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upcycling as a side hustle

 
steward
Posts: 5989
Location: Missoula, MT
1286
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We stayed somewhere that had some upcycled decor (see the lamps and barbed wire at bottom) that got me thinking about this topic.

I would LOVE to see or hear more about folks making money as a side hustle with cool upcycled crafts.

First, we have the thread about just selling trash that others use to make their crafts:
Making money on the Internet selling trash.
Really worth checking out for someone looking to augment their side hustle earnings.

Nicole started this thread about re-purposing old garden hoses.

That garden gate is just one spectacular example.

Plus, Jay posted here, in a thread with a general discussion about upcycling, this awesome turtle stool from upcycled materials.


It reminds me of re-purposing a hanging wire basket into a turtle topiary:


Who knew barbed wire could be so cheerful?


The lamp pictures next, coupled with r's thread on upgrading a standing lamp to battery power, could make a useful off-grid combo.

Floor lamp made from branches or twigs also known as junkpoles:


Pretty table lamp made with junkpoles, too:


Any other side hustle crafts going on out there?
 
master pollinator
Posts: 8719
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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Almost all of my experience in this area, is with recycled building components, since I have recycled approximately 15,000 tons of those materials.

All of the most intricate items are by someone other than myself, since I'm someone who must see fast results.

One lady takes old multi-pane windows, mostly with broken glass, and puts mirrors or other things across the space and they are sold as decorative items.

One of my customers takes short pieces of Douglas fir that wouldn't have much value as building wood but they are the best quality, tight grain, old growth, without many knots. He builds high quality furniture from this.

Another customer takes old dressers and turns them into bathroom vanities. This is a great use for furniture that may be missing drawers or have a top that is badly damaged. The new piece that is created, is done in a manner where all or part of the top is covered or replaced. If a drawer is missing, shelves are put in its place. A piece of furniture that would have gone to the dump has become a unique handmade item instead of another Home Depot look alike.

The photo below is a picture of the ceiling of my friends hot tub roof. Someone did a whole lot of work salvaging a bunch of tongue and groove flooring that was too thin to be reused for that purpose. It was taken up, de nailed and bundled. Then they unsuccessfully tried to sell it. Eventually it came up for free, so I used it for this wainscoting look. This originally 3/4 inch material was now about 5/8 inches thick. I laid this on the purlins first, and then laid half-inch plywood over top, for a total thickness of 1  3/8 inch. It made a very sturdy roof deck. We painted each piece before it was placed, because I knew it would be very difficult to get rid of dark lines later on. The exposed face and both the tongue-and-groove were given a coat of white undercoat and then a coat of more shiny paint. John passed them up to me one at a time and I placed them carefully so as not to scratch up the new paint. There were only a few little touch-ups needed once the material was placed. The dark stain seen on framing materials was done before the roof deck was placed. That's why there are no dark blotches on the white material.

The second picture shows the finished side of the recycled flooring, which was eventually covered with plywood and then roofing.
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Dale Hodgins
master pollinator
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The hot tub with the roof cover is just a few steps away from this cabin which is also made from recycled material. The only major components that were purchased new, are the drywall, asphalt roofing and wood siding.

Every window, door, beam and all other framing materials were salvaged from demolished buildings.
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gardener & bricolagier
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Location: SW Missouri
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I didn't sell  this till I moved, it was made as my guest room dresser. All the furniture in my guest room was on wheels (all the furniture in our new house will be on wheels, it makes it SO easy to rearrange!!) so I could arrange it as it worked best for whoever was there, or shove it all out of my way and use the space if I had no guest. My best friend is blind, and prefers her room to be the same each time, less stress for her, so I'd just arrange it in her pattern.

The dresser was dumpster kill, no bottom drawer, some structural issues at the bottom. I forgot to take pics before I corrected that stuff. I put a good solid bottom on it, added wheels, and took the old scalloped kickplate, and flipped it over, so it became a way to keep shoes etc in the bottom. I then put a bright paint job on it that sort of matched the rest of the room(all deserty looking stuff)  Being on wheels, sometimes the back was visible, so it was painted too. I don't have a picture of it with the new handles on it, they were boring, just silver  ] shapes, and silver balls. It worked REALLY well for that room, I took one drawer and put guest stuff in it (towels, robe, etc) and the rest was empty.

These would sell easily (especially with a more normal paint job.) Good use of dumpster kill.











 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Location: Missoula, MT
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Lovely hot tub roof and cabin, Dale! I especially like the French doors and sweet dormer window.

Pearl, that is a work. of. art. Wowsa! Good on you! Maybe not everyone's style, but certainly way better than the original. Your work reminds me of the gal they featured in a few episodes of "Money for Nothing" on Netflix. I posted about that here. The gal who upcycles dressers is only in a few of the episodes, not all. It's amazing the prices she was able to charge for her fancied-up dressers.

Building a hot tub shelter and a cabin could be weekend side gigs for folks with access to all the demo materials that Dale finds/scores. At the same time, I think they also need higher level construction skills. We're learning (some times the hard way) that not everyone has those skills.

For folks in the wheaton labs bootcamp, or other early homesteaders, or those saving up for a homestead, I think it might be easier to start with a dresser redux, or making a lamp, or planter boxes from scrap wood. From the folks who join our bootcamp, I've observed that many of them would rather do something with their hands and tools in the evenings and on weekends instead posting pictures online. (wheaton labs boots can post pics to earn a pretty healthy BRK.) I think often folks are interested in the bootcamp, or homesteading, because they like being outdoors, doing physical work, working with people and animals and plants. Which means they usually don't like computer work quite as much.

So yeah, if you have Netflix, check out "Money for Nothing." It's a scrounger's or an upcycler's dream show! Though again, there are truly some skilled artisans on that show, not everything is something just anybody could do. Though there are some simpler inspirations, too.





 
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