‘Upcycling’ trend transforms thrift store finds into bankable projects

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A new trend is catching on: cashing in on trash.

“Upcycling,” is taking discarded things and fixing them up to increase their value. The trend which takes it’s name from recycling, is a do-it-yourself solution to furnishing your home on a budget.

Renae Corvi is a bit of an upcycling expert.

“I like to take pieces and recreate them into something new,” she said.

She buys items for a few dollars and fixes them up.

In one of her creations, she rescued an outdated headboard and used it to create a new hall rack.

“It’s great for a big wall that nobody knows what to do with,” she said.

It’s just one curbside find she was able to transform into a Pinterest-worthy project which she then sells for $50 to $100.

“I think people want to do it but they just don’t have the ideas in their head,” Corvi said.

She’s gotten so good at flipping furniture that she’s become a Goodwill guru, teaching upcycling bootcamp classes at local Goodwill stores.

Nancy Hughes is a fan of Corvi’s transformations and jumped at the opportunity to learn.

“I’m looking forward to having some of my ideas come to fruition,” Hughes said.

In her classes, Corvi teaches people how to think outside the box. She sees an old wooden ladder as a storage unit, end table or quilt rack.

And one of her secret weapons? Chalk paint.Β It’s non-toxic and there’s no sanding or prep work required.

Corvi also says that if you are worried about using power tools like drills, there are ways around it.

“For these drawers, I go with Velcro — very easy to do,” she said.

It’s also a great way to get your kids involved in something hands-on and creative.

“A lot of people are afraid to get started and that’s a mistake because you can’t make a mistake, just go ahead and try it,” Corvi said.

The final cost of her new shelf? $45. The ladder was $8.99, the drawers were $6, supplies were $15 and decor was $15.

“Before you throw out anything out to the curb and clutter the landfills, just take a second look and see what you can salvage.”

To learn more or register for an upcoming boot camp, email info@goodwillswfl.org and put “bootcamp” in the subject line.

You can visit the Goodwill guru website here.

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