauling her family home on a budget.
And we also shared how anothermum saved 1.8k this year doing up her house on the cheap picking up items from a skip and the TIP.
Plus afamily totally revamp their worn out garden during lockdowncomplete with seating areas, a fireplace and a playground.
Read more here:
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