How to start your upcycling business

If you are keen on watching “Money for Nothing” and other antique roadshow programmes, you might have been thinking about up-cycling and refurbishing stunning period pieces for a profit.

Ben loves watching these programmes and is feeling super inspired to get cracking with his furniture making business using reclaimed materials whenever possible.

Creative and hands-on people can actually make a living off other peoples junk and become famous for their creations online and offline.

In case you are thinking about upcycling as a business, below you will find a step-by-step guide to get started.

Look for trends


The first thing you need to study is the past trends and the current ones. You have to be able to tell apart the valuable items from the ones that are common and rejected by buyers. For this, you might want to study the different types of antique furniture and the ways you can keep them in the right condition or restore them. Whether you are more like a vintage person or like your antiques, you will find an area to fall in love with.

Create a workshop


You are likely to need a lot of space for your restoration projects, and there are several options to choose from. Set it up in the garage, the garden, get a used container, a summer house or a large shed.  Don’t forget you’ll need high power electricity for all your lighting and tools. Ventilation is also important if you are planning on dealing with toxic substances or fumes that are not good for your lungs, such as lacquer and paint.  Ben opted for a shed with front doors and side doors as his workshop and then ran electricity from the house (you should find a professional to help with this).

Related Building a garden workshop

Connect with the right people

The key to succeeding at a restoration and up-cycling business is knowing people. You might want to connect with individuals who provide house clearance services for clients, and people who will help you discover collections you might be interested in. You can also get in touch with local charity shops, as they often receive donations that cannot be sold in their current condition, so they are willing to let you have them.

Tips to make sure you never fail at DIY

Get the tools

It is also crucial that you learn upholstery and woodworking, and get the right power tools. If you know someone who does the same job for a living, you can ask them for recommendations on woodworking tools, so you can turn around projects quicker and make a profit sooner. You can pick some up at local car boot sales if you don’t have the budget to blow on brand new equipment or search on eBay and local marketplaces to find cheaper second-hand tools.  It might even be worth taking a course to learn these skills so you can be sure you’re doing them properly, though there is also plenty of guidance online nowadays too.

Related – How to brand your wooden furniture creations with your logo

Look for the right suppliers

When you start restoring wooden cabinets and upholstered chairs, you will need to get the right new materials to replace the old and tired ones. You might want to check out EasyFoam offering different types of filler cut to measure, so you don’t have to hunt for the chair cushion material for weeks. Get in touch with local furniture making companies to receive small off-cut pieces that will help you restore your items on a budget.

Starting up an up-cycling business is not only profitable, but also good for the environment. With an increasing number of people looking for unique items that fit their home perfectly, you will find that the market right now is booming.

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